Kamps Names Mitchell Kamps as CEO, Kevin Bailey as President

January 5, 2024

5 Min Read
Courtesy of KAMPS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Kamps, Inc. (“The Company”), a portfolio company of Freeman Spogli & Co. and one of the nation’s largest pallet companies, is pleased to announce three executive role changes - effective immediately. Mitchell Kamps, 28-year veteran of the company, will be promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Kevin Bailey, a multi-industry veteran who previously served as Kamps’ Chief Operating Officer (COO), will be promoted to President and COO. Bernie Kamps, founder of Kamps, Inc., will continue serving as the board's Executive Chairman. 

Prior to his current role as President, Mitchell Kamps, was the Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations. Before that, Mitchell held numerous leadership roles involving strategy, operations, and sales; including Vice President of Sales, Regional Sales Manager, and Plant Manager at Kamps. During his tenure as President, Mitchell Kamps oversaw the acquisition and integration of 15 companies, as well as record-breaking sales and volume numbers for the company. Mitchell Kamps also plays an active role in the greater pallet industry, currently serving as a board member on the Pallet Foundation; a non-profit organization aimed at furthering research, education, and positive environmental impact in the pallet industry.

“It’s an honor to lead and support a fantastic team here at Kamps,” said Mitchell Kamps. “Kamps team members are committed to delivering value to our robust and growing customer base by bringing innovation and a customer-centric focus to work each day. My Father and mentor, Bernie, has enriched many lives at Kamps and throughout the pallet industry. His passion and drive for outstanding customer service, operational excellence, and career advancement opportunities for team members will continue to be a focal point within the organization.” 

Prior to his current role as Chief Operating Officer for Kamps, Inc., Kevin Bailey was the Chief Operating Officer for Haworth, Inc., a global office furniture manufacturer. Before that, Bailey was the Vice President of Global Operations for Haworth. During his time as Chief Operating Officer for Haworth, Bailey assumed P&L responsibility for Haworth’s North American sector, while maintaining global responsibility of various business operations ranging from Supply Chain and Customer Service to Information Systems. During his time at Haworth, Bailey successfully oversaw new product and category launches, large-scale operations restructuring, and drove industry leading market share growth for the company. Since assuming the position of Chief Operating Officer at Kamps in 2023, Bailey has successfully implemented a new company-wide continuous improvement and operations strategy that has resulted in improvements in safety, manufacturing, and customer service.

“I am honored and excited to partner with Mitchell and the entire Kamps Team as we continue to build on the great platform Bernie, and those who have come before us, have created,” said Kevin Bailey. “We will continue our focus on doing business “The Kamps Way”; which is the relentless pursuit of being better every day while being the unquestioned leader in delighting our Customers.”

Bernie Kamps, 68, has served as Chief Executive Officer of the company since its inception in 1973. As Founder and CEO, he has had overall responsibility for leading the company's growth for the past 50 years. Under Bernie Kamps’ leadership, Kamps, Inc. grew from a single-site facility in West Michigan to a national leader in pallet recycling and manufacturing with over 60 asset-based locations, 8,500 trailers, and 4,300 employees. Bernie is also credited for establishing Kamps’ patented customer-centric and people-first culture.

“Mitchell, Kevin, and the whole executive team are a group of incredibly gifted business people,” said Bernie Kamps. “I am stepping down with great confidence from CEO to Executive Chairman. All of our Kamps team members and customers are in great hands. We truly have the best team on the field.”

“On behalf of the Kamps Board of Directors and my colleagues at Freeman Spogli & Co., I would like to congratulate the Kamps team on a successful leadership transition,” said Jon Ralph, President and COO of Freeman Spogli & Co.  “Mitchell has worked in virtually every area of the business since joining the company in 1996 and has been running the day-to-day operations for several years, so we have the utmost confidence that he will continue to lead the company successfully into the future. Kevin brings decades of experience with larger organizations and has been a highly complementary addition to the Kamps leadership team.  Lastly, we are extremely pleased that Bernie will continue his role as Executive Chairman and will remain highly engaged in the business from a strategic perspective.”

Kamps believes the executive team changes will position the company well into the future, as it continues to build on its strategy of delivering customer-centric pallet services directly to customers. The company believes Mitchell Kamps and Kevin Bailey’s commitment to continuous improvement will also drive constant innovation as the company looks to achieve its mission of earning the trust of every customer through innovative pallet services.

About Kamps, Inc.

Kamps, Inc. is a full-service national pallet company delivering innovative pallet services to customers since 1973. Kamps specializes in supplying high quality wooden pallets, comprehensive pallet recycling services, and total pallet management services to diverse supply chains across the nation. With over 400 locations in its pallet network, and 63 asset-based locations, Kamps is the national leader in customer-centric pallet solutions.

To learn more about Kamps, visit: https://www.kampspallets.com/

About Freeman Spogli & Co.

Freeman Spogli & Co. is a private equity firm dedicated exclusively to investing in and partnering with management in consumer and distribution companies in the United States. Since its founding in 1983, Freeman Spogli has invested over $5.7 billion in 70 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $28 billion and has completed over 180 add-on acquisitions with its portfolio companies. Freeman Spogli is currently making investments from FS Equity Partners VIII, L.P. and has offices in Los Angeles and New York.

For more information, please visit www.freemanspogli.com

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