Ami's Story: A graduate of Israel's Rupin Academic Centre, Ami has been working as an industrial electrician and industrial management technologist since the 1980's. From an early age on, Ami has been building things like electrical bicycles, wind power stations until he eventually refined his talent and specialized in industrial automation. He immigrated to Canada in 1993, was hired as the manager of Vancouver's Pita Plus bakery, and with his background in industrial automation, turned the bakery's manual pita bread baking machine into a fully automated system, outputting 2000 pitas per hour from the previous 600 units. In 2001 Pita Plus received an innovation grant from the NRC for Ami's innovative design of an automated pita bread baking machine. While working at the bakery, Ami came up with an idea to turn Vancouver's Stanley Park outdoor swimming pool into a public hot spa, after seeing the popularity of the hot spa trend in Europe. He designed and built a replica model of Stanley Park's Second Beach Pool, and presented it to Vancouver Park Board management, who agreed to his project. The project, however, could not lift off as heating the pool water would
be extremely expensive without a proper cover to prevent heat loss. After consulting mechanical engineers and speaking with pool cover manufacturers, Ami realized that no pool covers over 1500 sq. ft. existed in the worldwide market. This is when the idea for the Floatek pool cover was born. Ami ran his idea by the Stanley Park pool manager, and was encouraged by him to pursue this innovation as the market for such a product has been to date untouched. In fact, current pool covers only present 5 percent of the potential market for private, commercial and public pools. Moreover, these pool covers only provide the added features of either insulation or human safety, yet not both. Ami has been developing the Floatek Tiling System since 2001, while being self-employed as an electrician. In 2007, he expanded his operation from a small backyard garage into a machine shop, where he's been developing the Floatek prototypes and producing metal parts for other industry professionals. His 1600 sq. ft. warehouse boasts, among others, a CNC machine, an ultra-sonic plastic welder, a compressor vacuum machine, and a small milling machine. Ami owns all the equipment necessary for producing the parts of a full-sized Floatek Tiling System.
Andy Reichgut is a seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in CPG Brand Management and Fixed Income Financial Engineering. He brings a wealth of expertise with particular strengths in areas such as brand marketing, S&OP and innovation process, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and emerging new media.
Currently, Andy works at a small CPG startup company, Classic Cooking, which he joined in 2014 to help take their frozen and fresh natural brands to the next level. He has focused on relaunching their Garden Lites frozen brand of natural foods, while also instituting needed operating processes to the company, including S&OP, Productivity and Stage Gate Innovation. He has also lead M&A work for the company, recently acquiring a complementary natural brand in the freezer space and attracting investors to fund the next level of growth.
Prior to taking on the entrepreneurial venture in 2014, Andy worked at large CPG companies including Pinnacle Foods, M&M Mars and Reckitt Benckiser. The majority of his tenure in CPG brand management was spent at Pinnacle Foods, advancing to Senior Vice President of Marketing. Pinnacle’s key business is to acquire non-strategic iconic brands spun off from large CPG companies and reinvigorate them. Andy led this process for many of Pinnacle’s brands, helping the company grow from $700M to $3.5B in 10 years, then successfully going public in 2013. Through this process Andy has developed a unique ability to create value for these assets by identifying the opportunity in the marketplace and then executing with excellence. Specifically, he has become an expert in brand positioning, driving demand with limited budgets, innovating in both product and process, and creating value through operational excellence (S&OP, Productivity and Stage Gate innovation processes). Along with his experience at Pinnacle, Andy sharpened his CPG brand management skills at M&M Mars and Reckitt Benckiser, running global brands (Snickers and Finish), and leading innovation for the Snack Foods division of Mars.
Prior to his Brand Management career, Andy spent 4 years modeling derivative bond structures on Wall Street for various investment banks. He developed strong financial and analytical skills as a result, which he continues to utilize today.
Andy is involved with both his Alma Mater’s (Syracuse University and University of Chicago Booth School of Business), working with students and faculty on career development and strategic projects. He has also had an advisory role with two startup businesses over the past 5 years, helping define their business model and develop go-to-market strategies.
Adam Kruzich is a senior executive with a diverse background in corporate finance, treasury and operations, primarily related to global manufacturing. His extensive experience in accounting makes him an asset to the numerous boards with which he is affiliated, and he boasts over a decade and a half of spotless leadership through numerous global manufacturing projects. Adam has led numerous impressive turnaround efforts with remarkable results and is an expert in liquidity management, risk management, and financial reporting. He has a strong understanding of international expansion, cost reduction, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and customer service management, which empowers him to fine-tune corporate finances and growth plans to perfection. During the past two decades, he has held multiple controller positions, successfully managing financial operations and optimizing performance.
