And although the younger Crafton has stepped down as president of the family business, she will be staying on as a member of the board of directors for the next couple of years, and most likely beyond that, she said.
“I’m retiring, selling everything lock, stock and barrel. It’s kind of awesome,” Crafton said. “I’ve done this all my life and I’m ready to do something else, probably something to do with charitable work. But I won’t be going anywhere for a while.”
When the transition is complete, the new owners will be Jordan-Blanchard Capital (JBC).
JBC is a recently formed company, a partnership between James H. Blanchard and The Jordan Company.
Blanchard retired as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp., a multi-billion dollar financial services company out of Columbus, Ga. The Jordan Company was a private equity firm specializing in buying and building companies, most often in partnership with existing owners and management.
JBC formed in 2011, and bills itself as an alternative asset management firm that invests in niche manufacturing businesses. Its current portfolio includes three other manufacturing businesses, two in Georgia and one in Tennessee. Poly Portables will be its fourth acquisition when the transition is complete.
“I’m so impressed with these people. I feel like they will keep Poly Portables going,” Crafton said. “These were the right people to sell to. I think we’’ll only see improved processes and procedures.”
Crafton also said she feels comfortable that the new owners will continue Poly Portables’ support of local charities and events.
“I’ve talked with them. These are people who understand the value of community,” she said.
Indeed, Blanchard has received much praise for his community involvement and support in Columbus. He created the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum in partnership with the University of Columbus, providing an opportunity for Columbus and the region to interact with some of the most influential political, military and business leaders in the world. He has long been involved in Teen Challenge, one of the largest and most successful non-profit faith based drug and alcohol recovery programs in the country. Blanchard has also served on numerous boards and received several awards for his servant leadership and his business ethics. In fact, he was a charter recipient of the Georgia Ethics in Business Award ini 2009. That award has since been renamed in his honor—it is now the Blanchard Award in Business Ethics.
Currently sitting in Crafton’s former office is JBC Principal Jeff Thomas. Thomas was with Jordan Capital beginning in 2007 and remained onboard when Blanchard partnered with the firm.
Thomas said he has no immediate plans to make changes at Poly Portables.
“We only buy healthy little companies and make them better, but over the long-term,” he said.