AMT Announces 2023 Core Values Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2023 RISE Award recipients Cal Huffman and Jacob Pedersen!

“Most of you have worked with either Cal or Jacob and I know that you can agree that they truly do exhibit what makes AMT great,” said Mike Jacobs. “Congratulations Cal! Congratulations Jacob! Thank you for bringing your entire self to AMT every day. You lead by example. You’re a pleasure to work with. I’m truly humbled that you chose to build your careers with AMT.”

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.AMT core values 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.

AMT CEO 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. I stand back and look at the last 34+ years of my work at AMT and I can’t believe what we’ve done together. I’m humbled that such an elite group of men and women choose to develop their careers with each other and with me.”

This year’s RISE Award recipients are:

Cal Huffman, Lead Automation Engineer


Jacob Pedersen, Automation Engineer II


Cal HuffmanAMT Cal Huffman-1

“Cal exemplifies all of the core values here at AMT. He has been an excellent mentor to me and a great coworker. He has an uncompromising work ethic and provides exceptional instruction to not only me but everyone he interacts with.” 

“Cal has supported me through a lot of trials and tribulations during the INTRA FORD UK project. Super helpful.”

“Cal is always willing to help support the team and share his knowledge. He has helped to develop training documentation for other employees and customers. He has embraced his new role, creating an inclusive environment for the team. His diligence and attention to detail have made him an essential component of the customer’s team. Cal is an excellent representative of AMT and our Core Values.”  

“Cal makes exhibiting all of the core values regularly seem effortless. He constantly uses a high degree of respect in all situations, even the most difficult. He goes above and beyond to relentlessly support the AMT team, no matter how inconvenient it might be for himself. Every customer he supports raves about Cal's professionalism and thoroughness. He does all of this while always exhibiting a high degree of integrity that is constantly noticed by fellow AMT employees and customers alike.”

“If AMT could clone Cal so he could work on every job then the company wouldn’t have to hire anyone ever again – but wait – AMT is quickly getting there! Cal is already working behind the scenes on cloning himself –unwaveringly offering his support to his teammates. His colleagues seek out his advice and expertise and Cal is always there to support. Customers request Cal by name – thus reinforcing his integrity and excellence in reputation that he naturally commands.”

Jacob PedersenAMT Jacob Pedersen

“Jacob stepped in to help on a complex project and absolutely went above and beyond. He displayed a deep level of respect towards his colleagues as well as the customer. His ability to communicate and know his audience is second to none. Jacob in many ways has every single aspect of our Core Values that if typed out, would make this recommendation look like an essay. Jacob needs to be a strong consideration for the award. We look forward to working with Jacob in the future.”

Read Jacob's employee spotlight.


Meet the 2023 RISE Core Values Award Nominees

This year, there were a total of 30 nominees - a remarkable number, considering each one is nominated by their peers. Testimonials are submitted without revealing the nominator’s identity.

AMT Core Vaues 2023 nominations_Page_2

Anonymous Nomination Testimonials

Louisa does whatever is necessary to get the job done. She has taken on responsibilities that are not in her job description, to support the organization. No matter what she is involved in, she will shift attention to assisting anyone that needs help. When her projects are on the floor being built, she is right there to follow through and answer any questions. Great asset to the AMT Team. 

My favorite interactions with Tyler are when he discovers new programming practices that could solve a problem better or more sustainably than it was previously solved. I can see the excitement within him to develop better code, and the drive to make sure that anything he works on, ends up being excellent. Tyler shows great integrity at the same time, by taking accountability for his past code that no longer meets his rapidly growing skills.

Loren is always a joy to have at work. He is always helpful in every way he can be, with a smile on his face. He goes out of his way to make sure his work is done with everyone's needs in consideration. He is always looking for a way to better a design or have a solution for an issue. He is a true team member and wonderful colleague. 

Daneisha supports AMT every night with a positive attitude. She gets the job done with a smile and never complains. I have never had to work a night shift so I greatly appreciate those who do it on a regular basis.

AMT Core Values RISE 2023

Stacey's great attitude and smile lights up the office. She is always willing to help with any non-engineering tasks no matter how trivial. She is respectful and supportive of all her colleagues. She is organized and anticipates things that need to get done.

One of AMT’s hardest-working employees: James works well with others and he shows quality in how he assembles and also thinks ahead of how to approach that day's tasks no matter what it may entail. If James is unclear of the design intent or in need of information, he doesn't hesitate to ask. In some cases, he will come up with ideas that make the Assembly or Process easier. I see James as a Build and Install Leader, he gets things done when the Chips are down, we know we can count on him for support in all areas of the shop.

