Meet the Team
Paul Sonderen, Co-General Manager and Sales & Estimating Manager.
Paul joined Strom Manufacturing in 1999 after working for Sunset Manufacturing, a precision CNC machining company in Tualatin, OR, and a Portland area plating company. During his seventeen years with Sunset, he rose steadily through the ranks, starting as a truck driver and ending with being the company’s sales manager. While employed for three years with the plating company, he regularly interfaced with its customers, most of whom were CNC machine shops.
As Strom’s sales & estimating manager, Paul is responsible for quoting, estimating, customer relations and inside/outside sales. His extensive background in CNC machining, as well as his experience with plating and other outside processes, make him ideally suited for his role at Strom Manufacturing.
Brian Kedroske, Co-General Manager and Quality Control Manager
Brian started his career with Pitney Bowes, a Fortune 500 company, and became the youngest Branch Manager in company history. But the lure of manufacturing was strong, so he switched careers and joined Weiss Scientific in Hillsboro, OR, where he Initially worked in CNC machining. When the company needed help inspecting the complicated quartz components the firm made, Brian moved over to quality and never looked back. He rose in the organization to become Quality Manager and was instrumental in implementing an exact copy of the inspection process used at Intel, a major customer.
At Strom, Brain is responsible for all aspects of quality assurance and control. He also plays a big role in scheduling the shop and interfaces heavily with all outside vendors.
Mike Strom, Co-General Manager and Technical Manager
Mike joined his brother’s company in 2017, initially as an IT consultant, then full-time shortly thereafter. His responsibilities are wide ranging and include equipment and process troubleshooting, on-going process improvements, technical support for all operations, especially during second shift, and IT.
Mike graduated from South Dakota School of Mines in 1993 with a BS in Computer Science. He worked many years as an application engineer for Ellison Machine Tools, a major CNC machine distributor. While with Ellison, Mike excelled at working with customers to develop advanced solutions for manufacturing needs, including providing support for technical and economic justifications of machinery investments. This experience has proved invaluable at Strom and will be utilized throughout Compass’s companies.
Gary Holcomb, CEO
Gary is President & CEO of Compass Precision, Strom’s parent company. He joined Compass in October 2019 in conjunction with its first three acquisitions (Advanced Machining & Tooling, LLC, Quality Products & Machine, LLC, and Tri-Tec Industries, LLC.) He previously served in general management roles for several metal manufacturing firms, including Coining, a precision metal stamping firm that grew from $13 million to $65 million in revenue over seven years while Gary was CEO.
Earlier in his career, he was General Manager of Dynamet’s Forged Products Division, a Pittsburgh-based titanium CNC machining & forging shop where he learned many of the successful strategies being employed at Compass. Gary graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Paul Wilhelm, Vice President & CFO
Paul joined Compass in February of 2020 as Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. Like Gary and Jim, he has a strong CNC machining industry background. Paul worked for Paragon Metals from 2016 through early 2020, most recently as the firms’ Chief Financial Officer. Paragon machines tight-tolerance, precision-engineered metal components for the automotive industry.
Previously, he served in various accounting and finance roles for several other Charlotte-area manufacturing companies including IntraPac International, a speciality packaging company manufacturing plastic, laminate, tin and aluminum products. Paul has a BS in Business Administration and an MS in accounting, both from Georgia Southern University.
Jim Miller, VP Sales
Jim became VP Sales at Compass Precision in March 2021, moving to Charlotte from Orange County in Southern California. In this role, he leads new business development efforts for all Compass Companies. Jim has spent 25 years in the machining and fabrication industry. In his previous role, Jim served in a similar capacity as VP of Sales for Crenshaw Die & Manufacturing.
On two different occasions in his career, Jim started his own CNC Machining and Fabrication company. His second venture — CJ Precision Manufacturing — grew to $1 million in sales in its first three years. In 2015, he sold the company to Crenshaw, where he worked for nearly six years before joining Compass. Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA.