Colson Group Appoints Bjorn Haldorsen as President of North America

New role will optimize growth initiatives and strengthen market position.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., May 8, 2020 — Colson Group, a global caster and wheel product company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bjorn Haldorsen as President of Colson North America. In this capacity, Bjorn will lead the company’s North American business operations, with focus on optimizing growth initiatives, expanding North American supply chain and manufacturing, and furthering the strategic integration of Colson North America to best service the marketplace.

This is a new position created by the company, highlighting its focus on growth for North America.

“As we continue to expand production capacity closer to our customers, the requirement for this role has grown and is now a critical step to accelerating our growth plans into the future,” stated Tom Blashill, CEO of Colson Group. “After an extensive search, we found the right person for this role, and I am happy to welcome Bjorn to the Colson team.”

With a focus on customer experience, Bjorn comes to Colson with over 25 years of leadership experience in supply chain, plant management, and general management. Prior to Colson, Bjorn worked for Honeywell International for 8 years and has been with Flowserve Corporation since 2002, where he served in various regional and global leadership roles. Most recently, Bjorn was the Vice President General Manager of Flowserve’s Americas Industrial Pump Operation where he was responsible for all business functions, leading more than 1,000 employees.

Bjorn received his Bachelor’s degree in purchasing and logistics management from Arizona State University and his M.B.A. in international finance at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He will reside at the company’s corporate headquarters in Oakbrook, IL with extensive travel to all company facilities.


About Colson Group (

Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 30 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Colson Group announces acquisition of AS Rollen GmbH

Expands global caster and wheel manufacturing capabilities.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., April 30, 2020 — Colson Group, a global caster and wheel product company, announced today the recent acquisition of AS Rollen, a Huckeswagen, Germany caster and wheel manufacturer. “AS Rollen has an excellent reputation for producing high quality, competitive caster and wheel solutions, specializing in the medical segment,” stated Tom Blashill, CEO of Colson Group. “This strategic acquisition will provide our global locations an excellent source of German manufactured caster solutions.” The company is located only minutes from Colson Group’s German offices.

AS Rollen and its staff, led by founder Mr. Arnolf Schulte, are now integrated into Colson Group’s Northern European organization which is led by General Manager, Ernst-Jan Venema. “The synergies of products and staff will enhance our abilities to better serve our customers throughout Europe,” said Ernst. “This will greatly shorten our lead-times as compared to products manufactured outside of Europe, opening up new opportunities for additional growth and flexibility throughout the world. We welcome the AS Rollen team to Colson Group.”

Mr. Schulte will remain general manager of the facility and team, working closely with Ernst and other Colson Group leaders to leverage its capabilities to further advance the company’s global supply chain. The facility is ISO 9001:2015 certified and utilizes state-of-the-art machinery to ensure the highest quality caster is consistently manufactured. Capabilities include: injection molding, automated/semi-automated assembly, and in-house testing. For more information about AS Rollen, you can visit


About Colson Group:
Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 30 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Colson Group US Welcomes New Light Duty Manager

We want to welcome Christina Kurtich to her new role of Light Duty Product Manager.

Christina has worked for Colson Group since 2017, leading the New Product development and Introduction (NPI) programs. Christina holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She has a background in steel and investment castings, for aerospace, military, and power generation industries. Christina also has experience in customer service, project management, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Christina enjoys listening to market needs and desires. She will assist in turning those needs into actionable product and process improvements. Christina is a high-energy individual, and will bring new and creative ideas to our product management team.

Christina replaces Jeremy Brault as the Light Duty Product Manager. She will assume her new job duties on June 1st, 2019. Customers should continue to contact Jeremy Brault until that time.

Jeremy Brault is transitioning to a new role as well: Director of Sales – Midwest and Northeast. Jeremy has 16 years of caster experience. His roles have been in sales, customer service, and brand and product management. Jeremy has been actively involved with customers throughout his career, with specialty in the distribution, industrial/catalog, and OEM sales channels.

Jeremy joins Donald Johnson on our Sales Management team. Jeremy and Donald will collaboratively manage and drive domestic growth initiatives through our regional sales territories.

We want to congratulate both Christina and Jeremy as they move into their new roles.

Colson Group USA appoints Vice President of Sales

Colson Group USA’s strategy continues to be:

  1. Best position Colson for growth as the global leader in the caster industry
  2. Continue to bring Colson together as one company and align us for the future

We are pleased to announce that Shelley DePuy has joined the Colson Group USA team as Vice President of Sales.

Shelley brings customer-focused leadership experience in all Colson Group USA’s primary sales channels: OEM, Distributor, and Industrial channels.  Most recently, she held the role of Director of Sales for the Kidde Fenwal division of United Technologies Corporation, a manufacturer of fire suppression systems. Prior to that role she worked with PBC Linear as their Director of Sales and Marketing.  Shelley holds a Bachelor of Science from State University of New York and a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Shelley will lead Colson Group USA’s three unique sales channels and continue to work with each to further develop winning customer relationships and growth strategies that support Colson Group USA’s leading solutions portfolio and industry position.

Distribution Center Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In 2016, Colson Group USA opened the national distribution center (DC) in St. Joseph, Michigan. The DC has allowed our manufacturing plants to further enhance operational and service responsibilities.

Alignment for the Future

This September, Colson Group USA announced the final step in its business strategy to align the company for the future. The plans include a new world-class national distribution center (DC) that will be located next to its St. Joseph, MI manufacturing plant, as well as the advancement of heavy-duty caster manufacturing in its two Michigan manufacturing plants.