Brad started off at AMT just over a year ago. He's since been on a complex project with little experience coming in.  He took on major tasks that were out of his comfort zone.  He was always the first one here and last one to leave to ensure all of his work got done. He was/is always eager to help others when his work is completed and has become extremely knowledgeable in his skillsets. Brad is a great colleague and very attentive/easy to work with. 

Mike continues to be exemplary in all the Core Values. Whether he is leading a project or just there to offer assistance on a problem, he is always smiling and willing to help. While also receiving awards from industry organizations, he is still one of the most humble people I know. The way he supports customers keeps them coming back to AMT. He is a pleasure to work with! 

Louisa is a legend. She is always willing to discuss engineering details. Her ability to multi-task is unmatched.

As a young engineer, Tyler has stepped up in so many ways. We have seen him leading the way on the largest system that our group has undertaken. His value is not only in what he does, but by helping all around. Tyler looks where he is needed and jumps in. The team looks to him as a leader in the organization already. 

Mike is very hardworking. His enthusiasm for the job comes through in all he does. Mike has a  positive attitude that makes him a pleasure to work with. I always welcome his feedback and look forward to working with him.

Ethan always strives to provide solutions that we can be proud of and works hard to realize them.

Anna takes great care in ensuring AMT is putting our best foot forward. Her mindfulness regarding marketing, sales, and support for the AMT academy is noticeable. She takes time to anticipate where problems could arise. Her actions and ideas have a positive impact on the professionalism that AMT is recognized for. It is also noticeable that Anna often takes that extra little bit of time to offer her fellow colleagues a word of praise, and support. I have seen this several times and it is admirable. AMT Core Values 2023 nominations

AJ has always been a joy to work with, and I look forward to every interaction with him. He always listens to my opinions and makes me feel heard, even when he knows the answer to my problem is one that he won't agree with. 

Kayla demonstrates the AMT Core Values both in the field and in the office.  She treats others with respect by listening to their concerns and providing the right feedback. Whether it’s a customer with an issue or a new hire trying to understand something new, she takes the time to understand their problem and asks the right questions. Kayla demonstrates integrity in each project she is a part of. She always makes sure things are being done correctly and if she finds something that doesn’t seem right, Kayla will bring it to the team’s attention and discuss what is wrong and how to fix it. Kayla supports the AMT team wherever she may be and is always willing to help her team members. Kayla’s excellence in reputation is verified by our customers; she is constantly receiving positive feedback. Kayla leaves an impact on the customers that she  works with and is always requested back. There have been times where customers have requested another engineer who is unavailable, Kayla is able to quickly jump in to contribute and gives the customer confidence in her and her work ethic.  

Phil is very respectful, always looking to help, and he is very reliable. Phil is highly intelligent and always is quick to find the solution to a problem.

If AMT ever got the option to clone one of our employees, Shawn would be the obvious choice. Even with just a few years in the industry, Shawn already knows sooooo much. And he learns anything new with ease. He still remains super humble with all this knowledge, by offering his suggestions to solve a problem, but not taking any offense if his solution isn't chosen. He keeps an open mind and knows that just because a solution has worked in the past, doesn't mean it's perfect or can't be improved. Shawn has never complained about having to do a tedious task. He'll often suggest an ingenious way to automate the task so that no one has to do it, but if that's not possible, he gets right on it.

Andrew sacrifices and supports the team in many ways. He is willing to share his skills with others through answering questions and mentoring for both robot programming and simulation. He takes an interest in other team members and helps them to succeed.

Dave always supports the team by being available for questions and helping to mentor other employees on assignments. He dives in on tough assignments, securing customer support and increasing AMT’s excellence in reputation.AMT RISE Core Values poster

Aaron is excellent at looking at the big picture and seeing how best actions will impact projects and others. He is quick to help support and ask for assistance of coworkers, vendors and customers to make sure the right  things happen. 

Tyler's ability to analyze problems, plan a strategy, and outline necessary courses of action has been invaluable to me as a team player and contributed to my role as a designer. 

Aaron is accurate and thorough where improvement is concerned. He is always looking for viable solutions to difficult problems. I can always rely on his support.

