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Updated: September 2, 2019 Biz Money

A Maine company on Inc. 5000 list expects to more than double revenue

Photo / Tim Greenway Joyce Galea, partner and vice president of F3 MFG in Waterville

F3 MFG, ranked for the second year in a row by Inc. 5000 as Maine’s third fastest-growing business, expects to double its revenue by next year.

The manufacturer, which sells aluminum truck bodies and accessories under the DuraMag and Magnum brands, recorded $17.2 million in revenues last year and 490% growth for the past three years.

For the current year, sales are projected to reach $30 million. By 2020, revenue is expected to reach $40 million, said Tom Sturtevant, co-owner and president. By 2020, the sales force is expected to grow by 25% from the current 200, which is double what it was a year ago.

F3 is in 150,000 square feet on Waterville’s Trafton Road, an industrial parcel owned by Trafton Properties.

Changing the status quo

Besides Sturtevant, F3 MFG cofounders are Bill Cleaves and Joyce Galea, a 2019 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year. “Our success is due to the F3 team and the dedication the three of us have to remain the leader in the market,” said Cleaves in a release from the Central Maine Growth Council. “Our industry was stagnant — we came in and changed the status quo.”

Cleaves, in 1996, frustrated by the lack of high-quality enclosed aluminum trailers in the steel-dominated automotive market, made one for himself. That was the start of SnoPro Trailers, based in Liberty. He started selling trailers in Uncle Henry’s Swap & Sell Guide, and quickly became a wholesaler.

Cleaves sold the SnoPro business to Thule and it was later acquired by ALCOM Inc. He then ventured into aluminum truck racks, operating as Magnum Manufacturing in Liberty, and continued to expand his product line to truck bodies. Magnum grew from $200,000 in sales in 2010 to $2.9 million in 2015. Cleaves also propelled a market composition shift from 90% steel to 30% aluminum, a material which is lighter, more durable and longer-lasting than steel.

In 2016, Cleaves brought in Sturtevant and Galea. Now F3 MFG, the company manufactures its aluminum truck bodies under the DuraMag and Magnum brands.

Galea has led the workforce expansion, personally hiring every new employee and remaining involved in their professional and personal growth.

“I’m willing to give second chances, so it’s really important for me to sit down with a candidate and go beyond what’s on their application,” she said. “If I see a strong work ethic, I’ll help them overcome obstacles. I’ve sat down with employees and helped them find apartments, call landlords, fill out a mortgage application — being a part of their progression is the most fulfilling part of my work.”

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