20 Questions: Molly Kellogg, Hubbard-Hall

Tim Pennington
Editor-In-Chief at FinishingandCoating.com

How did you get your start in the finishing industry?
Nepotism. I was lucky enough to be generation 6 in a family business. Our company sold fertilizers way back in the 1800s and transitioned to supplying metal finishing during World War I when Waterbury, CT became the Brass Capital of the World – producing buttons and bullets.

What do you enjoy best about the industry?
I love seeing how things are manufactured. The supply chain of a simple metal part – say a connector – is incredibly complex, with many, many people and companies helping make a semiconductor or satellite.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Probably much of the same. I love my job and feel like I am making small but positive differences in people’s lives and in our community. What could be better than that? Except playing ice hockey every day. A great quote I heard about money: what it really buys you is beauty and space. So I might re-landscape my yard because it’s pretty scraggly.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
Could I fly through a few centuries and meet my ancestors? And stop a few world wars?

How would your friends describe you?
Thoughtful. Funny. Decent 4th for a round of golf.

What are your hobbies?
Hockey, cooking, crosswords, and cribbage.

What is the best gift you have been given?
My father’s trust to run the business.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
A laugh.

Two pet peeves.
Existentially: Cruelty and Waste; Quotidianly: Slow drivers and loud chewers.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still working and loving it. Hopefully, we will have made one or two acquisitions, and perhaps the 7th generation is working in the business.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Healing.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
See above. Fix my scraggly yard, pay for the college education of anyone I know, then buy custom Bauer skates.

What’s your favorite zoo animal?
Zoos kind of depress me, but I am in awe of elephants.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
The Trump election.

Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
I prefer an appreciating asset to a depreciating asset, so that’s an easy choice. But overall, I’d choose wisdom.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Physically: sky diving. Mentally: probably not enough.

What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Jeopardy.

What was the last book you read?
Home by Marilyn Robinson.

What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
Thai.

Are you a clean or messy person?
Clean. But if I play hockey at lunchtime, I don’t shower. Baby wipes work fine. So clean, but occasionally smelly.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Charlize Theron has already offered, but Jennifer Lawrence would work.

What’s your favorite fast-food chain?
Does Starbucks count? If not, Viva Chicken.

What’s your favorite family recipe?
Avgolemono; it’s a Greek chicken soup from my husband’s side of the family. Manhattans, from my side of the family. Thus makes a perfect marriage.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
4th of July at the beach with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
No one moment stands out, but I had a happy childhood.

What is your favorite movie?
Hot Fuzz.

January 28, 2021

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Excerpt: January 28, 2021

Molly Kellogg is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Hubbard-Hall, a $50 million chemical supplier to the finishing industry headquartered in Waterbury, CT. A 6th generation owner, Kellogg is also an avid hockey player. She earned her MBA from INSEAD in France and a BA from Princeton.

Full Text:

Tim Pennington
Editor-In-Chief at FinishingandCoating.com

How did you get your start in the finishing industry?
Nepotism. I was lucky enough to be generation 6 in a family business. Our company sold fertilizers way back in the 1800s and transitioned to supplying metal finishing during World War I when Waterbury, CT became the Brass Capital of the World – producing buttons and bullets.

What do you enjoy best about the industry?
I love seeing how things are manufactured. The supply chain of a simple metal part – say a connector – is incredibly complex, with many, many people and companies helping make a semiconductor or satellite.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Probably much of the same. I love my job and feel like I am making small but positive differences in people’s lives and in our community. What could be better than that? Except playing ice hockey every day. A great quote I heard about money: what it really buys you is beauty and space. So I might re-landscape my yard because it’s pretty scraggly.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
Could I fly through a few centuries and meet my ancestors? And stop a few world wars?

How would your friends describe you?
Thoughtful. Funny. Decent 4th for a round of golf.

What are your hobbies?
Hockey, cooking, crosswords, and cribbage.

What is the best gift you have been given?
My father’s trust to run the business.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
A laugh.

Two pet peeves.
Existentially: Cruelty and Waste; Quotidianly: Slow drivers and loud chewers.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still working and loving it. Hopefully, we will have made one or two acquisitions, and perhaps the 7th generation is working in the business.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Healing.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
See above. Fix my scraggly yard, pay for the college education of anyone I know, then buy custom Bauer skates.

What’s your favorite zoo animal?
Zoos kind of depress me, but I am in awe of elephants.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
The Trump election.

Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
I prefer an appreciating asset to a depreciating asset, so that’s an easy choice. But overall, I’d choose wisdom.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Physically: sky diving. Mentally: probably not enough.

What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Jeopardy.

What was the last book you read?
Home by Marilyn Robinson.

What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
Thai.

Are you a clean or messy person?
Clean. But if I play hockey at lunchtime, I don’t shower. Baby wipes work fine. So clean, but occasionally smelly.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Charlize Theron has already offered, but Jennifer Lawrence would work.

What’s your favorite fast-food chain?
Does Starbucks count? If not, Viva Chicken.

What’s your favorite family recipe?
Avgolemono; it’s a Greek chicken soup from my husband’s side of the family. Manhattans, from my side of the family. Thus makes a perfect marriage.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
4th of July at the beach with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
No one moment stands out, but I had a happy childhood.

What is your favorite movie?
Hot Fuzz.

January 28, 2021

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