PE-backed Grand Transformers taps Paul as CEO

Grand Haven, Michigan-based Grand Transformers, a maker of custom engineered magnetics, has appointed Stephen A. Paul as CEO. Previously, Paul worked at Jefferson Electric where he served as chief operating officer. Grand Transformers is a portfolio company of Blackford Capital.


GRAND HAVEN, Mich., Aug. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Grand Transformers (GTI), a leading designer and manufacturer of custom engineered magnetics, is proud to announce that it has named Stephen A. Paul as its Chief Executive Officer. The selection of Paul comes after a much-anticipated national search to replace GTI’s previous CEO. Grand Transformers, along with its Warner Power division, is a portfolio company of Blackford Capital—a national private equity firm that focuses on the lower middle-market.

“After a comprehensive national search for a new CEO at Grand Transformers, Steve rose to the top of the list,” said Steve Parker, Chairman of the Board and former interim-CEO of GTI. “We were impressed with the breadth of his experience and excited about how his skills in business planning, sales and marketing, operations, and organizational management skills will have a positive impact on the future of Grand Transformers.”

Prior to joining Grand Transformers, Steve Paul was the Chief Operating Officer at Jefferson Electric in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Initially beginning as the head of sales operations from 2006-2008, Paul excelled in his role and was promoted to COO. In that role, Paul had sales, P&L, and manufacturing responsibilities for the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Paul has an extensive background in the engineered magnetics space. During his career, he has held executive level positions in engineering, or sales, at Generac Power Systems, Hammond Power Solutions, and Siemens Corporation. Paul graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering before earning his MBA from Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

“I am very excited and honored to join the team at GTI and its Warner Power division,” said Steve Paul, “I look forward to being a be part of an industry-leading organization with a commitment to growth through its customers’ success. GTI has a unique combination of a strong customer base, industry leading products, dedication to innovation, and momentum in the market. This provides an excellent platform to accelerate what is working and improve on areas of opportunity for even greater growth and profitability in the future.”

“Steve Paul brings with him a tremendous amount of leadership experience that will directly benefit the organization. Paul will be focused on strengthening our customer experience and developing additional markets,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director at Blackford Capital. “Paul’s leadership, experience, and commitment to customer service are strongly aligned with GTI and we look forward to continuing the successful growth story together.”

About Grand Transformers
Founded in 1968, Grand Transformers (GTI), along with its Warner Power Division, is a portfolio company of Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company, which was recognized as one of America’s fastest growing private companies by Inc. 5000 in 2017, offers a wide range of custom magnetic products serving the motor drive, elevator, power quality, energy, and oil and gas industries. For more information on Grand Transformers, visit

About Blackford Capital
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that acquires, manages and builds family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and service companies. Founded by Martin Stein, the 2016 M&A Advisor Private Equity Professional of the Year, Blackford currently has 11 portfolio companies located across the United States and has been recognized with numerous awards, including the M&A Advisor Deal of the Year in 2015 and as one of America’s fastest growing private companies by Inc. 5000 in 2016 and 2017. For more information, visit