Profile

Interstar, located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada and Junction City, Illinois, USA is an internationally recognized market leader in the development and manufacture of innovative products for the concrete industry. Interstar has been an integral force behind the concrete revolution – the transformation from a basic building block into an art form.

Founded by Zachary Gillman, Interstar’s hallmarks are innovation and quality. Mr. Gillman invests heavily in research and development to produce products and services that have propelled the concrete industry forward. He puts a premium on manufacturing only the highest quality products and providing top-notch services.

Mr. Gillman’s approach has led Interstar to great success. Interstar is the number one pigment producer in Canada and Mexico and has an ever-increasing market share in the United States. Mr. Gillman is the force and inspiration behind all of the company’s innovations. His creativity and strive for excellence have lead to the development of products that have changed the concrete industry – from granular pigment to automated dispensing systems to novel packaging. He has single-handedly guided the company’s stellar growth and its strategic placement of facilities throughout North America.

Mr. Gillman has won numerous awards for his business acumen.

He was honored by the Business Development Bank of Canada for his leadership in business in 1999, and the Quebec Chamber of Commerce named Interstar The Manufacturer of the Year in 2002. In 2005, Interstar was the recipient of the Canadian Government’s Export Award in Research & Development. The Export Awards recognize those companies throughout Canada who have had a major impact on the Canadian economy through their exporting efforts. In July of 2006 and 2010, Mr. Gillman was selected as a regional finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, which is an international award that recognizes the vital contributions of entrepreneurs — the leaders and creators who build and sustain world-class businesses that are a testament to vision, leadership, achievement, and social responsibility.


Credo

1. Live By the Golden Rule
Treat others as you want to be treated

2. Be Innovative
Strive to be different

3. Keep Our Promises
We do what we say



Our Employees
At Interstar, our employees are our number one asset - their hard work and dedication have made our success possible. We encourage and maintain a team approach in every aspect of our company, the foundation of which is based on open communication, information sharing and most importantly, respect.

We support and promote personal and professional development. We encourage our employees to obtain the highest levels of education possible, for we truly believe that education is the key to success. Toward this end, we invest in our employees, and require a minimum of 40 hours of training per year - whether it is a university course or a one-day seminar on a particular topic related to their job.

We have the utmost concern for the safety and well being of our employees and maintain a safe and orderly work environment.

Our Customers
We treat our customers the way we, ourselves, want to be treated – we are responsive, flexible and we strive to ‘get it right the first time’.

Everything we do is centered on our customers’ current and future needs. To understand these needs, we maintain direct and open lines of communication -we are only a phone call or an e-mail away, no matter the location of our customers.

We are truly a local player in a global world. By this we mean that in order to best serve our customers in the United States and Mexico, we established ourselves as local companies in both countries, rather than as a Canadian company doing business in a foreign country. We adopted the American and Mexican ways of doing business - priced in US Dollars and in Pesos, hired local talent and researched and understood their respective markets.

Understanding the needs of the local markets in which we operate has allowed us to attain a better understanding of our customers. In turn, this has allowed us to be more responsive and to tailor our products to the specific needs of our customers.

When it comes to innovation, our anything-can-be-done attitude propels us to find ways of addressing the unique needs of our customers and the market as a whole. We are not afraid to try new things if it means improving the industry - whether it is novel packaging, custom colors or state-of-the-art dispensers.

The Environment
We believe that taking care of the environment is as important as taking care of people. Interstar’s state-of-the-art facility in Sherbrooke, Québec was designed with a deep concern for the environment in mind. There are many design features within the manufacturing facility that safeguard the environment and preserve natural resources. For example, it is a zero-discharge facility, meaning there are no by-products from the manufacturing processes that are released into the atmosphere; it utilizes a state-of-the art air filtration system that collects dust created from the manufacturing of pigment; the heat produced in the manufacturing facility is recycled and used as a primary source of heat in the winter; and all waste water is purified and reused.

The Community
Our company reflects the demographics of communities in which we operate. We are very proud to have a staff that is comprised of individuals from all parts of the globe – Africa, South America, North America and Europe.

