On Monday March 14th, the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center was lively and astir with activity, as usual. However, instead of machine humming and keyboard typing, glass clinking and chitchatting could be heard. DTMCo. and affiliate company Rooftop Green opened CiiC’s doors to welcome several architects and their guests for a night of networking. The principle reason for such an event was to showcase our new modular green roof tray system that will launch soon in the spring.
ROOFTOP GREEN’s All inclusive modular life
The event began with a small reception and presentation, during which Dan introduced Rooftop Green and the new product. RTG was founded in 2015 as one of the most recently established DTMCo portfolio companies. It fits in well amongst its fellow affiliates, finding and fulfilling an unmet need within a certain market. In this case, that market is in the green roof industry, and the need lies in affordability. Rooftop Green’s primary objective is to make affordable, accessible green roof systems that anyone can use.
“For the first time, you can actually afford, in a normal building, to have a green roof.”
—Dan T. Moore III
Rooftop Green President Patrick Hoffman continued the presentation, detailing product specs and benefits. Armed with an innovative design and a sister-company supplier, RTG manufactures modules based in a 100% recycled polymer tray. This seemingly simple design change has revolutionary potential in the green roof industry.
Rooftop Green’s all-inclusive modular life does not require any of the pre-installation elements that have become industry standard for extensive and intensive green roof systems. Its polymer tray design has absorptive and permeable qualities that eliminates the need for any water management elements. In fact, the tray holds the perfect amount of water, fostering seed germination and healthy plant life.
The Fiberworx material is porous, soft, and lightweight. In order to make green roofing accessible and affordable, the system must be easily installed and managed. Rooftop Green’s trays do just that. They are light enough to be moved and shifted, so our clients can make the green roof they envision. Whether they prefer to hire a roofer, or do it themselves, installation is easy.
All of these characteristics of the Fiberworx tray lead to possibly the most important advantage–its low cost! Rooftop Green clients do not and will not have to invest in external constructions, protective layers, and installation fees to have a green roof. They can make their choice between the standard sedum mix, the wildflower aesthetic, and or specialized herb trays, and easily install their modules themselves, if they wish. This allows Rooftop Green the opportunity to make green roofing a possibility for nearly anyone.
The trays and facility tour
After the presentation, our guests were invited to join the Rooftop Green and Dan T. Moore Company teams for dinner in the actual facility where our materials are produced. Several Rooftop Green modules were exhibited alongside finished rolls of synthetic Fiberworx materials. Conversation flooded the enormous space, with topics ranging from green infrastructure to the renovation and rehabilitation of industrial buildings like the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. We topped off the night with a tour of several affiliate companies located at CiiC, including NatGasCar, Ecowise, and the newest addition to the portfolio, Polymersion.
For more information on Rooftop Green and our all-inclusive modular life, please visit our website.
The story of Dan T. Moore Company begins, of course, with the man himself. Dan T. Moore III, born and raised a Clevelander, planted his business and entrepreneurial roots in his hometown. From this solid groundwork, growth has not only been inevitable, but intentionally sought after. Seven different locations currently wear the Dan T. Moore Company stamp with pride. Throughout the upcoming months, we will explore the establishment and development of these locations in this blog series, The World Tour of Dan T. Moore Company.
The first stop on our excursion is CiiC, the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.
Happenings here at CiiC are constantly lively and bustling, with its 10 different onsite companies doing a multitude of things, and the facility’s past is really no different.
17000 St. Clair Avenue began, what would be its great journey, in the aircraft industry, when Glenn L. Martin brought his company to Cleveland, Ohio in 1917. Martin Aircraft Companies constructed the originally 61,000 square foot plant and an adjoining flight test field, supplying aircraft to the army during WWI. The facility was then passed to Great Lakes Aircraft Company until the stock market crash ended aviation at the site.
Plant production made a slight detour in 1945, when Cleveland Graphite Bronze purchased the property to manufacture bearings for the automotive industry. It returned to the aircraft business, however, when WWII increased the necessity for aircraft bearings. With business booming, CGB built a large new plant, and made an addition at 17000 St. Clair. This intense development lead to an exhausted workforce, employee strikes, and eventually a plant seizure by the army.
After a complicated series of company name changes and property owners, the complex remained mostly vacant from 1987 until it landed in Dan’s hands, where its buzzing activity has again reignited.
