Darrell McNairPresident and Chief Executive Officer MVP Plastics, Inc. Middlefield, Ohio Class B Director Sector Representation: Manufacturing Current term ends December 31, 2026
Darrell McNair’s nomadic upbringing took him from Columbus, Ohio, where he was born, to Dover, Delaware; Jacksonville, Florida; Astoria, Oregon; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Woodridge, Illinois, as his father pursued a dental career, first in the US Air Force, then in civilian positions.
So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that McNair’s successful business career has been all over the map, too.
After graduating from Kent State University in 1983, McNair has worked for a pair of Fortune 100 companies, ran a small construction company, started a paper-goods distributor, founded a home health company, and, for the past 23 years, has owned and run MVP Plastics Inc., a supplier of plastic parts whose primary customers are in the auto industry.
It’s a wide range of mostly entrepreneurial activity, but McNair says that common threads run through it. “At the end of the day, business is business. What's different is what you’re offering. Are you offering a service? Are you offering a product? Your accounting is the same, your HR is the same,” all those basic principles, he says, are the same.
He credits an innovative class he took to get his MBA at Baldwin Wallace University early in his career with encouraging his view of businesses as systems instead of as collections of discrete functions that require specialization.
MVP employs a combined 85 or so people at its headquarters and main plant in Middlefield, Ohio, 44 miles east of Cleveland, and in Brownsville, Texas, on the US–Mexico border. The company also has a partnership with an injection molding company in Fort Worth, Texas, and works with contract manufacturers in China.
McNair named his company to project the quality he wanted it to offer. “When folks think of MVP, they think of Most Valuable. I wanted something short and simple that would have a lasting impact on people,” he says.
As a business owner, McNair says he feels an obligation to give back to the community. One way he does that is by mentoring at-risk youth. It’s a commitment he describes as “vertical,” meaning that he does it for the long haul, from the school years into adulthood.
McNair, 60, joined the Cleveland Fed board in May, after serving more than six years on the Bank’s Cleveland Business Advisory Council. He’s also a director of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
Like many new directors, McNair initially was taken aback by the volume of information the Bank gathers to assess economic conditions: “One of the biggest surprises to me was the amount of data that the Fed accumulates, how it's interpreted, and then how it's used to formulate policy. It's amazing.”
McNair contributes to the Bank’s data stream with observations drawn from running a company with a far-flung customer base that offers him a window “into what’s really happening on the ground” in the manufacturing economy.
McNair also taps his work in the Presidents’ Council, an organization supporting Black entrepreneurship, for useful board insights. “I have an opportunity to see entrepreneurs in different sectors, like healthcare, space, and real estate,” he says, so “in working with them, I'm able to provide a breadth of perspectives from many different industries, more than just my own.”
McNair finds that board service is a two-way street, giving him information and perspectives that he can take back and share with others: “It allows me to provide another level of teaching and learning for our community.”