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  • BYLINE:    Lynn Hulsey Dayton Daily News
  • DATE: December 1, 1999
  • PUBLICATION: Dayton Daily News (OH)
  • PAGE: 1E
    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 Co.

    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 met Kim.

    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 they make.

    "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 reserved.