MDI President and CEO Peter McDermott announces retirement

Local nonprofit manufacturer MDI today announced that President and CEO Peter McDermott will retire on April 1. MDI is a nonprofit corrugated plastic manufacturer and assembly service provider headquartered in Minneapolis with locations in Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Cohasset, with the goal of providing employment for people with disabilities.

McDermott has served as president and CEO for over 12 years. His passion and leadership have led MDI from $11 million in sales and 123 employees to $33 million in sales and 562 employees. He oversaw MDI’s multi-year, $15 million capital investment project of new and upgraded facilities; launched numerous programs that benefited youth and adults with disabilities; led the merger with Deer River Hired Hands; helped MDI obtain ISO quality certifications supporting new medical assembly offerings; and launched a polypropylene line that allowed the manufacturer to expand its products. Under his leadership, MDI grew its commercial sales from $2 million to $12 million, while maintaining a key government customer whose order volatility ranged from $7 million to more than $37 million each year. Most notably, he improved the working conditions for people with disabilities and advocated on their behalf at the Minnesota Legislature and within the business community.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the team at MDI and provide job opportunities for people with and without disabilities in an inclusive work environment – it has been the highlight of my career,” said McDermott. “My greatest source of pride has been showing others that people with disabilities can earn the independence, fulfillment and empowerment that employment provides when given the opportunity, and I know MDI will continue to exemplify this philosophy for years to come.”

“We are deeply thankful for Peter and the decade-plus of growth, direction and impact he has had on our organization and the lives of each and every one of our employees,” said Jill Hesselroth, board chair of MDI. “Our business and our community are better thanks to his leadership.”