The building did not become CiiC, pronounced “kick” to its plethora of employees, until Dan T. Moore decided to purchase it. Dan immediately saw the job potential in the 758,000 square feet of manufacturing, office, and warehouse space. In the words of CFO, Nancy Keene, “This was the ultimate recycling project—and space for all future ventures that were still just twinkles in Dan’s eyes.” His true hope was to bring manufacturing jobs back to the Cleveland area. So began the investment and renovation of the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.
“This was the ultimate recycling project—and space for all the future ventures that were still just twinkles in Dan’s eyes.”
-Nancy Keene, CFO
THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
CiiC could not have developed into the successful 1,000, 000 square feet of industrial space on the east side of Cleveland that it is today without its Director of Facilities, Joe Laumer. The real story lies in the just-so-happened circumstances that lead to Dan and Joe’s meeting.
If you have ever heard of Dan T. Moore III, you most likely know that he is an avid motorcycle enthusiast. When he caught word of a tour group hosting a Silk Road Trip from Istanbul, Turkey to Xian, China, he jumped on his bike and the opportunity. Somewhere roughly 2,500 miles away in Seattle, Washington, Joe Laumer did the same. The two spent a total of 52 days together in the same group of motorcyclists. Surrounded by people who didn’t natively speak their language, they grew quite close. When the trip came to an end, Joe planned a short excursion around his then current city of residence, Seattle, and British Colombia. And when that trip came to an end, Dan asked, “What’s next?”
Joe’s answer was the Continental Divide. He commenced planning a trip from Antelope Wells on the Mexican border to C anada. During this adventure, the real estate market crashed, and Joe’s home situation became a bit perilous. The irony is, he was originally from Cleveland. He moved back to Ohio, and one day found himself sitting at Dan Moore’s kitchen table. Dan was discussing his acquisition of the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center, saying he needed someone new to run the facility. He said to Joe, “That’d be a good job for you!”
THE DIRECTOR OF MAYHEM
Joe started as a consultant, but quickly became General Manager, then Director of Facilities. Now he doubles as the president of affiliate company NatGasCar as well. The sign outside his office titles him “Director of Mayhem.” When asked his favorite thing about working as such, Joe stated, “The absolute variety.” With 10 companies functioning behind CiiC’s doors, almost anything can happen on a daily basis. Due to the affiliate nature of these companies, Joe becomes intimately involved in their processes. Each and every one is connected somehow, and somehow Joe facilitates their connection.
“Boredom is the least of my problems.”
He even connects the sections of the CiiC complex together, giving them creative place names. The Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center doesn’t just have office space; it has the Sandbox. It doesn’t just have a gym; it has the Sweatshop. Our maintenance crewmen are members of the Fixology Department. Joe is even behind the naming of the Fab Lab.
Joe gave Dan the creative nickname “The Professor,” while on their first Silk Road adventure together. “Dan,” he said, “was always curious.” He carried around a little Economist book with facts about every country they visited. He was genuinely interested in what every person they spoke to during the adventure had to say.
One of Joe’s favorite memories with Dan happened on this trip as well. The tour group was leaving the country of Georgia and crossing the border into Azerbaijan. It was only the second border crossing of the trip, and the tour company had sent handlers, so all of the members of the group could cross together, except—Dan wasn’t there.
The tour guide received a call from The Professor, who managed to find himself at another crossing about 50 miles away. At the time, Garmin had a slogan, “Get a Garmin, or get lost.” Joe decided Dan’s new slogan was “Get a Garmin, and get lost anyway.” You can find this story in “The Book of Moore-isms,” a collection of quotes said by Dan and stories related to him. Joe had the first volume printed, and presented a copy to him for his 75th birthday. Not only is this little book indicative of Dan and Joe’s friendship, but it is indicative of the innovation and exciting activity always happening at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.
The Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center today
To Roth or Not to Roth, that is the question.
There are some inherent assumptions in the question itself – primarily that the questioner has already decided to kick some hard earned Washingtons into a retirement account. Rainy days are inevitable, and even squirrels are wise enough to stash acorns away for later. And while bank haters exist (and the millennial version perhaps hoards gift cards instead of stashing paper bills in coffee cans), the vast majority of us have enough faith in financial institutions to place a long term bet on a retirement account. So given that Keurigs seem to be replacing coffee cans, and gift cards have expiration dates, a long term account in a financial institution is not a bad way to go. But To Roth or Not to Roth, what should a saver do?
