Randy Winton, a technical sales veteran who specialized in mold maintenance technology, died Dec. 18 after a battle with pulmonary disease. He was 66.
His career included nearly 40 years in the tooling and molding industry. He began as a tool and die maker, and grew to overseeing mold maintenance operations at 14 Owens-Illinois/Rexam plants.
Winton joined Progressive Components International Corp. in 2004, where he trained and supported sales staff and distributors around the world. He later transitioned to Progressive's sister company, ToolingDocs LLC, where he performed audits and did maintenance training to companies throughout North America, Asia and Europe.
By so closely working with molders and mold-makers, he made strong connections. Progressive issued an obituary that said: “Randy had a unique ability to sell to upper management, and then earn the respect of those on the shop floor, ultimately becoming longtime friends with those throughout an organization.”
Progressive Components President Glenn Starkey said Winton had standing offers for factory tours from a wide range of plastics companies. “Randy was always proud that in his own way he was able to have positive impact on the industry, and had business friends all around the world,” Starkey said.
In a blog, Cynthia Kustush, senior editor of MoldMaking Technology, called Winton “the mold maker's mold maker,” the “big bear who was so strong and capable.
“He had a generous spirit and never hesitated to offer input and advice to anyone,” she wrote.
Winton was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a proud Yooper who told stories of fishing and bear hunting. “That Northwoods tenacity served him well, as he was that Road Warrior working the furthest corners of the world, often in some rugged regions, in order to get the job done,” said Progressive's obit.
Starkey often traveled with the Road Warrior. “I don't know that I've worked a trade show with anyone who had as many friends at both the executive level as well as from the shop-floor level,” Starkey said.
Winton is survived by his wife, Susana, and daughters Lisa VanEps and Kay Rosvold.
A memorial service will be held Jan. 16 at St. Rose of Lima Church in Roseville, Minn. The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Winton's name. A portion of the donations will go to the Minnesota Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group in Minneapolis, where Randy and Susana were active members.