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In celebration of International Women’s Day: What Does It Mean to Be an Icon?

Such an interesting term, used to describe many people and many things but what does it truly signify?

In layman’s terms, icon means idol, standout, pinnacle – the essence of greatness in a category. Icons can come from anywhere or from any walk of life.  It is their unparalleled success or excellence that awards them the status of icon. What is usually fascinating about icons is their journey, their history, their “how I got here” story. There is always a definitive uniqueness to their spirit and character that clarifies the why that was the impetus for the how. Once you understand the innate qualities that would allow no outcome other than success, the story of the journey makes perfect sense.

APM Hexseal has had our share of Icons. In recognition of International Women’s month, we celebrate and honor the life of our co-founder and matriarch of the business, Riva Solins Morse, who passed away in January of 2018, at almost 101 years old.  APM Hexseal was founded more than 75 years ago by Riva and her inventor husband, Milton Morse.  Milton was the genius in the lab and Riva was the sales engine. Driven and dynamic, her tireless efforts launched what would become a pioneer in the industry.  75 years ago, having women in the tech sector was not only uncommon, in an executive position it was unheard of.  A mighty force of nature, Riva worked side by side with Milton and developed the framework of the sales channel that still exists at APM Hexseal today.  She was the genius behind the genius and is equally responsible, with Milton, for the long and successful history that APM Hexseal has enjoyed. 

Up until a month before she passed, Riva would still come in from time to time.  She would walk through the office, wave to the people and spend a bit of time visiting.  Smaller in stature but not at all diminished in status, she still radiated the smart, sassy and devoted woman who literally built the company. We miss seeing her but take solace in knowing that she is up there somewhere, an ethereal guiding hand for APM Hexseal. We honor her, and all the hard working and amazing women who have made APM Hexseal successful, by continuing Riva’s tradition of the drive toward excellence, dedication and accepting no outcome other than success.  On the wall in her office still hangs one of her favorite paintings… a Manet.  Another Icon.