Gerardo is a solid engineer who always gives his best and never hesitates to help his customers and colleagues. Many times, he has taken the extra time to assist HR with recruiting efforts for employees living in Mexico. Gerardo has often contacted candidates to share his experience working for AMT, relocating to Michigan, and other challenges that come with moving to a new  country and taking on a job with significant travel requirements. His input has often made the difference in resolving a candidate's concerns and getting them to accept AMT's offer of employment

Darin shows all of our core values very well, but I can't think of anyone that supports the AMT team better. Darin doesn't shy away from tasks that will be painful and tedious. If the team needs him to work on something to meet a goal, he is willing to do it. This especially shows with the way he has been moved rapidly between  projects. Darin doesn't throw a fit about getting switched to something different every week, even when the tasks are outside of his job description.

Jason's mechanical abilities and "getter-done" attitude keep the assembly team rolling right along here at AMT. As soon as the Construction Line hit the Build floor it seems the robot programmer is moving robots. He is always there working with the team to give input on a problem or fix it before it becomes a bigger problem. With leading the assembly team on most installs, the customers are always satisfied with the end results of their project.

Linda epitomizes the core values of responsibility and unwavering commitment to helping others within our company. Her conscientious approach to her work is truly commendable, as she consistently demonstrates a high level of accountability in all her tasks. Linda's awareness of the needs of her colleagues and her proactive stance in offering assistance reflect not only her professional acumen but also her genuine concern for the success and well-being of each service employee. In embodying these core values, Linda contributes significantly to the  positive and collaborative work environment that defines our company culture.

Kayla is always available to answer questions.

Ryan's methods aren't always the most PC but that's why we love him. I don't think anyone cares more about their work than Ryan. On top of having young kids, Ryan dedicates himself to his work. He not only makes sure his work is completed with efficiency and accuracy, he makes sure the people around him are successful as well. Ryan's technical ability is outstanding but the way he helps others is far superior.

Dinesh has emerged as an absolute Expert in Controls Engineering and would put the level of his skills and knowledge up against anyone else in his field. He has also thrived in his Managerial role, overseeing the software design of our other Engineers and providing valuable insight to help others improve and learn. He is a consummate professional, with the highest of integrity and has developed a top-notch reputation among AMT's customers. 

AJ shows a lot of integrity and excellence by making sure he's proud of any work that AMT provides. I've never heard AJ say, "let's take a shortcut to get done quicker." I think he also inspires everyone that he works with to behave the same way.

Dinesh is an excellent engineer and representative of AMT's Core Values. His colleagues and customers know that if Dinesh is assigned to a project, that project will have a high probability of success. He is always willing to mentor less experienced engineers and is always approachable, responsive and  humble. He helps with articles for blogs, The Gripper, and job descriptions. His willingness to help with non-engineering tasks is greatly appreciated and valued. 

Anna has a wonderful way of interacting with others. She’s a great person that has my respect - pure joy to work for and with.

Dinesh goes above and beyond to support our team. AMT RISE Core Values image

[Brad has] excellent communication, calm, collected, friendly, and respectful.

[Amanda] does her best to help and find solutions for anything. Willing to help all. Great overall person. 

Amanda is an excellent candidate for the Core Value Award. She always responds quickly to requests for assistance  and does it with a smile and patience. She often checks in afterward to make sure everything is running smoothly. Many times she checks in just to find out if everything is running okay. She is a talented IT specialist and a great colleague. She also offers to help on things outside of her IT responsibilities, which are many. 

Amanda exemplifies the core values extraordinarily every day. She is always respectful of others, and ready to help with the utmost integrity! She is always supportive of everyone at AMT! Also, supportive of our accompanied visitors. She does her due diligence and goes the extra mile to help even in crisis moments. For example, I was feeling overwhelmed, having one  of those days when nothing seems to be going right and the world was crashing down around me. My laptop was not working correctly. I was in a crunch time moment, trying to get my virtual machine going but having no success on my own. My thoughts were racing around in my head. I was thinking,  “Could this possibly be a network connectivity issue or my own undoing?!” Well, it turned out in my example it was just a common "User Error" on my part. Fun right? All of us have had one of these days every now and then at some point. Through my experience with Amanda in my moment of crisis, she was supportive, understanding, and intuitive. To note: it was first thing in the morning for her, and she had just arrived at work - settling in.  I do apologize for that! She delivered the results fast while respectively noticing that it was important to me, to be able to get me up and running, and ready to go and followed it with a comforting smile! Then she went out of her way to follow up and make sure everything was working all right later that day.  That was just above and beyond! I could give many more examples when she has helped in multiple situations, as that was one of the many. She was exceptional, and that stood out to me!  Amanda is a critical thinker and problem-solving sleuth deserving of all the nominations she receives and then some. Thank you for being a wonderful person and great addition to AMT and congratulations on the new role as our recently promoted  IT Specialist position! Grateful to have you and for you to be such a critical integral part of our AMT team. Keep up the great work!

