IBEX 365 News
30th Anniversary Interview with Composites One
It was a pleasure to connect with Marcy Offner, Director of Marketing Communications, to discuss IBEX’s 30th anniversary and Composite One’s continued growth and efforts to educate the marine industry.
What are your significant product developments over the last 30 years?
Composites One is North America’s largest distributor of composite materials. And while we do not manufacture products, over the past 20 plus years we have grown from a regional distributor to a company that serves customers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. We have also been instrumental in bringing Closed Mold Process education to the marine manufacturing industry, as well as forming the Closed Mold Alliance with RTM North and MVP – offering turn-key closed mold solutions. More and more boatbuilders are embracing these more environmentally friendly processes that allow for repeatability, reduced use of consumables, the ability to lightweight parts, and the elimination of virtually all styrene emissions.
Discuss changes your company has experienced in the last 30 years.
Our company has experienced growth over the last 30 years, but our focus on the marine industry is as strong as ever. We have also made the commitment to become leaders in the supply and technical support of Advanced Composites like Carbon Fiber, Prepreg, Epoxy, and other high-performance materials. Several of our boatbuilder customers are now using these products to make stronger, longer-lasting parts. In addition, this year we acquired Solvay Process Materials – now named Aerovac Composites One. These products are critical to the success of vacuum infusion and prepreg processing.
What effect has IBEX had on your business?
IBEX has allowed us to utilize our leadership position to educate boatbuilders through process demos and technical programming. In the early days of the Closed Mold Alliance, IBEX was critical in helping us to build enthusiasm for the Alliance and our unique Technical Support Team. We felt early on that hands-on real-world experience was the best way to educate manufacturers on the value and benefits of closed mold processes. And given our unique relationship to the marine industry, we felt that IBEX was a great place to start. So, we got together with our industry-leading Technical Team and basically decided to build a boat inside a tent. We put together a proposal and presented it to IBEX and we were on our way. Truly IBEX became a partner in helping us bring these important processes to our customers and the industry – we could not have done it without them!
What do you remember of the first-ever IBEX Show?
I was not at the first IBEX myself, but I remember my first-ever IBEX – 23 years ago! I was amazed to find a marketing segment where it felt like family coming together – sharing innovation, hope, and successes. And over the years, through good times and bad, IBEX has felt that way.
Is there anyone on your team or in ownership that has been with the company for 30 years?
There are many – here are a few:
Steve Dehmlow, CEO – Composites One
Leon Garoufalis, President & COO
Chris Noonan, Technical Sales Rep
Robert Malark, Technical Support Manager
What are your plans for IBEX this year?
After missing IBEX last year, I look forward to reconnecting with customers, suppliers, and Team Members – it will be like one big family reunion! I am also looking forward to sharing the excitement of our new brand Aerovac with the industry.
Composites One put Closed Molding on the map. These environmentally friendly processes had existed for years, but in the early 2000s regulatory concerns made them an ideal alternative for many manufacturers, and Composites One quickly became the expert resource in the composites industry. Ultimately, about 17 years ago, Composites One founded the Closed Mold Alliance with industry partners, Magnum Venus Products and RTM North Technologies bringing turnkey closed mold solutions to the composites industry including marine manufacturing. Now, with the growing popularity of vacuum infusion – a closed mold process, Composites One has added Aerovac Process Materials to its portfolio and the Closed Mold Alliance.