The Retirement Celebration of the Year: Celebrating Two Incredible Legacies
The Retirement Celebration of the Year: Celebrating Two Incredible
Over the summer, Crafts Technology had the honor of hosting a surprise retirement party for Tom Kuhl & Dave Lemaistre, two of the three prior owners of Crafts Technology.
Tom and Dave had been leading Crafts Technology since 2001, when they purchased the company from Carpenter Steel. Both Tom and Dave had been involved with Crafts operation prior to 2001 and knew that Crafts Technology was a company that had a lot of potential for additional operational improvements and sales growth. Tom & Dave were able to steer the ship and continue the evolution of the organization, guiding the team and enhancing the operational excellence.
Tom states that the key to their success through those first transitional years was a two-point culture mentality: “people come first” & “quality is everything”
Tom and Dave further progressed the company into 2013; when the three owners sold the entire organization to the employees in a 100% ESOP [Employee Stock Ownership Plan] conversion.
Although 2001 was when Tom and Dave purchased Crafts Technology, they had both already had extensive professional experience, of which they brought to bear at Crafts Technology.
Tom began his career with Crafts in a variety of management roles, starting in 1975, and ultimately serving as the President & CEO before his retirement. Tom now currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Crafts Technology
Dave began his career with Crafts in the mid 1980s and prior to his retirement, Dave served in a variety of management and sales management roles, including his most recent role as Vice President. Dave now serves on the Board of Directors for Crafts.
The surprise retirement party was a perfect celebration for these two historic careers.
All Crafts employees and their family members were invited, along with both Tom and Dave’s friends & family.
The outing had it all! …. bags, face painting, volleyball, and grilling! It was a great time to enjoy summer and celebrate with family and friends. [The grilling was done by tastycatering who did a spectacular job]
The event culminated in a number of speeches that were delivered by previous employees and family members, highlighting both Tom and Dave’s historic careers and the positive impact that they had on so many people.
The speeches were followed by the presentation of a uniquely crafted “Medal of Service”, which is given to all Crafts employees who have worked for the company 10+ years and then enter retirement during their tenure with Crafts Technology.
The medal of service was designed and produced by Crafts Technology. It illustrates our cultural values of transparency, integrity, innovation, continuous improvement, work ethic, teamwork, and accountability, all of which had the groundwork laid by both Dave & Tom. The medal was then laser etched with names of every Crafts employee, demonstrating their appreciation for the two honorees.