The Lazy CEO Podcast

CEO Stories: Ryan Dahnert, Plymold

by Oct 30, 2023The Lazy CEO Podcast

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In this episode about Ryan Dahnert, CEO of Plymold

  • Plymold, a manufacturer of commercial furniture and fixtures, underwent a significant reorganization process under the leadership of CEO Ryan Dahnert in 2019, focusing on its core strengths in metal frame furniture fixtures.
  • The company faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, initially due to the impact on its primary clients in the quick-service restaurant industry. However, they adapted by focusing on remodeling and adapting to changing market conditions.
  • Ryan Dahnert emphasized the importance of seeking support from peer groups like the CEO Project, which provided valuable insights and guidance during challenging times, and shared how the company dealt with the personal tragedy of losing a key team member.

Here is a glimpse of this CEO’s Story –Ryan Dahnert, CEO @ Plymold

In this episode of “The Lazy CEO Podcast,” host Jim Schleckser welcomes Ryan Dahnert, the CEO of Plymold, a manufacturer of furniture and fixtures for commercial service. Ryan discusses the journey of his company and the challenges he faced as a first-time CEO. Here are the key points discussed in the podcast:

  1. Plymold’s Business: Plymold manufactures furniture and fixtures primarily for commercial service, focusing on fast-food restaurant chains, travel stops, and more. The company has been in business for 75 years and has been employee-owned since 1992.
  2. Reorganization Process: Ryan describes the reorganization process he initiated after becoming CEO in 2019. At the time, the company had five business divisions with varying customer bases and product offerings. They decided to focus on what they were truly great at, which was metal frame furniture fixtures combining steel, wood components, upholstery, and laminate materials.
  3. Challenges During COVID-19: The podcast discusses how Plymold navigated the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, their primary clients in the quick-service restaurant industry were severely impacted. However, they adapted by focusing on remodeling and adapting to changing market conditions.
  4. Lease Negotiations: Ryan shares a successful negotiation experience regarding a lease for a facility they no longer needed, highlighting the importance of assessing the unique situation and being assertive in negotiations.
  5. CEO Project Support: Ryan credits his involvement in the CEO Project, a peer group for CEOs, as a valuable source of support and guidance during challenging times. The group provided insights and helped him make critical decisions for the company’s future.
  6. Dealing with Tragedy: The episode also touches on the personal tragedy of losing a key team member, which was a difficult experience for Ryan and the company. They discuss how Plymold worked through the grieving process and supported their team during this challenging time.

The podcast highlights the importance of focus, adaptability, and seeking support from peers and mentors in navigating the complexities of running a business and facing unexpected challenges. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The CEO Project. The CEO Project is a business advisory group that brings high-caliber, accomplished CEOs together. Our team of skilled advisors comprises current and former CEOs who have run public and private sector companies across multiple industries. With our experience and expertise, we guide hundreds of high-performing CEOs through a disciplined approach that resolves constraints and improves critical decisions. The CEO Project has helped high-performing, large enterprise CEOs with annual revenues ranging from $20M to over $2 billion to drive growth and achieve optimal outcomes. If you are an experienced CEO looking to grow your company, visit