JVA Partners Accolades in Industry Era

Jae Russ

John Veleris, was recently listed as one of the top ten Admired Leaders of 2022 in Industry Era.

“At JVA Partners, we invest in people, businesses, and communities. We are dedicated to the American dream and American manufacturing. Fueled by entrepreneurial spirit, our teams thrive on transformational innovation.” – John Veleris, Founder and Partner 


Optimizing product design and manufacturing processes, solving complex problems, and enhancing customer experience are the common threads of our private investment firm,” states John Veleris, Founder and Chairman, JVA Partners. “Our strategies revolve around serving our customers’ needs “smarter, better, faster,” and how we can become stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity.”

Specializing in corporate value creation in the mid-market space, John launched JVA Partners in 1998 with a successful mid-market turnaround where he leveraged the Rapid Value Creation (RVC) methodology he developed during his consulting career.

The firm has done 8 acquisitions, 2 mergers, and 4 exit transactions with its own capital and has demonstrated investment performance well over 100% IRR. “My father, a great entrepreneur, taught me that with strong will and resilience the human being can accomplish anything. The two quotes I live by are Mandela’s ‘I never lose. I either win or learn,’ and Churchill’s admonition to ‘never give up’.”

“Early on I realized that I could learn faster from seasoned business leaders. This led me to join professional organizations and CEO groups like TEC and Vistage,” adds John. “My early mentors taught me that accepting failure, even if you have reached the highest levels of success, requires the same mental toughness it took to get there. We all make mistakes, but we must learn from them quickly, and course correct in the best possible way.”

Learning and accomplishing through teamwork has motivated John to push the envelope in organizational cultures that foster innovation. Remaining open-minded and welcoming all opinions are leadership attributes he values highly.

“We constantly pivot, renew, and reinvent ourselves. Effective leaders require mental toughness in the face of adversity.”

John strives to support other entrepreneurial ‘birds of a feather’ as others assisted him: by providing meaningful mentoring based on his own experiences, along with networking and professional introductions, coaching about business goals and best practices, and most importantly, emotional resilience. “I always promote and reinforce our collective belief that change is good and that risk and uncertainty hide opportunities.”

John believes the necessary differentiating factors for success include effective organizational design and best practices in recruiting, developing, and retaining talent. He further elaborates that, “The sufficient factor is a culture that is inclusive and transparent, promotes cross-functional collaboration, and rewards learning and achieving. Our culture is the mother of our innovation.”

“When you help your customers hone their competitive advantages, you win. Doing so requires innovation that starts from reformulating strategy to redesigning business processes for enhanced effectiveness and efficiency. Our holdings have been early adopters of innovation enabling technologies with many demonstrated success stories of value creation.”

“A recent first-to-market example is our augmented reality (AR) platform for Hickory Hardware and Belwith-Keeler which enhances the customers’ shopping experience. Another is our Belwith-Keeler B2B headless commerce platform that amplifies our commercial customers’ ability to convert sales. Wes-Tech Automation Solutions and Delphian Systems are also spearheading smart product and manufacturing automation solutions with IIoT and Industry 4.0 – related technologies.”

John gave three Wes-Tech examples to demonstrate the strategic impact of JIT (just-in-time) and Agile Manufacturing automation solutions:

1. ASC Industries, a manufacturer of aftermarket automobile water pumps, dominated its market during a market downturn by redesigning its business model for automated on-demand production. Within three years the company quadrupled revenue and eliminated half a billion dollars of retail inventory.

2. A similar solution enabled Chrysler (now Stellantis) to redesign manufacturing production and assembly processes of all their transmission models in two US plants that became the company’s international JIT supply hub for dozens of vehicle assembly plants across thirty countries.

3. The third example was a highly automated final-component-assembly for a major EV company known for its drive for innovation and high goals in achieving mass-production scalability of historic proportion in record time in 2018.

John summarized, “We always prepare for upcoming challenges and opportunities by asking the right questions of our customers.” He also noted that the highly interactive and innovative problem-solving methodology that Wes-Tech applies with its customers was studied by Dr. Bruce Vojak, an innovation expert, who described it in his new book, “No Excuses Innovation.” In closing and with regards to the future of JVA Partners John commented, “Knowledge is power, and I think the best future is one where we leverage it, along with collective core competences, with select family offices and VC firms.”

Download the .pdf for a copy of the article “OVERCOME challenges AND ACHIEVE HIGH ASPIRATIONS WITH persistence.”

— JVA Partners