Gary J. Hagopian
Gary J. Hagopian
Gary Hagopian is a first-generation Armenian-American born in 1938 in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1941, his father started the A.J. Hoppe Tool Works, a small machine shop in the garage of their family home that quickly grew and moved to a suitable manufacturing location.
Graduating UMASS in 1962, Gary was offered a job at “HOPPE” for $135.00/week and a promise from his Father that he would retire in six months. Two years later, the father and son leaders were crowding each other. Gary announced his departure and Dad left the business.
Gary put his education, experience, and hard work together to build on the company’s success. The business was engaged in producing tools and gages but Gary desired expansion to contract manufacturing. He built a new factory, and moved the business to Chicopee, MA in 1966 renaming it Hoppe Tool, Inc. With a new factory came state-of-the-art machinery starting with the first “NC” machine, a 2-axis Cincinnati Cintematic tape NC milling machine. Customers included Raytheon, GE, IBM, Kingsbury Machine, and US Arsenals.
In the 1970’s Gary partnered with his father to develop a revolutionary idea for manufacturing golf ball molds. A patent was granted, and HYE Precision Products started. By 1978, the company was incredibly successful, and Hoppe was ready to retire. Gary hired a partner and moved the business to Georgia. The company was eventually sold to Wilson Sporting Goods drawing Gary’s focus back to Hoppe Tool.
By the mid-1990’s, two of Gary’s sons were working at Hoppe. Gary brought the boys together and announced his retirement intentions. The business transitioned successfully, and the boys grew the business 5X to its peak.
In retirement, Gary has become iconic in the vintage sports car racing and classic Jaguar circles. He and wife Sue retired to Lake Sunapee, NH, and winter in FL.
Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering – University of Massachusetts 1963