Who Is Ed Komski?
Ed Komski is the public face of the newly chartered replacement California State Grange, or as listed with The State of California, "The Grange of California Order of Patrons of Husbandry, Chartered".
So; Who is Ed Komski is a question that most California Grangers would like to know the answer to. A few granger's who liked and supported former National Grange Master Ed Lutrell's forceful policies agree with Mr. Komski and follow him faithfully. But the vast majority of California Grangers are suspicious and want to know more about him before jumping off a proverbial cliff. California Grangers have a right to know who they are signing on with. To that end, this report is presented in a neutral chronological layout of Mr. Komski's more recent business ventures based on publicly available information in the hope that you will be better informed should you decide to vote to move away from CSG (formerly California State Grange). Enjoy the article and choose wisely.
The public information researched in this article was gotten from Mr. Komski's Linkedin Page ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/ed-komski-7a4a304 ), his Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/ed.komski ) and Internet searches. All information in this article is freely available to anyone who chooses to search it out.
Mr. Komski currently has three occupations.
- His first occupation is the National Sales Manager for DocMagic (https://www.docmagic.com). He landed a position for the electronic mortgage transfer company in June of this year (2015). They have a variety of software products for the mortgage industry such as robo signing software. Doc Magic did a welcome press release at the time of Mr. Komski's hiring to the position located HERE.
- His second occupation/business is ELK Group Inc. Not much is known about ELK Group Inc. There are several awards associated with it from Mr. Komski's Linkedin profile , but some of that is contradictory. Such as the business start date of Elk Group Inc. Mr. Komski shows the incorporation date as 1995 and it wasn't incorporated in California until 2005. ( http://www.corporationwiki.com/California/Fallbrook/elk-group-inc/44255153.aspx )
- Third on the list is Master/President of "The Grange of California Order of Patrons of Husbandry, Chartered" or T.G.C.O.P.H.C. (http://castategrange.org). Mr. Komski was elected as Master of The newly formed T.G.C.O.P.H.C. by a small group of 10 Delegates from 10 Granges loyal to the now deposed National Grange Master, Ed Lutrell. Here is the press release. The majority of California Granges, around 175, weren't there and didn't vote for Mr. Komski.
Mr. Komski has been part of on-going lawsuits involving The National Grange and CSG (Previously, California State Grange) for several years. He has been the voice and hammer of the now deposed former National Master, Ed Lutrell. There are no notable accomplishments to date for Mr. Komski as State Grange Master that we could find.
It is documented that Mr. Komski is paid for his full time President/Master and CEO position of this 501(c)(10) corporation in the amount of of $36,000.00 per year plus 100.00 per month expenses.
Using Mr. Komski's Linkedin page as reference we can see that he appears to have quite a few awards. Let's look a little closer at several of his more recent accomplishments listed on the Linkedin page.
1 of the 3 most beautiful carwashes in the U.S. from American Clean Car Magazine 1998 (Ed Komski’s Car Wash)
Per Ed Komski's Linkedin page, he started one of the most beautiful car washes in the country. The profile page states; 1 of the 3 most beautiful carwashes in the U.S. per American Clean Car Magazine.
The earliest information about Mr. Komski's carwash business that we found was this brief mention in the LA Times regarding his Mission Viejo Autohandwash.
According to this article "He had been a mortgage banker for 15 years and was working with his father-in-law's development firm and looking for a business opportunity of his own. He developed a business plan that helped him get a Small Business Administration loan to cover most of the more than $2.5-million in land and development cost."
Upon entering the carwash, there are a couple of out of the ordinary sales techniques you would have been approached with at Mission Viejo Autohandwash: "A visit to the wash starts with a brief consultation with a ticket writer, who keeps a chart of prices and services on his clipboard and goes over the menu with each customer. There are no posted price signs at the wash.
"We aren't trying to hide anything," Komski says, "but we don't want someone looking at a sign and saying they'll take a No. 4 wash when the No. 2 is all they need."
Still, some first-time customers are caught by surprise. 'It looks like a pretty good wash, but I didn't think it would be $10' (1997 prices) said Mission Viejo resident Jeff Ayer as he watched a two-man drying crew give his Volkswagen Jetta a rub-down. 'I'm not sure I'd want to pay that every week.'
The article also states,"The consultation, of course, also gives the ticket writer a chance to market each of the wash's services, and to explain, if asked, that despite its name, this isn't a hand carwash. Instead, it uses state-of-the-art mechanical washing equipment patented and marketed under the "Autohandwash" name."
