Brian Kedroske, Paul Sonderen, and Mike Strom Now Co-General Managers
Bill Strom, long-time President and former owner of the company (second from left, above), will assume a part-time role effective April 1. Bill and Mike’s father, Richard, started Strom Manufacturing in 1974. Bill joined the company in 1987, became president in 1995, and became sole owner of Strom Manufacturing in 2008. Under Bill’s leadership, the firm expanded significantly over many years. Then, in July 2022, Bill sold the highly productive shop to Compass Precision (https://compassprecision.com/compass- precision-purchases-strom-manufacturing-july-11-2022/).
“Events of the past year are all part of my plan to step back,” explained Bill. “Compass is proving to be a great steward of our company. I know that Brian, Paul, and Mike will lead it to even greater heights.”
“It’s unconventional to have co-general managers,” stated Compass CEO Gary Holcomb. “And while it might be unacceptable in Corporate America, it suits Strom Manufacturing perfectly. Brian, Paul, and Mike have worked very well as a team with Bill at the helm. Now they get to take their talents to the next level together.”
Co-general managers running a shop is not a new concept at Compass. Ben Kubis and Christina Douglas have successfully shared general management responsibilities at Douglas Machining since June 2022 (https://compassprecision.com/douglas-machining-ben-kubis-christina-douglas-co-general-managers/).
The skills and experiences possessed by Brian, Paul, and Mike (known affectionately as the “Three Amigos”) are highly complementary. Brian oversees shop floor operations and inspection, Paul handles sales and estimating, while Mike ties everything together with IT and technical skills. These complementary talents were put to the test during Strom’s successful start-up of its new, highly automated horizontal machining center early this year (https://compassprecision.com/strom-manufacturing-expands-with-new-horizontal-machining-center/).
“I have always wanted to contribute to Strom’s success in any way I could,” said Brian. “And working with Bill, Paul and Mike has been incredibly satisfying. We will miss seeing Bill all the time. But Paul, Mike and I are ready for the next challenge.”
“As usual, Mike, Brian and I are totally on the same page,” added Paul. “Nothing will change in terms of our ability to serve customers better than anyone else.”
“Working hand-in-hand with Paul and Brian over the past five years has been the best experience of my life,” said Mike. “Our combined skills, and the great workforce we have, make Strom Manufacturing truly special.”
And of course, Bill is not going away entirely. One of his passions is programming sophisticated CNC machines. He will continuing doing this on a part-time basis, sometime at the shop, but often elsewhere, including at home and while traveling.
The machines Bill programs for Strom Manufacturing include five horizontal machining centers and nine vertical machining centers. Many of these mills have multiple pallets and accompanying automation capabilities, enabling the company to run lights-out, with no one in the shop during off hours and on weekends. This capability increases Strom’s capacity and enables it to meet extremely tight customer lead-times.
Strom Manufacturing is one of seven operating companies under the Compass umbrella. Three of these companies, including Strom, are situated outside the Charlotte area, location of the company’s headquarters. The Compass operating model has proven highly effective in integrating and supporting geographically dispersed operating units. In particular, Compass believes that numerous cross-selling and cross-sourcing opportunities exist to enable each operating company to succeed in ways not possible by itself.
Compass Precision was formed with the acquisition of Advanced Machining & Tooling, LLC, Quality Products & Machine, LLC, and Tri-Tec Industries, LLC in October 2019. In August 2020, Compass added Gray Manufacturing Technologies, LLC as its first add-on acquisition. Seven months later, Douglas Machining Services, LLC became Compass’s second add-on acquisition in March 2021. R&D Machine, LLC was acquired in April 2022, and Strom Manufacturing, LLC in July 2022, becoming Compass’s third and fourth add-ons.
Together, Compass’s operating companies serve a diversified group of blue-chip customers in the aerospace & defense, space, medical, industrial automation, power generation, telecommunications, high tech, and specialty industrial markets.
For more information on Compass, Strom, and its leadership teams, please contact Gary Holcomb, Compass’s CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.