Reynolds and a roadster7/13/2016
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, a prominent voice on international trade in Iowa, immediately spied the export value of the mobile veterinary units at a Lake City manufacturer.
She talked business and foreign markets, job growth and rural development, with ownership of management of Bowie International.
But for a moment, Reynolds, who still calls Osceola home, allowed herself to be just an Iowa girl wanting to hop in, well, a really cool car.
“Can I sit in it? Reynolds asked, almost sheepishly, as she spied the jet-black Hurricane Motorsports 427 Roadster, a Shelby replica, in Bowie’s production building.
“Sure,” said Michael McLaughlin, president of Scranton Manufacturing, the parent company of Bowie.
Reynolds joined McLaughlin, Bowie executive vice president Steve Sinnard and others in a tour of the manufacturing facility one recent afternoon.
“You’ve got a lot going on in this building,” Reynolds said.
Employing 38 people, Bowie’s main business is in the mobile veterinary units. The company also makes Custom Fiberglass Coaches animal control shelters used by a number of cities around the nation.
Then there’s the motorsports division, mostly involving the fashioning of kits for sale to auto enthusiasts. Texas is a big market for that.
“We’re always in growth mode,” McLaughlin said.
Added Sinnard, “Both companies have been flourishing tremendously.”
Sinnard took the lieutenant governor through the history of Bowie, its 1961 founding and Scranton’s 2007 acquisition.
Bowie manufactures 300 mobile vet clinics each year and ships them around the world. It’s the only company in the United States that makes the units, said Monty Rohrbeck of Glidden, Bowie plant manager.
Bowie provided an up-close view of the work as Sinnard and McLaughlin took Reynolds into the heart of the operation, even giving her a chance to see Bowie chopper Mike Mendenhall spraying fiberglass in the custom production process.
The manufacturer will continue to aggressively pursue new markets and lines of product, McLaughlin said.
“We need to be quick, nimble on our feet,” he said. CV
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who resides in Carroll. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.