This day and age it is easy to make corporate America the scapegoat for all our problems. One does not have to look far to see examples of greed and misuse of power. Every once in a while, though, you come across a shining star in the darkness.
Meeting Martin Pickett from Cla-Val was like finding that star. Martin, currently the president and chief executive, has been part of the Cla-Val team for more than 30 years. Martin, the Cla-Val management team, and the owners of Cla-Val are unanimous in their commitment for excellence in their people, their products, their industry worldwide, and the community of Costa Mesa. Their actions speak to that commitment.
Cla-Val was founded in 1936 in South Pasadena and moved to Costa Mesa in 1954. They create and manufacture valves — valves of every kind — for fire protection, water works, navy operations, fueling, you name it. The company employs hundreds of people, many of whom live here in Costa Mesa. They can do that because they are paid a livable wage, and when the company does well and gets a boost, everyone gets a bonus. The Costa Mesa plant is quite an operation, occupying 20 acres that include a foundry and manufacturing operations along with research and development labs. What most people don't know is that Costa Mesa is their international headquarters. They have offices in Switzerland, England and France, to name a few.