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Retired IHEA Member Reflects on Value of Being a Member

Tuesday, January 7, 2020   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Leslie Muck
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Yep, the rumors are true.  After fifty nine years of changing the shape and properties of metal I’m finally hanging it up.  Starting in the fall of 1960 I have enjoyed two wonderful careers.  First in a wide variety of assignments in manufacturing with General Motors in Buffalo, New York, Flint & Saginaw & Detroit in Michigan, returning to Buffalo and then on to Tonawanda, New York I had the pleasure of working with any knowledgeable people.  Many of those assignments involved in one way or another thermal processes including forging, casting, and of course heat treating.  Heat treating in particular was always a special fascination and at one time I even considered going back to school to study metallurgy.  I had a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering which was of course very helpful when dealing with the instrumentation involved in heat treating.  That is also when I began to learn of the frustration heat treaters had with the poor life of alloy radiant tubes in heat treat furnaces.

When the chance to jump ship and work with a start up company to produce radiant tubes of an all new alternate material I couldn’t resist.  I left a company with literally hundreds of thousands of employees to become the first employee of the new company.  Starting from scratch in the basement of the founder we slowly perfected the not only the material but the processes to produce tubular shapes of the composite of silicon & silicon carbide.  Testing quickly proved that the new material would overcome many of the problems with alloy tubes.  Next, by maxing out the credit cards we built a prototype shop which the founder hoped someday to convert into a horse barn.  We began commercial sales and added staff for both product development and manufacturing.  Still later, in the early 1990s we built the current manufacturing facility and later added three additions.  Along the way, I met Jack Marino and he quite simply told me I was missing out on an important opportunity.

 That opportunity of course was to be part of the Industrial Heating Equipment Association.  I don’t have many regrets in my 59 years of being involved with manufacturing but I certainly regret that I didn’t join IHEA sooner.  Not only have I personally gained from the many seminars and meetings but I am also sure that INEX gained immensely by the networking opportunities within IHEA.  I have many, many fond memories of the associations I have had the privilege of making thru the years with IHEA.  All members can rightly be proud of the work of the various committees and the contribution to enhancing the knowledge base within the industry.  I have particularly enjoyed the affiliation with our counterparts in Europe and Japan.

 To all within IHEA, please know that I will miss the comradery of the many friends I have made as a result of the association.   Jack Marino-thank you.

INEX is now in the capable hand of Mike Rumfola who now will lead INEX into the future.   And now it’s time for me to try and spoil six great grandchildren.


Brian Kelly says...
Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Mike, You will truly be missed by me and so many others. It has been a pleasure getting to know you for so many years and working with you on so many projects. You and Lori enjoy yourselves and the best of luck and the very best wishes for the future.
Doug Glenn says...
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2020
Mike, you are a genuinely good guy and we are the ones who are losing by your retirement. However, I am VERY HAPPY for you and Lori. You've made a significant difference in the industry with your perpetually positive attitude and encouraging words. You are one of my personal "heros" in the industry. I'm praying that God will richly bless you and Lori as you start a really fun chapter of life. Enjoy those grandkids and don't forget your friends!

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