Adam currently serves as Vice President and CFO at HawkeyePedershaab, Inc., the private equity-owned global leader in solutions for the concrete pipe and manhole markets. He is responsible for all aspects of the Accounting and Finance, IT, and Human Resources functions at all locations. After receiving an internal promotion from the North American Controller role, Adam spearheaded efforts to improve management of inventory, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and project sales terms, resulting in a $8.7 million improvement in cash flow from operations. Upon assuming this role, he led cost reduction and restructuring efforts, providing a 54.7% increase in earnings. Adam currently collaborates with the company’s senior team to define the corporate strategy including product line and geographic expansion opportunities. In addition to reporting to the company’s board of directors and executive committee, Adam serves on the boards at the company’s Danish affiliate and joint venture in India. Additionally, he is responsible for the company’s benefits, retirement plans, and risk management. Prior to joining HawkeyePedershaab, Inc., Adam worked as a public accountant for McGladrey& Pullen, LLP and at a variety of both privately and publicly held manufacturing companies. In these various roles, he acquired experience in the audit function, financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, cost accounting, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance (SOX). He has supervised numerous accounting departments and developed internal control policies and procedures to optimize performance and reduce costs.
In addition to his executive career, Adam serves on the board of directors at Pedershaab Concrete Technologies and Apollo Hawkeye Concrete Technologies. He is member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants (ISCPA), the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). He is also a panelist at the “Iowa Futuring Panel” With Other C-Suite Executives in Des Moines, Iowa.
Adam Kruzich obtained his Bachelor of Arts in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa, where he graduated cum laude, and holds an MBA from the Indiana University - Kelley School of Business. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified management accountant (CMA) and has received Six Sigma training.
Mark Thompson is a results oriented financial & business leader with over 30 years of experience in a number of commercial & consumer industries including information/data analytics & solutions, consumer fulfillment & call center services, manufacturing, financial services & airline transportation. His expertise includes improving structure, discipline & communication in key processes & workflows, ability to achieve annual revenue/EBITDA targets while improving profitability, advancing financial strategy & models to promote fact-based decision making, leading information system conversions to produce accurate/timely metrics to monitor progress toward financial & non-financial objectives. He has strong qualifications in general & financial management, strategic business planning, staff development/leadership, & financial systems technology & implementation.
Currently, Mark is CFO for Explore Information Services (a business unit within AudaExplore a Solera Company) who provides driver monitoring & analytic solutions, database insurance technologies & e-government applications. He developed financial model, analyses & presentation to successfully sell Explore for a 14x EBITDA trailing 12 multiple. He acquired businesses participating in due diligence & Board approval, including integrated financial accounting, SOX, forecasting & sales & product pipeline processes. He created financial shared service organization for regional business units including SOX & external audit procedures. As an SMT member, he played an instrumental role in improving EBITDA margins by 400 basis points since 2010 while growing top line revenue by 11% CAGR organically.
Prior to Explore, Mark served as CFO for Skybridge Marketing Group where he led financial/accounting operations & human resource functions plus maintained external insurance, legal & banking relationships. At Skybridge, he improved cash flow by $4M monthly by implementing formal collection process to reduce sales outstanding from 116 days to under 60 plus established a $5M credit facility. He also decreased medical/property insurance costs over 25% through formal insurance evaluation & competitive bid process. Mark has held financial & management positions with Thomson Reuters, Pentair, RBC Dain Rauscher, Delta Airlines, and public accounting auditor positions with PwC & McGladrey & Pullen. Throughout his professional career, Mark has demonstrated his ability in building high performance teams, leading through personal excellence & delivering financial & non-financial results. He has a reputation for integrity, positive orientation, creating a business partnership & collaboration across functions while maintaining a technology/innovation focus.
In addition to his executive career, Mark serves on Concordia College School of Business Leadership Board. He has consulted with a number small family/closely held companies in advising on strategic planning process, business investment considerations & growth/exit strategies. He has volunteered at his church & local athletic association in a variety of leadership & coaching positions.Mark obtained is Bachelors of Arts degree in Accounting & Organizational Communications from Concordia College. He holds an MBA from The Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota. He is a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) in the State of Minnesota.
Tom Casey is a talented and seasoned senior executive with 30 years of experience in Business to Consumer (B to C) sales and building top-notch sales organizations using a blend of intensive training programs, support systems development (CRM), tactical mentoring and incentive program design. With an abundance of related sales and sales management experience across the country, Tom is a well-respected professional in the swimming pool industry today.
Tom currently serves as the Vice President of Sales for the nations largest and most successful in-ground swimming pool contractor; Anthony & Sylvan Pools. As an officer for that company for the past eighteen years, Tom has developed, nurtured and led the swimming pool industries finest sales team through challenging economic times while bringing new technologies to improve their in-home sales effectiveness rates to over 37%. Tom has also helped orchestrate several acquisitions during his tenure and improved profitability by helping the acquired resources adapt to the new company culturally. Tom has also spearheaded the development and execution of all sales training programs for his team since 1996 and continues to re-validate and re-invent the sales process to keep abreast of evolving consumer sentiment and competitive strategies.
