Industry supplier Genesis Products Inc. CEO Jon Wenger announced today (Oct. 25) that Jon Helmuth has “transitioned away from his role as president, according to a press release.
“I have assumed the title of president and CEO with all of its responsibilities,” said Wenger. “Jon has moved into a support role for the company and will stay connected in key areas to help continue Genesis’ success.”
Helmuth stated, “The company has strongly benefited from our collective work together, and Jon Wenger has continued to take on more and more aspects of leadership and this move reflects that ongoing process within our organization. I love Genesis and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created together.”
Helmuth and Wenger started Elkhart Ind.-based Genesis in 2002.
“I know Jon is excited to enter into a new phase of life and I’m energized to continue my work in moving Genesis forward,” Wenger noted. “With key executives Heather Jenks (vice president of sales, RV) and Kelly Green (vice president, laminates) I’m confident we will take Genesis to new levels.
“Our focus is squarely in the areas of execution and being the absolute best supplier of our products. Every day we strive to be better and deliver value to our customers through expertise and service. Genesis’ core values of ‘Always Improving, Agility, and Enjoyment’ drive everything we do.”
Genesis employees 350 people and operates five locations in Indiana and Virginia.
Patrick Industries Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of building and component products for the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing and industrial markets, reported a 38% increase in revenue for its second quarter boosted by strong performance in RV sales.
Sales during the second quarter, ended June 30, grew $44 million to $159.6 million from $115.6 million in the same quarter of 2012. The increase was primarily attributable to a 46% gain in the company’s revenue from the RV industry, which represented approximately 73% of the Patrick’s second quarter sales. Sales to the manufactured housing industry increased 13%, while sales to the industrial markets increased 33%.
Net income during the period was $7.6 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, compared to $13.3 million, or $1.22 per diluted share. The company noted that it began to record income taxes at an estimated effective tax rate of 39% in the first quarter of 2013. Net income was also impacted by an income tax provision of $4.8 million and included an after-tax gain on sale of fixed assets of $0.3 million, related to the sale of a facility in Halstead, Kansas.
For the six months, sales increased $83.4 million, or 38.2%, to $301.7 million from $218.3 million in the same period in 2012 as RV sales grew 48%. Net income was $13.6 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared with $18.3 million, or $1.70 per diluted share. Patrick noted that net income included the impact of an income tax provision of $8.7 million at an estimated effective tax rate of 39% along with after-tax gain on sale of fixed assets of $0.3 million related to the Kansas facility.
Todd Cleveland, president and CEO for Elkhart, Ind.-based Patrick, noted, “We are pleased with our second-quarter revenue growth as well as the energy and momentum in our end markets, especially in the RV industry, as evidenced by the solid shipment levels during the first half of the year as well as OEM and dealer sentiment. We believe the dedication of our team members and our focus on delivering value to our customer base, in combination with the acquisitions we have completed over the past several years, will continue to provide positive contributions to our operating profitability and afford us the opportunity to gain additional penetration in the RV, MH and industrial markets. In addition, we also saw the historical seasonal pickup in both the RV and MH markets as measured by higher unit shipments compared to the first quarter of 2013.”
In February, the company’s board authorized a stock repurchase program for the purchase of up to $10 million of its common stock for the following 12 months. As of July 19, the Patrick had repurchased 407,330 shares at an average price of $14.92 per share for a total cost of approximately $6.1 million.
To view the complete report click here.
Elkhart, Ind.-based distributor Postle Aluminum Co. continues to grow operations, recently announcing its third expansion in eight years.
As reported by the South Bend Tribune, though most of the company’s largest clients are located in the Elkhart area, it chose to make this more than $12.5 million expansion at its Cassopolis, Mich., plant. The company broke ground earlier this month and plans to be in full production March 1.
“We had multiple locations here in Indiana to consider,” said Kevin Robinson, Postle president and CEO. But, he explained, many factors made Cassopolis the best place for the expansion, including a $400,000 grant awarded to the village of Cassopolis specifically for the company to use for on-the-job training.
Postle, which was founded in 1974 by John Postle, produces and distributes extruded aluminum products. Its main focus is the recreational vehicle market, including companies such as Thor Industries Inc. and Forest River Inc., both in Elkhart; Jayco Inc., of Middlebury; Fleetwood RV Inc., of Decatur; and Monaco, currently operating in Wakarusa.
