Comtrol Corporation Announces New Ownership and Board of Directors
MINNEAPOLIS — August 21, 2007…
(From left) Rick Rickenbach, James Murdakes, Bradford Beale, Rebecca Beale, Karen Gilles Larson, and Jim Caldwell at Comtrol Corporation’s headquarters. Comtrol Corporation is pleased to announce a change in ownership and corporate governance for the organization. Comtrol, now majority owned by Rebecca Beale, has elected a newly reconstituted board of directors, which comprises four independent directors having served as CEO and other executive leadership positions in Fortune 500® companies as well as smaller private and publicly held companies. All are enthusiastic about Comtrol’s potential and are excited to be part of Comtrol’s team.
Robert Beale, former majority shareholder, president, CEO, and sole director, has been formally removed from all aspects of leadership and control at Comtrol after he failed to appear at trial for personal income tax evasion and became a fugitive in August of 2006. The Hennepin County District Court issued an order removing Robert Beale from all of his offices with the company and directed Comtrol to hold an election for a newly reconstituted board of directors. Pursuant to a marital dissolution action initiated by Rebecca Beale, one hundred percent of Robert Beale’s ownership interest has been transferred to Ms. Beale.
The board is made up of four independent directors and one inside director, all of whom have a wide range of experience that adds to Comtrol’s 25-years experience as a company.
Bradford S. Beale. Mr. Beale is currently Comtrol’s Vice President of Global Sales, with responsibility for all of Comtrol’s sales and marketing. Mr. Beale worked as a Regional Territory Manager for Artist Graphics, a former sister company of Comtrol Corporation that specialized in providing digital graphics solutions for the CAD and document imaging markets. While at Comtrol, Mr. Beale served as Regional Manager for East Coast Sales and transitioned into a business development role for Comtrol after developing several new customized products for the Broadcast Automation Industry. In 2001, Mr. Beale created Comtrol’s new focus on Industrial Automation markets and was later named General Manager of the newly formed Industrial Applications Division with responsibility for marketing, public relations and new product development.
J.H. (Jim) Caldwell. Mr. Caldwell has extensive experience managing and developing companies in the software and "software as a service" industries. He was most recently the CEO and chairman of Scout Information Services, a diversified information services company. Prior to that, he was co-founder, President and COO of Fourth Shift Corporation, a global supplier of enterprise software and services for mid-market manufacturing and distribution companies. Mr. Caldwell directed Fourth Shift through its start-up phase, raising venture capital, to its public offering on NASDAQ, finally selling the company to AremisSoft in 2001. Prior to founding Fourth Shift, Mr. Caldwell had a twenty-year career with Control Data Corporation (CDC), beginning as a software engineer, then holding several management positions, and last serving as the Vice President of Operations for the Peripheral Products Company (a unit of CDC). Before his career with CDC, Mr. Caldwell was a mathematician with the Naval Research and Development Center.
Karen Gilles Larson. Ms. Larson has had a distinguished career as an entrepreneur, certified public accountant, and executive. She was most recently the President and Chief Executive Officer, and a Director for Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., a diversified medical device company. Under her leadership, Synovis grew its revenue from $9.7 million to $58 million. She developed a growth and diversification strategy for the company, built and mentored a strong executive team, and identified and completed three acquisitions. Prior to her time with Synovis, Ms. Larson served as the Controller for Vee Corporation, which produces Sesame Street Live and Muppet Babies Live. While at Vee, Ms. Larson developed ROI models and profit center accounting. Before that, Ms. Larson was an accountant with McGladrey Hendrickson (now McGladrey). In 2002, she was listed by The Business Journal as one of the "Most Influential Women."
James Murdakes. Mr. Murdakes is the Chairman of Image Sensing Systems (ISS), having retired as CEO this past June. He was the President and CEO of ISS from 2002 to January 2007. He has been on the ISS Board of Directors since March 1994 and was elected Chairman in 2002. Mr. Murdakes spent twenty-five years with CDC of Minneapolis in various senior management positions. Upon retirement from CDC in June 1987, he was appointed President and CEO of Clyde Digital, a software company located in Orem, Utah. Following Clyde Digital’s merger with Raxco, of Rockville, Maryland, he served as Senior Vice President of International. From 1993 through 1996, Mr. Murdakes served as President and CEO of LSC, a Minneapolis systems integrator for network storage servers. In 1997, he was made Chairman of LSC.
R. M. Rickenbach. Mr. Rickenbach has managed several businesses involved in the technology products and services industries and has served on many Boards of Directors, assisting companies with start-up operations, leading an IPO process, international operations, strategic partnering, and merger and acquisition activity. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Cyber Security, which develops and markets software that detects illegal use of desktop computer networks. Previously, he was the Chairman and CEO of Applied Technology Consultants ("ATC"). There, he led the development of a business plan that resulted in two separate rounds of venture capital financing, built the executive team, and developed a strong sales function. Prior to his leadership at ATC, Mr. Rickenbach led the corporate business development for Fourth Shift Corporation, establishing a strategic alliance with a major management/IT consulting firm, launching a new-concept web site and creating a business plan for a collaborative supplier relationship management solution. Previous to that experience, Mr. Rickenbach served as Chairman and CEO of Government Technology Services, Inc. ("GTSI"), a personal computer marketing company focused on the government sector. During a four-year period of his leadership, GTSI’s sales more than doubled, leading to a successful IPO in 1991. Prior to his tenure at GTSI, Mr. Rickenbach had several executive and management positions with CDC.
About Comtrol. Comtrol is a worldwide leader in device connectivity, industrial Ethernet gateways, and intelligent embedded data communications. Comtrol provides connectivity for PC or PLC platforms and can be found in a range of applications. Comtrol’s flagship products are the DeviceMaster® line of serial device servers and the RocketPort® family of multi-port serial communication products. Comtrol has 25-years experience in helping businesses network-enable devices. For additional information, please contact Bradford Beale, +1.763.494.4100 and [email protected]