Altus Brands: Innovative Products for the Outdoors Enthusiast

About Us

Altus Brands is the culmination of a long time desire of the three founders to own and grow a company while contributing to the community and industry. In 2008 the timing was right to branch out and begin this journey. A partnership was formed, resources committed, strategy developed and responsibilities assigned.

Our Concept

Experience in the recreational market indicated there were a significant number of small companies with a single product, or limited product line, that with a strategic approach and appropriate resources could be stewarded to greater growth and profitability. These brands are typically founded by an entrepreneur, who is either approaching retirement age, and does not have a succession plan. Some businessmen have outstanding products and ideas, however may lack the experience or resources needed to fully capture their brand's value.

Altus Brands identifies companies in the hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation marketplace, which manufacture and sell retail products through similar channels of distribution. Altus has the flexibility and creativity to work with existing owners to develop a plan for partnering or acquisition which will unlock the value of the company. Typically, these plans include additional capitalization, integration and leveraging of established distribution channels, production and administration.

Our Name

Altus signifies striving to be the best. The ever reaching upward, climbing the peak, summiting the pinnacle. The name symbolizes the intention to build a portfolio of high quality and respected brands-each maintain their individual brand identity and brand promise.

Management Team

Altus Brands is owned by three partners with a combined 80 years of management experience. They have successfully helped to build businesses and brands, large and small in a variety of industries and parts of the world.. Each partner have risen through the ranks from different discipline of Accounting, Operations and Sales and had full financial responsibilities. The team is experienced in identifying, vetting, acquiring and integrating small businesses-which has proven to be a key to success for Altus Brands.

Gary Lemanski

Gary graduated from West Point with a degree in engineering and received his MBA in Finance from Syracuse University. He served as a Captain in Army Aviation for eight years. Gary left the service to join Dole Food Co. and served in various finance and operating positions in their Hawaii, Philippine and Thailand divisions. After three years as CFO, Dole Thailand Gary joined Siam Food Products, a publicly traded Thai food company, as the COO. Having spent eight years living in Asia, Gary and his family returned to their home in the San Francisco area. He joined Kendall Jackson Winery as the Director of International and began building wineries and planting vineyards in Chile, Argentina, Italy and France and managing international sales. During the dot com boom the founders of wine.com convinced Gary to help them establish their European presence. He worked as part of a team to acquire existing dot com wine retailers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain. In 2001 Gary was recruited by eBay to become the COO of their bricks and mortar auction house, Butterfields. After one year at eBay he left to work with a small group of investors, attempting to acquire a manufacturer of precision farming instrumentation. When the deal was not consummated after nine very intense months Gary was introduced to Armor Holdings and shortly thereafter became the GM Body Armor. Gary was later promoted to Vice President of the Armor Protective Division, a $150 million business unit manufacturing and selling a variety of armor products. In addition to managing all production, R&D, sales and marketing activity Gary was also involved in acquisitions and led the startup of a Greenfield business unit focused on tactical product accessories. Gary has been married to his wife Mimi for the past 22 years and resides in Santa Rosa, CA. They have two children, a son Christopher, 19, and daughter Alexandra, 17.

Charles Ricci

Charles graduated in 1980 from Providence College with a Bachelors of Science in Marketing. He spent 20 years with Mobil Oil Corporation in a variety of sales, marketing, planning, and administrative positions in downstream marketing-the sale and marketing of refined finished goods; i.e. gasoline and lubricants. For the first 10 years Charles progressed up the corporate ladder in retail marketing; from being a sales & marketing representative, to a representative manager to an administrative & controls position where he was responsible for the retail profitability of company owned operations. In 1990 Charles and his family moved overseas; first to Melbourne, Australia where he was responsible for retail sales and marketing training for the southern hemisphere; second to Thailand, where he was the Director of Marketing, responsible for the acquisition of real estate, construction and engineering, sales and marketing functions in building almost 50 service stations during his tenure. His last assignment with Mobil Oil, from 1997 to 2000, was as President and Managing Director of Mobil Oil Philippines where he managed a $70 Million lubricants and chemicals business. In 2001 he relocated back to the United States and assumed a role to manage a small, unprofitable business entity owned by a public holding company. He grew this and made it profitable, then went on to identify, and acquire 3 additional small businesses and integrated them into one location. Charles has also been responsible for, and tasked to manage, other small businesses that have required financial turn-arounds and restructurings. His strengths are his ability to develop and execute practical business plans that deliver results. Charles has been married for almost 27 years; and has 2 sons, Blake 21, and Sean 17. They live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Brian Breneman

Brian graduated in 1990 with a Bachelors of Business Administration. He went into public accounting, earning his CPA designation in 1992. While in public accounting, Brian gained experience across multiple industries including retail, construction, manufacturing, employee benefit plans, large scale farming operations and public education finance. By 2000, he was a Sr. Manager in the auditing and consulting practice for a regional accounting firm. In 2000, he left Public Accounting and went into Private Industry working as CFO for a manufacturing company as it expanded from a single US location to 7 locations in 5 countries. While in Private Industry he has led and managed rapid growth and international expansion, handled numerous business financing projects and led a turnaround and restructuring that resulted in a sale of a Company’s assets. He also has extensive experience in acquisitions, due diligence, deal structuring and post-acquisition integration from both the buyer and seller perspectives. During 2007, he used his experience to assist a group of individuals in starting up and financing a power line construction company covering the Eastern half of the US. He helped raise capital and bank financing as well as set the Company’s business strategy. He continues to act as an advisor to that business. Brian has held positions in privately held and publicly traded companies from start-ups to $25b in revenue. Along the way, he has developed numerous tools to tie business strategy to financial results and resources and is a champion of Lean manufacturing and Continuous Improvement in both factory and office environments. Brian has been married to his wife Rosa for the past 20 years and together they have two children; a daughter Maya, 11, and son Sander, 7. They live in Traverse City, MI.

Key staff members include:

Bill McCort

Bill McCort is the Production Manager and is responsible for all manufacturing, operations and logistics. Bill has over twenty years of production, operations and cost control experience. Bill is also an avid outdoorsman whose personal experience in the field has been instrumental in the design of many products.

Shannon Plamondon

Shannon Plamondon is the Office Manager and is responsible for Customer Service, Administration and much of the accounting activities. Shannon and her family are avid kayakers.