Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014, 6:25 am

Impact Solano to highlight three unique county enterprises

By Gary Quackenbush, Special to the Business Journal

FAIRFIELD — Executives from three Solano County enterprises will be panelists at the Nov.21 Impact Solano conference, which will focus on the State of the Solano Business Climate.
Business leaders from HM.Clause, Guala Closures North America and Mare Island Dry Dock will join Robert Eyler, Ph.D., economics professor and director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University. He will provide an outlook for the global and local economy in 2015.
“Solano County has a growing mix of agriculture, wine, high-tech, research and manufacturing firms that collectively add to the rich texture of our economic community,” said Sandy Person, executive director of the Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
“These firms are often part of a larger supply chain essential to the overall success of key local, national or international industries.”
She said the three companies to be highlighted at Impact Solano are examples of the wide breadth of firms included in the county’s expanding industry cluster that is putting Solano County on the map.

HM.Clause, Inc.

Located at 260 Cousteau Place in Davis, HM.Clause specializes in the breeding, production and commercialization of vegetable seeds varieties for professional growers.
Tamiko Michelle Gaines of HM.Clause
Tamiko Michelle Gaines is director of institutional relations for HM.Clause, which has an Americas office in Davis and is part of Groupe Limagrain of France.
With over 2,000 varieties in more than 23 vegetable crop species, HM.Clause provides innovative solutions to growers worldwide. The company has about 1,600 employees in more than 30 countries.
The firm’s varieties are available in more than 100 countries through 16 commercial subsidiaries and local sales networks.
As one of the world’s top four seed producers, the HM.Clause hub office for the Americas is based in the heart of Solano County’s agricultural region close to hundreds of farmers that use its products.
The company also has a research facility in Solano County staffed by 26 percent of the workforce.
Fifteen percent of annual sales are invested in research at two main laboratories in France and California, along with 12 varietal breeding centers in eight nations — including three in the U.S. (California, Florida and Wisconsin).
Tamiko Michelle Gains, director of institutional relations and development for HM.Clause, will provide an overview of the company, describe its operations and talk about future plans at Impact Solano.
HM.Clause, Inc., is a business unit of Groupe Limagrain, an international cooperative headquartered in France. It markets its seeds under two brand names, Harris Moran Seed Company, headquartered in California, and CLAUSE Vegetable Seeds, headquartered in France.

Guala Closures North America

Guala Closures enhanced decoration capabilities for newest plant, in Fairfield.
Guala Closures in early 2014 installed new small-run aluminum screw cap production equipment with enhanced decoration capabilities at its newest plant, in Fairfield. (image credit: Guala Closures)
Guala is a multi-national manufacturer of custom closures (screw caps and non-refillable closures) for firms in the wine, spirits, water, beer and olive oil industry sectors. The company established its presence in the U.S. with a new facility in Fairfield initially dedicated to small production runs.
Alessandro Bocchio
Alessandro Bocchio is general manager of Guala Closures USA
General Manager Alessandro Bocchio, will present an overview of this firm that markets to producers representing the entire beverage and olive oil industry spectrum.
The world headquarters is located north of Milan, Italy. However, Guala produces 14 billion closures a year at 16 plants around the globe.
“We saw an opportunity to produce screw caps for the wine industry in California and decided to invest in a manufacturing facility that is now up and running in Solano County,” Mr. Boochio said.
“As part of our entry strategy, we developed new technology to serve the job-lot market and invite clients to work with professionals at our Guala Closure Design Studio to develop branded closures for small production runs нн- as few as a single box — often used for special promotions, weddings, anniversaries, company milestones or other events.”
He said over the next two to three years the company plans to expand operations at Fairfield and gear up for large-scale manufacturing.

Mare Island Dry Dock

Coast Guard ship at Mare Island Dry Dock
U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star had $5.1 million in repairs in August 2014 at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo before setting off for Antarctica. The project employed 70 for three months.
Mare Island Dry Dock, LLC, is a privately held firm with more than three decades of experience in the maritime industry along the East Coast. It is now based at 1180 Nimitz Ave. in Vallejo with 86 employees.
Executive Vice President Christine Snyder is set to talk about how Mare Island Dry Dock is able to handle ships of all types, including cruise ships, coastal tankers, barges, commercial freighters, ferries, Military Sea Lift Command, Coast Guard and U.S. Navy vessels.
The company’s 18-acre site has berth space up to 1,300 linear feet, and two concrete gravity dry docks (680 and 720 feet long) that can handle ships under fully loaded conditions.
“We’re no longer in the moth-ball fleet dismantling business and now provide a wide range of services for active carriers,” said Ms. Snyder.
Services include essential ship repair and conversion, turbine overhaul and welding, vessel berthing, reduction gear repairs, structural steel renewal as well as steel and aluminum fabrication and emergency ship services.
This special event is presented by North Bay Business Journal, in cooperation with co-hosts Travis Credit Union and the Solano EDC, and with underwriting from NorthBay Healthcare. The session starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Fairfield Hilton Garden Inn.
Limited seating is available. To register, visit or call Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264.