Ron is willing to help out and make sure the job is done to the best of his ability. 

Andrew PMs the largest project ever at AMT through a number of circumstances and he never lost his cool. Both AMT employees and the customer were able to realize the project would be a success, even with major delays because Andrew told them it would be okay and he meant it. I think with the conclusion of the first complex project, the AMT Team sees how Andrew will support them and the customer until the end.

[Andrew] leads with positive attitude.

Dinesh is a true team player - committed and focused on results. His focus is not only on his personal work,  AMT, and the customer – but committed to supporting those around him and training them so they are successful. Supporting others is just a part of how Dinesh operates. He is humble and his warm, gracious, and positive attitude make him a naturally approachable leader. 

I have often heard upper management state- "We never have to worry that the shop group won't do an excellent job." They get the job done, and it is always done well. I see that team working hard every day in hot shops, cold shops, early mornings, and weekends. They make AMT look good. Their contributions day in and day out play a large role in AMT's reputation of excellence.

Congratulations to all, and a special thanks to those who took the time to recognize their peers through nomination. 



Congratulations to 2022 RISE Award recipients Dan Ivan and Chris Gomez!

2021 recipients-1

The 2022 RISE Award recipients are Dan Ivan, Controls Hardware Lead Engineer and Chris Gomez, Automation Engineer 1.

"I know that we truly are a part of something special, because we work with men and women of integrity that respect every individual and gladly support their AMT team," said Jacobs. "I well up with pride during this meeting every year.  It’s almost dream-like to hear that this is truly who our company is."

This year there were 29 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.”

Dan Ivan

Dan's teammates had some glowing reviews about working with him. All quotes were submitted anonymously.

"Dan Ivan is always ready to help - sometimes even before he is asked. He pitches in and does so with a smile on his face."

"Dan was promoted to become a leader in 2022 and by exhibiting all AMT's core values he has successfully lived up to being a leader - the AMT way!"

Chris Gomez

Within his first year as an AMT Automation Academy graduate, Chris has stepped up to become a leader: he led the team on a project with AMT's largest service customer and has become indispensable to the customer and the project. He has earned the respect of the individuals on his team and has encouraged and mentored a number of new hires on the team.

Chris goes above and beyond for everyone on his team. He is always the first to show up and the last to leave and is the perfect example of a leader, he should be a role model for all AMT team members. Chris takes care of the AMT programmers as well as the other contractors. 

He truly embodies the AMT core values: he's respectful to all around him, unrivaled in gumption and natural ability to lead, confronting stressful situations with a smile on his face, always acts with integrity, on top of providing top-notch engineering knowledge and talent for customers. 



The 2021 RISE Award recipients are Josh Galloway, IT Lead and Digital Solutions Architect and Louisa Asciniuc, Senior Controls Design Leader.  "I’ve worked AT a number of companies in my life, and I’ve worked WITH a lot of companies in my life.  I truly believe that what we have now at AMT is special.  It’s different," said President Mike Jacobs in his announcement to the company. "Please be very jealous of what we have at AMT.  Keep it strong and vibrant; it will serve you well."

AMT 2021 RISE nominees-1

Josh Galloway

"Josh has supported the AMT team by taking on more and more responsibilities, especially on ASG systems.  He's designed tablet applications to replace an HMI, he's written custom software to collect data out of a PLC, and has guided us as we dig into a full remote-monitoring solution.  Some of these are feats that have never been done before, so he makes those things without examples to reference, and gives AMT a solution that no other company in the world has figured out."

"Throughout all of those tasks, he's shown excellence by making sure that he and the rest of the team are proud of the end product.  It's one thing to write prototype code that just barely gets the job done; Josh keeps improving it until the solution is state of the art.  The quality of his work surpasses entire companies like some of our vendors."

Louisa Acsiniuc

"Louisa has been a huge asset to AMT since she started.  She is willing to jump in and help on any and all projects, juggling them as she goes.  When issues arise, she is there to care for them personally and be right next to you working them out.  Her reputation for being an expert in our field is proven daily.  Even if it's something Louisa has never touched before, she will take it on and become an expert on it in a very short time.  She is a ball of fire that keeps us all on our toes.  It's great to work with someone of her caliber."


PAST YEARS: 2020 RISE Core Value Awards

AMT 2020 RISE recipients

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.”

Melissa Fisher

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.

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

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.”



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

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.”

Tyler Macsuga

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.”

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