Oliver Gear Division VP & GM, Mike Barron to Retire After 42 Years

image1The Gear Motions family would like to recognize Mike Barron, our Vice President and General Manager of the Oliver Gear Division, for his 42 years of dedicated service.

It seems like just yesterday, although it was actually 1973, that a young engineer from Clarkson University arrived at Nixon Gear and agreed to take his first job running five-spindle lathes. It was not long before his significant talents were recognized, and he began moving up the ladder with a promotion to the Quality Department.

After Gear Motions acquired Nixon Gear in 1978, Mike moved to the Engineering Department, and his talents became critical to the company’s growth and increasing recognition as a leader in high-speed ground gears.

In the years shortly after the acquisition, Mike made numerous troubleshooting trips to help customer solve what became known as the “ghost noise” problem. His most famous trip may have been when he traveled to Switzerland for our then-biggest customer, where he solved another thorny technical problem. But he didn’t forget his colleagues back home. On his return, he traveled with 50 Reishauer Swiss army knives in his carry-on luggage, one for each Nixon Gear employee.

Mike’s customer service skills and ability to solve complex technical problems were recognized, and he was soon asked to become our Corporate Sales Development Engineer. In 1987, it was Mike’s technical intuitiveness that convinced the company to essentially “bet the farm” and become the first U.S. gear manufacturing shop to use an electronic gear grinder!

In a heartbeat it was 1995, and Mike was asked if he would take a “temporary” assignment and introduce large precision gear grinding to the Oliver Gear Division. Not long after, Mike was asked to stay on as the Vice President and General Manager of Oliver Gear.

“I guess we can call that assignment a success,” said Sam Haines, chairman at Gear Motions. “No other Gear Motions division has ever matched Oliver Gear for lower scrap/rework, higher profitability and consistent high customer satisfaction marks. Whoever said engineers can’t run gear companies?”

The fellow employee-owners at Gear Motions, and many satisfied customers, would again like to thank Mike for his 42 years of service and wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.