Executive Biographies

Steve Dehmlow


Steve Dehmlow has been Chairman and CEO of Synergy55 LLC. (and its predecessors), a privately-held company headquartered in suburban Chicago, since 1996 and CEO of Composites One LLC from 1999 to 2022. Synergy55 LLC. 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 (Polynt). 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 LLC. continues to provide administrative and operational support to Composites One. GLS Composites Distribution Corp. and Synergy55 LLC. 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.

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Leon Garoufalis

President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and CEO 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 CEO for Composites One, Garoufalis was COO for Composites One and 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.

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Al Dobbeck

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Al Dobbeck is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating 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.

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Dave Smith III

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.

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Harish Gally

Chief Information and Digital Officer

Harish Gally is the Chief Information and Digital Officer at Composites One. He has over 25 years’ IT experience in Wholesale Distribution and Manufacturing companies with global presence in a variety of leadership roles. He has led multiple Business Re-engineering and Digital Transformations in the process making organizations nimble and responsive to customer and supplier needs, in a fast-evolving marketplace. Most recently he led the transformation journey at Anixter where he was the CTO. He has a Bachelors in Accounting and an MBA specializing in MIS and Finance.

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Dave Forner

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.

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Naomi Saladin

Chief Human Resource Officer

Naomi Saladin is a seasoned human resources executive with over 25 years of experience spanning manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and technology sectors. As a strategic business partner, Naomi has a proven track record in HR strategy development and execution, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), talent acquisition, talent management, organizational design, learning and development (L&D), compensation, and change management.

Prior to joining Composites One as Chief Human Resources Officer in October 2023, Naomi held leadership roles at The Chamberlain Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., and Motorola, Inc. Throughout her career, she spearheaded various HR initiatives, navigated complex transitions, and fostered high-performance cultures.

Naomi holds a Master of Arts in Labor and Industrial Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Mark Chidley

Vice President of Operations

Mark Chidley began his career with Composites One in 1992, serving in a number of positions including Distribution Center Manager, Regional Inventory Manager, Regional Operations Manager, and Vice President of Aerospace. During this time, Mark also served as a part-time member of the Illinois National Guard, and then the Iowa National Guard. In May 2004, Mark left Composites One to pursue a lifelong passion to serve full-time in the Air Reserve Component of the United States Air Force, rising to the rank of Colonel. During his time in the Air National Guard, Mark held roles as an Intelligence Officer, Logistics Readiness Squadron Commander, Mission Support Group Commander, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group Commander, Vice Commander, and Wing Commander. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History & International Studies, and completed USAF Squadron Officer School (1997), USAF Air Command and Staff College (2004), and USAF Air War College (2011).

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Carlie Dobbeck

Vice President Operations Support

Carlie Dobbeck has been involved with the Company since 2008 and is now responsible for overseeing Operations Support. Operations Support focuses on Health, Safety, & Environment, as well as Quality, Import/Export, Contract Management, Insurance and Compliance. Prior to joining Composites One, she was a consultant for Oracle. Carlie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance with a Specialization in Supply Chain Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Brad Wilhite

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.

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Brian Jackson

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.

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Yves Gosselin

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.

Cynthia Tarka

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.

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