Dave Walter, CEO of the Composite Recycling Technology Center, told the Port of Port Angeles and Clallam County commissioners Monday that the CRTC is focused on the launch of three products in the coming months. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

CEO: Composite Recycling Technology Center turns profit; focused on three product lines

PORT ANGELES — The Composite Recycling Technology Center has turned a profit, it’s newly-appointed CEO Dave Walter told Port of Port Angeles and Clallam County officials Monday.

The CRTC has $28,000 in earnings this year as of the end of September and the CRTC projects year-end earnings at $130,000, Walter said.

Walter said the CRTC no longer needs financial support from the Port of Port Angeles, which committed $1.35 million to the CRTC in exchange for economic development, and that the CRTC will be self sufficient in 2018.

The port’s financial commitment ends at the end of 2017.

“I believe we have what we need to be self-sufficient,” he said. “Really now it’s about focused execution.”

He told port and county commissioners that for the rest of the year the CRTC is working to fill orders on a portable pickleball net, an industrial composite brace and on a private label contract that is under a non-dis- closure agreement.

Last year, the CRTC developed pickleball paddles made from recycled carbon fiber.

Among its newest products is a profitable pickleball net system made with recycled carbon fiber. The CRTC has filed for a patent on the net and expects to finalize all development this month.

Walter said the CRTC will demonstrate and obtain pre-orders during the the USA Pickleball Association National Championships in Arizona in early November.

Double staff

The CRTC expects to more than double its staff next year as it scales up production, Walter said.

The nonprofit currently employs 17 people and Walter expects to hire 18 others by the end of 2018.

The new hires would mostly be in production and engineering, he said.

The CRTC has mostly been funded through grant and port funding, but Walter said that is “starting to flip.”

“I do still see some level of grants, but they will be smaller,” he said. “You don’t want to be dependent on grants.

To pick up extra cash, the CRTC has been selling lab and machine time. As Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach said to him, it appears the CRTC has “some flexibility in managing its bottom line.”

Walter said he doesn’t see the CRTC running out of manufacturing capacity or space “any time soon” and that it will be a “balancing act” as the nonprofit pushes out products at the same time as scaling up others.

“It’s a matter of managing cash,” he said. “That’s something I look at every single day.”

Commissioner Randy Johnson said he is excited about the CRTC’s upcoming products, but he continues to worry about the CRTC.

“It sounds to me like you’re continuing to walk a tightrope,” he told Walter.

Walter said it’s more of a “fine line with a net underneath.” He said the CRTC has focused on agreements that provide cash upfront to keep operations going.

The CRTC also announced that it has recently appointed Nobuyuki Odagiri, vice president and senior technical fellow for Toray Composite Materials America Inc., to its board of directors.

Toray provides scrap carbon fiber materials to the CRTC.

Odagiri has been with Toray for 36 years and has expertise in polymer synthesis and design, matrix resin design and composite material design and fabrication.

“We are delighted to have Odagiri-san join the Board,” said Anson Fatland, CRTC board chair. “He is a person of very high character combined with exceptional technical knowledge and really brings outstanding skills and abilities to the team. We know he will be a great asset to the CRTC organization as we drive hard and prepare for significant growth.”

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.