Congratulations to 2020 RISE Award recipients Melissa Fisher and Steve Hohenadel!Since 2004, Applied Manufacturing Technologies has recognized two employees each year as embodying the company’s core values of respect, integrity, support and excellence. Employees are nominated anonymously by their peers and the management team meets for the difficult task of selecting just two recipients for the award.
The RISE Awards were created to recognize the exemplary actions of AMT’s engineers, sales persons, technicians, and back office staff; executives and engineering managers are not eligible.
AMT’s core values are the characteristics that define what the company stands for. It is these values that form the basis for our operations and the decisions that are made at our company. AMT’s core values are:
R - Respect for the Individual – we're all unique and each of us has something valuable to contribute. We not only recognize that, we wholeheartedly embrace it.
I - Integrity – We are stand-up men and women. We say what we do and do what we say.
S - Supports the AMT Team – We enjoy working as a team, supporting one another, getting more done by using our combined energy.
E - Excellence in Reputation – A Part of Something Special – not every company is like AMT and we like it that way. We're proud of who we are.
President Mike Jacobs encourages employees to submit their nominations each year, “It is a great opportunity to recognize someone who has gone the extra mile for AMT employees or our customers, and consistently displays our core values.”
This year there were 31 nominations. “It’s quite a list,” said Mike. “It’s a large percentage of our company, and it’s great to have these nominees. People are nominated by their peers, and it’s one of the strengths that we’ve found in this process.”
Mike introduced the 2020 RISE Award recipients, Melissa Fisher and Steve Hohenadel at a virtual company meeting, “Congratulations, Melissa and Steve. It’s an honor to work with people like you; I’m humbled every day. Thanks to each and every one of you for your support.”
Nearly five years ago, Melissa Fisher was hired as a customer support coordinator, but in that time, she has adopted many new roles within the company. Working out of AMT’s Orion, Michigan headquarters, Melissa has evolved as the business has grown and changed. Today her primary responsibility is purchasing but she is also the company’s safety officer, facilities manager, and shop mom. Melissa has even used downtime to paint various parts the building over the years.
“It wasn’t in the nominations, but this year during the pandemic, Melissa went well out of her way to ensure that we have a safe and clean building,” said Mike. “She really stepped in and filled in the gaps when we were in the height of the crisis. Melissa was out there; she was sanitizing parts of the building. It makes me proud to work with people like Melissa.”
This year, Melissa received a glowing nomination, which touched on all four of the company’s core values. “The first person that came to mind for the RISE Award was Melissa. She is not only respectful to all AMT Team Members, but she is also very respectful to our suppliers and customers. Melissa has developed solid relationships with our key suppliers and is a great representative of the company. It is because of her behavior that has allowed us to have some honest and fair negotiations with suppliers that has only strengthened our partnerships.”
“Supporting AMT is Melissa’s super power. It does not matter if it’s the alarm company, the support hotline, building maintenance, late or missing materials, pricing & terms… the list goes on. Melissa was the first one to let me know that ‘AMT is special’ (her words).
I think Melissa is special because she realizes and embraces being part of something great.”
Steve Hohenadel is a senior automation engineer who has been with AMT for nearly seven years. Steve is responsible for the design and implementation of robotic and control system solutions that meet customer specifications. “Congratulations, Steve; well earned!” said Mike. “Steve had five nominations; it’s quite impressive! Steve is very deserving of this award.”
“Steve is one of the hardest working guys that I know,” said Jason Markesino, Engineering Group Leader. “He puts the customer first and is driven to get the job done.”
Steve Hohenadel was the only AMT employee to receive five nominations this year. Here is what his peers had to say about him:
“Steve recently became a project lead for some very critical AMT projects. He has fully stepped up to the responsibility. Steve wants to give his best work to the customer, no matter how stressful the situation, and that is exactly what the customer perceives. He is one of AMT’s best ambassadors. Steve is on the road most of the time, which is extremely stressful. Steve acknowledges the stress but he works through it, trusting that his management team will support him in every way they can. His loyalty is outshined only by his great smile.”
