HARRISONBURG — Mark Fox, the New York City businessman who was called in to rescue a foundering Harrisonburg manufacturing plant, has died.
Fox, 49, took over as interim chief executive officer of Transprint USA in March after financial struggles and mismanagement put its future in jeopardy, according to company officials.
On Saturday afternoon, Fox was driving on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania when he had a medical condition that caused his 2013 Toyota Corolla to veer off the road, strike a tree and roll over, according to company officials and a report in The Sentinel, a newspaper in Cumberland County, Pa.
Fox, known for his involvement in philanthropy and politics in addition to business, was pronounced dead at the scene along with his dog Cole, a longtime companion that became a fixture of Fox’s office at Transprint’s Harrisonburg facility.
“The entire Transprint family is shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of Mark Fox,” Michael Cohen, company spokesman and a friend of Fox, said in a prepared statement. “Under his leadership, we took great strides in restoring the company to its legacy status. His dedication to the employees, commitment to the city of Harrisonburg and contagious laugh will greatly be missed.”
Company officials say Transprint will continue to move in the direction envisioned by Fox, and its operations won’t be affected by his death.
Transprint, which has about 100 employees at its local plant, supplies transfer-printing paper for decorating fabrics, such as clothing.
Its headquarters and production facility is located on Pleasant Valley Road, with design and sales offices in New York City.
Transprint’s struggles began not long after it was acquired in 2007 by Colorep, a printing and dyeing technology firm based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
When Fox came on board, many employees at the company’s production facility hadn’t been paid in full for several months.
Company officials say Fox had begun to right the ship in a relatively short amount of time, beginning to restructure the company under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and impressing Rockingham County officials with his acumen.
While it has a Harrisonburg mailing address, Transprint is actually just beyond the city limits.
Fox brought in as an adviser Harrisonburg resident Bill Boyd, who founded Transprint in 1976 and served as its president and CEO.
Longtime former managers Bob Fellows and Malcom Clare were also brought in to ease Fox’s transition and build trust with employees.
“We’re in a state of shock,” Boyd said of Fox’s death.
In an interview, Cohen said an acting CEO won’t be brought in to replace Fox, as his management team is capable of continuing in his footsteps to restore the company’s health.
“He had a great game plan,” he said, “and there’s no reason to change the game plan.”
A memorial service for Mark Fox, interim chief executive officer of Transprint USA, is planned for Friday at noon at Transprint’s facility on Pleasant Valley Road. The service is open to the public.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or email@example.com