A company is only as good as its employees.
Each Autotec employee is expert in their field. That’s important, but our success comes from our ability to work together as a team. It’s an Autotec trademark and explains in part why our employees enjoy working here. Our roles are clearly defined and perfectly mesh together to cover each step of the problem-solving process.
The beneficiary, of course, is you – our customer.
- Tom Ballay, President
Tom joined Autotec in 1992 and became the owner three years later. Since then he has helped grow the company into a respected manufacturer of production systems for the blow molding industry.
Tom calls himself a storyteller, which he is. But he’s also an astute engineer who knows how to sell his company’s expertise. He knows how to listen as well. In talking with Autotec customers, Tom figures out what their problems are and determines whether his team can devise a solution, which is most of the time. When he does, he tells our customers, simply: “We can handle that.” And we do.
Tom’s success at Autotec is rooted in his overwhelming desire to get every project right. “Nothing gets me more riled up than if we don’t meet our customers’ expectations,” he says. That rarely happens.
Prior to joining Autotec, Tom spent 11 years as an engineer for Freeport McMoRan Exploration, a global mining company. The experience, which included managing capital projects in the Gulf of Mexico, the western United States, and the remote islands of Irian Jaya Indonesia solidified in Tom the value of good execution of a well thought out project plan.
He is a native of Happy Jack, La., near New Orleans, and holds an engineering degree from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. He met his wife, Beth, a Sylvania, Ohio, native at LSU. They reside in Sylvania and have four children. Tom is an avid cyclist and a rabid LSU sports fan, especially football.
- Paul Sieben, VP Engineering and Manufacturing
Paul directs Autotec’s engineering and manufacturing operations. His ability to direct multiple projects, oversee a talented staff and connect with our clients provides valuable leadership. His experience as an architect, business executive and owner brings tremendous upside as we continue to expand.
“It all starts with people,” he said. “We have a strong group of engineers and manufacturing support working here. This gives us a strong foundation to build upon. What really excites me is the challenge to grow the company.”
Paul knows something about building companies and other organizations. He helped grow a small, family-owned company into a multi-billion dollar, Fortune 500 enterprise. He started and built his own architectural and engineering firm. As a lacrosse coach, he’s built programs at two Toledo-area schools.
Raised in New York’s Bronx borough, Paul graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has applied his business and Lean Manufacturing training to the elimination of waste in the manufacturing, industrial and healthcare sectors.
In 1979, Paul joined Wolfe Industries in Lima, Ohio. He was one of the founding officers of HCR when it went public in 1981. Paul was one of the top five officers as the company grew into a multi-billion dollar concern known as HCR ManorCare. In 2003, he co-founded LeanTrak, a single point responsibility design build firm which he later sold to his partners.
Paul lives in Ottawa Hills with his wife, Susan, a veterinarian. They have three grown daughters and one grandson. Paul’s lifelong passion as a player, coach and official has been lacrosse. He started the girls program at St. Ursula in 1999 and won seven league championships in his 14 years there. He was named the first women’s lacrosse coach at Lourdes University in 2013. Paul is a fan of the Ohio State University football team and New York Yankees.
- Jim Proffitt, VP Research and Development
As director of research and development, Jim helps conceive advanced technologies for customers that require innovative manufacturing solutions for their products.
Once Jim understands our customer’s requirement, he conceptualizes a cost-effective solution. Jim continues to work with our customer and Autotec engineers to ensure that the initial concepts, as well refinements that emerge during component detailing, are incorporated into the final design.
“For me the most important thing is to make sure the machines we build do what we say they’re going to do,” he says.
Jim is a native of Huntington, W.Va. He joined Autotec in 2000. A graduate of Purdue University, where he holds degrees in machine design and engineering management, Jim’s other employers include Owens Illinois, International Paper Co., Ann Arbor Machine Co., and Ort Tool & Die Corp.
Jim resides in Oregon, Ohio with his wife, Karen. They have three grown children and five grandchildren. He enjoys playing the guitar, camping and traveling by train.
- Brad Steenrod, Chief Engineer Material Handling
As Autotec’s material handling chief engineer, Brad directs the company’s engineering, development and manufacturing of its custom material handling solutions.
A skilled mechanical design engineer, Brad also works with Autotec engineers on our customer machine design concepts.
Brad is a native of Ida, Mich. He has an associate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo and is a licensed building contractor in Michigan. He previously worked at Automatic Handling and S2F Engineering as a mechanical designer and project manager. He first worked at Autotec from 1998-2000 and returned in 2007.
“I enjoy wearing different hats. Also, there’s a family-like atmosphere here that I really like. Everyone knows their job. Everyone is important. And we all work together to get the job done,” he says.
Brad lives in Bedford, Mich., with his wife Heidi and three children. When he’s not working, Brad enjoys snowboarding, hiking, fishing, hunting, playing sports with his children and following Detroit Lions football.
- Glenn Siddens, PE, Chief Engineer Finishing Equipment
As Autotec’s finishing equipment chief engineer, Glenn directs the company’s engineering, development and manufacturing of its superior custom automation equipment for the plastics packaging industry. His extensive background in mechanical engineering, machine design, new product development and project management provide the company and its customers with expert leadership and organizational skills.