(See “National DC Overview” and “Heavy-Duty Caster Manufacturing” for additional details.)

The establishment of the DC follows multi-million dollar investments in the company’s manufacturing facilities, and is the final infrastructure move in their transformation to operate as “one.” Previous to this transformation, the individual brands of Colson Group USA operated as autonomous companies. Beginning in 2013, the individual companies began the transformation into Colson Group USA to harness global synergies and further advance their leading position in the marketplace.

“The Colson team has done a great job completing a number of key initiatives during the past couple of years driving the transformation of Colson Group USA,” said Tom Blashill, Colson Group’s CEO. “Our vision and strategy have remained the same – to best position Colson Group USA for growth as the global leader in the caster industry and continue to bring Colson together as one company. Our USA manufacturing and distribution strategy positions us to deliver great value to our customers and drive growth in our business.”

The new 170,000-square-foot national DC, slated to open early 2016, will work in tandem with Colson Group USA’s manufacturing plants and auxiliary distribution facilities to simplify customers’ ordering experience, while also advancing the group’s operational capabilities.

“We want to enhance our distribution capabilities while allowing our plants to focus on manufacturing excellence,” said Blashill. “Distribution plays a significant role in our customers’ experience, and we look forward to delivering our full range of product solutions from our world-class DCs.”

National DC Overview

Excitement is building as Colson Group USA is rapidly advancing with the development of its new national distribution center located in St. Joseph, MI. Designed with the latest in distribution practices and technologies, the advanced 170,000-square-foot facility will be Colson Group USA’s first national DC supporting distribution for all of its brands of casters and wheels.

“Our goal is to enhance our customers’ experience through faster and more reliable fulfillment, dependable inventory planning, and the ability to consolidate shipments from our various brands,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations at Colson Group USA. “The DC will provide the necessary operational alignment to make this possible.”

Creation of the national DC allows Colson Group to setup a facility optimized solely for the distribution and common assembly of its broad product offering – functions currently supported within its individual manufacturing plants. This shift in distribution responsibilities will allow the manufacturing plants to further enhance their operational and service responsibilities, thus better supporting the group’s growing mix of USA-made products, customer-direct production orders, and regular supply to the DC.

The rollout of the new DC is led by Kevin Osborn, Colson Group USA’s VP of Operations. Kevin has been with Colson since 2008, where he has managed the operations for both the highly efficient and automated Jonesboro, AR and Monette, AR facilities. Kevin and his teams have carefully planned and reviewed all steps to ensure the DC infrastructure, technology, data structure, and inventory transitions are strategically staged and executed to mitigate service disruptions and create a truly world-class caster distribution center.


  • New ERP and data structure created specifically for DC to support advanced transacting and processing; this includes barcoding for every part number
  • Automatic data collection for real time ERP transactions and visibility for customer service representatives – thus eliminating paper transactions that later have to be keyed, and further improving inventory accuracy
  • Narrow-aisle racking installation is nearing completion
  • Hardware and shipment processing equipment now in-place
  • Wire-guided turret trucks in-place, equipped with ruggedized tablet PCs and scanners for efficient and safe picking
  • Experienced leadership for the DC assembly and distribution functions established; various employees relocated from Newnan facility
  • Assembly cells now underway; to be complete late this December

The DC will be officially opening in January, and Kevin and his teams will strategically phase in supporting inventory over the following months. Watch for additional updates and details on the DC development in the weeks to come.

Heavy-Duty Caster Manufacturing

After a series of recent manufacturing investments – including a new laser, CNC machining centers and forming equipment, and multiple robotic welding cells – Colson Group USA announced plans to rapidly advance the company’s heavy-duty (HD) caster manufacturing within its two Michigan manufacturing plants throughout 2016.

The plans include more USA-made product lines with greater warranties (starting with laser cut Albion 310 & 410 kingpinless casters), innovative new designs and accessory options, and advanced processes for greater speed in custom HD development. As an important element of these plans, the company is leveraging the strengths and infrastructure at both its Michigan manufacturing plants to best support the initiatives and grow both the standard and custom sides of its HD business.

“The Albion, MI manufacturing plant will continue to advance its heavy-duty focus under the leadership of Brad Bell and his experienced team,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations. “They will be working closely with the St. Joseph, MI plant to advance HD production, and will also be receiving the heavy-duty responsibilities from our Newnan, GA facility to better align HD production and leverage our new investments.”

The group’s polyurethane production is also receiving an upgrade in both equipment and capabilities, and will be transitioned to a worldclass poly environment. The transfer to one of the top precision polyurethane production facilities in the country will increase Colson Group USA’s production capabilities, enhance production control, and offer more advanced material options – including more resilient and high-temperature resins.

As a final step, the Albion, MI plant will be brought onto Colson Group USA’s new ERP system to complete the company’s goal of a unified ERP system across all of its facilities. This accomplishment allows Colson Group USA to unlock further service capabilities and process improvements for its customers across all of its facilities.

“We have a strong commitment to advancing our heavy-duty products and service,” said Brian Denisty, Heavy-Duty Product Manager at Colson Group USA. “Our planning and recent investments provide the necessary foundation to deliver this commitment to our customers, and I am excited to begin the rollout starting with the new laser cut 310/410 Series made right here in Michigan.”

Please watch for further HD product and service announcements taking place over the next few weeks.