Our People: Management Team
Our people reflect the personal and professional integrity of our company’s core values and sustain the performance of our businesses. Every day, they carefully nurture long-term partnerships with customers, companies, and industries all over the world.
Integrity and dedication enable us to thrive. Through team-building, management guidance, and ongoing training, our people have the opportunity to evolve personally as well as professionally. Intelligent, experienced, and committed, they are leading Foss Manufacturing to greater excellence in the research and innovation of specialty synthetic fibers and nonwoven fabrics.
Frank Cougentakis – Chairman
Frank was appointed chairman of Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC in May 2006. He is a managing partner of Alinian Capital Group, LLC and is an active entrepreneur and investor. Frank possesses an acute business sense, which has enabled him to be the founder and principal owner of several businesses with aggregate revenue in excess of $100 million annually. His business interests include construction, real estate development, financial services, manufacturing, shipping and freight, distribution, retailing, and hospitality. With his interests located primarily in the metro New York City area, Frank’s flagship company is one of the largest commercial general contractors and specialty stone contractors in the New York area and throughout the Northeast. He has developed numerous real estate projects and his portfolio of real estate holdings include commercial office and retail, high rise condo and apartment towers, and single family rental houses. He provides business advice to Alinian’s clients that are in need of operational and financial guidance.
A.J. Nassar – Chief Executive Officer
A.J. was appointed chief executive officer of Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC in May 2006. This came after the Alinian Capital Group, LLC, where A.J. is a managing member, purchased Foss Manufacturing. As a corporate finance advisor, manager of client companies, and turnaround specialist, A.J. provides management expertise and financial direction to businesses that are in need of experienced management and strategic direction. His 25-year career includes the successful formation of several privately held businesses in which he built into profitable enterprises and then subsequently sold. In 1993, he became the chief executive officer of the Maxim Group, Inc., an integrated textile manufacturing, distribution, and retail franchise group of companies specializing in the interior home furnishing and flooring industry. A.J. led the company through an initial public offering where it was listed on the NASDAQ National Market. Under his leadership, the company’s gross operating revenues grew from $3 million in 1993 to consolidated revenues of over $1.7 billion in 1998 including 1 billion in the franchise system. He then moved the company from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange. A.J. was named twice “Man of the Year” by the flooring industry publication, and was a Member of the Advisory Board of Virginia Commonwealth University. A.J. was also co- finance chair for a leading Presidential Candidate.
Mike DeGrace – President
Mike DeGrace is the president of Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC. He started with Foss in May 2006, following the purchase of the company by Alinian Capital Group. Mike brings 30 years of experience in the broad loom carpet and nonwoven products industry. Before joining Foss, He spent 17 years as regional vice president at Shaw Industries, a producer of residential and commercial flooring. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as executive vice president of sales and marketing at Beaulieu, a manufacturer in the carpet and rug industry, and spent four years as president at Image Industries, a PET carpet manufacturer. Mike attended the University of Buffalo, where he studied Business Administration.
Paul Koroski – Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Paul joined Foss Manufacturing, LLC in May 2006, as chief financial officer. He brings 26 years of experience managing the finance and operations functions for both private and publicly held multinational corporations in diverse manufacturing environments. Prior to joining Foss, he worked at Energy East Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, overseeing the implementation of sarbanes-oxley. Paul was also chief financial officer at The Jackson Laboratory, a world-renowned biomedical research facility where he played an important role in the laboratory’s strategic management, leading the financial services functions. Before working at The Jackson Laboratory, he spent 16 years in the textile industry, as senior vice president and chief financial officer for Carleton Woolen Mills, Inc (The U.S. subsidiary for Allied Textiles Plc), and as corporate controller at Fiber Materials, Inc, a multinational high-tech composite materials manufacturer in the aerospace industry. Prior to working at Fiber Materials, Inc, Paul was vice president of finance for the footwear division of Lehigh Valley Industries, Inc. Paul graduated from Bentley College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Bill Cummings – Chief Operating Officer
Bill joined Foss in 1989 as a Product Development Engineer. During his tenure at Foss, he has been involved in many aspects of operations including Director of Product Engineering and Planning, Manager of the Automotive Fabrics Division, and various R&D and Process Engineering positions. Bill has been involved in many projects including the development of applications that reduce waste and providing technical support to ongoing investments in the improvement of fiber and fabric and the implementation and development of Automotive, Decorative, Technical, and Footwear applications. Bill has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining Foss he was an Engineer at Nashua Corporation Computer Products Division.
Dave Rowell – Executive Vice President of Sales
Dave is the executive vice president of sales for Foss Manufacturing, LLC. He has been with the company since 1973, holding previous positions as vice president of operations, plant manager, sales supervisor, and shift supervisor. Throughout his tenure at Foss, Dave has a proven track record as an innovated leader with diverse management expertise in all aspects of this multi-market business. He has led four acquisitions efforts that resulted in the increase of market share and improved cash flow. As a strategic thinker, with a passion for improvement, he is able to conceptualize, analyze, and simplify complex issues and relate them to the overall objective. His business philosophy centers on Teambuilding and Employee Empowerment through respect, honesty, integrity, goal establishment, and accountability. Dave is a Graduate of the University of New Hampshire with degrees in Psychology and Business Management. He has participated in various educational courses in Mergers and Acquisitions, Inventory Management, Logistics, Customer Service Excellence, as well as a variety of Quality oriented seminars, such as QS9000, Cost of Quality, and Six Sigma Approaches. He is an active member in a variety of associations including American Fiber Manufacturers Association, IFAI, and Babson’s President’s Club.
Jacqueline Traynor – Director of Research & Development
Jacqueline Traynor is the director of research and product development for Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC. Jacki joined Foss Manufacturing in 1978 after graduating from University of Massachusetts (Lowell) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry. Jacki’s tenure at Foss Manufacturing includes prior responsibilities as plant chemist involved with the development and application of latex saturants and coatings, process engineer, division manager of Finishing Operations as well as the director of manufacturing for the Footwear and Technical Products Business Units. Her many years of hands-on industry experience delivers a broad spectrum of business, manufacturing, engineering, product development, and regulatory experience. In her role as director of research and product development, Jacki brings commitment, passion, and an in-depth understanding of the company’s manufacturing capabilities to bring new products through the development cycle from concept to commercialization.
Brian Warren – Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Brian joined Foss Manufacturing in February 2013 with extensive floor covering, textile, and recycled-material manufacturing experience. He has held senior-level management positions in sales, marketing, manufacturing, and operations during his 33-year career. Prior to joining Foss, Brian spent 20 years with the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, Mohawk Industries, where he played an instrumental role in developing and directing several in-home service programs. Brian has served on the board of directors for many flooring and textile related businesses and is a prior member of the Marketing Issues and the Technical Issues committees of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program. He is a Gamma Beta Phi honors graduate of Georgia Southern University.