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From California Nightclub Singer To Ohio Manufacturing CEO

Sally Hughes’ story of going from singing in California nightclubs to founding Caster Connection started in the early 1980s.

Hughes, fresh out of college and blessed with a beautiful singing voice, left her native Ohio to start a musical career in southern California. She sang jazz and pop numbers in nightclubs and other venues for about five years before realizing she was not going to make it to the top.

Sally Hughes

Hughes returned to her parents’ home in suburban Cleveland where her father, Bill Schiffler, whose company supplied parts for school equipment, asked her what she planned to do with the rest of the life. She lacked a good answer, so he suggested she think about selling chair casters to schools and businesses.

Hughes decided to give it a try, making her first sales call with her brother after stuffing a few chair casters in a brown paper bag and putting a hammer and screw driver in a fishing tackle box. She soon met Jack Van Tine, a sales rep with a caster manufacturer who recognized her potential.

“He said, ‘If you listen to me, I’ll make you a star in the caster business,’ ” Hughes recalls. “We still laugh about that.”

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