BUFFALO, NY - If you remember, OnCore was one of the first Innovate WNY stories we did, and 18 months later, things are far from fledgling at the revolutionary Buffalo startup.
That includes naming John Koelmel the new President of the company.
“That opportunity to be a disruptor, to be a bit of change agent, to lead with innovation. Is more than a curiosity, it’s a real opportunity for us.”
Koelmel served as President and CEO First Niagara Bank from 2006 to 2013, as well as a stint as President of HarborCenter until 2015. The lifelong golfer says he aims to leverage his network to grow the OnCore brand.
"Create greater visibility and awareness of the brand and get us even more on the radar screen," Koelmel said.
"I'm an enable I want to enable the success of others and certainly the momentum here has been incredibly positive. Hopefully, I can enhance and add to that in the years ahead."
OnCore says their sales have doubled year-to-year from 2015 to 2016 and their hollow core metal golf ball can be purchased in all 50 states and in 21 countries.
The company made waves several years ago after their revolutionary hollow core metal golf ball actually changed some of the rules of golf for the first time in over one hundred years.
Part of the growth strategy for OnCore is attracting more touring professionals to use their product. The responsibility for finding those players now falls on the newly hired Director of Business and Player Development, Brian McGahey.
McGahey left a 15-year career at Nike Golf, where he regularly worked with pros Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie. He was attracted to OnCore Golf after using their product on a course one day and realizing how special it was.
“Wow, I shot one under, two under with it. I’m a scratch golfer," McGahey recalled, "I was like, I’m able to hit with this which isn’t even for a scratch golfer”
McGahey’s role is to acquire talent to use the OnCore product in tournament play. Given the need for a tour ball, OnCore will be releasing one called the Elixr later this year. McGahey has already been able to get the ball in the bag of some touring professionals.
“We’re killing it with the tour players, I’ve had about 15 or so players. And everybody to a man says this ball is great,” McGahey said.
The support from the touring players isn’t surprising for founders Steve Colton, Brett Blakely and his father Keith, who is the company's CEO. Steve and Brett started OnCore in 2009 and it’s been hard, but meaningful, journey for the small startup. They know, however, that now is the time to really push for even more growth.
“I think what we’ve done has been outstanding and having this added to the arsenal is perfect timing. It’s going to be a global footprint, unlike anything that has come out of Buffalo to date.”
And as company President, Koelmel will need to leverage the growth OnCore has had so far and push the company to the next level.
“I’m looking forward to having some fun and providing a little extra boost. We’re confident that now’s our time for us to really pop and make some good things happen,” he said.