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Largest Private Companies: Aerospace Supplier Marvin Engineering Is Flying High

Howard Gussman grew up alongside Marvin Engineering Co. Inc.
 
His parents started the company in 1963 as a “small machine shop” in Culver City. Nearly 60 years later, Marvin Engineering has grown into a major presence in the aerospace manufacturing industry.

 
Now based in Inglewood, the company employs nearly 1,000 people and serves customers such as Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp., Waltham, Mass-based Raytheon Technologies Corp. and Chicago-based Boeing Co.


“We have a vision of providing security and confidence to warfighters all over the world,” said Gussman, the company’s chairman and chief executive.

 
Marvin Engineering manufactures and sells carriage and release systems for weapons, also referred to as alternate mission equipment and aircraft armament equipment, according to the company, for private and government clients in the U.S. and internationally.

 
The company has seen explosive growth in recent years, nearly doubling its revenue over the past two years from $241.6 million in 2018 to $469.8 million in 2020.
 Gussman attributes the increase to new projects and contracts, including creating alternate mission equipment for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

“We were under acceleration,” Gussman said. “So, we had a bump year over year as we increased the velocity of those products coming into and out of the plant.”

 
Marvin Engineering is a part of Marvin Group, which contains two other businesses, Marvin Test Solutions Inc. and Marvin Land Systems, which were acquired by the company in 1995 and 1997, respectively.

 
Gussman said consolidation among the company’s competitors has put Marvin Engineering in a better position to offer specialized products and services to its customers.

 
“There’s been consolidation within our industry,” Gussman said. “Many of our competitors roll up into some of the larger companies.”


As the founding business of Marvin Group, Marvin Engineering is the company’s best performing and largest segment, Gussman said. It has continued growing throughout the pandemic, achieving its highest revenue in 2020.


Marvin Engineering, which has been on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Largest Private Companies list for 15 years, ranks No. 56 this year.

 
The company quickly adjusted to the pandemic, Gussman said. From the beginning, it was stringent about mask wearing, social distancing, temperature checks and Covid-19 testing for its on-site employees. Gussman said the company distributed “hundreds” of laptops to those who could work from home.

 
He added that the pandemic showed the “maturity and agility” of the organization. “We already see many efficiencies that will come out of what we had to face,” he said.

 
Gussman’s goal for Marvin Engineering is to attract talent from competitors by  creating a workplace where his employees can grow professionally, he said. He also plans to continue research and development that Marvin Engineering has started with its clients to expand the company’s product line.

 
“We have collaborated with many of our customers to provide them with solutions that don’t exist in the military today,” Gussman said. “We have several improved products that provide better capability to the warfighter both domestically and internationally.”

Read reading the 2021 Largest Private Companies Special Report.

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