The company also serves other markets, including fencing, specialty trailer, aluminum fabrication, truck component and building products.
Postle, which has nearly 400 employees, runs three shifts at most of its locations. Besides the Cassopolis division, Postle has three divisions in Elkhart — Midwest on Pine Creek Court, which houses corporate offices and distribution; Temple on Tuscany Drive, an aluminum manufacturer and coding division; and Reflex on Purina Drive, a steel and aluminum job shop.
To read the entire article click here.
Dicor Products has added Matt Grierson to its OEM sales department. According to a press release, Grierson brings over 30 years of RV industry experience to the position.
“Matt brings a wealth of industry knowledge to complement Dicor’s mission of exceptional customer service,” said Jeff Gaff, vice president and general manager of Dicor Products, an affiliate of the Dicor Corp.
Grierson served for 26 years with Coachmen RV, starting with production scheduling in 1983. He subsequently held positions as transportation manager, assistant vice president–distribution and district sales manager.
In 2009, he moved to Quality Drive-Away where he became safety manager and then operations manager. In 2011, he assisted with the start-up of Foremost Transport as general manager.
“Matt possesses a unique viewpoint of the RV industry,” said Gaff. “His decades of experience allow him to see both issues and solutions from the perspective of both manufacturers and suppliers. His first-hand knowledge of the RV product and RV operations will help us to effectively reach out to manufacturers with new product solutions.”
He added, “Our recent growth in product development means our sales staff needs to grow as well if we are to keep serving our customers in the best manner possible. For that, we’re very pleased to have Matt on board.”
For more information, visit www.dicor.com.
Thetford Corp., a leading supplier of sanitation products for the RV and marine industries, will mark its 50th year of operation on May 1.
According to a press release, the company was founded by Frank Sargent and his two sons in 1963 after they recognized the need to improve the recreational lifestyle, and continues “to set the standard for reliable and recognizable sanitation products.”
Thetford has had many industry-leading achievements in the past 50 years, including the first holding tank slide-action valve along with low-profile, low-water-use plastic RV toilets and the first two-piece portable toilet, Porta-Potti. Its innovations like Aqua-Kem and Aqua-Soft have also benefited generations of RVers. Most recently, Thetford introduced the stylish and lightweight Aqua-Magic Residence toilet and the beautiful and award-winning Porta-Potti Curve.
“Our products have helped revolutionize the RV industry,” said Kevin Phillips, Thetford executive vice president. “I’m pleased to say that Thetford products have helped make the recreational experience what it is today. With reliable products that are the staples of RVing and boating, we’ve provided users with convenience and helped them to better enjoy what’s both a hobby and lifestyle.”
Founded as a family company, Thetford continues to stay true to these ideals as it grows in size and innovation. “We hold close to family values, treat people fairly and look for long-term relationships with our customers. I think these have been consistent threads through the company’s history,” said Phillips. “Beginning in the late 1980’s, Thetford was on the forefront of RV store merchandising and marketing and that continues today. In addition, dealers taking our web-based training have really been positive about how it has helped make them better retailers.”
Thetford is not only a leader in the RV industry, but its employees are active members in it. Phillips noted, “We live in the market. In other words, we employ people who are avid RVers and it’s helped shape our products. An example is our SmartTotes, which were developed by one of our engineers who experienced, first hand, the need for a quality waste tote tank.”
Although 50 years is a worthy milestone, the company has no plans to slow down. “Thetford is proud to have grown up, hand in hand, with the American RV industry,” said Phillips. “We will continue to innovate and move forward with the global RV industry.”
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford is a privately held company with seven manufacturing facilities worldwide. Thetford subsidiaries include Norcold, a leading manufacturer of gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers for the RV, marine and truck markets; Tecma, a producer of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems based in Italy; and Thetford Europe, which manufactures high-quality cooking and heating appliances and accessories.
For more information visit www.thetford.com.
Goshen, Ind.-based supplier Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) has appointed Todd Driver as COO. According to a press relases, Driver has been with LCI since 1998, starting in the company’s management trainee program. In 2009, Driver was promoted to vice president of 0perations, and most recently has been responsible for over half of LCI’s operations, including chassis, slideouts, furniture and accessories.
