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Joel B. Grossman ’74 has made significant improvements as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Metrokane, the New York-based maker of the “Rabbit” corkscrew. Before assuming the position in March 2003, he worked with the company for 20 years as a certified public accountant in private practice.

Metrokane also produces the Wing Machine and the Houdine corkscrew—both novelty corkscrews—plus a manual juicer called The Mighty OJ and other drink accessories. The company, founded in 1983 by Riki Kane, has completed three consecutive years of 100 percent annual sales growth.

Since assuming his position, Grossman has launched a 401(k) plan for Metrokane, worked with attorneys on patent issues, begun to bring EDI capabilities in-house, and started revamping the company’s inventory management system.

“He is the best negotiator and financial person,” says Kane. “I can focus on new product development and selling now.”

Grossman gives part of the credit to Lafayette’s focus on the liberal arts.

“(It gave) me a solid foundation that has been invaluable throughout my business career,” he says. “I attribute my communication skills, problem-solving ability, leadership skills, and strengths in dealing with a multitude of people to the education, both inside and outside the classroom, I received at Lafayette.”

Before opening his CPA practice, Grossman was a senior auditor for KPMG and worked in international accounting for Merrill Lynch and as an assistant controller for Madison Square Garden.

Categorized in: Alumni