Drake Automotive Group Announces Promotions

Drake Automotive Group, a Huron Capital Group portfolio company, has nearly tripled in size over the last year with the acquisition of Proforged (Los Angeles), RevWheel and DV8 Off-Road (Riverside, CA) and Addictive Desert Designs (Mesa, AZ), and is excited to announce the internal promotions of several individuals, effective August 1, 2019.

Bob DeGutes has been promoted from Director of Global Supply Chain to Vice President of Operations. Bob, an Ex-Marine and a Mechanical Engineer, started with Drake in September 2017 as Drake’s Research and Development Manager, and subsequently took over Drake’s Supply Chain in early 2018.

In his new role, Bob will be responsible for production and warehouse operations, but will continue the role of overseeing supply chain and R&D for Drake Automotive.   He will coordinate with all divisions to complete the operational systems integration and will be based in the Drake Las Vegas Distribution Center.

“Bob has been a tremendous asset to Drake, exponentially growing our new product pipeline by developing new supply channels and lanes. His knowledge of our business and his background will ensure our success as a world leader in aftermarket supply and distribution,” states Drake Automotive Group CEO, Keith Belair.

Chris Wagner has been promoted from Director of Sales to Vice President of Sales. Chris is a seasoned industry vet and was integral to the rapid growth of Transamerican Automotive Parts’ wholesale group.

Since Chris’ hire at Addictive Desert Designs in September 2017, he has more than doubled sales, and he has been the lead in executing Drake’s national distribution strategy, especially at Drake’s wheel brands and at DV8.

Based in the Mesa, Arizona distribution center, Chris’ primary focus will be on continuing Drake’s omni-channel strategy by cross-training and leveraging Drake’s brand managers and increasing customers’ awareness of the wide product array. A prominent aspect of this strategy will be a focus on WDs and engaging outside sales forces that work with WDs.

“I am glad to see Chris step up as the sales leader for all Drake Brands, as he has been a huge asset for us at ADD and will continue to do so for a much larger set of brands,” states Jared Hare, President of Addictive Desert Designs.

Susan Deadrick has been promoted to Director of Human Resources.  Originally hired as Account Receivable Coordinator in November 2014, Susan quickly took on additional human resources responsibilities in early 2017 and was essential in the HR integration on all acquisitions.

In an acquisitive environment, one of Susan’s goals in her new role will be increasing the profitability of the Company, via development and incorporation of a cohesive team environment between sales and operations.

Susan is a proponent of training and development as a means to enrich Drake’s employees, and has already instituted the Troy Drake Learning Center, which is named after the founder of Drake Automotive, Scott Drake’s, son, Troy.

“Getting the right people on board and in the right seats with the right tools: that has always been an objective of mine,” stated Ms. Deadrick.

Mr. DeGutes and Ms. Deadrick will report directly to Keith Belair and Chris Wagner will report jointly to Keith Belair and Jared Hare.

“At Huron, one of our fundamental philosophies has always been to invest in people and to build leaders, the internal promotions of these three critical pieces at Drake further shows our commitment,” states Mike Zukas, VP and Lead Portfolio Manager of the Drake Automotive Group acquisition.

Huron purchased Drake Automotive Group in late 2015 and has subsequently purchased several other companies under the Drake brand including Proforged, RevWheel, DV8 and Addictive Desert Designs.

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