The term “roth”
William V. Roth, Jr. was actually a person, a senator from Delaware that suggested that perhaps some people would prefer to pay tax on their retirement account contributions instead of deferring the tax until later. Americans traditionally have an abysmally low savings rate. Deferring tax on contributions made to retirement accounts was a kicker initially intended to incentivize taxpayers to save. The deal was that a taxpayer could deduct the contribution to the retirement account and thus pay less federal tax when the contribution was made. But the tax would be assessed later when the money is distributed from the account. The contribution would grow tax free until distributed, and both the contribution and the earnings would be taxed later.
The strategy worked. Taxpayers began kicking money into Individual Retirement Accounts, and IRA became an everyday term for long term money. The smart thinking was deferring tax was a good idea, especially if you’re in a higher tax bracket now than you will be when you retire and start reaping the rewards doled out by your IRA. Throwing money annually into an IRA was a great rule of thumb for every taxpayer. And then along came radical Roth.
Roth said, pay the tax now, not later, and the kicker is that both the contribution and the earnings will be tax free later. As plot complications go, this one is a zinger. First, most people don’t know what their marginal tax rate is now, let alone what it will be later. And estimating what earnings will be when you take the money in the future is another fun calculation due to the compounding nature of interest. Then there is the whole government trust issue, what if the government reneges on their promise that the contribution and the earnings will be tax free in the future (and that’s not too far fetched – the tax law is constantly changing, and taxing at least the earnings as a preference or for alternative minimum tax purposes is an idea that some would generate a lot of revenue for uncle Sam).
Pay now or pay later
Conspiracy theories aside, and assuming the government keeps their Roth promise, is it better to pay tax now on the contributions, or pay tax later on both the earnings and the contribution? So there are few general guidelines. The longer you’re stashing the money, the higher the earnings. Under Roth rules, the earnings are not taxed. So if you have a long savings horizon (eons before you get to stay home and eat chocolates in retirement bliss), paying now and avoiding the tax on the earnings is a good plan. This is especially true if your tax bracket now is approximately the same as what you expect it to be when you retire. But what if you’re not a spring chicken, you’re already hoarding chocolates in the freezer, and your big screen TV is already set to increased font size? Your tax rate now may be much higher than it will be a few years down the road when you’re taking money out.
A good accountant could further complicate this by adding in time value of money (a greenback now is worth more than later) and considering the decision as a stream of annual contributions. And will this contribution be the first money you take out of your IRA or the last? And I’m all for keeping accountants employed, but for simplicity sake, ignore that for now. Make your decision on this year’s contribution only.
To do the basic calculation, you need to know four things:
- What is your tax rate now?
- How long before you retire?
- What will your tax rate be when you retire?
- How much will the contribution earn between now and when you retire?
Step 1: Take the contribution plus the earnings, and multiply by the retirement tax rate to determine the traditional IRA tax. Subtract the traditional tax from the contribution plus the earnings. This is your traditional IRA result.
Step 2: Then take the contribution multiply that by your current tax rate. That is your Roth tax. Tally your contribution, less the Roth tax, plus the earnings. Compare that result to your traditional IRA result.
Step 3: Go with the higher result.
Here’s an example – 35% tax rate now, retiring in ten years, 20% tax rate upon retirement, 6% earnings over ten years, (6% * ten years = 60%, or 69% if you insist upon compounding).
For a one thousand dollar contribution:
Traditional – (1,000 + 600)* .2 = $320 tax – traditional result of $1,280.
(1,000 contribution plus earnings of 600 less tax of 320).
Roth – 1,000*.35 = $350 Roth tax, Roth result of $1,250.
($1,000 contribution- $350 tax + $600 earnings)
So, for all you taxpayers that still have 20/20 vision, go Roth! Beyond a time horizon of ten years, the elimination of tax on the earnings beats the initial tax paid now on the contribution. And if you already have a pair of drug store readers, and you can take a Roth contribution later than when the year you retire – then consider it. But if you’re like most of us, and you need a little reduction in your annual tax bill to afford the contribution, then go traditional. But whatever you do, the first decision, the one to save money, is a good one. When was the last time you heard someone say they wish they had saved less? Roth or not, we all need a few acorns.