An internet search brought up this 2002 LA Times article called "Man's Dreams Wash Out". ( http://articles.latimes.com/2002/apr/21/local/me-carwash21 ). This is an interesting story. According to the LA Times report, Mr. Komski had declared bankruptcy on a Small Business Administration (taxpayer funded) loan plus other funding. The Debt was in the millions. Here are a few quotes from that report;
"In a few months, a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise will open where the carwash is now being torn down. All that will be left of the Autohandwash is the imitation gold nugget and plaque awarded Komski, and a lot of legal bills."
"Already bankrupt and unemployed, Komski said his troubles keep compounding. He's now being sued for $1.1 million--the remaining amount of the 20-year SBA loan, with interest--by the out-of-state financial consortium CFSC, which bought the loan."
"An attorney for CFSC said Komski merely gambled with taxpayers' money and lost and now must be held accountable. "The business was well on its way to failure by the time CFSC got the loan," said the attorney, Edward Treder. "All reasonable efforts to get him back on track had already been exhausted by the SBA..... There is a point at which government agencies have to mitigate their loss and protect the interests of the taxpayers."
In a quote from another article about the collapse of the car wash Mr. Komski said "Sometimes all the puzzle pieces just don't come together", from this LA Times article from 2000 about the closing of the car wash ( http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/20/business/fi-2371 ) .
A lot can be said about a person by how he or she does business. As your State Grange President/Master, Mr. Komski will have a lot to say about how your Grange fares. Read on...
Monster Energy – 2009 Brand Retail of the Year Hansens Beverage – Monster Beverage (Ed Komski’s convenience store)
Shortly after leaving the position of Youth Coordinator for CSG (Formerly California State Grange), in 2007 , Mr. Komski, with the backing of several investors, started and was the CEO of Extreme Convenience located in Barstow California in 2008.
Here is a News Release. Apparently Mr. Komski specialized in selling high 100 octane gasoline and high octane energy drinks in a convenience store setting. Here's a quote from that article;
Komski said, "Our target market is anyone buying gas, but especially those who typically carry drums of racing fuel in the back of their trucks. This is a much more convenient and safer option. The rest of the Xtreme experience is for people who just want to have fun." If racers have a special order for racing fuel; they can call ahead and have it ready for them."
Information is a little sketchy on the demise of the business. But it did apparently go belly up. Here is how the property looked in 2012. Here is an easy to locate article we found on the Extreme Convenience failure, along with a few quotes from that article.
"Ed Komski, CEO of Xtreme Convenience, said it came down to gas prices. A Love's Travel Stop gas station and store opened in mid-2009 and had been offering gas for $2.99 a gallon, Komski said. He could barely eke out a 5 cents a gallon profit selling his gas for $3.19 a gallon."
"How could I possibly compete with that?" he said. He sent a letter to the California Attorney General's office, but to no avail. The office wrote him back saying there wasn't enough information to pursue an investigation, he said."
"His business partner in the store also owned the land. Not long after the store closed Dec. 28, the tanks were pulled out of the ground and the store levelled."
"It's the best thing for the property," Komski said, admitting that the whole situation has been a "little disheartening." and, "I'm done with gas," he said.
This business venture appears to have the same outcome as the car wash business venture. Starting with a big bang and then a vacant lot is all that remains. And only 7 years after the car wash bankruptcy.
The following images were taken entirely from Mr. Komski's Facebook page and Google images and were, at the time, December 15, 2015 available to anyone looking at his profile.
As far as we know Ed Komski was absent from most Grange activities from 2008 until 2013. As a State Grange Master, Mr. Komski wants to be responsible for your Grange. And with the combination of changes in the National Grange bylaws, new State Grange bylaws and new subordinate Grange bylaws that most California Granges didn't have a say in, he has the authority to take over your Grange if you get unruly or are acting in a manner not approved at the national or state level. Are you willing to take that risk? Think long and hard about it. Investigate and make sure that you are leaving a legacy for future Grangers and not a vacant lot for the next Extreme Experience.
The second paragraph in the National Grange press release may or may not be true. "Ed has been involved in several highly profitable entrepreneurial endeavors where he launched a number of local retail businesses, skillfully built them to profitability before selling them at a much improved market value." There may be some successful businesses that Mr. Komski has created but there is no evidence of them that we can find.
So that's the story. You are welcome to fact check as much of this article as you like. We haven't accused anyone of anything. We haven't brought out anything that isn't already in the public domain and easy to find. We only want you to see what is already there. Walk carefully over the next several months or years. Don't listen to PR and hype. And remember, the best way to stay out of the rabbit hole is to just stay the course. There are a lot of threatening documents coming from Komski right now. Responding by asking the right questions will serve you well and protect your Grange better than anything else you could do. Our FAQ page has some of the legal questions you should be directing to the Komski camp. Since Mr. Komski is not an attorney it is suggested that you request that his tax attorney give you the answers and then verify them with your own authority on the matter. There is a lot at stake.