OUR FOUNDERS

Hi, I’m Vernon Nolan

I am a retired farmer from Screven, Georgia. I grew peanuts, cotton, vegetables, and cattle for 43 years. When I was farming, I worked out of my truck and was in and out of it all day, I ate in it and used it as my portable office. Sometimes late at night, I even had to sleep in my truck when watching pivots. You might say, I practically lived out of my truck!

I probably was in my vehicle 2-4 hrs. a day, like a lot of people these days that’s driving to and from work. Over time there seemed to always be more stuff that kept showing up in my seats and on the floor, accumulating as clutter in my truck. 

Things like coffee cups, cola cans, hamburger wrappers, chicken boxes, and other normal clutter and the trash kept accumulating with nowhere to put it. Before I built the TidyHook, I would put stuff on the seat and if it was trash I would throw it on the floor, out of habit. Occasionally, if I had leftover messy food or something liquid that would spill, I would throw it out the window! But I always felt guilty afterward. Being a farmer, I have always believed in keeping our environment clean.  

After a few days, the clutter would build up and I’d get tired of looking at the mess on my truck floorboard, then I’d stop and bunch it up! I felt embarrassed at times when someone would open my truck door to get in and some rubbish or trash on my floor fell out. A lot of the times, passengers had to kick the clutter over, just to get in. I really felt guilty when an employee got in my truck and the same thing happened. Especially when I always made them keep my farm equipment and shop clean and tidy. 

At that time, I had a new girlfriend and one day we were riding around on a dirt road, I threw a chicken box with bones in it out the window. She looked at me and began to lecture me so badly, that I stopped littering that very day.

I decided to try and find something that would fit the need I had for a handy way to dispose of the clutter in my truck. I tried the door compartment slots and putting a cup in the cup holders which were too small. When I had an older truck with heater and air conditioner handles and levers I hung a plastic bag on them, but then the auto co. changed to digital controls and eliminated the handles. I tried wrapping the plastic bag handles around the cigarette lighter plug, but eventually, I ended up with a warped plugin, due to the weight of the bag pulling it over. I had a center console vehicle car once and I hung a plastic bag over the gear shifter, but it was in the way hitting the left leg of the passenger, which was very annoying. Next, I tried a couple of pop up car trash cans that sat behind me in the rear floorboard, they were very inconvenient and kept turning over and spilling the trash on the floor. I did find one with grips on the bottom, but the capacity was just too small and it was in the way of the passenger’s feet annoying them.

I tried various devices that hooked to one of the front passenger’s headrest posts for hanging a bag. One hung off the front of the seat and several others were designed to hang off the back. Both worked pretty good at first, but I had to keep moving the one on the front for the passengers to ride. Younger children wouldn’t stop kicking the ones that were located directly in front of them on the back of the front seat, and when I had rear seat passengers the hanging trash bag in front of them kept constantly hitting both of their knees, annoying them, and embarrassing me. 

One day I was driving down the highway to check a pivot at another location and I reached back to put a two-liter bottle in a bag on one hung behind the front seat and I was briefly distracted, I couldn’t see to find the opening to the bag. It took me a lot longer to dispose of the bottle and when I looked back, I was off the highway headed straight into a road sign at about 50 MPH. That was the day I said there’s got to be a better way.

A few weeks later, my son Jacob and I were at the farm shop talking and brainstorming. The answer came to us in the form of a vision. That day the idea of the TidyHook was born and so was the way to build it !

The idea was very simple. It was the common-sense solution to the basic widespread problem of clutter in vehicles. The concept was how build a new designed device that would fit most vehicles by attaching easily to BOTH the headrest posts on the front passenger seat, but then allow it hang off the LEFT shoulder SIDE of that seat, not the back. This allows the bag location to be in the center of the vehicle for the driver’s convenience and for safety. Provide a larger reusable thicker water-resistant bag to contain large and messy items. Make it work successfully so adults could show by “example” to their children how to dispose of trash responsibly in a vehicle, helping keep our environment clean.

The idea was very simple, but the final product design took a lot of patience and devotion with almost 4 years of testing, numerous design variations, and over 75 prototypes changes, 16-18 different materials tested in 150 degrees vehicle heat. Fitting most vehicles and tested in over 125 different models. Consumer and Focus Group Tested with an 81% Approval Rating. This is the TidyHook (auto-right)

Thanks,

Vernon Nolan

Christopher D. Guerrera

Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt Expert

Mr. Guerrera is an accomplished executive with over 33 years’ experience in Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing and Executive Management. He is a proven leader with expertise in building dynamic teams and developing “business athletes”. In his 33-year tenure Mr. Guerrera has served as an International Business Leader in Automotive, Aerospace, Custom Engineered Products, Manufacturing and Sales. Throughout his career he has been recognized as a dedicated business leader within the community.

