Just months after his company was bought out by Rapid Design Service Inc., Patrick G. Kirby has taken over as chief executive officer, president and a board member of the bigger business. That move gives him responsibility for day-to-day operations, plus the job of integrating Rapid Design with his former employer, PGK Services Inc., and its division, PGK Engineering, along with other recent acquisitions.
Former Rapid Design CEO Richard Tschirhart and President David Byker are now co-chairmen of the board, concentrating on the business's future strategies.
In addition to PGK, Rapid Design recently has purchased CKGP and Associates of Southfield, Mich., and the contract-staffing business of Troy, Mich.-based Hawtal Whiting Inc.
All of the purchases, combined with other joint ventures, make Rapid Design a company that can design new products, help lay out a factory to produce them, build the injection molds and run prototype pieces, Kirby said.
"We have the total capability of everything from a clean piece of paper through the production cycle," he said in a telephone interview May 8.
Rapid Design should ring up about $300 million in sales this year, with more than 4,000 employees and 39 offices in nine countries. It also will move its corporate office from Dayton, Ohio, to suburban Detroit to get closer to automakers and Tier 1 suppliers.
"That's the excitement and the reason why we merged ourselves together," Kirby said.
Rapid Design expects to announce an exact site for its headquarters, now designated only as "northern Oakland County," sometime this summer.
Kirby created and ran Megatech Engineering Inc., a plastic engineering house that was eventually bought by Becker Group Inc. He left Becker as an executive vice president in 1997 to launch PGK of Sterling Heights, Mich.
By the time Rapid Design bought PGK, the company was a 150-employee designer of plastic interior and exterior systems and the owner of production and prototype injection toolmaker Centennial Mold Inc.
As president and CEO, Kirby will integrate the engineering and design programs at Rapid Design with PGK, CKGP's specialties in laying out efficient manufacturing facilities, and the contract engineers and designers who previously worked for Hawtal Whiting.
The business also has launched a joint venture with Internet development company Control Room Technologies Inc. of Lansing, Mich., to offer improved business-to-business computer relations.
Control Room, led by Jason Schriber, specializes in helping established businesses improve their skills with the changing Internet-based economy.
"The integration of all this into our business units will give us many possibilities [for electronic-based solutions]," Kirby said.
Future plans also include development of a vehicle platform design engineering center in Troy.
CKGP co-founder Michael Cleaver also joined Rapid Design as executive vice president of process and equipment.
Other management appointments are: Gregg Baumbach, chief financial officer; Gary Carson, executive vice president of diversified and international business; James Lambert, executive vice president of vehicle platform design engineering; Chris O'Brien, executive vice president of facilities and construction design engineering; Daryl Patriskoff, vice president of in-client services; and Scott VanPopering, executive vice president of human resource development and administration.