Upon completion of his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois, Chad started his career working for a startup company that provided industrial evaporative cooling equipment. The primary product consisted of fabrication and assembly of modular units that were sold throughout the US. As with most startup companies, resources were limited thus providing Chad an opportunity to be involved in many different aspects of the business. As a Manufacturing Engineer, one of Chad's first assignments was in the area of product design focusing on improvements for manufacturability. From there, he worked on the floor with the production operators streamlining the fabrication and assembly process to improve throughput. Chad was also involved in research and development. With an onsite R&D lab, extensive testing of the units was performed to improve the efficiency and dependability of the equipment. Chad was then promoted to Service Manager, and assumed responsibility for supporting the product in the field. This transition provided invaluable exposure of working with the end customer. Chad quickly realized the importance of customer service and how critical it is to have a clear understanding of the customer's needs. From there Chad was able to take the process full circle. By feeding the input from the customer back through product design, manufacturing, and the R&D process, improvements were made to the overall end product in an effort to exceed the customer's expectations.
The next step of Chad's career lead him to another growing company that was a machining and assembly supplier to the automotive industry. As one of the first engineers, he had a great opportunity to learn and grow with the company. Starting as a Manufacturing Engineer, Chad gained valuable hands on experience of taking a project from start to finish. Responsibilities included process development, investigation and procurement of equipment, design of workholding and cutting tools, equipment setup, and process dial in. Post launched support was provided to further refine the process to improve safety, quality, productivity, and ergonomics. As the company grew, so did his opportunities. As the Engineering Manager, Chad further strengthened the engineering department by implementing program management teams and assembling an internal job shop. The internal job shop quickly became a competitive advantage as it was used for maintenance and repair, prototype machining, and workholding design & build. Moving into the Director of Engineering role, Chad supported the engineering departments at 3 locations. His primary focus was on development of new business opportunities and collaboration of efforts among the different locations. Working with sales and marketing, engineering, quality, production, and senior management, Chad was involved from the quoting stage through the launch of multiple successful programs. As the General Manager, Chad was responsible for all aspects of the facility. From safety, quality, productivity, and profitability he utilized all the skills he had learned over the years to collaborate with all departments and focus their efforts on continuous improvement. Over a 12 year period, Chad watched the company grow from less than $1M in annual sales and 20 employees to nearly $30M in annual sales and 175 employees. However, Chad could no longer hold back the desire to own a business of his own, and the love of getting his hands dirty that lead him to pursue his dream of Versatech.