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Biography

Work History
I grew up in the Midwestern United States. My father was a Veterinarian in Kewanee Illinois, “The Hog Capital of the World”, and from my earliest memories I worked for him doing all the dirty jobs from kennel boy to de-scenting skunks to castrating and vaccinating hundreds of thousands if not a million hogs.   Following my parents advice I went to University earning a BSME from the University of Illinois in 1971.

After graduating I worked as a carpenter for a year or so as the Vietnam war was over and jobs were hard to come by.  Then I took a job in the Chicago Illinois area managing a small company, Midwest Pipe Covering, making low temperature pipe insulation. Midwest Pipe Covering made pipe and fitting insulation from foam and foam glass for applications like liquid gasses and commercial refrigeration systems.   I performed all functions from managing, designing, making, selling and delivering pipe insulation in the Milwaukee Wisconsin to Mishawaka Indiana corridor. 

Then in about 1974 I took a job as a maintenance engineer with Johns Manville in Waukegan Illinois.  I worked in the central maintenance office, which was responsible for the paper mill and roofing products production as well as all central services for this very large industrial complex.  We had several major production activities including fiberglass insulation and asbestos cement pipe.  Our group was responsible for all facility maintenance, which included a coal fired powerhouse and landfill.  My role was to work on capital improvements to the paper and roofing machines and to design and install pollution control equipment for asbestos dust control.  We handled and conveyed significant quantities of bulk materials including roofing granules, sand talc and glass. I also serve as a substitute maintenance foreman for the millwrights, machine shop, pipe fitters and electricians.  From the Waukegan facility I was promoted to corporate headquarters in Denver Colorado where I oversaw the capital projects for 7 different plants.  At headquarters I worked with R&D to develop the first fiberglass based roofing shingle matt and design and started up the first production line for fiberglass shingles.  I performed process experiments, analysis and trouble shooting for all 7 plants.  Eager to get back “where the action was” I took a position as plant engineer for the Fort Worth Texas roofing plant where I was in charge of  maintenance, major modernization of the production facility and the construction of a large warehouse. 

In 1979, I had just passed my Professional Engineer’s exam, when I left Johns Manville to join Martin Engineering, returning to Illinois to raise my children near their grandparents. At Martin Engineering my first job was to work for Dick Stahura Sr. and standardize the design and production of Martin Engineering’s new product line: Belt Cleaners.  After a couple of years I was put in charge of the whole conveyor products division.   Then I progressed in the organization from General Manager to Vice President to President and CEO.  In my tenure with Martin Engineering I have traveled as much as 50% of the time solving customer problems all over the world. I have worked on conveyors handling corn flakes at 1 ton per hour up to the fastest widest belts in the world handling overburden at 60,000 tons per hour.  From my mid-west background I have good basic mechanical skills, which makes me somewhat unique in that not only can I design machinery, I can fabricate, install and maintain it as well.  I often say I can fix just about anything and my wife replies; “That's a good thing because you can break just about anything!“  

At Martin Engineering I have been involved in all levels of management including being a corporate director.  I have personally started subsidiaries in Mexico, Germany, Brazil, China, Indonesia and licensees in many other countries.  I have acquired several companies and purchased patents from independent inventors.  A significant portion of Martin Engineering’s sales are from products and services which I created.  What I enjoy most is being in the field solving customer’s problems.

My grandfather was a rigging foreman for Republic Steel and when he retired he came to live with us.  It was my grandfather who nurtured my creative side along with growing up around farmers.  He taught me how to solve mechanical problems and how to use tools.

My parents had given me the advice to get a degree but they also told me to go to work for somebody, do the best I can, save my money and when I am 55 years old I will have many options.  So this venture is the result of following my parent’s advice.  In 2004 I hired my replacement at Martin Engineering and agreed to stay on in the role of mentor and Director of Technology until the end of 2011.  So now, having a degree, working for Martin Engineering for over 30 years and saving a little bit of money, the time has come to exercise my options.  I leave with no regrets, many lasting friendships, great memories and a desire to do more for the industry I have come to love, bulk material handling.  I often say the more I learn, the less I know.  There is so much to be understood about bulk solids and that needs to be done in our industry that I hope to leave lasting contributions to the health and safety of the workers and the profitability of their employers

 

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