“Steve, to me, exemplifies everything we stand for here at AMT. He always goes above and beyond to make sure the customer is pleased not only with their product, but also with AMT. He has a strong passion for what we do and upholding the reputation of the company. He will always take the time to answer a call and assist no matter the day/time. When I think of the RISE award he instantly comes to mind.”
“Steve embodies the AMT Core Values and demonstrates them through his drive and determination. He has taken on multiple difficult projects and been able to complete them and leave the customer happy. He is growing into a new role helping to mentor younger employees by sharing his knowledge with them. Steve not only supports the AMT team, but the customer’s team as well. He is not afraid to dig in, research and learn new things to make sure the project is successful and the customer is satisfied.”
“I am pleased to nominate Steve this year as he embodies everything that AMT stands for and represents. He is one of the most dedicated and committed engineers that I have had the chance to work with. He fully realizes that he represents AMT on every job and is fully committed to upholding AMT’s reputation by his diligence and hard work. Without a question, it is engineers like Steve that have given AMT the reputation that it has and further reinforces that reputation like no other. Customers absolutely love working with Steve because when he is given direction, he goes right to it without question, and always gives 110%.”
“In my mind, Steve lives and breathes AMT Core Values and is the perfect example of what this award represents! I think Steve is one of those individuals who is an ideal ambassador for AMT. He demonstrates AMT’s ideals for excellence while maintaining strong ties with the customers through his dedication and positive attitude. When asked to be an expert on something he knows nothing about, Steve puts in the extra effort to quickly learn and become skillful, all the while instilling confidence in the customer. His knowledge, skills, and great personality have led to the one problem that cannot currently be fixed: there simply isn’t enough of him to go around.”
For more on Steve, check out this recent employee spotlight.
Meet the 2020 RISE Core Values Award Nominees
The management team was once again impressed with the 31 nominations, and several employees received multiple nominations. The testimonials below are especially touching when remembering that the nominee does not know who wrote them.
“Team members and customers alike love to work with him, knowing he will provide fast, friendly, and quality results.”
“He offers a very quiet, kind, and pleasant approach to projects and communicating with others. He will always say yes to your request to support a weekend project, and customer question. He is what makes AMT a special and great place to work.”
“You would be hard pressed to find someone who supports the team or a project more than he does, and that’s why I’m nominating him for the Core Values award.”
“He supports every role with the professional integrity and enthusiasm that embodies what the Core Values award was created to represent. We appreciate your efforts, thank you!”
“When you ask him a question, he never hesitates and will drop everything he is doing to ensure that your question is answered, demonstrating respect, integrity, and excellence in everything he does.”
“He is a true leader for AMT. Whether he is the main point of contact with some of AMT’s largest customers, or he’s a brainstorming resource for our applications team, he approaches every opportunity with a calm consistent approach for finding solutions.”
“He has dived in and taken the lead on pushing AMT technically forward. In addition, he supports the team by being available for questions and helping to mentor other employees on assignments. His work on marketing and through forum posts help to solidify AMT’s excellence in reputation.”
“She takes the extra time and care to make each employee feel special. Her work touches everyone in the organization and makes AMT a great place to work.”
“He sacrifices and supports the team in many ways. He was willing to work on projects at night while still supporting customers and other employees during the day. He is willing to share his skills with others through answering questions and mentoring. He takes an interest in other team members and helps them to succeed.”
“He takes an interest in all of the team members and tries to do what is right for both the employee and the customer. He is tenacious in forming and preserving customer relationships and in giving the team opportunities to grow their careers.”
“He has supported everything from simulation for external customers, our own systems, and external projects. He offers integrity in his word and respect to his peers ensuring they are successful with their work and his support. He is a true asset to AMT and brings joy with every pass by in the hallway or in the lab.”
“His dedication to customer service is what keeps customers coming back and continues our excellence in reputation.”
“He is always willing to help support the team and share his knowledge. His diligence and attention to detail have made him an essential component of the customer’s team.”
