Great Lakes announced today that James R. Kunkemoeller, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, has announced his intentions to retire effective October 31, 2022. The search for Kunkemoeller’s replacement will be extensive and include the evaluation of candidates both from within and outside the company.
Kunkemoeller will continue in his role as chairman of Great Lakes’ Board of Directors. Kunkemoeller joined Great Lakes in 1986, and previously held positions as executive vice president, vice president of sales and marketing, and sales and marketing manager.
Great Lakes has undergone significant development and progress during Kunkemoeller’s tenure specifically the growth of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which saw an exponential increase in value since its inception over 30 years ago. Additionally, Great Lakes completed a five-million-dollar building expansion and capital improvement project in 2002, expanded digital technology and manufacturing beginning in 2007, enhanced automation and computer-aided design for digital appliance fabrication, developed a number of innovative products and services, and underwent a major brand transformation when the company changed its name from Great Lakes Orthodontics to Great Lakes Dental Technologies in 2018. Combined, these efforts helped establish Great Lakes as one of North America’s largest orthodontic laboratories known for its precision digital splints and custom appliances, provider of over 2,500 products, and the only distributor offering a full-line 3D solution for orthodontic practices and labs.
Kunkemoeller has always maintained that the company’s success stems from a simple strategy; remain steadfast to our stringent Quality Process and committed to maintaining the highest levels of ethical business conduct. Kunkemoeller explained further; “As Great Lakers, the respect we have for each other, and all our valued customers worldwide has always been and will continue to be integral to our ongoing success.”
Recent accolades, a testament to Kunkemoeller’s leadership and the company’s policies and strategies, include the 2016 Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association (BNBEA) Award, the 2016 ESOP Award by The ESOP Association for Great Lakes work in sustaining their ESOP Association memberships for 25-plus years, and the 2014 Buffalo News selection as one of the Top 40 Workplaces in Western New York.
Great Lakes, an employee-owned company, provides products, laboratory services, and both in-house and online appliance fabrication training to members of the orthodontic, prosthodontic, restorative, and general dental professions worldwide. Great Lakes corporate headquarters is located at 200 Cooper Avenue in Tonawanda,