Similarly, we are delighted to be able to offer people with disabilities a place where they can be accepted as part of a team, learn new skills, and hone those they already have while being paid fair and equitable wages for their efforts. We provide training, a supportive environment and competitive wages to individuals who may not otherwise find a place of employment.

Suppliers
We are suppliers to hundreds of companies and understand how challenging it is to maintain a competitive edge while maintaining customer satisfaction. We expect from our suppliers what we provide to our customers: top-quality products and services at a fair and reasonable price.


History 1987 - 2000

1987: Interstar Pigments, Admixtures and Fibers was founded by the father-and-son team of Zachary and Samuel Gillman in Montreal, Quebec in 1987, solely as a distributor of admixtures and pigments to the concrete industry.


1989: After completing several years of highly successful sales and profits and purchasing a manufacturing facility of concrete flue liners, Zachary bought out his father (who was approaching retirement), and decided to transform the company from a distributor to a manufacturer. In its first year as a manufacturer, Zachary tripled Interstar's sales – an amazing feat by any account.


1992: The company entered a major expansion phase and moved its entire operations from Montreal to St-Élie d'Orford. In order to meet demand, an initial expansion of the facility was required, as well as equipment re-tooling.


1996: Interstar completed its transition from distributor to manufacturer of its own products - an important milestone - and became Interstar Pigments and Admixtures.


1998: A year of growth. The St-Élie d'Orford factory was expanded to 40,000 square feet, and the Toronto, Ontario office and warehouse were opened. Interstar expanded beyond Canadian borders into Mexico and began operations in Mexico City, serving the Mexican market under the name Interox.


1999: Interstar's products and services entered the U.S. market on the wings of a new and dynamic sales force. Growth of sales in Western Canada warranted the opening of a new office warehouse in Calgary, Alberta (Canada).

Interstar’s research and development gave rise to a revolutionary new product for concrete coloring: Granastar, a ‘Grade A’ granular pigment which flows and disperses easily in the concrete mix, producing vibrant, intense colors. Interstar developed an accompanying granular pigment dispenser that increased productivity, diminished waste and improved safety.

Zachary Gillman was honored by The Business Development Bank of Canada for his business savvy and leadership ability.


2000: Interstar acquired FIBERFORCE, a Toronto-based company that manufactured polypropylene reinforcing fibers for concrete. The St-Élie d'Orford facility was subsequently expanded to 43,000 square feet to accommodate the production of the new product. The addition of polypropylene fibers - marketed under the brand name Fiberstar - allowed Interstar to differentiate itself from the competition by becoming the first company in the concrete industry to offer a complete range of products: pigments, admixtures and fibers. Interstar’s newly diversified product line helped position the company as a leading supplier of concrete products in the U.S. market. Interstar acquired a warehouse in Syracuse, New York.



History 2001 - 2010

2001: In order to support its growth strategy in the U.S. market, Interstar opened new offices and warehouses in Centralia, Illinois and in Tampa, Florida, enabling the company to respond more quickly to the needs of its growing U.S. clientele.


2002: Interstar broke ground on a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Sherbrooke, Quebec (Canada). To accommodate increased demand for products in Mexico, Interox also acquired a larger warehouse facility in Monterrey, Mexico. The Chamber of Commerce of the Eastern Townships recognized Interstar as the Small Business Manufacturer of the Year.


2003: Interstar transferred manufacturing operations to its new facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec (Canada). This new 100,000 square foot complex would enable Interstar to increase its annual production capacity to 50 million pounds of granular, 100 million pounds of powder, and 16 million pounds of liquid pigment; 2 million pounds of fibers, and more than 3 million gallons of admixtures.


2004: Interstar further broadened its capabilities by introducing two new divisions under the corporate umbrella of Interstar: Interstar Pigments, Admixtures and Fibers, and Interstar Pharmaceutical Research (IPR). IPR provided Medical Affairs services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies in the US and Canada with consultation services throughout all phases of the clinical development process (Phase I through Phase IV).


