For someone that didn't want to follow in his father's foot steps, I managed a career as a toolmaker for over forty years.
My first job my neighbors yards to earn enough money to buy a mini bike. In the late 60's this was the rage within my group of friends. I was twelve years old and of course by the summers end had broken my drive shaft assembly. Well my dad offered to help me fix it at his shop and this is where it all started. From that experience of running a Bridgeport , welding gusset and rebuilding the drive, I never wanted to work indoors in this dirty environment. My dad's shop was mostly EDM sinkers where graphite electrodes where constantly being ground into shapes. MY dad's shop started in our basement with drafting tables setup for him to work on his designs. He was well respected in the Rochester NY area from his time working for his uncle at Liberty Tool and Die. My brother still runs this small machine shop that kept my dad ideal of just a few machinist. Where the "Impossible is Possible" , company motto. My dad had a way of seeing things others just couldn't and my brother carries this trait on.
I went to college, SUNY Morrisville, to become a Park Ranger / Forestry and work outdoors. There I fell in love the the ski industry and slanted my project to designing ski resorts instead of parks. This brought into the working at a few ski resorts in the Finger Lake region. What I found out was these jobs were not full time but only seasonal. So I went to my father to ask for travel money to head out west where the full time positions where plentiful. But with his wisdom he said no and that I should follow my brother into the Tool and Die career. In 1979 I began my apprenticeship working in a progressive die shop called Rogers Associate. Learned to basics fundamentals and three years later became a journeyman. My dad passed away in 1981 from cancer and had asked my brother to help run the shop and then took it over after his fight had ended his life. In turn I joined Hoercher Industries Inc to help build on my father's success. After eight years of struggle during the 80's I moved on to become a CNC programmer in Auburn NY. This not only help the family business's bottom line but also stirred my interest in programming.
After twelve years of being in the industry I thought my self a good machinist / programmer. But when I started working for Boldt Machinery as an AE (Application Engineer) I found a whole new level of knowledge to be learned. It also pointed out to me that this career I was in was a never ending school of knowledge. Not only did the AE's I was working under / with showed me new technique's but each shop I was in training their personnel I learned new things. Nine years at Boldt showed me again the window of knowledge is ever growing. I moved on to try different things staying in the tooling side. I tried selling CBN tools but the travel was enormous putting over 100,000 miles on my car a year. After 4 years of driving I needed a change, and was hired as an ME at a local thermal forming plastic company. I was to bring in new ideas to help increase profitability and to ease the change over times on their CNC routers. But in two years I found it was hard to change the old ways and I also mist the road. I spent two years being tech support for Iscar Tooling. I helped growth in a few areas that had little or no representation. But every time I was standing next to the machines testing tools I wanted to be running them instead.
This brought back to the machine tool distributor as a CAP manager for Morris Group. In two years of trying to sell machines I found that sales is a lot harder than I thought. I wanted to be in front of the machine not selling them. So luckily Morris thought it best to keep me and allowed me to become an AE again. In the next 9 years I fell back into the creative side of the machining industry. And finding the newer technology that has come along kept my interest growing. This new stimulus of learning made those years go by too quickly. With my travel starting to take it's toll on me again was asked to reinvent myself in something different. Productivity Salesmen is an in between position where I can use the forty years of experiences and apply it to the problems our customers where having. Then working with our CAP Salesman provide a solid solution to improve our customers growth.
To end my time in this crazy industry, I have excepted a teaching position at a local community college. Onondaga Community College is in need of someone to create a modern version of the CNC program they have been using for 20 years. This will give me the opportunity to help this next generation to step into the shops with a better understanding of what todays industries need. So from here I can only thank everyone I have worked with to gain the knowledge this profession needs to succeed. And to thanks my dad into pushing me into a full time job that I was to have a family of four kids and a marriage of over forty years.
Morris Group Inc