Founder’s Legacy

Founder’s Legacy

Avatar Corporation is dedicated to building relationships with our supply partners and providing industry-leading products and services to our customers while continuing to innovate and provide value. These are the principles instilled into our company by our Founder, CEO and President Michael L. Shamie, who we sadly lost on August 24, 2020.

Despite his humble beginnings, Mike was driven to succeed in everything he put his mind to. He was a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit, motivated by what he foresaw as the need for high-quality, safe products in the food, pharmaceutical and personal care markets.

It was with this spirit that he founded Avatar Corporation in 1982. In the beginning, the company had just three employees — a secretary, a plant operator and a part-time bookkeeper. He gradually grew the company and took it to greater and greater heights. Today, Avatar has more than 55 employees.

Accountability was of the utmost importance to Mike. He was passionate about safety and ensuring anything Avatar produced and distributed was of the highest quality. A notable example of this commitment to safety was in the mid-1990s when the company received a shipment of counterfeit glycerin used in cough syrup. Avatar’s thorough testing and quality control measures identified the adulterated material, and Mike and his team quickly reported it to the Food and Drug Administration.

Mike was active with the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) ChemStewards® program, particularly the Performance Improvement Awards program. This program recognizes excellence in environmental, health and safety performance.

In 2016, Mike encouraged SOCMA to modernize the Chemical Operations Training Tool and make it available to a wider audience, such as community colleges and non-members, thus improving safety practices throughout the industry and beyond.

Mike is fondly remembered for his passionate leadership at Avatar and his unwavering commitment to his employees, community and industry colleagues. The team at Avatar is committed to honoring Mike’s legacy and vision for the company by continuing to support and benefit our customers with the safest and highest-quality products backed by knowledgeable and helpful service.