“Todd is invaluable to our team,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of LCI. “Todd’s ability to identify the right people for the position in which they can be successful is just one of his many talents and, as a result, he has been a great team builder at LCI for many years. During 2012, our revenue grew $220 million and we added over 1,000 employees. As we continue to seek growth opportunities, we want excellence at the highest operational level, and Todd adds that to our team.”
“Todd’s positive influence will expand significantly as he will now be involved with more of the company’s operations and management teams,” said Scott Mereness, president of LCI. “Coming off a year for which our revenues exceeded $900 million, we recognize the importance of having strong, effective managers at all levels of the company and, in particular, in our top leadership positions. Todd’s proven track record epitomizes what we look for in our leaders.”
Driver has been instrumental in many of the efficiency improvements implemented by LCI over the past few quarters. “One of our goals moving forward is to continue to identify areas for improvement and implement changes on a timely basis so we can exceed customer expectations,” said Driver. “We intend to be the very best customer-oriented team in the industry.”
He added, “LCI’s top executives are extraordinary leaders and they provide the opportunity and support that encourages success among their managers. LCI has reason to be proud of its employees at every level, as every one of them contributes to the success of the company.”
“Todd has been loyal to LCI for many years,” added Jason Lippert, “and he is ready to assume additional responsibility. We are excited to see his drive, work ethic and passion spread throughout the Company. We all wish Todd the best in his new role at LCI.”
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article appearing in a special Business & Industry Magazine published by The Elkhart Truth, which serves the RV industry’s hub in Indiana’s Elkhart County. To read the entire article click here.
Many started as suppliers dedicated only to the recreational vehicle industry. Others simply reached over to Elkhart County, extending their already growing business.
RV suppliers are diverse and they’re also growing in Elkhart County, bringing more jobs to the area.
As Jarod Lippert, director of marketing for Lippert Components Inc. would put it, the list of items supplied by various companies based in Elkhart County, including his Goshen-based firm, is long.
At Lippert Components, the list includes chassis, windows, axles, suspensions, hydraulics and furniture. Though the RV companies are its biggest clients, Lippert Components has its share of companies that are not in the RV industry it does business with, including housing and the truck, trailer and transit industries, said Lippert.
Established in Michigan in 1956 as a small steel fabrication shop, Lippert Components is now a subsidiary owned by Drew Industries Inc., which reported in its 2011 annual report that the RV products segment accounted for 84% of its consolidated net sales. Drew Industries’ other subsidiary is Kinro Inc., a company that, like Lippert Components, has corporate offices in Goshen.
Lippert Components has more than 5,300 employees, 34 facilities and more than 3 million square feet in manufacturing base, Lippert said.
But smaller companies are also growing exponentially in this county. Genesis Products Inc., a woods manufacturer for RV, kitchen and furniture industries, announced Feb. 4 its plans to expand operations in Elkhart County, creating up to 100 new jobs by 2016.
To read the entire article click here.
His company is expanding and Britt Murphey, owner of B&B Molders LLC in Mishawaka, Ind., gives credit to a series of events that changed the company culture.
As reported by the South Bend Tribune, the plastic injection molding company’s nearly $2.5 million expansion project will add space and ceiling height so the business has more room for raw material storage and offices.
“It’s going to improve our flexibility, timing and the way we handle new product development,” Murphey said of the new space. “It will allow us to do things that not many molders in this region can do. It will position us to have the technology and capability that no one else has.”
But, six years ago, Murphey wouldn’t have believed the company would be in this position so soon.
At that time, the company, which serves the RV, health care and defense industries, was like “any other molder,” he said. Business was good and the company had just finished a $3.5 million expansion project.
“And that was right at the time that everything took a big dump,” he said, referring to the tanking of the economy. “We lost about 63% of our customers. I’ve never felt so alone and uncertain about my ability, or how we would weather a storm.”
To read the entire article click here.
Another step was taken Tuesday (Feb. 5) in the continuing rebound of the economy in Indiana’s Elkhart County. The South Bend Tribune reported that Genesis Products Inc. announced that it plans to expand its operations, creating up to 100 new jobs by 2016.
Founded in 2002 by President Jon Helmuth and CEO Jon Wenger, Genesis is a wood products manufacturer that makes doors, cabinets, moldings, wood panels and drawer sides.
The Elkhart-headquartered company will invest $4 million to renovate and equip the 114,500-square-foot facility that it is currently leasing. It will likely take over the building in the next month or two, according to Helmuth.
As part of the project, Genesis will install new manufacturing and production lines, which are expected to be operational this year.
