Education: Bachelor's in engineering graphics and design from Murray State University.
Tell us about your family: My father worked as a chemical operator in a plant that produced various types of industrial glues. My mother has a background in education and worked (emphasis on work) as a stay-at-home mom for us. My maternal uncle and grandfather both worked as mechanics and inspired my love of taking apart and fixing things.
Greatest achievement? Implementing and maintaining a system of standardized setups. Before my time at Reed, a lot of the techniques used to achieve a good part were either simply “remembered” by the operator or achieved each and every time through trial and error. Now we have a system of folders that record each and every detail of a setup along with detailed photographs. This has reduced our waste in the form of scrap parts and time immeasurably.
Biggest failure and what it taught you? When I first started and had read a few die design articles, I jumped right in and designed some extremely complex dies that could not make a part. It is humorous looking back on it now. If I had it do over again, I would start off with much more simple dies so I could nail down the basics first.
What is your current challenge at work? We are currently working on a redesign for one of our automotive parts. The part has extremely tight tolerances and over time, our die and calibration system has worn to being nearly unusable. Before my time here, the approach to die design was a bit less repeatable. So this has not been as simple as reordering a new die.
What emerging technology most interests you? Wood-plastic composites. I see a lot of growth in that industry and am interested to see where it goes.
Best advice you've received? Think with your brain, not your wallet. Sometimes I have seen people throw money at problems in the hopes they would go away even when a simple and cheap solution is possible.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in plastics? Ask questions! A lot of people in this industry have been in it their entire lives and are eager and willing to share their knowledge. Never be afraid to ask a question!
If you were CEO what would you do first? Push for a culture that embraced change and improvement.
What job do you really want to have in the future? Consulting. My goal is to become a top die designer and be able to share my knowledge with others.
What do you do to relax? I have a large group of friends, and we all enjoy exploring events around St. Louis. There is constantly something new to experience in this city.