ANDY STORM JOINS ECKHART & ASSOCIATES AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

LANSING, MI – August 4, 2015 – Eckhart & Associates, Inc. (“Eckhart”), a market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized ergonomic tools and solutions to automotive and industrial manufacturers, announced today it has named Andrew (“Andy”) P. Storm as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”).  Andy joined the company as its incoming CEO effective July 6, 2015.

A graduate fellow of MIT’s Leaders in Global Operations (“LGO”) program, Andy brings world-class academic credentials and best practices in global business, engineering and manufacturing.  He has assembled an extensive career track record in a variety of general management, commercial, engineering, procurement, operations and manufacturing roles at such global corporate leaders as General Motors, American Axle, Pratt & Whitney and Oshkosh Corporation.  Most recently, he served as General Manager of Automotive, Aerospace & Defense at Stratasys, the global leader in 3D printing, where he was responsible for expanding the use of 3D printing at industrial manufacturers around the world.  A Michigan native, Andy brings strong regional and professional connections in addition to distinguished global alumni and professional networks.  Andy earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Marketing from Michigan Technological University, a Master of Science in Engineering Systems from MIT’s School of Engineering and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. 

In June 2015, Eckhart & Associates was acquired by LFM Capital, a private equity firm focused on private lower middle market U.S. manufacturing and industrial services businesses with outstanding growth prospects. 

Dan Shockley, LFM Capital Managing Director, commented “LFM saw in Eckhart a strong, market niche leader of highly-engineered products with a world-class customer base in an industry experiencing growing demand and multiple end-market expansion opportunities.  A critical component of our diligence was identifying from LFM’s operating talent pool a next-generation leader able to unlock Eckhart’s full growth potential.  Andy’s vision, experience and track record represent the perfect fit.  A fellow MIT LGO grad, he brings the culture and experience behind continuous improvement processes to drive operational excellence.  He also brings strategic insight and connections in both existing and new Eckhart end-markets, having held executive leadership positions in automotive, aerospace and heavy industrials.  We believe that Andy’s leadership, in partnership with LFM’s direct operating experience implementing ergonomic improvement equipment across multiple industries, will allow Eckhart to efficiently and effectively grow into a successful global market leader.”
  
Commenting on his appointment, Andy Storm said “I am honored to join a strong and promising U.S. manufacturing market leader serving a distinguished Fortune 500 customer base in my native Michigan. Under the leadership of Rick Girth and Bob Breard, Eckhart’s dedicated and highly-skilled team has delivered high-quality turn-key solutions on-time with fully integrated controls, laying a solid foundation for future growth. Moreover, LFM’s recent commitment to Eckhart assures that the financial resources are there to fully grow the company in partnership with a private equity team of distinguished operators who directly know and understand our business.  Perhaps most important, was the recognition that Eckhart’s leadership, its employees and customers, and the LFM Capital team, all care deeply about American manufacturing in Lansing and the long term health and success of the company and the community.

“We are excited about Eckhart’s immediate growth potential in core and adjacent markets as well the company’s long-term market leader prospects.  Our focus will be to rapidly expand our solutions to agriculture, construction, aerospace and power sports markets, providing turn-key solutions with fully integrated controls that enable our industrial partners to capture improved workplace safety and production efficiencies that reduce costs and add tangible value to their operational footprints. Industrial manufacturing companies are increasingly focused on enhanced ergonomics, production and quality as a means of improving operations and controlling costs.  We believe that Eckhart will benefit from these trends and enjoy wide-open opportunities for end-market expansion,” Mr. Storm concluded.  

About Eckhart & Associates
Founded in 1974 and based in Lansing, Michigan, Eckhart & Associates (“Eckhart”) is an established market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized ergonomic tools and solutions to automotive and industrial manufacturers.  Eckhart offers a range of custom-engineered lift assists, torque reaction devices, fixtures, inspection equipment and workstations that improve workplace safety, increase manufacturing productivity and enhance product quality. The company serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), including GM, Ford, Tesla, Chrysler, John Deere, Bradford White and Caterpillar.  The company’s dedicated workforce consists of highly-skilled designers and engineers complemented by an experienced manufacturing team who operate in three company-owned facilities located in Lansing, MI. For additional information, please visit www.eckhartusa.com

About LFM Capital
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, LFM Capital, LLC (“LFM”) is a private equity firm focused on private lower middle-market U.S. manufacturing and industrial services companies with outstanding growth prospects.  LFM currently manages a $110 million private equity fund that targets lead or control investments in market-leading niche manufacturing and industrial services companies with enterprise values in the range of $15 to $75 million.  LFM was founded by a team of experienced and successful Fortune 50 global executive managers and private equity professionals who bring decades of management leadership, operating best practices, exceptional professional recruiting networks and a successful track record in lower middle-market investing.  LFM partners with management teams to drive business value through a combination of manufacturing and operations excellence, world-class executive management and targeted growth and expansion strategies.  For additional information, please visit www.lfmcapital.com


For further information, please contact:

Andy Storm, Chief Executive Officer                
Eckhart & Associates
astorm@eckhartusa.com
(517) 321-7700    

Dan Shockley, Managing Director
LFM Capital, LLC
dan@lfmcapital.com
(615) 209-9413


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