XENIA - It's a long road that led Jim Lunay from a
childhood spent in Xenia to college in Boston, then on to an accounting job that
he would leave behind to pick apples in New Zealand and travel the world.
Lunay has come full circle by returning to his hometown to manufacture
the road striping equipment
that made his family's fortune. After all
that travel, Lunay, 41, said he wants to stay put, grow the company and sell it
in 30 years or so. To which his wife, Kim Lunay, responds, "You'll be 71!"
A native of Australia, Kim Lunay, 30, married Lunay three years ago after
he talked her into coming to Xenia for what was only supposed to be a couple of
months to help him with JCL Equipment
Jim Lunay founded the company in 1991 after returning to Xenia to help
get his mother's affairs in order and sell the family's Kelly-Creswell Co. He
had spent several years away, leaving a prestigious accounting firm to go "on a
walk-about." The man with an accounting degree picked apples, hitchhiked around
Australia and met new friends, with whom he traveled to India, Nepal and
Indonesia. He made money buying earrings and sweaters in those countries and
selling them for higher prices in Europe. Lunay finally settled in Australia,
became a citizen and settled down for a while at an accounting firm, where he
She later left the job to take her own tour, traveling throughout Canada
and Alaska and eventually settling in Xenia with her husband.
Today, the two are partners and have just completed an expansion from
extremely tight 1,200-square-foot quarters to their 21,000-square-foot plant at
915 Trumbull St. in Xenia. With just three employees, plus themselves, the huge
building echoes. But now when they get a contract for a $120,000 road striping
truck, they can actually fit the thing in the building.
At the old plant they had to leave the cab end poking outside, lower the
garage door, build insulation around the edges to keep warm and then retrofit
the chassis with the striping equipment
Now settled in the new building, the Lunays are focused on managing the
company's 20 to 30 percent annual growth in orders for their walk-behind and
truck-mounted road striping machines. They've sold trucks to the state
governments of Maine, Vermont, and Louisiana and have customers in Australia,
Poland, Ireland and Canada. Their annual sales, which they will not divulge, are
small compared with their competitors, but the Lunays don't mind.
"We don't do any advertising. We don't need it and we don't want to be
the biggest. We want to be the best," Jim Lunay said.
He said JCL
focuses on building quality machines and providing
excellent customer service. Although both Lunays are accountants by training,
they don't bother making sales projections.
"We bid jobs, and if we get jobs, we get them," Mr. Lunay said.
That casual attitude may seem like heresy to the hard-charging
capitalists of today's roaring economy. But for the Lunays, it's merely how
they've chosen to live their lives.
In fact, they'd just as soon see a halt to new road building, even though
it would boost the need for the equipment
"We don't like suburban sprawl," said Jim Lunay. "I'd rather sell less
machines and have less roads."
* Contact Lynn Hulsey at 225-2348 or e-mail her at
Copyright, 1999, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights