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USA: Automotive Supplier Rapid Design Service Restructures To Emerge as a Leading Full Service Supplier

By just-auto.com editorial team | 9 May 2000

Rapid Design Service Inc. (RDS) a major global supplier of engineering and design services announces the appointment of Patrick G. Kirby as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Member of the Board. Former CEO Richard Tschirhart, with RDS since 1973 and former President, David Byker, with RDS since 1980 have been elected RDS Co- Chairmen of the Board, and will concentrate on future strategic opportunities for the company. This announcement initiates strategic plans on behalf of RDS to emerge as a leading, global, full-service supplier to the automotive and commercial markets.

Within the past year, Rapid Design Service has merged with PGK Services, PGK Engineering, and Centennial Mold, former companies privately held by Patrick Kirby. PGK and Centennial Mold offer the core expertise of full product development engineering and prototype tooling. In addition, RDS has merged with CKGP and Associates, a manufacturing facilities and plant layout organization, and has acquired the in-client staffing business from local engineering firm Hawtal Whiting. Through a recent joint venture with Control Room Technologies (CRT), an e-commerce company, RDS is now prepared to offer e-business solutions to its customers.

With 39 offices in 9 countries, 4,000 employees, and annual sales volumes exceeding $300 million, Rapid Design Service has been strategically restructured to offer a premier service to the customer. The combined expertise of the RDS organization now includes vehicle and system design engineering from concept through production tools, fixtures and secondary equipment, industrial and facility engineering, and global staffing.

CEO Patrick Kirby explains, "The dynamics of our industry dictates continuous innovation on behalf of the supplier. In order to excel among the competition, RDS has strategically acquired, merged, and aligned the core competencies of the organization to offer full services to our customers. Our global capabilities range from initial vehicle concept through the entire product development cycle to manufacturing and facilities construction, making RDS the one-source global supplier to the automotive and commercial markets."

Patrick Kirby was the founder PGK Services and PGK Engineering in 1997. Kirby was also the founder and former partner and President of Becker Group's Megatech Engineering in 1985. At the time of his 1997 resignation, Kirby had developed the Megatech organization into a global corporation with sales exceeding $75 million and was also the Executive Vice President of Becker Group's $1.5 billion global organization.

In addition to the strong industry reputation, global experience and leadership of CEO Patrick Kirby, key individuals have been appointed to lead major centers of expertise within the organization. Chief Financial Officer, Gregg Baumbaugh offers 20 years of experience in public accounting and the private sector. Baumbaugh has led accounting and financial teams within major global organizations, with increasing experience in acquisition and merger strategy and support. Gary Carson, Executive Vice President of Diversified and International Business has over 30 years of automotive experience, specializing in production logistics and electrical systems worldwide. Michael Cleaver, Executive Vice President of Process and Equipment and co- founder of CKGP and Associates, offers over 35 years of extensive expertise in the automotive industry, specializing in process, industrial, facilities, and manufacturing engineering. James Lambert, Executive Vice President of Vehicle Platform Design Engineering, offers 24 years experience in the automotive industry specializing in product development and design, manufacturing, program management and global integration. Chris O'Brien, Executive Vice President of Facilities and Construction Design Engineering, offers over 23 years of experience in the automotive industry, specializing in global project management and engineering, industrial, and manufacturing process engineering. Daryl Patriskoff, Vice President of In-Client Services offers 24 years of experience in automotive design engineering services, and global project management expertise. Scott VanPopering, Executive Vice President of HRD and Administration offers 23 years experience in tax planning, preparation, public accounting and corporate administration.

Future RDS strategy includes continued growth to support the business climate and customer base; the addition of a Troy, Michigan-based Vehicle Platform Design Engineering Center, and the formation of a metropolitan Detroit-based Corporate Headquarters to further support the automotive industry.