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New CEO shoots for expansion

Rochester Business Journal
September 28, 2012

See correction below:

Entering new markets and securing long-term growth are top priorities for Crosman Corp. and its new leader.
 
Phil Dolci, president and CEO, said investing in equipment that will streamline processes at the facility in East Bloomfield, Ontario County, is a key to meeting those goals.
 
Dolci, 44, was named Crosman's chief executive in late July, replacing Kenneth D'Arcy, who had led the company since 2001. The change in leadership was the result of succession planning, company leaders said.
 
Crosman is in good shape, Dolci notes. He declined to disclose sales but said revenue is up, year-over-year. The company has 303 employees, up from 246 employees last year, as well as 100 temporary workers. Crosman ranked 23rd on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of manufacturers.
 
"We have the opportunity to improve what we do, but this is not a broken business," he said. "We will build upon our past successes to help make the company grow."
 
Dolci has been on the job roughly two months and said there have been no major changes in operations. He noted that the head of operations is retiring and a search for his replacement has begun.
 
Crosman manufactures and markets more than 50 models of air-gun rifles and pistols as well as accessories such as BBs, pellets and targets. Its clients are retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kmart Corp. and sporting goods stores.
 
The company is one of Ontario County's largest employers and ranked sixth on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of exporters, with goods totaling $10.8 million exported last year.
 
In 2010, Wellspring Capital Management LLC, a private equity firm from New York City, purchased a majority interest in the company. Alexander Carles, a partner at Wellspring, said Dolci's business management experience is an asset for Crosman.
 
Dolci said, "I've been a consumer products guy my whole life."
 
He is an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Chicago in economics.
 
Dolci, who lived in Cincinnati, recently bought a home in Victor.
 
He was most recently CEO of the Jarden Corp.'s Leisure and Entertainment Group and president of the U.S. Playing Card Co., a division of Jarden. With its headquarters in Rye, Westchester County, Jarden has more than 23,000 employees worldwide and logs annual sales of $6.7 billion.
 
Dolci also served as vice president with Sanford L.P., a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., where he contributed to the growth of brands such as Sharpie and Expo. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in the food industry at ConAgra Foods Inc., Dean Foods and Kraft Foods Inc.
 
In addition to investing in new equipment, Dolci said, Crosman will work to expand into new markets and geographic areas. A challenge on that end is keeping up with the regulations that vary by state and country.
 
Crosman has made a big push to expand its business in Europe. A team based in Denmark is dedicated to its European business.
 
The firm also plans to continue to invest in new product development and focus on consumer education. Crosman typically introduces up to 20 new products annually.
 
Over the past few years, Crosman has added airsoft products and high-end break-barrel products-air guns with a barrel that tips down at a hinge for loading-and expanded into new markets such as hunting, military and online retail.
 
Dolci said the focus is on making products that are interesting, noting customers are always looking for new and exciting offerings.
 
"The business can be more than it is today, and it will be," he said.

9/28/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.

Correction appeared in Oct. 5, 2012 issue:
Crosman Corp.'s local employment over the past year has remained relatively flat, with roughly 300 workers.


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