“The RV industry has picked up over the last eight months,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County. “And for companies to supply that marketplace, they’re having to ramp up inventory and product. So it’s demand-driven.”
She indicated additional expansion announcements by other companies could be forthcoming. “We’ve had several projects in the pipeline,” she said.
The RV industry has seen three consecutive years of growth.
The region also received a boost by the announcement Tuesday that neighboring LaGrange County will become the new home of Lake Area Designs, which will bring 34 jobs by 2016. Lake Area Designs is a wood furniture and custom molding manufacturer for the recreational vehicle and commercial industries. It is currently located in Sturgis.
Genesis, which currently has more than 180 full-time employees in Indiana, 140 of them in Elkhart, has already begun hiring additional supervisory, production and maintenance associates.
To read the entire article click here.
Lake Area Designs LLC (LAD), a wood furniture and custom molding manufacturer for the recreational vehicle and commercial industries, announced plans today (Feb. 5) to relocate its operations from Sturgis, Mich., to LaGrange, Ind., creating up to 34 new jobs by 2016.
According to a news release, the company will invest $1.5 million to lease and renovate a 24,000-square-foot facility located in LaGrange. LAD plans to move its operations to the new facility when construction is completed in April. The company will retain 10 employees from Sturgis and begin hiring additional manufacturing and production associates in June.
Founded in Sturgis in 2004, LAD designs and manufactures wooden furniture, including coffee tables, chairs and end tables. The company, which also specializes in custom wood moldings such as door trims and base rails, supplies to multiple RV companies across northeast Indiana.
“We are very excited to make the move to Indiana to be closer to our customer base in northern Indiana,” said Rob West, president of LAD. “Being able to do business in a right-to-work state that provides companies with the necessary tools to be successful made the decision to relocate here an easy one and we look forward to growing in LaGrange County and the state of Indiana.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Lake Area Designs up to $325,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of LaGrange approved additional tax abatement at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation.
“We are happy to support a new business in the town of LaGrange,” said Mark Eagleson, president of the LaGrange Town Council. “The woodworking industry has great roots in LaGrange County and this new venture will not only create new jobs but support the industry that we already have established.”
Dometic Group announced a global reorganization and restructuring, effective Feb. 1. According to a news release, the new management and business focus structure – enacted by global CEO Roger Johansson – includes the appointment of Frank Marciano as president of Dometic Americas. Marciano, a 22-year employee of Dometic, previously served as president of Dometic’s global marine division based in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Dometic Group will shift from global market groups and split into three large geographical regions: EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific (Australia, China, etc.) and the Americas (North and South America). Dave Schutz, located in Elkhart, Ind., serves as vice president of RV OEM sales and marketing. Along with Schutz are Jim Menefee, vice president of operations, with offices in Elkhart and LaGrange, Ind.; and Mike Hicks, overseeing product development for the RV industry.
Within the Americas region, Marciano said the market divisions are RV, marine and automotive (both commercial and passenger), with another division addressing aftermarket and merchandising operations across those markets. RV headquarters, headed by Schutz, will remain in Elkhart; marine division headquarters will remain in Pompano Beach; and the aftermarket and merchandising operations, along with the regional finance and legal staff, will remain in Louisville, Ky.
“My business philosophy is that small, focused groups can do a better job serving the industry they’re in, rather than trying to group everybody together somewhere,” Marciano stated. “I don’t want to have big, centralized control. Each division will now have more freedom to move decisively to benefit their group.”
According to Schutz, that re-emphasis on small focused groups will allow Dometic’s RV division to once more build on its long-standing branding and innovation. “With this global reorganization, we are set up to better serve and focus on our core markets,” he said. “We at Dometic are all very excited about this change and the renewed commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we live and work in.”
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) is launching a new line of entry door products following the acquisition of the assets of Amerimax’s U.S. door operations.
According to a press release, the new product line utilizes the designs of both LCI’s existing entry doors and Amerimax’s entry doors. To improve efficiency, LCI is consolidating two production facilities into one, and began transitioning customers to the new door products.
“Rather than producing parallel product lines of both the LCI entry door and the Amerimax entry door, we adopted the best features and the best production methods from both lines and developed a new hybrid product line incorporating the best of both entry doors,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray.
The entry door design changes include:
• A base construction with a steel reinforced core panel to add stiffness.
