CEO of Composites One LLC
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, 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 44 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.
In 2019, Dehmlow was awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Composites Manufacturing Association(ACMA).
Prior to joining the family business in 1981, 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.
President and Chief Operating Officer
As President and COO of Composites One, Leon Garoufalis has provided operating leadership since the company’s founding in 1999. 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. Garoufalis has also provided industry leadership as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Composites Manufacturers Association. In 2012, 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. 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.
Chief Financial Officer
Al Dobbeck is the Chief Financial Officer for Composites One. Al has been with the Company for 8 years serving as Controller and CFO. Prior to joining Composites One, he spent 6.5 years at Deloitte with his last position as Audit Senior Manager. Al earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Masters of Accountancy from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Vice President of Marketing
Dave Smith III started with Composites One in 2008 as Composites One’s Power Generation Market Manager with a focus on establishing Composites One’s position in the Wind Energy market. In 2012, he took a role in Sales Management and led Composites One’s Central South region before moving into his role as Director of Marketing in 2014. In 2017, Smith became Vice President of Marketing. Before joining Composites One, Smith worked in various regional and global sales and management roles for Paychex and Composites One’s sister company, GLS Corporation. He also continues to serve and provide support to various Composites Industry committees. Smith earned his B.B.A. at Michigan State University.
Vice President of Advanced Composites
Dwight Baker began his career in the composites industry in 1992 and has since held several positions in sales, sales management, and project management. Baker 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.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Dave Forner 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 General Manager, Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and Vice President– Asia before assuming his current role.
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
Sharon Hansen has over 37 years of experience in a wide variety of Human Resources roles in the Service, Manufacturing and Distribution industry sectors. She has led the Human Resources function for Composites One since 2007 and was named Vice President of Human Resources in 2014. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Psychology/minor, Business Administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and attended the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Vice President of Operations for Composites One
With 35 years of experience in the Composites Industry, Don 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 joined Glascoat in the composites 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 Reg as well as the President of Composites One China and now currently has held the VP of Operations position since 2011.
Vice President Sales – Western Region
Brad Wilhite is Vice President of Sales at Composites One and leads commercial activities throughout the Western US, Western Canada, and Mexico. He began his career with the company in 2008, and has held positions here in Sales, Sales Leadership, and more recently served as Business Process Lead for our SAP Sales Cloud and Hybris Commerce solutions development. In 2006, Brad began his career in composites working for Owens Corning as Area Sales Manager, West. Throughout his 20-year career in Sales, Marketing and Category Management, Brad has specialized in Distribution and developing new business through channel partnerships. Wilhite earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Marketing from California State University.
Vice President Sales – Eastern Region
Brian Jackson is the Vice President of Sales, Eastern Region for Composites One. He has been in the composites industry for 10 years between Ashland Distribution / Nexeo Solutions and Composites One where he held various positions, including Sr. Product Line Manager (Resin & Gelcoat), Market Manager (Resin & Gelcoat), as well as Sales Manager for the Ohio Valley Region. Prior to entering the composites industry, Jackson spent 10+ years in the automotive industry working in various supply chain and corporate account manager roles for an OEM, as well as tier one. Jackson holds an undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in Supply Chain Management and later went on to earn his MBA.
Eastern Canada General Manager
Yves Gosselin was recently appointed General Manager for Composites One Canada ULC in Eastern Canada following the acquisition of Polynt Composites Canadian distribution business. Prior to joining Composites One, Gosselin worked as General Manager for Polynt Composites Canada Inc. from 2014-2019 overseeing commercial activities of five Canadian locations and oversaw operations of two manufacturing sites. In 2014, ahead of Polynt’s acquisition of CCP Composites he worked as a branch manager for CCP & Progress Plastics and Compounds in Canada. He spent 14 years working as Canadian Regional & Sales Manager for ITW’s Performance Polymers group located in Danvers MA coming to them from a leading Canadian Industrial Distributor where he worked in sales and as a Branch Manager for more than 15 years.
Director of Marketing Communications
Marcy Offner has worked in 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. Since her tenure in the composites industry began, she has served on various ACMA committees from Marketing to the CAMX Steering Committee. Offner is the Chairwoman for CAMX 2020, a position she has held previously. She was also named the ACMA Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
Director of Health, Safety & Environment
Cynthia Tarka has 24 years in the HSE field, most of which was in manufacturing. 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.
In This Section
- Composites One Forms Alliance with 3M Aerospace to Distribute Film Adhesives and Primers to Aerospace Market