Nancy Keene is the Chief Financial Officer at Dan T. Moore Company. She plays a major role in DTMCo.’s success and Investment Philosophy. Her blog series, Nickels and Dimes with Nancy, will periodically share her insights and wisdom on a plethora of financial topics. Visit Our Team page to learn more about Nancy.
If you found yourself wandering through the basement of the Cleveland Industrial Innovations Center, home of many Dan T. Moore Co. affiliate companies, you would see a maze of hallways filled with black doors. In the center of building one, however, you would find yourself captivated by a bright red door, the entrance to the Dan T. Moore Company Fab Lab.
What’s behind the red door?
Following the inventive spirit of DTMCo.’s slogan, “Industrial Innovations,” the Fabricational Laboratory is a space dedicated to the creative process, or a makerspace. It houses a myriad of tools, machines, and equipment. You can find anything you could imagine you would need to build whatever your heart desires. Pictured below are examples of some of the machines available in the Fab Lab, including a lathe, disc sander, and milling machine. The accessories and general tools required for the use of this machinery are provided. Safety equipment is provided too. The Fab Lab rules require protective gear and dress at all times. Although safety comes first, creativity comes second. Sanding, cutting, metalworking—all can be accomplished here—even motorcycle rebuilding!
Who can use the fab lab?
Dan T. Moore III himself built his own motorcycle at the young age of fourteen. He established the Fab Lab in 2015 with the hopes of inspiring the same innovation in his community. With access to such a creativity-provoking environment, DTMCo. employees have the opportunity to contribute directly to the company’s overall purpose and growth. The ideas envisioned behind this red door could possibly hold the potential to transform the industry, even in the smallest way. It is this principle that has lead the company to its success. Please visit the Our Story page to learn why innovation and the Fab Lab’s inspiration is vital to Dan T. Moore Company.
Soundwich: Experts in controlling heat, noise,air, emissions and much more!
Dan T. Moore Company is pleased to announce the opening of a new sales, marketing, and technical office in the Detroit area to serve the needs of our customers in the transportation industry. The office is located at 850 Stevenson Highway in Troy, Michigan and will house the commercial teams from three portfolio companies: Polyfill, Soundwich, and Delaware Dynamics.
About Dan T. Moore Company
Dan T. Moore Company was founded in Cleveland, OH with the guiding principle of finding and solving unmet industrial needs. Operating as a family office, they leverage extensive internal R&D capabilities to improve the manufacturing processes of their portfolio companies. DTM Co. continues to create value through innovative products and strategic acquisitions. They currently manage 18 portfolio companies and oversee a total of 28 non-controlling private equity investments.
Soundwich, Polyfill, and Delaware Dynamics are all members of the Dan T. Moore Company Automotive Group.
850 Stevenson Highway
Troy, Michigan 48083
For additional information contact Dave Dippoliti at 248-326-5345.
DTMCo opened the new employee gym,“The Sweatshop,” located on the east side of the 17000 St Clair CiiC facility, to employees on the afternoon of July 31st. Launched with a speech from fearless leader Dan, attendees who signed up for a key received a swagbag that included a water bottle, retractable earbuds and a drawstring bag to use at the new employee gym – which despite the name is actually air conditioned.
Sign up to use the gym requires a $10 refundable key deposit, and completion of a responsibility waiver. Like all shared facilities, there are some rules for usage to protect the equipment and keep the site clean for all. Lockers are available outside the gym, and the nearby restrooms are equipped with showers. Entrance to the gym is from the Ecowise doorway on the east side of the CiiC facility.
The employee gym is the latest improvement to the CiiC facility, brought to us by the Joe Laumer, Dawn Hauserman, Sonny Battaglia, and the “can do” building crew at CiiC. It features bright lights, a tall ceiling, cheerful colors, rubberized gym floor, inspirational wall décor, and an interesting array of equipment. Gym hours are 6:00 am to 6:00pm weekdays!
Go to work a little early or stay late to enjoy the new workout space at CiiC! Located in the new “Sandbox” addition in building #1, next to EcoWise’s offices, the space is ready for action.
Featuring aerobic exercise equipment – treadmills, ellipticals, even a spin bike – as well as dumb bells, kettle bells, medicine balls, the gym space awaits your donation of sweat.
Hours will be from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
Let us know if there is additional equipment you would like to see in the space. We will try our best to accommodate all requests on a first come, first served basis.