Steve Maxwell and John Durham met in 1985 in the South Texas town of Sinton when Steve and Bev moved to John’s neighborhood while serving in the U.S. Navy. It wasn’t long before the two became friends when John and his family began attending the same church. Both loved the outdoors and working out together and during those sessions they began to talk about “what if” they could one day be in business together. The dream of helping others and developing ministries from business resources along with providing for their own families created a desire to do something special with their lives.
In 1990, Steve and Bev moved back to their native Florida and began working in the farming/produce business while John started his first company back in Texas. Steve began his produce career in 1990 in Immokalee Florida working for his brother in law in the potato industry. In 1993 Steve was hired as Vice President for Ben Hill Griffin Inc. and continued in produce marketing/packaging for the next 10 years. During that decade John build a large refinery maintenance company that grew to over 4000 employees. During the 1990’s John and Steve kept in constant contact as they began to look for a company to purchase together. In 2003 Steve left Ben Hill Griffin to come to work for Highland Distribution Services on the promise that the owner would sell out to Steve in a couple of years. In 2005 Steve and John purchased the company and began the work of converting the regional distributor of Agricultural packaging products to a global manufacturer of quality agricultural packaging.
Today Highland Packaging Solutions and its family of companies, Highland Fresh Technologies, Highland Renewable Technologies, Highland Health Technologies and DurMax are the leader in Agricultural packaging and food safety systems throughout all of North America.
The dream that began nearly 30 years ago is today been realized yet they both say it is only the beginning. “As long as we can maintain our culture, and keep our customers first, the growth potential is unlimited” said Maxwell in a recent interview. “We don’t look at monetary goals rather the human element is our focus, it all comes down to people feeling good about themselves and reaching their full potential. By helping our customers reach their full potential we then have the chance to help our employees do the same, to me and John this is the ultimate satisfaction”.