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Location: Carrollton, TX
Occupation: Aviation historian/writer (freelance)
Post #54723, posted on 10-02-2014 GMT-5 hours
Mike McMahon, who purchased Military Model Distributors/Squadron mail order from founder Jerry Campbell in 2005, has left to "pursue other opportunities." Most are unaware that about 2009, Banyan Investment Partners of Florida (http://www.banyanmezzaninefunds.com/portfolio), a group which assisted McMahon's purchase of MMD in 2005 and which still holds MMD in its portfolio, gained control. Some time after Banyan took over, McMahon was forced to hire a Chief Operating Officer; the person chosen, Janene Boughton, came from the computer gaming industry (Electronic Arts). It is said that the two of them did not get along at all, but she has also left to "pursue other opportunities." It is rumored that McMahon fired Boughton and the investors subsequently fired McMahon, but the truth will probably never be known.
It is also reported that, under the new regime, vendors went unpaid. At least one has reported attempts to "strong-arm" shipment of new product when previous invoices had not been paid, and that vendor has ceased doing business with MMD. It is also reported that certain franchisees of a major chain have given their purchasing agents orders to stop dealing with MMD due to poor performance, wrong orders, and broken promises. Disgust has also apparently spread to Wonderfest in Kentucky, where MMD's reputation is now established with the SciFi modeling community, big consumers of Vallejo paints.
At the last Squadron Open House, it was obvious that inventory levels were extremely low, possibly even lower than 50%. Many items have been out of stock for months; is this the result of a decision by investors to deliberately reduce inventory levels? A new CEO, Gwynne Gorr, formerly with Franklin Mint, has been appointed. What does this mean for the future of Squadron Publications and EagleQuest? Will MMD become strictly a seller/distributor of die-cast models? The modeling world wonders. More should be revealed at the iHobby Exposition this weekend.