Entries by Ron Kitchens

How to Hit the Talent Bull’s-eye

In 2010, during the mad scramble from the nadir of the Great Recession, renowned business leader Alfred O. Weber, recently retired, strode into a hotel conference room in Detroit.

In January of that year, Weber had been named co-president and CEO of MANN+HUMMEL GmbH, a global leader in the manufacture of oil, fuel, and air filters. Weber was in Michigan visiting executives from MANN+HUMMEL USA’s location in Portage.

Digging for Treasure

COMPANY
Getman Corporation

WEBSITE
getman.com

REGIONAL LOCATIONS
Headquartered in Bangor, with a second manufacturing facility in Comstock Charter Township

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
170

EXECUTIVE
Erik VanAllen, President & CEO

Cooking up Creativity

HOW DO YOU APPROACH DESIGN FROM YOUR POSITION AT WHIRLPOOL?
Whirlpool represents many brands around the world, including Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, and KitchenAid, just to name a few. I head up the design of all of Whirlpool’s cooking products globally.

My team and I spend a lot of time on what we call “assisted cooking.” As designers, our mantra is to help our consumers deliver more consistent results to the table. Imagine the ability to create the perfect custard, for example. When you make a custard, you have to use a wooden spoon, and, as you stir, you have to watch how the bubbles cling to the spoon when you wipe them off. That’s how you tell a custard is done—it’s not easy. Our goal is to create solutions that empower our consumers to deliver that chef-level result every time. We want you to benefit from a chef’s 30 years of experience in just two minutes.

On Pace

On Highway M-60, where it winds past scenic lakes and lush farmland in St. Joseph County, sits a dynamic manufacturer of high-profile parts for the automotive, marine, agricultural, entertainment, and industrial sectors.

Revved-up auto enthusiasts readily seek out its products such as covers for the superchargers on General Motors’ Corvette, Camaro, and Cadillac supercars, and superchargers for Roush Racing that power the Ford Mustang and Raptor.

Outside the Box

EDUCATION

Western Michigan University (WMU)

Graphic and Printing Science, B.B.S. ’16

HOMETOWN

Sylvan Lake, MI

EMPLOYMENT

Material Management Analyst,

Graphic Packaging International

Learning by Design

HOMETOWN
Chicago, IL

EDUCATION
Western Michigan University (WMU)
Engineering Technology Major; Mathematics Minor

Expected Graduation: Spring 2020

POSITION

Product Design Intern at Fabri-Kal Corporation

How ‘Bout These Apples?

As the last few weeks of summer pass by, it’s time to start thinking of cozier thoughts and crunching leaves.

This means trips to the apple orchard, hayrides, donuts, and apple cider for many Michiganders. Although apple orchards are commonly thought of as simply a fall tourist destination, they have more to offer the state throughout the year than you might think. Regional cideries, like West Michigan’s Vander Mill, depend on local orchards to supply them with large quantities of quality fruit for year-round cider production.

LEADER2LEADER: Jon Rumohr and Jim Ritsema

WHAT IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ROLE AS A LEADER?

JIM RITSEMA: A leader needs to establish a vision for the organization and then get out of the way to let others do their job to achieve that vision. Along the way, they have to stay available for coaching and mentoring.

JON RUMOHR: The most important role I have as a leader is to be a facilitator for my team, making sure that they have the resources necessary to be successful. Those resources might be physical or mental—a leader has to provide both.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT YOU SEE FACING LEADERS TODAY?

JIM: Managing expectations. We live in a time where everyone gets everything they want right away from the internet. Some of the things we do in leadership don’t happen right away.
If you’re changing the culture or even a vision, it’s not going
to happen overnight.

JON: The biggest challenge today is time. Everyone has some form of technology on them wherever they go. Whether it’s from your iPhone or iWatch, you’re always getting a media blast. It makes it a constant challenge to manage time efficiently and put people first.

HOW DID I GET HERE? – Kit Snyder

1956 | BORN IN COLDWATER, MI
I have lived my entire life in Michigan. I was raised on a 40-acre farm outside Coldwater. Every evening, my family would sit together at our dining room table, and everything we ate for dinner came from the farm. We grew everything and stored it in our fruit cellar. The farm’s main purpose, however, wasto raise horses. Growing up, I fell off a horse before I fell off a bike. We would often go to horse shows to train these animals so they would be friendly enough to sell to families. When one was sold, we would get another and start over; we had about one dozen horses at any given time.

1974 | GRADUATED COLDWATER HIGH SCHOOL
When I was at Coldwater High School, I was on the football team, wrestled, and played as many sports as I could. Neither of my parents went to high school when they were young, so when I approached graduation, I didn’t have much of a career plan. That is, until my senior year, when I befriended a banker. He was a terrific role model for me, and I quickly decided that I would like to have a job like his someday.

From farm to table

COMPANY
Packers Canning Co., dba Honee Bear Canning Co.

WEBSITE
honeebear.com

LOCATION
72100 M 40
Lawton, MI 49065

YEAR FOUNDED
Honee Bear Canning was founded in 1943 and Packers Canning in 1967. The two entities existed as a partnership between the grandfather of Steve Packer, current president and chief executive officer, and another family. The Packer family became sole owners in 1967.