Robotic Automation & Material Handling

Here’s What’s Happening

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., January 30, 2019 — The Pohlad Companies today announced that effective February 4, 2019, Tom Pohlad, president and COO of Carousel Motor Group (CMG), will become CEO of PaR Systems LLC, a leading provider of automation, robotics and specialized material handling solutions. The Pohlad Companies acquired PaR Systems in October 2017 from MML Capital Partners. Tom succeeds Mark Wrightsman who has served as CEO of PaR Systems since 1999, successfully guiding the company’s growth and performance for 20 years. Tom joins a highly capable PaR executive team. Mark will remain on the board of PaR Systems and serve as an advisor to Tom and the company.

“We would like to thank Mark for his years of outstanding service and leadership of PaR Systems,” said Bert Colianni, CEO, Pohlad Companies.

With Tom’s departure from Carousel Motor Group, Chase Hawkins, vice president Porsche brand, will become president and COO, broadening his strategic, financial and functional responsibilities for the business, while maintaining his role at Porsche. General managers of CMG’s Audi Minneapolis and St. Paul, BMW of Minnetonka, Coon Rapids Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and North Branch Chevrolet dealerships will continue to lead their respective businesses and will report to Chase.

“We are excited by these leadership changes which will capitalize on the energy and creativity among the smart, talented and passionate teams at both operating companies,” said Colianni. “We are confident that, under Tom’s direction, PaR will build on its strong market position, continuing to advance its breakthrough work in automation, robotics and specialty material handling, and equally certain that Carousel Motor Group will continue to thrive and maintain its superior brand stewardship and exceptional customer experience under Chase’s leadership.”

Tom has served as president and COO of Carousel Motor Group since 2016. Previously, he served in a variety of roles within CMG, including General Manager Porsche of Minneapolis and Audi Minneapolis. Prior to joining Carousel Motor Group in 2010, Tom held roles in Pohlad Companies ranging from Commercial Real Estate to Major League Baseball to Pepsi Bottling. Tom joined the Pohlad family business after graduating from Boston College in 2002.

Chase has built considerable industry knowledge during his nearly three decades of experience in automotive sales, service, marketing, product planning and pricing roles, including Group General Manager of Motor Werks Auto Group and U.S. and international assignments with General Motors, in addition to his three years at CMG. Chase received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Natal, Durban in his native South Africa. He has lived or worked in countries on five continents.

Two Minnesota organizations join forces to advance growing field of automation and robotic applications

MINNEAPOLIS – (Nov. 1, 2017) – The Pohlad family has acquired Shoreview-based PaR Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated robotic automation and specialized material handling solutions, from MML Capital Partners, an international private equity firm.

Terms were not disclosed.

The Pohlad family’s operating companies include United Properties, NorthMarq Capital and Carousel Motor Group amongst others, and span several industries, including the automotive, real estate investment and development, radio and media, high-end jewelry and commercial real estate finance industries. The Pohlad family also owns Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

PaR Systems is a world leader in providing advanced intelligent solutions for integrated robotic automation and specialized material handling solutions that drive productivity improvements, product quality and employee safety for customers. Founded in 1961, PaR Systems has strategically grown its offering into a strong complement of custom equipment solutions, technology-driven products and a responsive service offering. PaR Systems serves the aerospace, medical device, marine/defense, nuclear and additional select industrial markets.

“We want to invest in companies that make a difference now and in the future,” said Robert Pohlad. “PaR Systems not only fits that criteria but allows us to expand into a new business line that we believe has great long-term potential. And it’s headquartered right here in our own backyard – sharing the same heritage and values.”

“Through the entire process of getting to know the Pohlad team, it has become clear to the senior team at PaR that the Pohlad family has the same high expectations and values as the people at PaR,” said Mark Wrightsman, president and CEO of PaR Systems. “We are excited to be joining forces with this great team to achieve our long-term vision of all of the companies in our chosen market segments recognizing PaR as ‘a Trusted Partner’ for their automation needs.”

 “PaR Systems has a strong, experienced management team and terrific, highly educated and qualified employees,” said Bert Colianni, CEO for the collective Pohlad operating companies. “We look forward to partnering with management to provide capital and strategic support to help accelerate their growth, both internally through retaining and attracting talented people, combined with appropriate investments in research and development, as well as externally through acquisitions.”

PaR Systems develops solutions and applications for mission-critical operations across a wide variety of industries. These systems range from the very large to small scale. On the large side of the spectrum, PaR created a remote robotic application to facilitate the nuclear handling and decommissioning of the Chernobyl Unit 4 reactor and sarcophagus following the catastrophic 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine. More recently, PaR Systems undertook a similar project at the Fukushima nuclear site affected by the 2011 earthquake in Japan. On the other end of the spectrum, PaR Systems supports prominent medical device manufacturers by designing and building automation equipment for the manufacturing of small products that are often inserted into the human body – with lifesaving results.

The majority of PaR Systems’ 380 employees are based in three U.S. locations: Shoreview and Oakdale, Minnesota, and Brunswick, Georgia. PaR Systems also has eight global sales, engineering, service and manufacturing centers of excellence throughout the U.S. and around the world.


Media Contact:

Mary Lilja
Lilja Communications