Tom has been recognized by the industry as one of its preeminent authorities on the in-home sales and design process and has been invited to speak at their national conventions (NESPA) on numerous occasions. His seminars are well attended and yield CPB credits for the participants. Additionally, Tom has been sought-out by manufacturing and supplier partners to engage their sales and R&D teams in evolving customer needs. Prior to heading the company sales force, Tom worked his way steadily through the management ranks from beginnings in the commission-only sales environment in the 1980’s.
Anthony J. (Tony) Verkruyse is a dedicated, creative, collaborative and motivational finance executive with more than 30 years combined experience as a Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance, financial reporting and tax professional. Tonypossesses an extensive background and expertise in manufacturing industry finance, is seasoned in buy-side and sell-side merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, private and high yield debt placements, public equity transactions, as well as initial public offerings (IPO). Tony has an eye for growth and cost savings opportunities, internal and external M&A prospects, which he combines with a hands-on understanding of identifying and implementing strategic initiatives, buy-side and sell-side due diligence, cultural and financial integration, and merger synergy capture. Tony is an insightful contributor to strategic planning, financial oversight and forecasting, investor and stakeholder relations, and serves as a highly effective manager and mentor of his team.
Tony currently serves as CFO & Treasurer of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc. (OSS), a $600+ million integrated specialty steel processing concern. Tony has been instrumental in managing the acquisitive growth of OSS, as it grew from approximately $130 million in sales in 2011 when he joined the organization, to over $550 million in sales in 2014. Tony has been instrumental in collaborating with members of the commercial and operational teams of OSS and its operating subsidiaries at driving substantial permanent annual cost savings of over $10 million since 2012.
Prior to joining OSS, Tony served as CFO of Niagara LaSalle Corporation, a former portfolio company of Kohlberg & Company, which he had been instrumental in transitioning its former parent company Niagara Corporation from a NASDAQ public entity to a private equity held business from 2006 through 2011, which he then helped to transition to the closely-held holdings of Optima Acquisitions, LLC (OA) through a high yield 144A debt offering in December 2011. Niagara LaSalle and its former parent Niagara Corporation, of which Tony was also CFO, previously operated steel processing businesses in both the US and UK, with the UK operation having been sold in 2011 prior to Niagara’s sale to OA. Previous to this position, Tony was CFO of Huntco Inc., a public intermediate steel processor based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Tony was instrumental in Huntco’s IPO and substantial organic growth through the 1990s. Prior to this role, Tony practiced public accounting in the audit and tax departments of Price Waterhouse LLP.
Tony is member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA), Financial Executives International (FEI), and is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Cold Finished Steel Bar Institute (CFSBI).
Tony obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accountancy from the University of Missouri, where he graduated cum laude, and recently attended the Strategic Metals Management - Advanced Management Program at Washington University - St. Louis. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered global management accountant (CGMA).
Rockingham Pool Consulting Inc. specializes in aquatic planning, consultation and design for Architects, Developers and Contractors on a contract basis. Our Squamish, BC based office offers its services throughout British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and parts of the United States of America.
Rockingham Pool Consulting Inc. offer clients highly personalized customer service, a proven expertise in aquatic design and a willingness to consider new and innovative solutions. We provide services related to new and existing residential, commercial and public aquatic facilities, in addition to consultation for natural hot springs developments. Our services include the design and production of detailed pool drawings, coordination with other consultants, negotiations with and obtaining all necessary public health approvals, preparation of required schedules to obtain building permits, assistance in selecting pool sub-contractors and conducting field reviews during the construction phase.
Amos Michelson is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, who is currently the Chairman and/or co-founder of five high tech companies in the areas of life sciences, clean energy and software, and a director of additional five companies in similar areas.
Mr. Michelson was the Chief Executive Officer of Creo Inc. from June 1995, until Kodak purchased Creo in May 2005 for US$1B. He joined Creo in 1991 and served as Vice President Business Strategy until his appointment as CEO in 1995. Under Amos’ leadership, Creo grew to employ over 4000 people and generated $650 million USD annual revenue. Prior to joining Creo, Mr. Michelson was the CEO of Opal Inc., a semi-conductor equipment company, which was acquired by Applied Materials, and prior to this Mr. Michelson was the Chief Operating Officer of Optrotech Ltd., a NASDAQ company and a developer of optical imaging systems for the electronic industry.
Mr. Michelson is a past member of the Premier’s Technology Council and in 1999 was named by Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”, along with Dan Gelbart. In 2005, Mr. Michelson was named the BCTIA “Person of the Year”, an award presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the technology industry.
Mr. Michelson holds a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Business School and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.