Glenn previously worked at Autotec from 2003-07 and has thoroughly enjoyed his return. “There’s a great vibe here – a great sense of achievement,” he said. “The company is moving forward, growing and doing things the right way. I enjoy that.”
Glenn enjoys developing relationships with Autotec customers during the project process. “I like getting to know them and working closely with them and keeping them posted at each step of the process,” he said. “It’s an important part of what we do and one of the reasons we’re successful.”
A Toledo native, Glenn has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio. He has worked for a number of companies in the fields of glass, plastics, and structural testing and workplace seating. Most recently, before returning to Autotec, Glenn worked for Dynamic Testing & Equipment and BioFit Engineered Products.
Glenn lives in Waterville with his wife, Christine, son, Luke, and two dogs. His main non-work vocations are changing diapers, scuba diving and trail hiking with his family.
- Brian Steenrod, Director of Sales
Brian’s dynamic personality and considerable knowledge of industrial automation, make him a formidable director of sales who knows how to connect with customers and talk their language.
For Autotec, Brian focuses on selling the company’s material handling and robotic applications expertise. His experience includes packaging, automatic guided vehicles, overhead cranes, conveyors, stretch and shrink wrap systems and labeling.
In his nearly 25 years in the industry, Brian’s customers have included food and beverage, plastics, paper, nonwovens, polymers, building and consumer products, converting operations and pharmaceutical industries.
Brian’s philosophy in working with his customers is simple and effective: “I always say, ‘The best customer is the one you already have. That means we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver, and we do the job right.’”
Prior to joining Autotec, Brian worked in systems solutions at Automatic Handling International and as southeast sales manager at EDL Packaging Engineers. From 2000-08, Brian was an independent product sales rep specializing in conveying systems, robotics and automatic guided vehicles.
Brian is a native of Ida, Mich. He attended Western Michigan University before moving in 1993 to Charlotte, N.C., where he still resides. He and his wife, Kristi, have a daughter, Sloane.
When he’s not working, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, the beach and University of Michigan football.
- Jeff Thomas, Senior Controls Engineer
As a senior controls engineer, Jeff is involved in design and installation of our machines. He tests every machine before it’s shipped to our customers to make sure it performs as intended. If Autotec customers have any mechanical issues with our machines, Jeff utilizes remote machine access through the Internet to troubleshoot problems.
“Since I have remote access to our customers’ machines, I can very quickly diagnose an issue, figure out a resolution and get that machine back on line with very little disruption to our customers’ production. That is a huge asset for our customers,” Jeff says.
Jeff is a native of Ida, Mich. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and electro-mechanical engineering technologies from Michigan Technological University. Prior to joining Autotec in July, 2012, he worked as an electrical engineer at Automatic Handling Inc. and S2F Engineering.
Jeff lives in Temperance, Mich., with his wife, Mary. He enjoys yard work, tinkering with his home computer and car, and hobby electronics.
- Matt Morabito, Director of Aftermarket Sales and Service
Matt directs Autotec’s after market service and sales efforts. His many skills within the packaging industry include sales, operations and engineering. Matt has experience with life cycle management, technical resolutions and budgeting. This unique skill set makes him an invaluable asset to Autotec customers.
Among his many talents, Matt analyzes operational efficiencies and helps Autotec customers develop business plans that can increase plant productivity and reduce operating costs.
“My industry experience provides me insight into a variety of product applications, allowing me to implement the correct business solution,” he said. “As a result, I’ve developed many successful relationships with my customer base. That has been very rewarding for me – and for my customers.”
Previously, Matt was a customer service manager for Sidel, Inc., an Atlanta-based packaging equipment company. For Sidel, he handled all of the company’s Coca Cola aftermarket business for its North America operations. Prior to that, Matt spent five years as a technical services engineer for Western Container Corp. where he provided regional technical support to the company’s client base.
Over his career, he has saved various companies millions of dollars in cost overruns through equipment improvements, efficiency increases and operating expense reduction.
A Detroit-area native, Matt graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in finance. He began his career as a production supervisor in the automotive industry. His packaging experience includes beverage, household goods, container manufacturing and packaging equipment.
Matt lives in Woodhaven, Mich., with his wife, Erica. They have four children, two young adult sons and two younger daughters. His spare time is spent attending the many activities and functions of his two daughters, but he does find time in the fall to follow his passion, college football.
- Uwe Weber, Service Manager
Uwe is a highly skilled and accomplished machinery mechanic who oversees on-site installation of our machines, troubleshoots any problems, and trains our customers to operate and maintain our equipment.
He joined Autotec in 2004 as a machine builder, and has also worked as a service manager and manufacturing manager. Previously, he was employed at Calphalon.
Uwe is a native of Spiesen-Elversberg, Germany, where he was trained in mechanical maintenance and installations. He was first employed by Bosch Packaging. In 1992, he immigrated to the United States after completing a project for Bosch in Perrysburg, Ohio, where he currently lives.
In his work, Uwe is a perfectionist: “For me it’s about developing a reliable and cost-effective machine and setting it up in a way that our customers get the most productivity out of that machine.”
Outside the office, Uwe enjoys golf, watching American football, and following VfB Stuttgart, a German soccer club.
Contact Uwe Weber: