TekModo Industries Inc., which manufactures, assembles and distributes a wide range of advanced composite material to the RV, marine and other related industries, has announced several updates to its current operations and business plan going forward, which includes consolidating all of the company activities in Elkhart, Ind., including administration, accounting and corporate finance.
Changes, and other announcements, included: a number of upper management positions; an equipment failure that caused seven weeks of production down time (production has since resumed); a GRP gel coat manufacturing line that is expected to be completed in March; multiple activated carbon orders that have been received; and the need for immediate financing.
According to a release, at the end of 2016 the company experienced an unexpected manufacturing equipment failure, which resulted in approximately seven weeks of production down time and substantially reduced sales and cash flow for the months of January and February 2017. The equipment is being repaired and upgraded and the manufacturing schedule is being resumed.
As a result of the January shutdown and the associated interruption to cash flow, the company requires an immediate equity financing to maintain its current business operations and complete the GRP commercialization. Discussions are being held with various parties and progress will be reported in a future news release. The amount and pricing is yet to be determined.
In addition to several existing manufacturing and assembly lines, the construction of the new GRP gel coat manufacturing line is expected to be completed in March and will initially allow the company to produce commercial samples of SpectraLite exterior skin replacement, for initial select customers. TekModo intends to commercially launch its SpectraLite product in July 2017.
As part of the decision to consolidate all of the company activities in Elkhart — a timetable was not provided — Jake Vogel has been appointed executive chairman of the company. John Proust has stepped down as chairman and will remain on the board as executive director. Marc LaCounte, a founding director and former business development officer, has been appointed president.
“I am pleased to assume the leadership role of president of TekModo and strengthen our business efforts moving forward,” stated LaCounte. “I am proud to be leading our team and working with the caliber of people that are associated with our business. If we are able to successfully finance our operations, this opportunity will allow me to focus my energy and realize my true passion on building this business, executing our vision, and continuing to bring truly disruptive technologies into the marketplace. The opportunity is present; the time is now.”
Vogel is the chief executive officer of Boat Holdings LLC, the manufacturer and owner of several industry-leading recreational boat brands including Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker. Together these brands represent roughly 30% of the market share in the large and growing pontoon boat segment, and 45% in the deck boat segment.
“I am very positive about the direction of the business and moving its leadership more to Elkhart where the core of its operations and customers reside,” Vogel stated. “The Elkhart team has the necessary knowledge, experience and passion to best manage the business and make decisions. As executive chairman and the largest shareholder, I believe in the company’s ability to bring value to its customers and the team’s ability to execute this plan.”
Former Thor Industries Inc. executive Bill Fenech, who is also a co-founder of Grand Design Recreational Vehicles, has resigned as a director and will be taking on a new role as an Elkhart-based strategic advisor joining with existing Strategic Advisor Jeff Schwartz. Together they will focus on new product development applications, customer relationships and overall business operations.
“I recently invested in TekModo through an investment group that I am part of. The reasons for the investment were the products that they were producing at the time and the products that were in the pipeline for production and/or distribution. I remain excited about these products and feel they could be the next generation of mainstream products for the industries they are targeting,” Fenech stated.
Mary Wetzel has resigned as president and director for personal reasons, but she will consult with the company as TekModo potentially diversifies into the automotive manufacturing industry at some point in the future. In addition, Robert Cross, Gordon Keep and Morris Klid have resigned as directors, and Jack Khorchidian as a director and COO, as the company transitions into the U.S.A.
The reconstituted board of TekModo now consists of Vogel as its executive chairman, Proust as its executive director, LaCounte, and Murray Flanigan. The officers of the company are LaCounte (president), Vince Boon (CFO) and Eileen Au (corporate secretary).