Dennis Tully, the president and owner of injection molder MTD Micro Molding in Charlton, Mass., died of a heart attack on Feb. 28. He was 58 years old.
MTD is the 2018 Plastics News Processor of the Year.
Tully was born in 1960 in Southbridge, Mass., graduated from Shepherd Hill Regional High School and earned a bachelor's degree in plastics engineering from UMass Lowell in 1982.
As a youth, Tully worked at his father's company, Miniature Tool & Die Inc., which was founded in 1972 in the basement of the family home.
In 1988, when Tully was 28 and working as an engineering manager at another company, his father, Richard, asked him to join the family business.
In 2008, Dennis Tully bought the business from Richard, rebranded it MTD Micro Molding and repositioned it for the medical device market.
MTD became known for its mastery of highly precise, specialized miniature parts that no other company could produce, including the world's smallest molded plastic part.
“Under Dennis, MTD became one of the nation's fastest-growing companies and won numerous awards, including being named one of the plastics industry's best places to work. Despite the company's accolades, Dennis was always most proud of his staff, whom he cared for deeply,” according to his obituary.
The company has been a finalist for Plastics News Processor of the Year three times, including this year. MTD also won the PN Excellence Award for employee relations in 2017, and the company has twice been named to PN's Best Places to Work list.
“MTD strives to be the first and be the best. Dennis always wanted to have the best technology. But he always said it was all successful because of the amazing group of people working toward one common goal,” said Lindsay Mann, director of marketing. “He'd always say, ‘It's my team, not me. It will be successful for years after I'm gone because of them.'”
Tully and his wife, Darlene, married in 1984 in Charlton. They have a son, Eric, and two daughters, Megan and Emily. He is also survived by his parents, Richard and Margaret; two brothers, James and Steven; and two sisters, Karen Tully and Donna Bibber.
In recent years, Tully had stepped back from day-to-day management at MTD, which has been handled by Gary Hulecki, a 16-year veteran of the company who was promoted to executive vice president in 2015. Tully enjoyed traveling, snowmobiling, golfing and spending time with family.
Tully and the company were generous in contributions to charitable organizations, including the RFK Children's Action Corps and Brake the Silence, an organization he helped lead to end the stigma of mental illness and prevent suicides.
Tully was also a member of several golf leagues, the Society of Plastics Engineers and Sigma Phi Omicron.
His funeral was held March 7. The family requests donations to Brake the Silence Inc., P.O. Box 835, Charlton, MA 01507.