• An updated screen door with a new upgraded latch design for ease of use.
• Three-dimensional injection molded kick panels in the screen door for added strength.
• A square cut joint on the exterior of the door frame for a cleaner fit and finish.
“In addition to these design changes, consolidating production facilities has made the entire entry door production process much leaner,” said Murray.
You could say Elkhart Plastics doesn’t fit the mold of most locally owned companies. Then again, in today’s world, maybe the rotomolding company and supplier to the RV industry does.
According to a report by the South Bend Tribune, the Indiana company has changed owners three times since 2006. And it eventually ended up back in the hands of local owners, many of whom were managers back in 2006.
In between it was owned by a company from Iceland that called it Promens hf, which sold it about two years ago to a company from the Netherlands that went with the name Indiana Rotomolding Inc. before selling it just four months later to a group that includes current president and CEO Jack Welter.
Welter, who came up on the financial side, has been with the company since 1990 and was part of the ownership group that sold it in 2006.
“It was never in the plan (to reacquire it) when I sold it in 2006,” he said. “You can’t plan that stuff. Just the opportunity presented itself. And the fact that some other key managers were willing to participate was the driving factor in that.”
So when the company from the Netherlands wanted to shed its Indiana plastics companies, Welter was more than happy to head up a group to buy it.
“I’ve been doing it for 22 years now,” he said. “It’s a very diverse process. We make products for a variety of industries. We get to touch a lot of different companies with a lot of different products. “We work with very small companies to very large. From my perspective, I enjoy that.”
To view the entire article click here.
Dometic Group has named Roger Johansson as its new president and CEO, effective Nov. 8. According to a press release, Johansson was previously CEO of BE Group, a publicly listed company on OMX Nasdaq and a leading trading and services group in steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
Johansson, who attended the 50th Annual National Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., where Dometic USA is now based, is also the former president for Trelleborg Automotive and ex-vice president for General Motors Europe, responsible for powertrain operations.
The new Dometic Group CEO holds a master’s from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Dometic, which also has manufacturing operations in Elkhart, Ind., is a key supplier to the RV industry while also servicing the marine industry and the hospitality sector with a line of mini-bar refrigerators.
Dicor Corp.’s Vixen Composites affiliate has taken the next step in its strategic plan to become a complete supplier of sidewall and other external panels and composites by introducing Vixen FRP products.
“When Vixen was formed a couple of years ago, the plan we had was to develop an unmatched range of products that would bring the newest and best FRP and composite technologies to the RV market,” stated Gregg Fore, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier, in a press release. “We started by focusing on producing our Vixenite composite panels, which we have successfully introduced into a variety of non-RV markets, and quickly moved to work with manufacturers across the globe to develop RV-specific FRP panel technology to improve the long-term performance of RV exteriors.”
The new product lines are marketed under the name Vixen FRP, and are comprised of a family of products that address different application and finish requirements. The first product introduced will be FibroPlus, specifically designed to boost the performance of RV sidewalls. FibroGloss, an extra high-gloss FRP, will be introduced early in 2013, along with FibroGrip, a non-skid material, and FibroTrans, a translucent panel.
Vixen General Manager Gordon Frost said that FibroPlus and FibroGloss will be available in a variety of widths and colors and in rolls up to 200 feet in length. Frost explained that “some competitive FRP products use general purpose resins with lower fiberglass content and may sell thinner panels, while Vixen’s products are constructed of a proprietary blend of resins and manufactured using new curing technology. They have a minimum thickness of 0.050. These are all important factors in the long term performance of the FRP.”
Fore added, “After working with several global manufacturers, Dicor selected the Yucel Group to provide these specifically formulated FRP Products to Vixen Composites. Yucel made a solid commitment to meet Vixen’s specifications and quality standards, expanded their facility for RV demand, and have proven technical ability along with the integrity and strong principles needed to satisfy both Vixen and its customers.”
According to Fore, these new products are perfect complements to the Vixenite Composite panels introduced earlier by Vixen. “With the addition of this family of FRP products, Vixen will now be able to offer sidewall products that meet the needs of the majority of RV products produced on an annual basis.”
For more information call Gordon Frost at (574) 264-2699. Vixen FRP products will be part of the “Center for the Amazing” Dicor Corp. booth in the North Wing Lobby, Hall 2A, of the Kentucky Exposition Center during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Nov. 27-29.