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Pokagon Band acquires Portage company

Published 9:10pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mno-Bmadsen, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi economic development enterprise, Tuesday announced its acquisition of a Portage plastics engineering and tooling company.

Accu-Mold Inc., 7622 S. Sprinkle Road, is in its 35th year of business and specializes in metal to plastic conversions.

Mno-Bmadsen will continue to operate the business with 19 employees under its new subsidiary, Accu-Mold, LLC, with plans to add to the present CNC technology and skilled workforce.

Previous owner Dave Martin, who bought it in 1996, will remain with the company as president.

Mno-Bmadsen is the economic development enterprise chartered by the Pokagon Band to conduct all non-gaming, for-profit business for the tribe.

Organized as a diversified holding company, Mno-Bmadsen invests in and acquires new and existing companies within targeted industries, focused on long-term sustainability in purpose and profitability.

Its first subsidiary was Seven Generations Architecture and Engineering, LLC, opened from scratch in Benton Harbor last February.

“7GenAE” offers a Native American sustainability model blending centuries of tribal wisdom with leading-edge environmental technology to craft solutions lasting for generations. The name refers to the belief each generation is responsible to insure survival of the seventh generation.

Mno-Bmadsen operates from the business center of the former National Copper Products plant, 415 E. Prairie Ronde St., Dowagiac, according to President and CEO Troy Clay.

Clay, the former housing director, spent three years with the Seminole Tribe in Florida, served as Pokagon Band treasurer upon his return to the area and transitioned into economic development.

Clay said the Pokagon Band developed a long-term investment strategy to start and buy companies meeting tribal criteria, such as well-managed and profitable.

“We put feelers out with no geographic boundaries,” he said, describing Accu-Mold as potentially a “door to larger market opportunities” while diversifying the tribe’s Four Winds casino proceeds from New Buffalo, Hartford and, opening this year, Dowagiac.

Clay expects a “big impact” on the area in 2013 beyond the tribal economy through 8(a) federal contracting for minorities.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the tribe and the area,” Clay said. “We’re excited. Gaming has been great.”

Martin, 56, said Accu-Mold was not for sale — “successful companies tend not to” — but he was thinking about finding a “succession partner” over the next 10 years because his sons weren’t interested when the Pokagon Band approached him.

“They’re wonderful people,” Martin said, “with a great long-term vision. They’re not Wall Street bankers” motivated solely by profit, but financially secure with a definite mission statement to invest in technology and to grow the business.

“They’re doing it in a very smart way,” Martin said.

Martin said when previous owners retired and he acquired Accu-Mold, it relied on two customers, so he focused on diversifying into medical, automotive and oil field development markets in a wide geographic area, from California to Canada.

Accu-Mold’s conversion process makes for lighter airplanes and cars.

A plastic manifold, for example, yields better gas mileage.

Accu-Mold makes patentable designs for parts to give customers advantage in their marketplaces.

Martin thinks part of plastic’s appeal to the Pokagon Band includes “it’s still growing and is not a threat to the economy because it can be ground up into new parts.”




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