“Each day he brings in a good attitude and maintains high energy with what he does. He was one of the first co-workers to offer help with my training and also give me insight into the industry and answer any questions that I had. It may not have seemed like a big deal, but to me that meant a lot and I think he should be recognized for his extra efforts.”
“I appreciate all the time he spends in order to make my job as easy as possible!!! As one of the behind-the-scenes heroes, he keeps us up and running. Especially this year, he has been available any hour of the day you need him.”
“I can’t even count how many times he’s been asked to drive to a customer site after hours or in the middle of the night or even weekends, and always helps out. He always makes me feel respected, even if I make a silly mistake or ask an obvious question.”
“He is always helpful and willing to lend a hand, provide input, and support. He has a great ability to build personal relationships with AMT customers and promote AMT’s capabilities.
“His attitude toward his work, his abilities and skill sets, his willingness to listen to direction from us managers as well as his since of urgency has made him the team player that I have enjoyed having the opportunity to be around.”
“He is a very passionate personality that truly cares about the quality of his work. He’s always willing to help, and his humor makes working on the shop floor a fun experience.”
“He has great ideas, a great attitude, is diligent yet his ears are always open and if one idea may be better for the customer or the process, even if it is more time consuming or complicated, he goes through the motions to make the vision a reality. He is a humble young man and is a shining example of what leadership in that field should look like. I have enjoyed working with him as well.”
“He supports the team in all aspects of his work. He will jump in and do just about anything to support the team, even if it is not even close to his job description.”
“He is knowledgeable, easy-going, patient, and efficient - a great mentor to robot engineers and an equally good partner to controls engineers. Every job he is on is improved by his versatility, experience, and perspective.”
“When he walks away from a job, you can be confident it’s done! Several customers have mentioned his great attention to detail, which makes AMT and him look good.”
“He is always willing to help when needed. Every time I called on him, he would help without question. After working nights and being called on during personal time he sent me a program I needed for another project. He expressed that he was happy to help.”
Last Year’s Awards: 2019 RISE Core Value Awards
AMT President Mike Jacobs gave a moving speech at the company meeting when announcing the RISE Award recipients. “Our company culture has a strong spirit of mentorship,” he said. “Respect, integrity, support, and excellence are traits we consciously nurture for the benefit of all. Please offer a hearty congratulations to this year’s recipients, Kevin Ockert and Tyler Macsuga.”
Mike asked members of the audience to stand if they had ever been nominated for a RISE Award. He asked people to stand who had previously been an award recipient, or have nominated someone. Mike then asked those to stand who had been positively affected by a RISE Award recipient. “Look around the room,” he said. “Every single person in this company has been touched by the RISE Award. Thank you all for your contributions.”
Kevin Ockert is a senior automation engineer who was hired by AMT in 2000. Kevin lives in northern Michigan and mainly works offsite, most often at a customer’s site in Traverse City, Michigan, or on one of his frequent trips to China. Nominated each year by his supervisor Jason Markesino, Kevin was recognized with a RISE Award this year for his outstanding contributions to the company.
“Kevin is a model employee,” said supervisor Jason Markesino. “His dedication to his project earns him the respect of customers, who often request him by name. Kevin makes an impact wherever he goes, and is very honest and straightforward with the customer, even when it is difficult.”
“Kevin is willing to do whatever it takes to make the customer successful, and always puts the company’s and customer’s interests before his own. He works long hours when required and is often away from his family for extended periods of time, either on one of his frequent trips to China, or at customer sites in Michigan.”
“Although Kevin isn’t in the office often, when he is there, he does a great job of taking care of newer employees through training and mentoring. Kevin also shows excellence in his work. In addition to his great attitude, Kevin is knowledgeable on many different robots, PLC platforms, and hardware and software designs. He is very deserving of the RISE recognition.”
Tyler Macsuga is a controls installation technician who has been with AMT for more than two years. Working mainly out of the company’s Orion, MI headquarters, Tyler works from engineering to build with the controls applications. He installs all the components, devices, and raceways to complete the project, and then travels to the customer’s site to lead the controls installation.
