Home    |     Investment Criteria    |    Founders    |    Contact
 

Founders

Chip Johns, Managing Director Operations

Chip is an entrepreneur with proven management and leadership experiences. Chip has built a company from start up to just under $20MM revenue through organic growth and acquisitions. Chip managed the sale of this company providing him and a financial partner with an exceptional ROI.

Chip was successful building the revenue side of Vanguard Sailboats through new product development, growing existing products, and executing three acquisitions. In order to both be prepared for and support the revenue growth Chip developed a highly motivated and dedicated management team in the finance, sales, marketing, and manufacturing areas. Vanguard became one of the leaders in its industry as a result of our collective efforts.

Prior to starting Vanguard, Chip worked in the defense electronics industry as an engineer and a program manager for a small company involved in the anti-submarine warfare business. Chip lead various teams in development and production projects and during his time as an engineer was granted a patent for conceiving and developing a plastic molded housing for electronics to be used in an ASW system.

Chip has served and currently serves in a variety of community and industry volunteer board level positions including CBC, a community based program for at risk youth, Sail America, the sailing industry association, and US Sailing and ISAF, the national and international governing bodies for the sport of sailing.

Lauri Union, Managing Director Strategy

Lauri is a veteran of the building products manufacturing industry. In 1992, Lauri took over Union Corrugating Company, a manufacturer of metal building products. At that time, Union Corrugating was a struggling business with $9MM in revenue. During her 14 years as President and CEO of the company, Lauri turned the business around from an underperforming minor industry player to an industry leader in customer service and product quality.

Lauri had a vision to create the best performing company in the industry. A critical part of that plan was to foster a company culture of honesty and fairness as a foundation for building the best employee team in the industry. With that vision, Lauri and her team built the business to over $110MM in revenue. In 2004, Lauri sold Union Corrugating to a private equity firm.

Lauri began her career at Bain and Company, management consultants, where she worked with to numerous Fortune 500 companies. She received a BA in Economics from Princeton University as well an MBA from Harvard Business School. Lauri currently sits on the boards of Union Corrugating Company and Carlisle Hardwood Flooring.

Lauri is active in her local community of Brookline, MA. She is an elected member of Brookline Town Meeting and has served on community related committees. You can read more about Lauri Union in the book “How She Does It”, by Margaret Heffernan and in two Union Corrugating cases published by the Harvard Business School.