Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Power of Three: Manufacturing Executives in Tulsa Think Big for Startup

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Power of Three: Manufacturing Executives in Tulsa Think Big for Startup

Article excerpt

Three Tulsa manufacturing executives intend to build a $25 million company from the assets of a fallen steel cutter.

Avery Barron Industries was formed in July under former Ramsey Industries veterans Bruce Barron, John Boettcher and Kyle Whiteis. Tulsa County Courthouse records indicate the trio, as Avery Barron Holdings LLC, paid $1.2 million on Sept. 28 to buy Fabrication Dynamics, a private firm fallen into receivership after three decades of making machine parts at 2102 W. Skelly Dr.

That 5.5-acre site just off Interstate 44 and U.S. Highway 75 featured 44,500 square feet of industrial space stuffed with machining equipment, along with 3,500 square feet of office space. For three executives with a decade's experience making truck parts for Ramsey subsidiary Auto Crane, the 32-year-old plant presented the equivalent of a turnkey startup for custom parts manufacturing.

"The actual physical size of this facility made us think that we could easily reach $25 million annual sales in this facility without any expansion," said Barron, ABI president and chief executive.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce seems to agree, accepting the startup into its Quality Jobs Program with plans to add 108 new jobs over the next five years.

"It's really amazing," Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said in a Wednesday press conference at the plant. "This is an example of how incentives are supposed to work."

Avery Barron Industries has nine employees to man its equipment fleet. Boettcher oversees parts manufacture as vice president of operations, while Whiteis heads up sales and marketing.

"We think that by the end of the first year, we'll have close to 30 employees," said Barron, projecting 2011 sales topping $2 million. "We're actually hoping to hire three or four right now."

To reach that 108-job target - which chamber economist Bob Ball said would represent an $81 million impact on the Tulsa area, spurring creation of another 201 jobs at other firms - Barron said ABI would follow two growth strategies.

"One is, we want to take advantage of the market segment that the former company participated in, which I would categorize as just a general industrial market," he said. …

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