Tyler was the only AMT employee this year to be nominated by three people. One of the nominations was from his supervisor (and father) Ron Macsuga, “Tyler is a self-starter, a team player, and someone who listens but is not afraid to voice a different opinion yet is not offended if a different direction is taken contrary to their opinion. He doesn’t need credit or validation for the work that he does, he just does it and gets self-satisfaction for a job well done and complete.”
All three nominations included glowing testimonials to Tyler’s work ethic. “Tyler has always stepped up to the plate on all projects that he has been assigned to. Tyler does outstanding work. Completed projects look very impressive from panel build to cell wiring. He also works closely with the Controls Design Group to help make projects even more efficient in the future.”
Tyler’s third nomination touched on all four of AMT’s core values, “You can see the pride in the work he does. He is always willing to learn and always there to take time to help solve a problem or look into a situation and offer suggestions. He’s bright, friendly and kind. The type of person AMT needs.”
Ron notes that Tyler’s core values extend beyond the walls of the AMT facility, “The customers recognize him for his ability to get these projects finished, and in a timely manner. Craftsmanship and timeliness, that’s what the customers praise him on. Tyler plans his work and works his plan.”
Meet the 2019 RISE Core Values Award Nominees
The executive and engineering management teams were once again impressed with the 39 nominations, and several employees received multiple nominations. The testimonials below are especially touching when remembering that the nominee does not know who wrote them.
“…always takes time to listen to the issues of his team.”
“…his positive attitude is infectious.”
“He helps to guide other employees on his projects and makes sure they feel part of the team.”
“He is not only an excellent employee, but a well-rounded individual and great coworker who is a pleasure to work with.”
“He has helped to mentor many newer employees, ensuring their success.”
“…like an Oreo cookie—hard on the outside but soft on the inside.”
“…a dedicated worker and will work long hours and weekends, which may result in personal sacrifices.”
“…time and again [name omitted] thoughtfully asks questions which have helped prevent details from being overlooked or missed…never ceases to impress…”
“…a self-starter, a team player, and someone who listens but is not afraid to voice a different opinion yet, is not offended if a different direction is taken…”
“…has been an asset to the team since he joined.”
“I’ve never worked with someone who goes so above and beyond to make sure our customers are happy and that his fellow AMT team members are succeeding.”
“He has impressed the customer, who on multiple occasions has complemented him on his performance. He passes on his knowledge and experience to others and does what he can to make the group better.”
“He always sees the good side of people and supports them.”
“…is a kind soul that has a quiet way and a genuine respect for others. He can design complex machines and create brilliant customer presentations.”
“…demonstrates integrity and excellence in reputation with a “get it done” approach.”
“…was simply the best boss I ever had…”
“He is a talented engineer and is regularly required on projects that very few individuals have the expertise or experience to handle… He is always willing to help out a fellow engineer.”
“…is always there ready to support the team by answering questions and helping to mentor employees on new assignments.”
“…is helping, uplifting, pleasant, and does not discriminate in any way. I enjoy working with him.”
“From technical knowledge…to presenting in front of large audiences, he represents excellence in reputation and integrity for all of AMT. He is a pleasure to work with and is respected by AMT and his peers.”
“…has an incredibly positive attitude and it is really admirable to see how he finishes the project from conception to completion.”
“…solidifies AMT’s excellence in reputation with our customers by providing them with outstanding customer service, going above and beyond what is required.”
“He supports the team with his dedication and industry knowledge and is always helpful and available to support.”
“…a colleague I can count on for guidance and whom I trust… He is an outstanding asset to the AMT team.”
“No matter what he is asked to do… the response is always a heartfelt ‘yes.’ His attitude is very much appreciated.”
“…cares for his fellow employees and is always there to lend a hand. His dedication and passion sustain AMT’s excellent reputation.”
“…one of the hardest working employees that we have.”
“She works her magic and can solve many employee problems. She takes an interest in each employee and what is best for them.”