CHURUBUSCO — A nearly 40-year-old local manufacturing firm will see a new boss in the coming months, according to company officials.
On Sept. 1 of this year, John Halverson, a 27-year veteran of the company, will assume the role of president of C&A Tool Engineering in Churubusco, replacing outgoing head Rob Marr. Marr noted the transition should be seamless, and will likely not affect much change for the company. Marr describes the business as “an overgrown tool and die operation that migrated into manufacturing.”
“We do high-precision, complex components for the medical, aerospace, fuel system and industrial industries,” he said.
Marr has been the head of C&A for the last three years, after founder Richard Conrow retired, although he’s been with the company since it was founded more than three decades ago. “I joined the founder when we had 10 people in 1982,” he said. Today, the company — headquartered at 4100 N. U.S. 33 in Churubusco — is a manufacturing outfit that has grown significantly from its humble beginnings in the garage of its founder.
The company now encompasses three locations — two in Churubusco, and one in Auburn — roughly 650 employees, and more than 750,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Company literature describes the firm as a business that “offers turning and grinding, additive manufacturing, milling and machining, including the industry’s most advanced capabilities in large machining.”
Conrow sold the business to a Japanese interest in 2017. When New Hampshire Ball Bearings, a Japan-owned company, purchased the business that year, Conrow stepped down and made way for Marr to take over. That deal put C&A under the umbrella of the MinebeaMitsumi family of companies, a world leader in precision-components manufacturing.
Marr said after stepping down later this year, his role at the firm will be more of an advisory one. “I’ll be doing more overall support,” Marr said, “kind of a consulting role.” Marr also noted that the recent COVID-19 pandemic made the leadership transition slightly more difficult to navigate. “It impacted the implementation,” Marr said. “The timing is always difficult when you do something like this, you don’t want to exit at an inappropriate time.” Despite that anxiety, however, Marr said the coming changeover is the correct one for his company right now.
“As the ‘Dinosaur in the Room,’” Marr said, “it became evident to me that it was time to implement the leadership skills of the next generation. John Halverson is the individual with the skill set to lead us to even higher achievement.”
Article by By Michael Morrissey of KPC Media, Originally ran July 15, 2020