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Chip Johns

IFE Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Peer Forum Moderator

Chip Johns

Chip is a seasoned leader, manager, and advisor with broad experience growing and managing a variety of manufacturing companies. Chip’s experience includes project management for a DoD contractor, growing a branded sporting equipment manufacturer from start up to being an industry leader, leading a cultural and financial turn-around of a machine manufacturer, and advising a number of established manufacturing or start up enterprises. 

Chip is currently the President/CEO at Butler Automatic, a family owned manufacturer of automatic splicing machines primarily used in the packaging industry. Chip’s role at Butler as a non-family leader included leading a turn-around of the company and re-building the management and sales team to execute the turn-around.  

Prior to Butler, Chip founded and built Vanguard Sailboats, owner of the Sunfish and Laser brands, into an industry leader in the marine industry.  Chip built Vanguard Sailboats from start-up into an industry leader through new product development, organic growth, and several acquisitions. Chip developed a highly motivated and dedicated management team that grew the business at 26% CAGR over 21 years. Chip managed the sale of Vanguard to a European competitor in 2007.

Just out of college, Chip worked in the Defense Electronics industry as an Engineer and a Program Manager for a DoD contractor involved in the Anti-Submarine Warfare market. Chip lead various teams in development and production projects. During his time as an engineer Chip was granted a patent for conceiving and developing a plastic, blow molded housing for electronics to be used in an ASW system.