It was the “concentration of hardworking and dedicated” individuals that brought a new company to Defiance this year.
The Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) of Defiance County held its investors appreciation reception on Wednesday at the Second Story in Defiance. The guest speaker was Jake Peters, general manager of DECKED. Peters talked about the company and why it was attracted to Defiance for its new facility.
DECKED, which designs and manufactures truck and van deck and drawer storage systems, has signed a 10-year lease for half of the spec building. The Defiance DECKED plant employs 10 people currently.
“We have opened the facility on Elliott Road,” said Peters. “We started shipping last week.”
The company, which is headquartered in Ketchum, Idaho, is about four and a half years old. Company officials decided to have a facility in Defiance because of all the local suppliers, including B&B Molded Products, 20/20 Custom Plastics. Dyco Manufacturing and Pro-Pak Industries and others.
“Northwest Ohio is a godsend for us when we try to make these (storage systems),” Peters said. “Our product is 100 percent made in America and 90 percent made in northwest Ohio.”
DECKED’s storage systems are sold at 2,000 dealers across the nation and globe including in places like Mexico, Chile, Germany, Italy, Australia and the United Kingdom. In fact, Peters said he would be leaving shortly for Dubai to get the systems going there.
Peters said the company is working on making new products. Company officials credit its success and ability to look at new products for the vendors they have in the region.
“We would not be successful at all without the vendors we have in northwest Ohio,” he said. “It’s inconceivable for us to do this somewhere else. ... I really commend you. We have what our customers want, thanks to you. We’re not trying to be a good little company — we’re trying to build a good, big company.”
On its webpage, DECKED refers to the Defiance facility as its new state-or-the art facility which handles shipping, receiving, assembly, quality control and warranty issues.
“We’re really happy to be here,” Peters said.
Also at the event, CIC board president Jeff Starner thanked all the investors for their support.
“I hope you’re seeing the fruits of your labor,” he said. “We have hired a workforce development manager through your investment. We’ve been doing a lot to address that need.”
Starner also praised Jerry Hayes, executive director of the Defiance County Economic Development Office, for his leadership.
Hayes also said the CIC, which is possible through a private/public partnership, is blessed to receive the support it has from the community, as well as public leaders. The turnout at the investors’ reception was the best the CIC has ever had, he said.
“2018 is going to prove to be a great year in Defiance County,” Hayes said, mentioning several expansion projects underway. “There are some big things we are working on now.”
He also pointed out that plans are now in the construction phase for the new Credit Adjustment headquarters on the new Geneva Boulevard. Hayes also noted that the Harmon Group is busy working with civil engineers for infrastructure at the new Harmon Business Park of Defiance.