Name: Ron Lazarus
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: New Cosmos USA, Inc.
Address: 650 Warrenville Road, Suite 101, Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: (847) 749-3064
Socials: @denovadetect LinkedIn, IG, FB, YouTube
Industry: Gas safety products (residential, commercial, and utility)
Annual revenue: $350 million
Number of employees: 1500
Q: Describe your company.
A: New Cosmos Electric Co., Ltd., has been a leading global supplier of gas detectors and gas alarm systems for more than 60 years. New Cosmos Electric formed a wholly owned subsidiary, New Cosmos USA, Inc., in 2018. New Cosmos USA is headquartered in Lisle and has developed the DeNova Detect brand to provide gas alarms to some of the largest utility companies and retailers in the U.S. We are the leading supplier of residential gas detectors in the global market. Our mission is to protect lives and property with innovative gas safety products. Our team remains committed to delivering cutting-edge safety solutions to our customers to protect what matters most.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: Yes, DeNova Detect is expanding and will be hiring several team members within the next few months. DeNova Detect's parent company, New Cosmos Electric, has started construction on a new gas sensor manufacturing facility in Japan to satisfy the growing demand for gas alarms.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: Informing consumers that in addition to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, battery-operated natural gas alarms are essential in every home with natural gas appliances. We want everyone to know early warning of a natural gas leak is critical. Natural gas alarms should be placed above all natural gas appliances to detect leaks sooner. DeNova Detect alarms can be easily mounted directly on the wall, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling -- where natural gas rises and accumulates first. Right now, only several states, including Illinois, have pending legislation that would require natural gas alarms. It is challenging to get these regulations passed quickly.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: Low-level detection is a new industry requirement developed to provide a critical early warning. Battery-powered alarms that last for 10 years also is a trend. Our newest 10-year battery powered natural gas alarm, like our other alarms, alert 11 minutes faster than competitors and provide voice instructions "Danger! Gas leak explosion risk. Evacuate, then call 911." Because natural gas is lighter than air and rises, battery operated alarms are the solution -- they don't require an electrical outlet or wiring, and can be easily mounted on the wall, near the ceiling where natural gas accumulates first.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?
A: You must have a passion for the product or service you are offering and develop a mission statement.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: You are only as good as the people you work with. Never stop learning. Continuous improvement is key.
Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?
A: I admire many of the senior management team I work with and especially the president of New Cosmos Electric, Yoshinori Takahashi. Mr. Takahashi has created an environment that fosters respect and appreciation for the contributions team members make to the company. He also is strategic, and I admire his decision-making process.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: New Cosmos Electric developed the first natural gas alarm in the world, in 1964.
Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?
A: There have been several moments in my career that did not go as planned and as in life. I learned from those experiences and moved forward. I don't like to dwell on disappointments, and believe it is important not to live in the past. It is also important to learn from each situation to help prevent a similar circumstance from occurring.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy playing golf, traveling, and reading books, primarily nonfiction.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: "Principals for Dealing with The Changing World Order" by Ray Dalio.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: How to inform people more quickly of the dangers of potential gas explosions to help eliminate the deaths and injuries that are occurring more frequently due to the increasing number of gas explosions. There have been 39 gas explosions in Illinois in the past 13 years, and six in 2023.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: I have devoted almost my entire career marketing and selling life-safety products and I would seek another company that offered life- safety products.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: I worked during the summer for a lithography printing company, doing all the messy dirty work no one else wanted to do.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?
A: Guaranteed Rate Field! I had season tickets for five years when my son was going to Columbia College and enjoyed spending time with him there.
Source: Daily Herald