Gear Motions’ Sam Haines Named to MACNY Wall of Fame

Mr. Samuel R. Haines, President of Gear Motions, Inc., was named to the Manufacturers Association of Central New York Wall of Fame at the organization’s 93rd Annual Meeting. The MACNY Wall of Fame honors regional manufacturers who have brought innovation to industry, contributed to the economic well-being of the area, and shared their talent and expertise with those around them. According to Mr. Randy Wolken, President of MACNY, “Sam Haines is the perfect addition to our Wall of Fame. Not only has he developed and implemented cutting edge technologies and products for the gear industry, but he has grown a locally owned and operated company into a profitable worldwide presence despite difficult economic times.”

According to Mr. Haines, “I joined what is now known as Gear Motions on a temporary basis in 1973 to help out my father, Samuel T. Haines. I needed to write my MBA thesis, and my Dad needed a business plan to expand Rawling Gear. Together we developed a holding company concept for growth (Gear Motions). Little did we know that, 30 years later, this small business would be a multi-million dollar enterprise, and I would still be here!” The vision of the father and son team was to develop a regional network of custom gear companies whose unique processes could be leveraged to serve the varied requirements of a wider range of customers and territories. The newly formed Gear Motions made it’s first acquisition of Oliver Gear in Buffalo, NY, and added large diameter spur and helical gears as well as coarse pitch rack to the company’s Helical Gears capabilities. The expanded company then acquired Nixon Gear of Syracuse, NY, in 1978 to bring precision ground spur and helical gears and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) volumes to the growing company. The company’s sales territory expanded from the Eastern seaboard to the Midwest. The Plastic Gearing Services Division was created, and a national sales force was developed. In 1985, Mr. Haines’ father retired, and Mr. Haines became President of the company. During the recession of the 1980s, Mr. Haines took a number of forward-looking steps to ensure his company stayed intact and his people stayed employed. His innovation continues with the recently implemented Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which will transfer ownership of the company to the employees over the next ten years, and help insure that the company will remain in our community.

Today, Gear Motions is comprised of the facilities in Syracuse and Buffalo, customers worldwide, and annual revenue that exceeds $15 million. The Oliver Gear division focuses on large diameter precision ground gears in small volumes, while Nixon Gear offers state-of-the-art production gear grinding. Under Mr. Haines’ leadership, Gear Motions won the 1999 Donlon Award for Employee Centered Practices; the 1997 American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) Board of Directors Award; and in 1993 AGMA’s E.P. Connell Award (the organization’s highest honor). Mr. Haines has served on the Board of Directors of MACNY since 1989, was Chairman of the Board from 1995-1997, and was Factory Managers Chair from 1985-1988. He served on the AGMA Board of Directors from 1988-2000, and was Chairman of the Board from 1998-1999. He was a member of the AGMA Foundation Board from 1999-2006, including Chairman of it’s Board from 2003-2006.

Asked what he attributes this successful growth to, in what might generously be described as a shrinking gear and manufacturing market, Mr. Haines said, “I’m honestly dumbfounded. As I look back from where we started, I guess I’d say two things; luck and listening. We’ve been lucky to have, and have had, great people and great customers; and we’ve been doubley lucky, to have listened to both of them! Today, we find ourselves with what may be one of the most modern fleet of jobbing gear grinders anywhere in the biz; operating in our robotic cells with new levels of precision, reliability, and repeatability we’ve never imagined.” What’s next for Gear Motions? According to Sam, “I’m interested in understanding the China opportunity better (he’s traveled there twice), and getting our new Employee Owners ready to take over in 2015, so I can start slowing down a bit before I hit seventy.”

Samuel R. Haines holds an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He (got lucky again he says) married the former Deborah Stone, an artist, teacher and Mom, in 1970. The couple has four grown children: Jessica, a Nurse Practitioner (Johns Hopkins `05) Baltimore, MD; Jeremy, an artist and musician in New York City; Tyler, a budding actor in Hollywood; and Abigail, who is completing a Master’s Degree in Special and Primary Education.

About Gear Motions

Gear Motions is a leading producer of custom precision ground spur gears and helical gears, as well as bevel, worm and cut gearing. Gear Motions Corporate Headquarters are located at 1750 Milton Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13209. For more information, visit the Gear Motions website at or call (315) 488-0100.

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