Twenty years ago Thursday, May 1, Bob and Karen Long closed the deal to purchase Cape Coral-based fiberglass tooling company Marine Concepts, from industry veteran Kiko Villalon.
The company primarily offered services to the boat building industry, but a full-on push to diversify (under parent company JRL Ventures Inc) in the early and mid 2000s was extremely successful and now includes engineering and tooling assistance to the U.S. military, fast food restaurant chains, theme parks, recreational vehicles and the aerospace industry.
Substantial growth prompted the purchase of an additional facility in Sarasota, where many "ex-boat builders" were put back to work. Over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 200+ engineers, tech support and customer services specialists are available to take on more work and production slots are filling fast for 2014.
When purchased by the Longs, Marine Concepts had 13 employees, zero computers and one half-empty plant. Through smart investments, loyal customers and top-notch employees in every role, the company is now the largest operator of high tech CNC robotic equipment in Florida.
"We would like to thank all of the companies that have supported us through our 20 years of historic changes and growth, and look forward to the next 20 years," said JRL/MC President Matt Chambers.
Marine Concepts is at 2443 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral. For more information, call 239-283-0800.