|Address||9660 Cobblestone Drive |
Clarence, New York , United States
|| May 20, 1950
Oct 25, 2013 03:34pm
Married - Straight -
|Info||Christopher Collins is a successful businessman with over 35 years experience in both large and small organizations. |
For the last eight years, Collins has managed and is the sole investor of Cobblestone Enterprises LLC, a merchant bank that is focused on investing in local manufacturing companies. Over the years, Cobblestone Enterprises has invested in management buyouts and purchases of financially distressed companies that have sustainable market niches. Since 1998, Cobblestone has invested in over 20 acquisitions that currently operate as ten separate platform companies. These companies currently have over 600 employees, including 500 in Western New York, with annual sales in excess of $80 million.
The Cobblestone portfolio includes high-end custom cabinetry and door manufacturer Bloch Industries LLC; electrical repair shop and industrial distributor Volland Electric Equipment Corporation; biotechnology companies ZeptoMetrix Corporation and Buckler Biodefense Corporation; drug development company Virionyx Corporation, Ltd.; oxygen generating machinery and animal cage washing manufacturer Audubon Machinery Corporation; sterile water supplier Wurlitzer Water Works LLC; commercial dinnerware manufacturer Niagara Ceramics Corporation; industrial lift and transfer system manufacturer Easom Automation Systems, Inc.; and, micro-wind systems and solar energy equipment integrator Starboard Sun Corporation.
Before creating Cobblestone, Collins founded Niagara Falls based industrial gear manufacturer Nuttall Gear Corporation in 1983, purchasing the assets of the Westinghouse Gear Division.
At Nuttall Gear, Collins emphasized a Total Quality Management program which resulted in the company being recognized as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in Western New York from 1987 to 1994 and one of the Future 50 companies in Western New York in 1995. It also received the Western Region Small Business Showcase Award for Manufacturing from NY State Empire State Development in 1996.
President and CEO of Nuttall Gear until 1997, Collins sold the business to Constellation Capital Partners, a financial holding company in Richmond, VA. After the sale, Collins stayed on as President where he oversaw an aggressive growth strategy leading to the purchase of Trenton, New Jersey based Delroyd Worm Gear which was moved to the Niagara Falls plant.
Collins began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric in 1972 spending eleven years with the company in various positions of ever increasing responsibility including Sales Engineer, Market Research Analyst, Manager of Market Planning, and, ultimately, Manager of the Westinghouse Gear Division.
Collins received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University in 1972 and an MBA from the University of Alabama in 1975.
Dabbling in politics in 1998, Collins ran for Congress against a 24-year incumbent, Congressman John LaFalce. With no prior political experience, Collins successfully organized a top-notch campaign team and was able to secure the Republican and Conservative Party nominations without a primary fight. Despite losing this high profile election, Collins’ campaign was nationally recognized as one of the best run campaigns in the country and received full funding from the national Republican Party. In a very difficult year for Republican candidates, Collins registered one of the highest challenger voter percentages in the country that year.
Collins has been active in the community with several charitable organizations including Kenmore Mercy Hospital, the United Way, and Junior Achievement. He has been particularly active in the Boy Scouts. He was chairman of the 2001 and 2005 National Jamboree Committee for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America and currently serves as chairman for the 2007 World Jamboree. He is Vice President of Administration for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council and has served on the Executive Board for many years. Chris served as Cub Master for his son’s Cub Scout Pack and is currently Assistant Scoutmaster for his son’s Scout troop in Clarence. Collins was named Horizon Citizen of the Year by the Greater Niagara Frontier BSA in 2005.
As a result of his small business expertise, Chris served four years on the Small Business Advisory Board to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He was active with the Young President’s Organization (YPO) from 1985 - 2000 and served the Empire State Chapter as education chairman, membership chairman, chapter chairman, and chairman of the executive committee. He has also been active with the World President’s Organization (WPO) and the Chief Executives Organization (CEO). Since 1999 Chris volunteers his time as a mentor at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, as well as being a mentor in the UB annual Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition. Chris has been a guest lecturer in the MBA program at UB for many years. He has also lectured at Alfred University and Canisius College related to his small business experience.
Chris is married and has three children and one grandchild. He and his wife, Mary, live in Clarence, New York.