Leon Garoufalis is the president and COO for Composites One. He began his tenure with GLS Composites Distribution Corporation (later part of the joint venture forming Composites One) in 1988 as a resin product manager. Over the past 22 years he has held various sales, marketing, operations and executive management positions. Just prior to being named president and COO for Composites One, Garoufalis was vice president of sales for GLS Composites Distribution Corporation.
What is your focus and how does that apply to the composites industry?
Our focus is entirely on serving manufacturers in the composites industry. We provide a wide array of products, technical support and value-added services. We serve just about every composites sector, with our greatest concentration of customers in traditionally larger composites segments such as marine, transportation and construction. Even with that, our concentration of business is broadly based and we continue to work on diversification by pursuing emerging market opportunities.
What trends do you see from 2010 to 2011?
Trends vary from market to market. We all know that construction will take time to recover. Marine has shown a strong recovery in 2010 and we expect it to continue on a positive path in 2011. Transportation also experienced a recovery in 2010 and that should continue this year as well. Sustainability – more broadly referred to as “green” – is a trend that is now entrenched. We are well positioned in the composites industry to address many applications that contribute to reducing weight in transportation to conserve fuel, producing clean and/or renewable energy, providing opportunities for material recycling and constructing long-lasting structures. A more robust GDP will also contribute greatly to composites growth because of the diversity of composites applications and segments across our economy.
What applications is your company focused on currently?
We are focused on many applications because of the diversity of our customer base. Over the past several years we have developed a strong capability in closed mold as manufacturers look to convert from open mold processes. We’ve taken a leadership role in many aspects of closed mold, including the creation of the Closed Mold Alliance. We’ve focused on wind energy and other energy applications where composites are ideal, such as clean coal and emerging tidal and wave applications. We’re also seeing more applications for advanced composites.
Why focus on closed molding?