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Next generation takes helm at Victor firm


(Photo by Kimberly McKinzie)

 

The second generation of a local contract machining firm has taken the helm of the business.

Yvette Pagano has become CEO and majority owner of CAR Engineering & Manufacturing Inc. in Victor.

She expects the firm—marking its 30th year in business—to see an increase in annual sales in 2016, driven by additional work from its current customer base, as well as the addition of new customers.

CAR specializes in precision metal stamping, computerized numerically controlled machining and tool making. The firm has roughly 50 employees.

Its customers range from startups to Fortune 500 companies in fields such as medical, automotive, optical, material handling, building trades and small appliance.

While some 40 percent of its customers are in Western New York, goods are shipped from its 37,000-square-foot facility across the United States and around the world, including Canada, China, Europe and Mexico.

The business was founded in 1986 by Charles Rogers, who retired in December. Pagano is Rogers’ daughter.

“Building a business is a privilege and almost impossible to do without the support of friends, good employees and the entire business community,” Rogers wrote in a letter announcing his retirement.

Added Pagano, “I have some big shoes to fill, but we had a good succession plan in place and the rollout has gone well.”

The ownership change allows CAR to apply for the Certified Woman Owned Business designation, she added.

In addition to Pagano’s new role as chief executive, Brian Rumsey, formerly vice president of operations, became a minority owner and president.

Pagano said the succession plan had been in place for several years, which has resulted in a smooth transition.

She has worked at CAR since 2006. She previously worked for Ford Motor Co. and Norm Marshall & Associates Inc., an entertainment marketing agency in Los Angeles. At CAR, she has held several roles, including sales and managing manager, vice president of operations and president.

Pagano, who earned her MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., enjoys the marketing side of the business and interacting with customers. Rumsey handles the internal company operations.

Pagano’s goal is to be the face of the company while growing its top line, she said.

The firm’s revenues are divided evenly between CNC machining and metal stamping. The latter includes multi-slide stamping, a process that uses less material than the traditional punch press.

Sales were roughly $9 million in 2015, comparable to 2014. Pagano is projecting an increase in revenue this year, with growth projected in markets including automotive and electrical.

Pagano noted Rogers is still available to provide insight into the business. Among the things she learned from him was his respect for, and dedication to, CAR’s employees.

Finding skilled workers is a continual challenge, noted Pagano, who is active in the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise and the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association. The two groups place an emphasis on training a manufacturing workforce.

CAR offers an apprenticeship program, she said.

Matthew Ricotta, Parlec Inc.’s director of product marketing, said his firm has worked with CAR for the past five years. CAR supplies a key sub-assembly to the majority of Parlec’s tool measuring and inspection products.

CAR provides quality products in a timely manner, Ricotta said.

“They are always working with us to fulfill our current demands, Ricotta said. “We can count on them to come through during times when our customers are placing extra-high demands on us.”

1/29/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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