Sonnax owner sells to managers

first_imgSonnax Industries,by Kevin Kelley Vermont Business Magazine The co-founder of one of Vermont’s fastest growing manufacturing companies has sold the business to its top two executives.Sonnax, a Bellow Falls automotive parts maker recently named Vermont’s Exporter of the Year, changed hands for an undisclosed sum in a deal announced last week. Neil Joseph, who founded the company with his father in 1978, made the sale along with minority shareholder David Landa.The new owners are Tommy Harmon and David Bedard, who had worked, respectively, as chief operating officer and vice president of sales and marketing. Harmon, who becomes president and CEO, had formed a 50-50 partnership with Bedard, now the company’s chief operating officer.”We really saw this as a great opportunity for my partner and me to continue growing the business,” Harmon said.Sonnax has recorded double-digit growth rates for each of the past few years. And Harmon says he expects expansion to continue at a 10-12 percent annual pace. With 165 employees in Bellows Falls and business operations in 60 countries, Sonnax has revenues of about $36 million a year.It is this performance that led the Vermont Business and Industry Expo to honor Sonnax in May as its Exporter of the Year.The company makes automatic transmission components, including a governing device that Joseph designed around the time that Sonnax was launched.Joseph was unavailable for comment this week, but in an interview in April he attributed the company’s success partly to its recruitment of a multilingual sales staff. “Being able to speak to customers in their own languages helps us greatly in the markets where we want to be,” Joseph said then.He added that Sonnax was committed to staying in Vermont despite the difficulty of hiring locally for some positions. State economic development officials awarded Sonnax $725,000 in tax credits over five years in a successful attempt to persuade the company to expand in Vermont rather than in Tennessee, as it had considered doing. In return, Sonnax said it plans to add 75 workers in the next few years.The new owners told The Rutland Herald that they intend to sustain the company’s policy of paying livable wages. Harmon said no full-time worker makes less than $10 an hour, while the average annual salary exceeds $30,000.Joseph, 48, will stay on as a consultant for the next three years. In a prepared statement, he expressed satisfaction at having sold the business to Harmon and Bedard, “who I believe have the ability to take this company to the next level.”last_img read more

MAN DENIES KILLING ANOTHER MAN AT CO DONEGAL CHURCH CAR PARK

first_imgA man has pleaded not guilty at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin to the murder of another man at a church car park in Co Donegal in February, 2008.The court heard that Martin Kelly was part of a joint enterprise to lure Mr Andrew Burns, who lived in Strabane, Co Tyrone, to the car park at Donnyloop, Castlefin.The shooting was heard by a group of five young people from Clady, Co Tyrone who were walking in the area, he added. Martin Kelly (aged 36), a bus driver, of Barrack St, Strabane, Co Tyrone pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Andrew Burns (aged 27) at Donnyloop, Castlefin, Co Donegal on February 12, 2008.Opening the prosecution case, Mr O’Connell said that on the day of the murder, Mr Burns spent the day at the home of his elderly parents, three miles outside Strabane, and they dropped him back to the town around 6.45pm.A group of five young people from Clady in Co Tyrone, which is 1.4 kilometres from Donnyloop, were walking along the road just after 7pm.Two of them would give evidence that they heard two shots about 7.10pm.

They also saw a silver car drive in the direction of the car park then drive past them at high speed.Later they saw the body of Mr Burns on the road.

Some of the young people saw Mr Burns stumble on to the roadway, an ambulance was called and arrived at 7.35pm.Mr Burns was pronounced dead by a doctor at 7.58pm.A post mortem carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy established that Mr Burns was shot twice in the back, one shot hitting him in the left shoulder and the other in the middle of the right back.This second shot penetrated the aorta and Mr Burns lost a substantial amount of blood. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the trunk.Mr O’Connell told the court that Kelly was arrested in Milford, Co Donegal in February, 2010 and he was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station where he underwent 17 hours and 22 minutes of interviews by gardaí.Counsel said that Kelly made a number of statements to gardai and the court was told that the defence are challenging the admissibility of the alleged statements on the grounds that they were not made voluntarily.The trial is expected to last three weeks.EndsMAN DENIES KILLING ANOTHER MAN AT CO DONEGAL CHURCH CAR PARK was last modified: October 4th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:castlefinDonnyloopmurderlast_img read more