2005: Interstar acquired a manufacturing plant in Junction City, Illinois which became Interstar’s U.S. Office. This 54,000-square foot facility increased production and warehousing capabilities and enabled the company to offer unparalleled service to the U.S. market. Interstar was the recipient of the Canadian Government’s Export Award in Research & Development, a mark of recognition given to companies throughout Canada who have made a major impact on the Canadian economy through their exporting efforts.


2006: Interstar formed a partnership with Cheng Design (of Berkeley, California) to offer the only complete line of quality products used to design and build concrete countertops. Cheng Design is an internationally recognized leader in kitchen and bathroom design. The Cheng-Interstar partnership brought together two award-winning companies to offer innovative products with unsurpassed quality for professionals and Do-It-Yourselfers to meet the growing demand for concrete countertops.

Zachary Gillman was selected as a regional finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Gillman single-handedly led Interstar from a two-person, domestic operation to an international company employing nearly 100 people in Canada, The United States and Mexico. To accommodate the growth of the business, Interstar added 5,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its Sherbrooke facility.

Interstar introduced its Megastar 3 automated dispensing system, designed for the Ready Mix concrete industry. This is the first and only fully-automated, computer-controlled dispensing system for Ready Mix plants. Its state-of-the-art technology allows Ready Mix plants to increase production efficiency, reduce waste and improve plant safety.


2007: Interstar was named as a finalist for the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce Reconnaissance Estrie in the category of "Large Manufacturer". This annual competition recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of companies based in the Eastern Townships region of Québec (east of Montréal).

Interstar was awarded the prestigious Mercure award in The Fédération of Quebec Chamber of Commerce Mercuriades Competition. Interstar won for the category of Industrial and Processing Production. This is the oldest and most prestigious competition honoring Québec-based companies, and the award recognizes businesses for their current success as well as their potential for future growth.


2008: Interstar launched Easystar, an easy-to-use granular pigment dispenser for contractor supply stores and ready mix plants. Its unique design allows customers to offer an infinite number of colors while simultaneously reducing inventory and manpower.

Interstar introduced the "Cheng by Interstar" Pro-form Mold Making System. The lightweight foam rails - made of 100% recycled material - make building a countertop mold quick and easy.


2009: To meet the growing demand of the Western U.S. and Canadian markets, Interstar opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. facility in Calgary, Alberta (Canada).

Interstar launched five new green products for concrete: NStar non-reactive stains; ISR (Interstar Sealer Remover); Interseal H2O (Interstar’s water-based sealer); Kopa, a multi-purpose concrete cleaner that is a worker- and environmentally-friendly detergent for concrete; and Interstar Concrete and Granite Countertop cleaner.

Interstar was selected as a regional finalist for the Quebec Workplace Heath and Safety Innovation Prize. This is a province–wide contest in which companies and their employees are rewarded for the innovative ways they adapt the workplace to make it safer by eliminating workplace hazards.


2010: 2010 was an award-winning year for Interstar.

  • Interstar received the Energy Efficiency award at the gala for The Mercuriades competition. Presented for the first time, the award honours the outstanding achievement of companies who have improved their energy efficiency. Interstar was the first and only company to win this award.

  • Interstar President, Zachary Gillman, was chosen as a regional finalist for the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

  • Interstar was selected as a Regional Finalist in Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2010. This is one of the country’s best known business awards programs, honouring successful Canadian-owned and -managed companies.


History 2011 - present

2011: Once again, Interstar was honoured as a Regional Finalist by Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

This was a record year for Interstar’s automated pigment dispensers. The sizable cost savings, increased efficiency, reduced waste and improved workplace safety have made Interstar’s automated dispensers extremely popular with ready mix producers, contractor supply stores and block plants.


