The Activity Group Grows, Quietly

by Brad Carlson, photos by Jim Peterson

When the trauma-geared medical solutions you supply end up in the hands of military and civilian first responders working with no time to spare in challenging settings, your company’s growth can seem of secondary concern.

The people who run The Activity Group take an enthusiastic but sensitive approach, celebrating a cutting-edge technology’s newly documented success in the field much more than they celebrate their own likely need to add staff and space soon.

The work is “incredibly rewarding,” in a way that goes beyond monetary returns, majority owner and CEO James Burns said.

Medical first responders continuously seek the best equipment and techniques to treat patients faster and more effectively, but now the public is increasingly aware of these solutions’ importance, he said. Field tests and demonstrations, not sales pitches, get these devices and training programs into use.

The demand to be as safe and well prepared as possible is strong—injury is the leading cause of death among persons aged 1 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—“and we want to help,” Chief Operating Officer Michael Daniels said.

The Activity Group acquires and distributes cutting-edge trauma products, innovative safety technology, and comprehensive training solutions to military, law enforcement, emergency services, and private-sector customers worldwide. Burns said recent growth drivers include kits for schools and the ACT awareness and training package, with action, communication, and treatment components.

The company employs about ten people at 204 Ellen St., Garden City. Many staffers have experience in the military, which now contributes the largest share of revenue.

“There are so many of these technologies that have crossover potential in the civilian market,” said Burns, who is 30 years old. “At The Activity Group, it is our job to bridge that gap from the military arena to the civilian marketplace.”

Shannon Cook, a co-owner with Burns and Neil Cook (no relation), said compared to his other ventures—like multifamily and commercial real estate, service businesses and restaurants—The Activity Group presented more unknowns and a unique excitement.

“It ignited in me a passion to be involved with a company that had such a profound impact on the ability to affect positive changes on a mass level,” Shannon Cook said. “Every person who works at The Activity Group loves what they are doing, making it a success on a personal level.”

Eagle residents Cook and Burns said the company may build a new headquarters and distribution facility in the next two years, ideally in Eagle, based on recent and anticipated growth. Headcount could quadruple.

“We see 2016 as being the most significant in our ramp-up phase,” said Cook, 46 years of age.

The Activity Group was among product winners at the 2016 EMS Today Conference & Exposition in Baltimore, for an advanced first aid kit of primarily new components.

Founders Burns, Daniels, John Wootton, and Michael Moore, as well as Neil Cook, brought defense and aerospace industry experience. Shannon Cook got involved soon after the May 2015 launch to help with strategic planning.

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