Mr. Guerrera has enjoyed National Media exposure. He recently interviewed with NH Chronicle for his new venture Wiley Road Foods taking products to National Markets using the PACE Lean 6 Sigma systems and was a guest speaker at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT discussing Power Networking and Shark Tank. He has recently been nominated by LMJ as one of the top 25 Lean Experts in the world. He has been featured on Good Morning America Shark Tank and was the MCee of the Shark Tank panel for the MAKE48 competition hosted by the Smithsonian Lemelson Center in Washington DC. He was featured with Christina Tosi of Fox’ TV hit series MasterChef. He participated in a Good Morning America National Commercial campaign featuring anchors Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, Ginger Zee, Lara Spencer, Michael Strahan, Jessie Palmer and hip-hop singer Flo-Rida and recently a VIP guest. Interviewed by Good Morning America’s meteorologist Ginger Zee as part of the GMA Sunshine moment, served as a key Shark Tank panelist for the MAKE48 moderated by Stephen Key, MC of the Shark Tank All-Stars hosted at the Smithsonian Lemelson Center in Washington DC., interviewed by Kathy Ireland for her Modern Living national syndicated television show, interviewed by Michael King of Home Talk, featured alongside Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop Show, interviewed by Amy Coveno ABC’s WMUR news anchor for NH Chronicle, featured alongside of Mike Otis for CNY @home, featured on the front page of the Syracuse NY Post Standard Business news, interviewed by Mike Morin NH beat writer as the featured spot light for New Hampshire Business Review and is engaged with the History Channels Operation build “game changers”. He has products displayed at recent trade shows alongside such household name products as Scrub Daddy®, Squatty Potty®, Paint Brush Cover®, Drop Stop®, and ReadeRest®, all products that have achieved mass distribution & sales after their appearance on the reality TV series ‘Shark Tank.

Mr. Guerrera was instrumental in the BMW start-up and success in the United States where he managed the interior group for the BMW Z3 and X5. He spent over 4 years with his family in Greenville, South Carolina developing the BMW interior group. He was awarded the JD Powers and Associates best in class Quality Award from BMW. He was responsible for two plants in the United States with sales revenue over 170 million. The Greenville operation is a World Leader in Just-In-Time Kaizen techniques. Eighty percent of the interior components are manufactured, delivered and assembled on the BMW vehicles within two hours of production.

Mr. Guerrera was an integral part of the 1/8 turn fuel system design and development for Ford Motor Company and is listed on the patent as the Chief Design Engineer. He was the Director of Engineering responsible for four plants with sales revenue of 180 million. He spent three years developing the on-board fuel vapor recovery system for the Ford Taurus vehicle that was first in its class to have such a sophisticated fuel system design that revolutionized the industry.

Mr. Guerrera holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire in Mechanical Engineering and is a Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt. He is certified in the Toyota Production System and the BMW VDA Production System. He served on the Executive Supplier Counsel for BMW, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Company.

The Story of the TidyHook

About a year and a half ago, I decided that I might as well build another different TidyHook, since I was hanging and reusing plastic grocery bags around my house and a lot of other places anyway. I got to looking and thinking of all the various places that I had hung a plastic grocery bag ; on my doorknobs, on my cabinet handles and knobs in my kitchen, off my patio door when I cooked out or off my grill, in my boat for snacks or tackle and later for trash, in my tractor, around my shop or anywhere else a bag would hang to put stuff in. But this TidyHook had to be a two piece design for it to work and fit to numerous interchangeable location. We came up with a newly designed stretchable looped swivel clip pin that would attach and detach easily with two fingers at different angles to various locations. We put the bag hooks wider apart and moved the back slightly forward and away from the surface it set next to. This made the new device be attachable to almost anywhere there’s a 1.20″ diameter location for the pin to slide around and latch. Since this device is so versatile we call it the TidyHook Home

The Story of the Tidy “Bag”

When we first began building the TidyHook “auto”, I would just use a standard plastic grocery bags with it. I didn’t like using them because they would usually tear or leak very easy, making a mess on the vehicle floor, but I didn’t have anything else to use. Researching for a good bag, I became aware of the disputed ban on the single use of plastic grocery bags in California and in a lot of other places. After researching this issue and I found, if the plastic bag is 2.25 mil. or thicker it meets and exceeded the legislative guidelines and is considered a reusable bag, thus allowing its uses.

We decided this was the bag we wanted to use; It’s an Extra Durable Heavy Duty REUSABLE plastic bag (2.25 mil thickness -12″x 8″x 22″), tear and water resistant , (over 4 times THICKER than the standard bags), 6 gallon capacity, it exceeds legislative guidelines, environmentally friendly and MADE IN THE USA. This is a great bag, the Tidy Bag