DRMA is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has awarded Honorary Membership to Bruce Hackett, Dave Dysinger and Lee Watson in recognition of their contributions and dedication both to the DRMA and to the Dayton Region’s manufacturing community.
Honorary Membership is the DRMA’s highest award. Candidates must have been employed by member companies for at least 10 years, in the manufacturing industry for at least 15 years, and provided outstanding service to both the manufacturing industry and the DRMA. Honorary Memberships are a dues-free and a life-long award.
Bruce Hackett began his career in 1971 at Estee Mold & Die, shortly after earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from St. Francis University. Bruce started in the company as a bookkeeper, and through the years advanced to roles in purchasing, project management, sales and company president. When asked what he considers his greatest accomplishment in his 41 years at Estee, he answered, “Survival…successfully guiding the company through many industry changes and challenges over the years.” After the sale of Estee, Bruce continued working for eight years as a project manager at AFC Tool Co.
Bruce has been involved in the DRMA as far back as he can remember, serving on the Board of Trustees for many years, culminating as Chairman in 1992. Bruce has also served as the DRMA liaison to the National Tooling and Machining Association.
Bruce has been instrumental in the association’s efforts in workforce development. He considers the increasing lack of skilled workers the greatest challenge to the Dayton Region’s manufacturing community. With the DRMA, he has worked with area colleges and secondary educators to ensure that students are learning the skills required by manufacturers. Bruce has also reached out to students, sharing with them the many opportunities offered in manufacturing. Bruce is looking forward to continuing his involvement in the DRMA through his work in the Golf Committee.
Dave Dysinger entered his career in manufacturing by mere chance. In 1965, while attending a dance with his wife Doris, he was introduced to a friend’s father who happened to be the vice president of H & H Machine. Dave appeared at H & H Machine three days later and was hired as a general shop laborer before being taken under the wings of veteran machinists to be trained in machining. He eventually left H & H, spending the following years in a variety of shops throughout the Dayton Region, gaining experience and knowledge in the tool and die industry. In 1973 he established his own company, Dysinger Tool and Die, now Dysinger, Inc.
Dysinger quickly built a reputation for producing high quality parts with short lead times; a reputation that continues to this day. Of all his professional accomplishments at Dysinger, Inc., he is most of proud of the positive impact his company has made on its employees and family members. Dysinger not only provides a livelihood for their employees but also a vehicle for professional growth, thus positively impacting families and the Dayton community as a whole.
Dave has been active in the manufacturing community for years, joining both the DRMA and the NTMA in 1978. He joined the DRMA Board of Trustees in 1992, serving as Board Chairman from 1998 through 2000. His impact on the DRMA has been profound, leading the association’s transformation into an effective business organization with a strong governance structure. Dave also was instrumental in expanding the scope of DRMA to serve all manufacturing companies in the region, rather than focusing solely on the tooling and machining industry.
Additionally, Dave has made a significant impact on the Dayton Region’s workforce development initiatives. Sinclair Community College enlisted his help in establishing an advanced-level training program, original called Top Gun and now known as Advanced Manufacturing Specialist (AMS) program. Dave and his late wife Doris made the single largest donation to the DRMA Foundation for the purpose of establishing a robot competition to foster students’ interest in pursuing careers in manufacturing.
When asked about the future of manufacturing in the Dayton Region, Dave is very optimistic and believes that manufacturing will continue to be a force in the Dayton economy. He believes “we are living in an exciting time with new technologies constantly being developed,” which will not only improve our lives but create business opportunities in manufacturing. Dave looks forward to continuing his long support of the DRMA as an Honorary Member.
Lee Watson began his manufacturing career serving in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1964 as a machinery repairman, manufacturing and repairing ship components in the United States Seventh Fleet. After serving his country, Lee returned to Dayton spending many years at various grinding companies, operating O.D. and I.D. grinders, and managing grinding departments.
In 1983, Lee joined the newly formed Techmetals, Inc., where he served as chief operations officer. He also directed the company’s Safety, Quality and Continuous Improvement departments. As director of Safety, Lee established a safety team, created the company’s first safety manual, and diligently worked to maintain a culture of safety throughout the company.
Lee is most proud of his role as director of continuous improvement, where he focused on improving operations and increasing productivity. In this role, he also served as a mentor to employees, teaching skills in communication, problem solving, and team building. Lee said, “Listening is the most important aspect of communication, because so many problems are solved by people simply listening, which is why I emphasized this skill at Techmetals.”
Lee has been involved in the DRMA for most of his career at Techmetals, serving on the Board of Trustees and as Chairman in 2003 and 2004. Lee was instrumental in the establishment of DRMA’s HR/Safety Committee. Drawing from his professional experience, Lee helped organize the committee to focus on providing value to association members. Lee is proud of his involvement in creating the DRMA’s Workers’ Compensation Group Program, which can provide members with substantial cost savings.
Lee is optimistic on the future state of manufacturing in the Dayton Region, but believes the biggest threat to the industry is increased government regulation and excessive taxation. “Manufacturing has been strong, but regulations and taxes could kill its momentum.” Lee will support Dayton manufacturing by continuing his involvement in the DRMA as an Honorary Member, applying his vast experience in human resources and safety initiatives.