4M is dedicated to executing the commercialization plan to provide long-term shareholder value.
Chief Executive Officer
Rob Klawonn assumed the role of CEO on May 1, 2018, succeeding Josh Kimmel, who held the position for a year. Klawonn’s expertise, knowledge, and network in the carbon fiber industry will help to ensure 4M maximizes the value of the technology.
For the past 10 years, Mr. Klawonn was President of Teijin Carbon America (formerly Toho Tenax America) and since 2015, he was also President of Diversified Structural Composites, a Teijin subsidiary producing various pultruded components for the Wind Energy and Industrial sectors. He served on the ACMA (American Composites Manufacturers Association) Board of Directors from 2015-2017.
Rob has extensive international experience, forming multi-level corporate relationships in the highly competitive materials industries of iron and steel and carbon fibers. He has progressively demonstrated superior management techniques in the design and implementation of global programs which improved licensing, marketing, accounting, manufacturing and technology/product development activities, resulting in increased sales and higher levels of market penetration as well as corporate profitability.
Josh Kimmel serves as President of 4M Carbon Fiber Corporation and as a Director. Kimmel has 20 years of executive level expertise in multiple sectors including public company finance, private equity and large scale commercialization. In addition, Josh holds multiple patents related to vaporization and other alternative inhalation delivery methods for dispensing medications that include advanced device security technologies. Kimmel is experienced in commercializing concepts, brand development and digital marketing to turn ideas into a profitable and sustainable business. Kimmel’s catalyst to achieve a high level of success was his tenure with mentor Mr. Harold Katz, the founder of Nutri systems, prior owner of the NBA Champion 76ers, and LA Weight Loss who instilled his core value that losing is not an option.
Dr. Truman Bonds (41) currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer and Director of 4M Carbon Fiber Corp. In addition, he serves as the President of RMX Technologies. At 4M, he oversees the transfer of core plasma technology invented by RMX and leads the design and manufacturing work for the successful commercialization of its plasma oxidation technology.
Prior to this he served as the Vice President of Research and Development at RMX Technologies, LLC where his duties included leading the experimental research group and operations focused on developing new technologies based on proprietary plasma technology from November/2011 to December/2016. From January/2017 to present, he began serving as President at RMX Technologies, LLC where his duties expanded to general company leadership, growth, and new product development. Dr. Bonds is leading the effort to develop new carbonization and surface treatment technologies for carbon fiber production, both of which are in partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Rodney Grubb serves as the Chairman and COO of 4M Carbon Fiber Corp. Grubb has more than 32 years of experience in operations and project management, energy and facility management and upgrade, program development and implementation, technology development and transfer, strategy and business development, engineering management, and staffing and administrative functions.
Rodney holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and did doctoral work in Engineering Management at the University of Alabama. He is a Tennessee Registered Professional Engineer and has received Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute and Professional Engineering Manager Certification from the American Society for Engineering Management.
Doug Mentzer (43), Vice President of Finance and Director for 4M, is a financial advisor, educator, and speaker, and currently serves as President of The Mentzer Group, LLC, a full-service, independent investment advisory firm located in Knoxville, TN. Mr. Mentzer’s duties include financial planning and investment supervisory services, as well as business planning, development, management, and operations. Doug teaches financial classes through the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning, and his financial presentations have been widely attended all over Tennessee.
Mr. Mentzer has received the Certified Funds Specialist and Certified Income Specialist designations from the Institute of Business and Finance, and is a member of the National Ethics Association. The Mentzer Group is a Registered Investment Advisor and insurance agency. Doug founded The Mentzer Group in 2008, and prior to that served as an investment advisor for Brogan Financial, Inc. from 2004 to 2008.
Mr. Mentzer is a founder and board member of RMX Technologies and was instrumental in fundraising and commercialization of the plasma oxidation technology.
Paresh currently co-leads the Mexichem transformation process along with the new CEO. He also sits on the Advisory Board of Directors of Wavin and Netafim and serves as Chairman of the Board for Dura-Line. Paresh was promoted to the role of President of Mexichem’s Fluent Business Group in January 2016, uniting Wavin (HQ in the Netherlands), Dura-Line (HQ in the US) and Amanco (HQ in Latin America).
Before its acquisition by Mexichem in September 2014, Paresh was CEO of Dura-Line, for over 18 years. His prior experience includes executive roles at AT&T, Emerson and Halliburton. Paresh has an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, master’s degree and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. He completed executive education programs at Northwestern and Harvard and completed the Directors’ College at Stanford in 2013.
