SEPTEMBER 2, 2015—Dave Bobert, the pioneering entrepreneur who started the coin operated tire inflation business announced his retirement today. Bobert formed AIR-vend, Inc., on March 17, 1981, and developed the AIR-vend, AIR-serv and VAC-serv brands. Bobert grew AIR-vend, Inc., to nearly 5,000 locations, twenty million in annual sales, and sold all those assets to Prometheus Partners, LLP, in 1998.
In 2009, Bobert made the determination that the industry was in need of new technology, and machine upgrades, so he got back into the coin operated tire inflation business. Bobert reactivated his company ARV, Inc. “When I got back into this business in 2009, I was surprised to find that the technology had not changed much in the 12 years since I had been in the business,” said Bobert. Bobert went on, “I discovered that the air and air/vac equipment that was being manufactured was lacking innovation, so I made the decision to re-engineer the machines and build my own”.
In March of 2015, Bobert sold the assets of ARV, Inc., to a group of entrepreneurs and investors based in Eagan, Minnesota. This buyer group also owns and runs VerticalXchange, LLC., a highly successful event company formed in 2001. VerticalXchange (VerticalXchange.com) has worked with 63 of the Fortune 100 companies as clients and produces ten annual events with participants from all over the world. The new company was named Certus Manufacturing, and is planning to carry on the rich traditions of service and innovative technology that Bobert pioneered.
Bobert will be serving as a consultant to Certus Manufacturing.
Chris Frost, an 11 year veteran with VerticalXchange and graduate of the University of North Dakota, who specialized in the manufacturing sector, has been named President of Certus Manufacturing. “Working with an innovator like Dave Bobert has truly been an honor. Following Dave’s vision of consistently using innovative technology as a differentiator will continue to be the philosophy of Certus moving forward” said Frost.