Ronald (Ronnie) Fowlkes is a co-owner of a company called First Spear Development Group based out of Fenton, Missouri. He is the director of business development at this firm which supplies gear to those in law enforcement and in the military. He was in the Marine Corps himself and is a graduate of the Army Jump School. After being honorably discharged he joined the St. Loius Police Department. It was eventually made a team lead in this city’s SWAT group. He became acquainted with FirstSpear when he was in the Marines and had been impressed with the high quality of their gear.
Having now been in the police and military gear industry for more than 20 years he is very experienced in what these people are looking for. He is involved in designing and developing this gear as well as delivering it. Prior to his involvement with First Spear he had worked at ITW, leading their sales and business development departments, and fulfilling a similar role at Eagle Industries.
He says that every morning he drops his kids off at school and then heads into his office. His day is not a regular 9-5 job because he is often on calls with others that are overseas. About 1/3 of their business is done with NATO, Ronald Folkes says. He says he drinks Mountain Dew during the day to charge him up with caffeine order to get through his busy schedule.
One issue in his industry, Ronald Folkes says, is that other companies like to copycat what other businesses in the industry are doing. In order to protect First Spear from this activity the patent their products so other companies can’t steal their ideas. He says two new technologies in the industry really help his team come up with great products which are laser cutting and tube technology. Because of this technology they are able to lighten the load of their gear by almost 40%.
Ronald Folkes is a big sports fan. He has an account on medium.com where he writes a lot about hockey in particular. In a recent article he wrote about how fighting is becoming rarer in this sport and could soon become obsolete. He wrote that back in the 2008-2009 NHL season a fight occurred in about half of the games. Today that number is down to less than 20% and is trending lower each year.