Posts Tagged ‘Esposito’

Frank Esposito Enjoys Kendon Gig

April 26, 2009

These Are Happy Times After Pain of Global/Custom Chrome

Frank Esposito, perhaps best known for playing top roles at two of this industry’s largest distribution companies, today is relaxed and having fun as president of Kendon Industries, a small California trailer manufacturer that produces a line of motorcycle lifts and unique folding trailers.

He joined the Anaheim company in January after having been dropped by Global Motorsports Group (GMG) last summer as the company reorganized under new ownership after stumbling out of messy bankruptcy proceedings.

Frank Esposito

Frank Esposito

GMG had been owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP, the cutthroat New York-based international investment group and had struggled with inventory and cash shortages for many years under GMG management.

Esposito had joined Global as president in August 2002 and spent six tough, grinding years trying to balance the needs of suppliers and dealers under Cerberus’s tight-fisted management. His sudden termination last summer came as a surprise to many in the industry, who thought he would play a leading rule for the Global companies as they limped ahead under new ownership.

“I want to recognize the vendors who supported me at Global,” says Esposito. “Kendon was at the top of the heap; they carried receivables that were immense, and we about killed them and many other vendors.”

Despite his pain at Global, Esposito says he has no regrets about the experience. “It was an incredible education,” he says. “It was a first-hand look at evil and corruption, and I’m very proud that I was instrumental in getting vendors paid.”

One of the first calls Esposito received following news of his departure, was from long-time friends Ken and Tina Thurm, who offered him a job in their small, family-owned company. The small trailer business was a long step from the much larger international GMG operation, and the Thurms were somewhat hesitant to offer Esposito a job.

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Let’s Get Started

January 22, 2009

Welcome to Minnesota Man’s blog.

I’ve done plenty of writing over the years—starting with an old Royal upright typewriter— so I’m excited to see how this new venue works. I’ll be writing about the business of motorcycles— building them and marketing them and selling them around the world, from Santa Anna, Calif., to Shanghai, China. And I’ll be writing about all of the related businesses associated with motorcycles— dealerships, and OEMs, and aftermarket manufacturers and distributors. You name it.

I won’t be writing much about the mechanical aspects of motorcycling because I’m really not very good at that. In fact, my wife doesn’t even want me to have tools around the house. After 41 years of wedded bliss, she knows that I generally hurt myself or break something when I get involved in “handyman” projects.

So, I’ll be writing about the people of motorcycling and the business trends and events that I see.

I’ll also be analyzing and questioning news items that I read and tidbits that I pick up during my editing duties for Dealersnews magazine. I write a monthly column for the magazine and I post items on the http://www.dealernews.com website. I’ll be talking to OEMs, dealers, and other folks who work in the industry. And I’ll be talking with customers, as well, to discover what makes them happy and not so happy.

I’ll be about writing about interesting people I meet and about business activities—some will impress me and others will puzzle me, especially the way they do—or don’t— provide customer service.

I’ll be writing about people such as my friend Frank Esposito who has been named president of Kendon Industries, Inc., the Anaheim manufacturer of motorcycle trailers and related equipment. I haven’t talked with Frank about Kendon, since he just took the spot. But I’ll catch up with him soon. Frank spent a number of years in top spots at Custom Chrome and Tucker Rocky.

I’ll also be writing about information that’s developed by my friends at Power Products Marketing (PPM), a Minneapolis research firm that tracks production and retail sales figures of powersports products in North America. Many of the trends these guys identify are truly astounding, especially as they apply to non-MIC companies.

And I’ll comment on published reports from sources like websites and blogs, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist magazine, analyst reports, SEC filings, PPM reports, motorcycle trade and consumer mags and Chinese newspapers and news sources.

I’ll be posting a couple of times each week.

Oh, and I’ll certainly be writing about items that you bring to my attention. Remember, this isn’t a one-way communications street; I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

That’s enough promises and enough words for the first time out. Let’s get started; meet me here again tomorrow. Thanks for your interest. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com. Thanks