Resource Partner: American Bank

Manufacturing Success: How a Trusted Resource Partner Empowers Business Innovation

By Russell Duckworth, American Bank

Ask 12th-grade me what I thought I’d be doing on any given morning in 2023 and I’m sure that writing a DCMA newsletter blog, whatever the heck a blog is, would not be anywhere on the list. Maybe a video call with my parents back on earth or jetting around in my flying car. I spent that summer in the Converter Clutch machine shop on Austin Street working for Mr. and Mrs. Day and learning the hard way why accidentally sitting down in a puddle of paint thinner is a bad idea, why PPE like a good pair of gloves is a good idea when collecting metal shavings, and why having a Miller Light button on the soda machine makes good sense when it’s 115 degrees at 5pm. Thankfully, the Dr Pepper was ice cold, too.

As my career progressed, I delved into diverse technology projects, from EDI integration at Standard Register to robotics and automation at Fort Dearborn Company. I also tackled finance projects that took me to places like New York and San Francisco, supporting programs for companies like American Express. Coming from Garland, these destinations felt much farther from home than the miles suggested.

Throughout my journey, the lessons from that hot machine shop and warehouse stayed with me: measure twice, cut once; use the right tool for the job; extend respect to people and equipment to keep all your fingers; having a buddy “in the business” is invaluable, and above all, the importance of skilled individuals turning raw materials into remarkable products. Working with clients crafting everything from composite containers to spinal implants, traditional millwork to additive manufacturing with titanium dust, continues to amaze me—from the founders’ visions to their world-class products distributed globally.

American Bank, NA, and American Bank Business Finance play pivotal roles in supporting outstanding manufacturing operations and fortifying the financial foundation of B2B companies to ensure that cash flow aligns with the velocity of innovation and business. Factoring, also known as accounts receivable financing, efficiently converts invoices into cash in the bank the next business day. When I was a B2B business owner, I also faced cash flow challenges and understand the immense value that financial tools like factoring can provide.

There are many great bankers involved in supporting the DCMA – and I consider many of these professional to be friends. We are all ready to address questions about business lines of credit, equipment loans, and structured debt when the time is right. If you’re navigating the complexities of cash flow challenges and facing resistance from your commercial banker, then I ask for the opportunity to first become a trusted resource and earn your business.

Russell E. Duckworth
VP | Business Finance
(214) 801-0627

Established in 2006, Property Tax Partners is a Texas-based tax consulting organization, serving clients nationwide. They help manufacturing companies maximize their bottom line by minimizing their commercial and industrial property tax liabilities. PTP negotiates significant value reductions in real estate, business personal property and mineral assets, ensuring that their clients only pay taxes on fair and minimized market values, while maximizing eligible tax exemptions.

Do you lease your facility? What does property tax mean to you if you don’t own real estate?
It’s not just about real estate! Many business owners and their teams mistake property tax as being primarily related to their leased or owned real estate. However, quite a few states tax business personal property and inventories – including Texas – and these are areas where PTP’s knowledge and expertise results in significant taxable value and tax liability reductions.

As a manufacturer, your equipment (which is subject to property tax!) suffers wear and tear from consistent use. PTP, as part of its process, conducts site visits to analyze equipment condition, and ensure the physical, functional and economic conditions are reflected in valuations. Do you have retired equipment or ghost assets on your books? Part of PTP’s process is to identify these ghost assets and eliminate them from your annual reporting process.

How does PTP have such a breadth of experience?
Their service team consists of attorneys, engineers, licensed property tax consultants, CPAs, valuation experts and process improvement professionals. Their professionals have worked with government agencies and jurisdictions at the local and state level for 15+ years, with a knowledge base that is respected by jurisdictions and industry experts.

When partnering with PTP, they will:
• Reduce internal time and expense related to property tax issues.
• Minimize assessed values through consulting and appeals for real and personal property.
• Support internal tax, accounting and operations personnel through the annual property tax process.
• Provide a qualified, professional and ethical external property tax representative to appear before assessing authorities.
• Work to settle client appeals informally each year, avoiding the need for contentious ARB or costly litigation disputes.
• Provide an experienced local partner for minimizing property tax liability, while also communicating and implementing property tax planning and strategy objectives within the finance, supply chain, and operations organizations.

PTP has experience across a variety of light and heavy manufacturing industries, including meatpacking, food processing, bottling, oilfield services, refining and petrochemicals and other manufacturing segments.

One of PTP’s manufacturing clients recognizing a 78% real property value reduction, equating to $99 million value reduction in one year.

Their process begins before a return is filed or a value notice is received and continues through informal negotiation, administrative appeals, and litigation, when necessary. They are a full-service, one-stop property tax solutions firm.

To learn more about how to reduce your property tax, contact Kate Strittmatter, PTP Managing Director – Business Development, at 832-476-3593.

PTP was a proud sponsor of the DCMA Summer Conference in July, and is looking forward to sponsoring the 39th Annual Golf Tournament in September.

Good people embody great values. Great values build principled organizations. Principled organizations elevate good people.

Dan Dunigan, President of A Brite Company is a fiercely loyal individual — loyal to his employees, loyal to his customers, loyal to his city, state, and country — but to understand Dan, you first have to understand his father, Frank. After twenty years in management at a Fortune 500 chemical company, Frank was ordered to lay off his entire team due to an upcoming corporate merger. Rather than do the unthinkable, Frank put his career and life savings on the line by starting his own company, A Brite, and hiring his entire original team.

That’s the environment Dan Dunigan grew up in and it explains why A Brite feels more like a family than a business. Starting as a teenage groundskeeper and gopher, he rose through sales and upper management to his current position as owner and president. Today, A Brite manufactures a host of surface cleaning and finishing formulas, including their newest line of Ameri-Kleen consumer cleaning solutions.

Loyalty Begets Loyalty

Since the erosion of traditional supply chains, A Brite has traded on their longstanding relationships with suppliers and pivoted into brokering chemical components that other manufacturers cannot easily obtain. In essence, their loyalty to suppliers has paid dividends of return loyalty, which they’ve built on to overcome unstable supply chain issues.

Dan also readily expresses his loyalty to the Garland Chamber and DCMA for their help and guidance over the years. That’s a large part of the reason A Brite turned down a larger facility opportunity in Dallas some years back. For more information about A Brite and their product offerings, visit

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