2012: Interstar launched several environmentally-friendly products:

  • ISS (Interstar Silicone Sealer), a water-repellent, silicone-based sealer for vertical concrete surfaces. This “green” penetrating sealer protects concrete and is completely invisible when dry.
  • Exposé, a water-based surface retarder that exposes the aggregates on the surface of freshly placed concrete.
  • Interseal 22G, a low VOC, solvent-based acrylic sealer. Interseal 22G forms a protective membrane on concrete, making it resistant to water, salts, and chemicals while leaving a nice shine.
  • Interseal O, a water-based acrylic sealer for concrete with a ‘natural look’ that protects concrete from water and chemicals and enhances its color.

2013: Interstar’s total commitment to the health and safety of its employees was illustrated in the 2013 results of an independent, 3-day audit of their health and safety program. Interstar scored an impressive 100% on all criteria. The audit involved an in-depth examination of Interstar’s entire health and safety management system(s), focusing on the key aspects of their approach to managing and practicing occupational health and safety in the workplace. Interstar is proud of the results and its employees’ commitment to workplace safety.



News

Interstar has developed a H1N1 Business Continuity Plan
As the flu season begins and the H1N1 pandemic spreads throughout the world, we would like to assure you that we have developed a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to mitigate any risks that H1N1 poses to our health and business. Preparedness is the key to ensuring the well being of our staff and our operations.

CHENG™ Concrete Countertop Training COMING to Canada!
The intensive, 3-day program is being held for the first time in Canada at Interstar, the developer and manufacturer of the CHENG™ Concrete products Lline, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. This training will be conducted by professional CHENG™ instructors who teach the same course in Berkeley, California. Participants will learn advanced mold making, while also crafting full-scale concrete countertops. For more information click here

Interstar Launches Three New Products
Interstar adds 3 new products to its CHENG by Interstar Concrete Countertop line. Click here for more information.

Are you a Business Entrepreneur?
"I had read about the President of Interstar, Mr. Zachary Gillman and that he had the reputation of being a dynamic entrepreneur by developing a niche business of manufacturing products that improve the performance and appearance of concrete." Read the full story.

Interstar is a regional finalist for the Quebec Workplace Heath and Safety Innovation Prize
The Innovation for Health & Safety in the Workplace Prize is a provincial –wide contest in which companies and their employees are rewarded for the innovative ways they adapt the workplace to make it safer by eliminating workplace hazards.

Interstar launches environmentally-friendly products.
Interstar launches innovative green solutions for staining, sealing and cleaning concrete. Click here for more information.

Interstar’s Western Sales Manager to speak at the IPCMA fall meeting
Interstar will be attending the IPCMA (International Packaged Concrete Manufactures Association) annual fall meeting,

Interstar to Exhibit at WHEN Recycling Expo in York, PA
Interstar will be attending the WHEN Recycling Expo in York, PA September 24-25.

Interstar launches IBS Interstar Business Solutions.
Click here to find out more…

Interstar Materials, Inc. was selected as a Regional Finalist in Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2007.
Interstar Materials in Sherbrooke Quebec is pleased to announce that it was selected as a Regional Finalist in Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2007. Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s best known business awards program, honouring successful Canadian-owned and managed companies.

An independent panel of judges evaluates hundreds of companies in four main categories: structure, strategy, capability commitment and finance to measure overall management strength.

Zachary Gillman, President of Interstar, said, “The review process is rigorous and thorough, and being selected as a Regional Finalist is an honour. On the behalf of the entire Interstar organization, I would like to thank the panel for selecting us as Regional Finalists.

This honour is a testament to the superb management team we have in place, and their commitment to quality and efficiency. As a company, we subscribe to the principles of Lean Six Sigma, a business improvement methodology that strives to improve efficiencies, reduce waste and improve quality. As a result, the company is streamlined with very few middle managers and possesses a highly efficient workforce. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone throughout our organization for making Interstar a success.

Interstar, countertop specialist eye DIY product line
Quebec-based pigment and admixture producer Interstar Corp. and interior concrete specialist Fu-Tung Cheng are teaming to expand the Cheng Concrete Countertop line of packaged products for sale through an online store and U.S. building supply retailers.

An odd love affair – with concrete
Call it a love affair with concrete. Zachary Gillman moulded his brainchild, Interstar, from a concrete pigment distributor in Montreal with a handful of employees into the only Canadian company that manufactures and distributes a complete range of its own line of concrete pigments, admixtures, fibers, sealants, and automated pigment dispensers to markets across North and South America and the United Kingdom.


