by Anne Clarrissimeaux / Published June 2023
Walking the rows of towering racks filled with pressure washing parts and accessories that fill the 48,000-square-foot warehouse of Minnesota-based Veloci Performance Products, CEO Aaron Lindholm is taking a rare quiet moment during his company’s busiest month to walk the expansive distribution center.
The sounds that echo through the warehouse are those of forklifts, packaging machines, and semi-trucks waiting to load and unload pallets of inbound and outbound products—spray guns; foam cannons; and a warehouse full of nozzles, pump kits, and a massive selection of component parts.
In these aisles, amidst the legacy of his father and with the spirit of Italians, he thinks. Strategic growth is on his mind—expansion, partnerships, and acquisitions. Aaron’s entrepreneurial drive is only overshadowed by his unassuming confidence and genuine nature. Today, this company, the thousands of parts, the exclusive partnership with MTM Hydro, and the deep network of dealers is a testament to the company his father, Scott Lindholm, started nearly 20 years ago, but present-day successes and its future growth sit squarely on Aaron’s shoulders.
In 2011 Scott unexpectedly passed away. Aaron, who had worked alongside his father at the company for all of a month, immediately stepped into the role of CEO at the age of 26. It was a change that didn’t allow for a lot of planning and forced Aaron to rely on instinct to navigate a new game plan.
And, as Aaron knows all too well, change—whether planned or not—brings the potential for growth.
With the blessing of MTM Hydro, the premier Italian-based pressure washing equipment manufacturer that Scott had originally partnered with to bring their products stateside, Aaron began in 2017 to operate Veloci Performance Products Inc. as a stand-alone operation; the commitment that Veloci would be the primary distribution partner of MTM Hydro’s products in North America continued.
From there Aaron carved a path of his own; today Veloci Performance Products is one of the largest, most trusted distribution companies in the industry. Through Veloci, thousands of products are sourced from North America, Asia, and Europe and sold to an impressive roster of dealers. The company also provides services including engineering, sourcing, warehousing, packaging design, marketing collaboration, private labeling of products, and now, manufacturing.
As CEO and president, Aaron is the type of guy who takes things in while assessing the playing field and forming a game plan that he’ll bring to his team later for discussion and action. Integral to that team is his brother, Alex, who came on board as a partner in 2017, not long after Aaron purchased the company, and serves as the company’s CFO and executive vice president.
Together, they’ve expanded product offerings, distribution capabilities, and warehouse capacity; brought on other OEMs; built relationships with overseas vendors; and successfully navigated challenging supply chain issues.
“Aaron and I have a strong sense of trust with each other,” says Alex. “We know that helps create a positive, productive, and team-focused work environment here at Veloci. Working alongside my brother and aligning our business objectives to work toward a shared purpose is meaningful, both personally and professionally.”
Aaron agrees. “A few years ago we reached a point in the business where Alex’s financial expertise and experience were needed. His willingness to leave a different job in finance and join me here at Veloci made a huge impact. The work he’s doing is helping set us up for significant growth, but it means even more than that—getting to do this with my brother is pretty great.”
“When we were kids, we never had a big dream to work together,” he shares. “But I’m really proud of how Alex and I have worked together, what we’ve been able to do with this business, and the vision we have for the next five to ten years from now. I know our dad would be proud.”
While they might not have dreamt of one day working together as adults, they did work together as kids: helping in the warehouse of their father’s company during summer vacations, picking product, packing orders … and generally annoying each other and causing mischief every now and then. They both recall how their dad’s exasperation with their mischief would result in him handing them $10 and sending them off for ice cream at the nearby Dairy Queen.
The Lindholm brothers have established a casual, collaborative environment at Veloci, encouraging innovation and new ideas, teamwork across departments, and above all, a people-first atmosphere.
“We believe in the power of teamwork and collaboration,” says Alex. “We’re all in this together, and the success of our company depends on the collective efforts of each of our employees. We encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas with one another and to work together to solve problems and achieve common goals.”
As Aaron makes his way to the back of the warehouse, a forklift rolls into the far end of the aisle; it’s Elvis, a Veloci warehouse associate who recently marked nine years at the company. Aaron stops to greet him. “Hey, Elvis,” he says, “big orders yesterday. Nice job to you and the team getting those out.”
Elvis, often thought of as the heart of the Veloci warehouse, smiles wide in return as he scans a pick ticket and reaches for blue hose. “Thank you—we’re busy, busy.”
After chatting with Elvis, Aaron continues through the back of the warehouse and heads for the area that houses Veloci’s newest endeavor: in-house manufacturing and assembly. In this area, the sounds of forklifts and tape machines fade; there’s a whirr of a CNC (computer numerical control) machine as fittings come off the line and the quiet puffs of pneumatic air from robotic arms as those fittings are assembled take over. Complete sets roll into a bin. Veloci’s manufacturing team is testing hose tolerances on this day—so every now and then there is a burst of air.
This is the sound of change (yet again) at Veloci. Veloci’s product set is changing up, expanding, and coming in-house. Aaron’s long-held vision of manufacturing has been launched.
“Having manufacturing in-house means a faster turnaround time and gives us complete oversight and control over every aspect of the production process, from the quality of raw materials we use to the finished product.” Plans for expanding manufacturing, he says, are already underway.
The decision to launch manufacturing was made just as the pandemic took hold, but Aaron decided to forge ahead despite the challenges he knew the business could face during an uncertain time. First, there was a year-long process of working with a machine shop to design and build a CNC machine that would create the specific fittings as well as a coupler assembly machine that uses a robotic arm to assemble the fittings. Second, there was the purchase of a machine that would automate the assembly of Veloci’s sought-after KobraJet hoses (which will also include the Prima fittings).
The third step was internal and important to Aaron: building a team that would run the manufacturing department. “Veloci is more than just the parts we sell,” he says. “It’s about the opportunity we provide to our employees to work in a place that’s enjoyable, to grow their careers, and to be able to enjoy a life outside work,” he comments.
And that person was manufacturing technician Andrew Alexson. With a mechanical and metal fabrication
background, the manufacturing and machining world was a natural fit for Alexson. “It’s exciting to be part of a project that has so much growth potential,” he says. “The innovation and the ingenuity that Veloci is putting towards this is huge, and I’m really proud to be part of it and to contribute to launching manufacturing here at Veloci.”
Veloci’s Prima Fittings have been available for limited purchase through their dealer network, and manufacturing will ramp up to full production levels this summer.
The company will mark 20 years in 2025, a significant milestone that will be marked by loss but also the celebration of a legacy carried forward, the story of two sons expanding on something their father started long ago. Certainly, an accomplishment of which their father would be proud.
As director of sales & marketing, Anne Clarrissimeaux enjoyed talking with the Lindholm brothers and other employees who play a vital role at Veloci Performance Products. To find out more about the company, visit www.velociperformance.com.