Chip Johns

Entrepreneur in Residence and Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Program Moderator, Bertarelli Institute for Family Entrepreneurship

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 two different manufacturers, and advising a number of established manufacturing or start up enterprises.

Chip is currently the President at Edson Marine, a small manufacturer of sailboat steering systems, boating accessories, and industrial pumps and pump systems. Chip acquired Edson, a 165 year old manufacturing business, in 2021.

Prior to acquiring Edson, Chip was the President and CEO of Butler Automatic. Chip’s role at Butler as the first non-family President/CEO 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.