Recognition

1999


Zachary Gillman was honored by the Business Development Bank of Canada for his leadership in business in 1999.



2002
The Quebec Chamber of Commerce named Interstar The Manufacturer of the Year in 2002.




2005
In 2005, Interstar was the recipient of the Canadian Government’s Export Award in Research & Development. The Export Awards recognize those companies throughout Canada who have had a major impact on the Canadian economy through their exporting efforts.





2006
In July of 2006, Mr. Gillman was selected as a regional finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, which is an international award that recognizes the vital contributions of entrepreneurs.



2007
Interstar was named as a finalist for the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce Reconnaissance Estrie in the category of Large Manufacturer. Reconnaissance Estrie is an annual competition that recognizes and honors the efforts and accomplishments of companies based in the Eastern Townships region of Québec (east of Montréal).

Interstar was awarded the prestigious Mercure award in The Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec 2007 (Québec Chamber of Commerce) Mercuriades Competition. Interstar won for the category of Industrial and Processing Production . The Mercuriades Competition is the oldest and most prestigious competition honoring Québec-based companies. This prestigious award recognizes businesses for current success as well as for their potential for future growth.


Careers

At Interstar, we believe that the success of our company is rooted in the strength of our greatest asset: our talented, motivated and innovative personnel.

Interstar is an equal opportunity employer and our priority is clear: to hire the most talented and most qualified individuals available and to support them in the development of their respective fields of expertise.

We are a growing company and are often looking for talented people.

By e-mail
jobs@interstar.ca

By fax
819.563.1317 or 1.888.563.1317

By mail or in person
Interstar - Jobs
4255 Portland Boulevard
Sherbrooke, Quebec
Canada, J1L 3A5


Corporate citizenship

Dobson-Lagassé Entrepreneurship Centre

The Dobson-Lagassé Entrepreneurship Centre offers entrepreneurs a wide range of consulting services, resources, training sessions and conferences that support entrepreneurship. The organization defines itself as a major reference centre and a unique forum with a view to exchanging information and serving the Eastern Townships business community.

www.ubishops.ca/dobson-lagasse


Townshipper's Association

Townshippers’ Association promote the interests of the English-speaking community in the historical Eastern Townships, strengthen the cultural identity of this community, and encourage the full participation of the English-speaking population in the community at large.

www.townshippers.qc.ca


ToboggUS - Sherbrooke University

The GNCTR or Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) is an annual national competition for civil engineering students from Canadian universities. The competing teams must design a toboggan that meets standards such as:

  • A running surface made of at least 50% Portland-based cement
  • A maximum total weight of 300 lbs (136 kgs)
  • A safe and easy-to-activate braking system
  • Robust exterior framework to protect participants in case of rollover
  • A directional system

GNCTR is also an occasion to meet a lot of like-minded peers. It's quite an unforgettable experience!

www.civil.usherbrooke.ca/toboggan/


Concrete Canoe - Montreal Polytechnic School

In May 2007, for a second consecutive year, the Montreal Polytechnic School will compete in the Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition. Each year, the event brings together engineering school from different universities to compete in five races that are as nycg academic as they are sport.

Each school’s lightweight concrete canoes are entered into the various events which include endurance, speed and slalom races. The canoes are also evaluated on the quality of their construction - students must submit a technical report and a presentation describing the construction process which will be shown to the Grand Jury and the general public.

www.canoe.polymtl.ca/web/


Tomahawk – University of Quebec School of Superior Technology

The concrete canoe project of the School of Superior Technology is in its thirteenth year of participation in this Canadian national competition. This events brings together a dozen Canadian universities that, as well as our own team, try to innovate in the concrete domain. Current research on concrete will allow future advancement in developing lighter and more resistant concrete that can be used in architectural concrete structures. We have even been approached by a violin maker who wishes to create a light concrete frame that would offer a new sound and keep the light characteristic of the violin.