Lacks Enterprises appointed two co-chairs to its board of directors and added another board member.
Kentwood-based Lacks Enterprises said Thursday, Dec. 9, it appointed John Kennedy and Darren R. Jackson as board co-chairs and added Dan Bowen as a board member. The changes take effect Jan. 1.
The changes are part of the company’s succession plan and are being made in conjunction with the movement of Richard Lacks Jr. and Kurt Lacks to co-executive chairs, where they will provide executive oversight.
Ryan Lacks and K.V. Lacks, sons of Richard Lacks and Kurt Lacks, respectively, will work with the board as they are mentored to eventually become the fourth generation of the Lacks family to oversee the management of the company.
“John and Darren’s leadership experience will further advance Lacks’ strength in the automotive industry while helping to guide our efforts as we diversify into other markets,” Richard Lacks Jr. said. “Dan Bowen will provide great insight into market segments outside of automotive.”
The nonautomotive segment is an area Lacks Enterprises plans to emphasize in the future.
Kennedy previously served as president and CEO of Autocam Corporation, which he founded in 1988 and grew organically and through acquisition from $8 million to $400 million in sales. The company, which had 13 facilities in China, Brazil, Europe and the U.S., was sold to NN Inc. in September 2014.
He currently is president and CEO of Autocam Medical, a contract manufacturer of precision-machined implants and instruments for surgical applications, including bone screws and plates, surgical drivers, drill bits and other cutting instruments. Founded in 2005, Autocam Medical has grown to $150 million in revenue with 500 employees at its facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts, Tennessee, China and Brazil.
Jackson has held executive leadership roles for several major publicly held companies. From 2008 until his retirement in 2016, he was president and CEO of Advance Auto Parts, the second-largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in the U.S., which Forbes recognized as the “Best Managed Company in America” in the retail sector during his tenure.
Prior to Advance Auto Parts, he was employed from 2000-07 at Best Buy, where he was appointed executive vice president of finance and CFO in February 2001. He previously served as vice president and CEO of Nordstrom Full Line Department Stores, and he held various senior positions, including CFO, with Carson Pirie Scott & Company, a regional retailer where he was employed from 1989 to 1998.
Bowen is founder and CEO of Dempsey Ventures, which focuses on investments in medical device companies while also seeking opportunities in other business ventures, including real estate and professional sports. In 2021, Dempsey Ventures sold its majority stake in SunMed Group Holdings, an anesthesia and respiratory platform that includes several medical brands.
Dempsey Ventures acquires businesses in which it actively participates in the governance, operations and management. Before it was purchased by Dempsey in 2008, SunMed was a 30-employee distribution business. Through strategic acquisitions and new product development, Bowen and Dempsey Ventures grew SunMed to a 3,000-employee global organization with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and China.
Lacks produces décor trim component finish solutions for the automotive industry. Originally named Metlac Corporation, the company was founded in 1961 by John P. Lacks and his son, Richard Lacks Sr., to create die-cast products. The Lacks family changed the name of the business to Lacks Industries in 1972, and it eventually became Lacks Enterprises.
Lacks has more than 3,000 employees at facilities in greater Grand Rapids and Novi, as well as Germany, the U.K., Japan and South Korea. Its business units — Lacks Trim Systems, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems and Plastic Plate — specialize in applying Lacks’ finishes, production experience and testing capacity to meet the needs of its customers.
The company offers thermoplastic design, injection molding, chrome plating, painting, assembly, logistics and supply chain management, as well as global export and distribution capabilities.