It was the 88th meeting of the Tooling and Manufacturing Association on March 20th of this year, and since 1971 the Tooling and Manufacturing Association has recognized an individual who demonstrates outstanding service to the tool and die industry. This year the Winzeler Award was presented to Mike Hasley, Vice President of QCC.
He was chosen as he more than exceeded the goals of the awards committee, to honor members who share the same passion and vision for our association and our industry. That is definitely Mike. Here is a brief overview of Mike and why he was chosen for this year’s Winzeler Award.
Mike was raised around farmers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he was ingrained with a good work ethic and ingenuity by necessity. He graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, enlisted in the Navy and started pilots training. Something about flying didn’t agree with Mike and he ultimately was transferred to manage a jet engine repair facility in California. The Navy is where Mike started to develop his management skills.
After leaving the Navy, Mike’s travels brought him to Chicago and where he started a career at Quality Control Corporation in 1972. Mike quickly became a significant part of the management team at QCC and contributed to the sales growth from one million dollars in 1972 to current sales of $50,000,000 annually. Mike has served as Vice President of the Qualiseal division of QCC and is his favorite divison. Now with the accelerated growth objectives of QCC he also has assumed the position of Vice President of QCC.
Mike was TMA chairman in 1993, the same year he became involved with the advisory council at East Leyden High School. Mike continues today to act as president of the East Leyden Technology Council that was incorporated in 1998.
What is most impressive is that Mike and other TMA members approached a school whose administration had no interest in supporting “hands on” education and managed to overcome adversity to create possibly the best high school machine shop in the United States. Today’s classes educate 100 students, many transfer to full time employment at member companies. So the advisory council is a complete ecosystem that includes training teachers, informing school administration, educating students, providing equipment support, and ultimately hiring the graduates. The Qualiseal management team is comprised of several East Leyden graduates. Mike enjoys building people and assisting with their career development.
The Winzeler Award, previously the Heinze-Winzeler Award, dates back to 1971. Max Heinze was the first president of the Tool, Die, Special Machinery, and Manufacturing Association established in 1925 and comprised of eight (8) company owners. Johnny Winzeler, founder of Reliance Die and Stamping, joined the company in 1927. They were pioneers that helped build our industry. They trained toolmakers and machinists, helped the association and its members grow, and hada vision for out industry’s future in Chicago.
In 1971 the Heinze-Winzeler Award was established in honor of these two pioneers. In 2008, the name of the Award was changed to the Winzeler Award to recognize the Winzeler family’s sole sponsorship of the award for the past 20 years.
For those not familiar with the Tooling & Manufacturers Association, as I mentioned above, it was initially comprised of just eight companies joining together in 1925 to create a group dedicated to the growht and improvement of their industry. It has grown to nearly 1,000 members representing more than 30,000 employees of manufacuturing companies in Illinois.