Executive Biographies

Steve Dehmlow is the CEO of Composites One LLC and the Chairman and CEO of Synergy55 Inc.

Steve Dehmlow has been Chairman and CEO of Synergy55 Inc. (and its predecessors), a privately-held company headquartered in suburban Chicago, since 1996 and has been CEO of Composites One LLC since 1999. Synergy55 Inc. provides administrative services to Composites One.

In 1999, Mr. Dehmlow engineered the formation of Composites One LLC, a joint venture initially owned by GLS Composites Distribution Corp. and Cook Composites and Polymers (now CCP Composites US). Created through the merger of three composites materials distribution companies in 1999 and expanded through additional acquisitions, Composites One has 32 stocking locations supplying composites materials to 9,000 customers manufacturing fiberglass reinforced plastics and composites for marine, consumer recreation, corrosion resistance, defense, and transportation applications.

In 2012, GLS Composites Distribution Corp. bought Cook Composites and Polymers’ interest in Composites One LLC and became sole owner. Synergy55 Inc. continues to provide administrative and operational support to Composites One. GLS Composites Distribution Corp. and Synergy55 Inc. are both owned by the Dehmlow family. Through several business entities, the Dehmlow family has been involved in plastics and chemicals distribution, manufacturing and transportation for four generations.

Prior to joining the family business in 1981, Mr. Dehmlow started his career with Shell Chemicals after earning a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tulane Univesity in 1978. He also has a Masters in Management from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.


Leon Garoufalis is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Composites One. As President and COO of Composites One, Leon Garoufalis has provided operating leadership since the company’s founding in 1999. Mr. Garoufalis guided the initial, successful merger of three distribution companies and the integration of five subsequent acquisitions of composites materials distributors over an 8-year period. Mr. Garoufalis has also provided industry leadership as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Composites Manufacturers Association. In 2012, Mr. Garoufalis received the ACMA’s Presidents Award for his industry contributions. Prior to being named COO for Composites One, Garoufalis was Vice President of Sales for GLS Composites Distribution Corporation. Mr. Garoufalis began his tenure with GLS Composites Distribution Corp. in 1988 as Resin Product Manager and held several positions in sales, marketing, and operations. Before joining GLS, Garoufalis was employed by Koppers Inc. where he sold polyester resins. He holds an MBA from Loyola University.


Dick Holland is the Vice President of Business Development for Composites One. He began his business career with Owens Corning Fiberglas in 1966 in San Francisco and later moved to Los Angeles and from there to Toledo, OH. In 1970, he relocated back to the LA area as Vice President of Sales for Kaiser Glass Fiber. In 1977, Holland went to work for the Erskine Johns Co. that later became part of CMI. CMI became part of the joint venture that formed Composites One in 1999.


Don Hairhoger is the Vice President of Operations for Composites One. With over 25 years of experience, Hairhoger began his career in the Industry in 1980 with Owens Corning as a sales rep in the Carolinas selling both resin and fiberglass reinforcements. He left OC in 1985 and started with Glascoat in the distribution business. He was employed as a sales rep for Glascoat in the Carolinas until 1988 and was then asked to become the sales manager for Glascoat. Glascoat was later purchased by Springs and became Clark Schwebel Distribution, which later became CMI. CMI became part of the joint venture that formed Composites One in 1999. Previously, Hairhoger has served as General Manager for both the South and West Regions at Composites One and most recently as Vice President – Asia.


Don Belock is the Eastern Canada General Manager for Composites One. Before joining Composites One, he spent 25 years with Ashland Distribution/Nexeo Solutions focused in composites as a Regional Operations Manager, Global Sourcing Director, Sales Director and Vice President of Marketing. Don earned his BS Mechanical Engineering degree from The Ohio State University.


Andy Flad is the Vice President Sales – Western Region for Composites One. He began his career in the composites industry in 1979 with Vetrotex in sales. In 1983, he joined GLS as a sales representative. In 1997, he became South Region Sales Manager and was then promoted to General Manager of the Great lakes Region in 1999. In 2001, he was named General Manager of the North Region, after Composites One combined both the Great Lakes and Northeast Regions to form one territory.


Walt Beaver is the Vice President Sales – Eastern Region for Composites One. He has over 24 years in the composites industry. He began his career in 1980 working as a sales representative in North Carolina with American Colors. He held positions of Sales Manager and Director of Operations before American Colors was purchased by CCP in 1992. With CCP he held the positions of Sales Manager-South Region and Director of Distribution. In 1999, he joined Composites One as South Region Sales Manager and was promoted to General Manager in 2004.


Dave Forner is the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. He began his career with the company in 1988 as the DC Manager for the Woodstock location. Since then he has held various positions including Regional Operations Manager, Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and Vice President– Asia before assuming his current role.

Mr. Forner holds an undergraduate degree from Illinois State University in Business Management and Organizational Communication. He later received an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.


Andy Bhojwani is the Chief Information Officer. He has extensive experience in Information Technology and Business Systems. For the last 12 years he has worked with two of the leading distributors in the Chicago area, W.W. Grainger and Essendant. Andy joins us from his role as Director, IT & Business Liaison for Essendant. Essendant has acquired many distribution businesses and has sales exceeding $5 billion. Andy’s role constantly expanded as he provided a wide range of systems support and services to a complex array of businesses. Andy earned his undergraduate degree from Northwood University in Midland MI and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.


Dave Smith III is the Director of Marketing for Composites One. He started with Composites One in 2008 as Composites One’s Power Generation Market Manager, and was the Central South Sales Manager prior to taking the Director of Marketing role in 2014. Before joining Composites One, Dave worked in various sales and management roles for Paychex and Composites One’s sister company, GLS Corporation. He also continues to work as the membership chair for ACMA’s Utility Composites Structure Committee. Dave earned his BA at Michigan State University.


Dwight Baker is the Vice President of Advanced Composites. He began his career in the composites industry in 1992 and has since held several positions in sales, sales management, and project management. Dwight joined Composites One as the Gulf Coast Sales Manager in 2005 and was named General Manager of the West Region in 2007. He began his tenure as General Manager of the Advanced Composites Team in 2010.


Marcy Offner is the Director of Marketing Communications for Composites One. She has held various marketing and public relations positions since graduating from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Journalism, including Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. She also began her career in marketing and communications for Sportmart, Inc. Serving on various ACMA commiitees, Ms. Offner is the Chairwoman for CAMX 2014. She was also named ACMA’s Volunteer of the Year at the COMPOSITES 2011 event.


Cynthia Tarka is the Director of Health, Safety & Environment at Composites One. She has twenty-four years in the HSE field, most of which was in manufacturing. Mrs. Tarka is also a OSHA Authorized Trainer and former US EPA consultant. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Illinois – Chicago.