30 in Their Thirties: Vatche Tazian // 39


Founder and President, Envirolite, Birmingham

Employees: 17 Revenue: $5.5 million Education: University of Michigan

Vatche Tazian has had his share of automotive supplier work, from overseeing the procurement, manufacturing, and installation of rubber seals in such vehicles as the Dodge Viper, Plymouth Prowler, Chevrolet Corvette, and Chrysler PT Cruiser to opening production plants in Mexico and the United States. It turned out to be a good training ground for Envirolite, a specialty foam business he launched in 2008 that serves a variety of industries, including marine, industrial, recreational, appliance, flooring, and packaging. “One of the growth markets we entered at a good time was the indoor trampoline park business,” Tazian says. The company’s so-called foam pit cubes are also used inside gymnastics facilities and gyms as well as to cushion participants during BMX, FMX, and skateboard competitions. “We’re also in the retail side, with camping mats, and we started offering household cleaning sponges that we export to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Hong Kong, and Asia.” Operating a 30,000-square-foot production facility in Coldwater, south of Battle Creek, he plans to double the size of the plant next year. “From my automotive career, I was fortunate to work in and visit different countries like France and Mexico, which helped when I started Envirolite,” he says. “We’re looking to sign a few deals with some larger retailers, which will lead to more growth for us and the hiring of eight to 10 more workers.”