On July 27th, 2018 James N. Wiltsie Jr. will be officially retiring from Vanamatic Company. On behalf of Vanamatic, we can’t thank Jim enough for the commitment, guidance and investment he has made to the company and to our employees over the past 45 years. We truly wish him a healthy and happy retirement!!!
Letter From from Jim to Vanamatic Employees:
I am writing this letter to announce that after 45+ years of being an employee of Vanamatic Company, I will be retiring on July 27th, 2018.
It seems like yesterday, but it was in July of 1973 after I graduated from Miami of Ohio that I started my career at Vanamatic Company. My Dad, Jim Wiltsie Sr. told me that if I came to work for Vanamatic that I would go through a training period before I could move up in the company. During college I had spent a couple summer breaks in the second operation department, so I did have some experience at Vanamatic Company.
After college, I started my career in the screw machine department. I spent two years learning to set-up, run, and repair screw machines. After that, I spent a year in the tool room learning how to read tool prints, make form tools, grind drills and taps, weld, braze, and repair machine parts. Those three years in the shop were the best training I could get to prepare me for my career at Vanamatic Company. Those years taught me what the people in the shop were going through and it taught me how to treat our employees and work with them.
After my training in the shop, I went into the office to learn to quote parts, purchase tooling, draw tool prints, make job layouts, and I learned how to deal with customers in my sales capacity. You can’t get a college education that taught me as much as I learned from those 3 years in the shop.
As my brothers and I moved up in the organization, my Dad, would emphasize the importance of the employees that work at Vanamatic Company. He would tell us that unless we could perform all the operations that it takes to ship parts to our customers, then we better take care of our employees. I believe we have always tried to live up to that standard.
I want to wish a sincere thank you to all our shop employees for their hard work in helping us to meet our production commitments to our customers. We cannot survive without good customers and great employees.
In 1980 Charlie Hasselschwert retired and Jeff, Perry, and myself bought him out. Generation 2 took over full control of the company in 1992 after the passing of Jim Wiltsie Sr. We still had the guidance of Pat Wiltsie, the matriarch of the family, until her passing in 2000.
There are some employees from the past that I would like to acknowledge for helping with my training in my early years. I would like to thank Bill Guthrie, Rich Lindeman, Kenny Wrasman for my training on the screw machines. I would like to thank Roger Wurst and Wilbur Evans for my training in the tool room, Frank Pollock in second operation, Kenny Blankemeyer in shipping, Dwaine Kimmey material receiving, and Don Blankemeyer on the night shift. I also want to acknowledge Dottie Backus who ran the office in my early years, and Lu Ann Armstrong who was our Vice President of Finance before passing away in August of 2010.
I also want to thank our current office staff, who are so important and vital in keeping our production operations flowing and our customers happy. To Judy Spieles, Lisa Brinkman, Jay Winhover, Sandy Schoonover, Karen Bockey, Dave Ricker, Scott Wiltsie, Adam Wiltsie, Jared Wiltsie, and Steve Schroeder, thank you all for the years we have worked together.
Last but not least, I want to thank my brothers, Jeff and Perry for the over 40 years of working together through good times and bad, and to my sister Tricia, who took over for Lu Ann Armstrong after she passed away. I have truly been blessed to have had the opportunity to work at Vanamatic Company.
My hopes are for the continued growth, success, and prosperity of Vanamatic Company and the employees that work here.
Jim N. Wiltsie Jr.