Paresh ran Dura-Line for over 18 years. He expanded business from $65M to nearly $650M under 3 private equity firms and led a successful sale to Mexichem at a 11.3x multiple for $630M. Paresh expanded Dura-Line, a US-based business, into Europe, Latam and Asia and appointed strong global leaders. From 2016 – 2018, Paresh ran a $4B global business integrating 4 companies acquired over time with divergent cultures and geographies. Amanco in Latin America, Wavin in the Netherlands, Dura-Line in the US and Netafim in Israel.
• 2013 – Attended Stanford Directors College – Certification
• Since 2018 – Board Member of 4M Carbon Fiber (start-up)
• Advisory Board of Onward Capital (private equity)
• Since 2016 – Advisory Board of Wavin ($2.5B) and Netafim ($1.0B)
• Since 2018 – Chairman of Dura-Line
Currently Co-Chair of the steering committee with the new CEO to transform Mexichem, a $6B+ company, from a Mexico-based company with limited global expertise traded on the Mexican stock exchange to become a truly global player in 2019. This includes reorganization along vertical markets, driving innovation, talent development, simplifying policies and processes to drive agility and digital transformation.
The process is expected to transform Mexichem into a purpose-driven, future-fit business with a new name and global identity by 2019.
Business Development / Top-Line & Bottom-Line
• Significant experience in both acquisitions and JVs
• Organic growth through greenfields, new product launches, expansions into new territories, etc.
• Streamlined $4B+ business in 2017
Separated front and back office
Reduced overhead by 7%
Turned Latam ($1.3B) business from 5% EBTIDA margin business to 17% EBITDA in one year
Dura-Line which was acquired in 2014 for $630M has doubled its EBITDA in 4 years ($1.3B at same EBITDA multiple)
Mentoring and Coaching
• Developed and coached several leaders in various regions around the world over the years
• Drove a senior leadership training program in conjunction with the University of Tennessee School of Business
• Coached and mentored colleagues at all levels over the years and fostered teamwork
Board Member Garo Artinian is President and CEO of Artinian Holding, a global business advisory.
Prior to his board appointment, Mr. Artinian served as the chairman and CEO of Draka Holding NV, a publicly traded company, from 2003 to 2006. There, he helped grow revenues to more than three billion euros by restructuring the company’s debt, reorganizing its operations into a leaner and more focused structure, and expanding sales in key international markets. He also completed a joint venture with Alcatel, creating the second largest communications wire and cable company in fiber and copper worldwide. Guided by Mr. Artinian’s strategic vision, the venture successfully integrated several acquisitions. Together, these actions drove positive cash flows, improved collaboration between divisions and management, and in effect, turned the business around. In 2006, Mr. Artinian retired from Draka and launched Artinian Holding, which specializes in supporting CEOs as they expand and integrate their businesses. Since then, he has served on the boards for Domaille Engineering, TPC Group, and Dura-Line, which was acquired by Mexichem in 2014.
4M’s Vice President of Projects, Mike Agentis has over 30 years of contracts, construction, operations and project management experience including extensive experience in large construction projects. His experience includes management of design-build, manufacturing plant construction, electrical and mechanical upgrades, building erection and refurbishment. He managed numerous multi-million dollar projects and business units with responsibility for budget, cost and schedule control, safety and regulatory compliance, quality assurance and business development.
Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His experience includes positions as Vice President and General Manager for NSC Energy Services Corporation, President of TPG Applied Technologies and Owner and Manager of 1St Contracts Management, LLC, and PAS-COY, LLC. Mr. Agentis spent the last four years supporting Government Contractors managing and negotiating contract changes for multi-billion dollar contracts.
4M CFO Erwin Vahlsing is an accomplished financial executive with strong operational experience in both domestic and international organizations. He has managed finance departments in the manufacturing, service, and construction sectors. Mr. Vahlsing has proven his abilities in strategic planning, critical decision making, identifying cost-effective solutions, and developing highly creative financial solutions to turn around underperforming units and products.
Mr. Vahlsing has been the President of XBRL Associates for the last six years, providing outsourced CFO services to smaller public companies and companies intending to “go public.” His services include preparation of projections, financial modeling, financial statements, reports, and filings, as well as interfacing with SEC auditors and legal counsel to assure the quality and timeliness of all current reports (such as 10K, 10Q, and 8K SEC filings).
Mr. Vahlsing has held executive-level financial positions continuously since 1999, and controller-level positions since 1983 — all for companies with $2 million to $80 million in revenue. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree (concentration in Finance) from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Connecticut.