Plant Engineering’s Future 30 program is a year-long series highlighting the future of manufacturing leaders and why they are optimistic about their future. To submit one of your employees for consideration, go to www.plantengineering.com or email editor Bob Vavra at bob.vavra@reedbusiness.com.


Plant Engineering’s Future 30 program is a year-long series highlighting the future of manufacturing leaders and why they are optimistic about their future. To submit one of your employees for consideration, go to www.plantengineering.com or email editor Bob Vavra at BVavra@cfemedia.com .

Joe Burns

Age : 36

Education : Purdue University, BSME 2000; University of Tennessee MBA 2008

Employer : Plymouth Tube

What they say about him : “Joe Burns has been employed by Plymouth Tube in various positions and locations since 2000. As operations manager, he manages a facet of the White Metals division. The unit produces stainless steel tubing in various gages, material type and sizes. The unit employs approximately 100 workers and runs 24 hours, five days per week. He is responsible for a multi-million-dollar annual budget and capital projects ranging from $20,000 to $1 million.

“Joe is one who truly understands his business and what is required to take the business to the next level. Joe strives to be more than a manager. He strives, and is succeeding, to be a leader.”

Why he’s excited about a future in manufacturing : “Manufacturing is the backbone of our country, constantly spurring innovation. It offers problems %%MDASSML%% both physical and mental. It is the one source that allows people from every skill level to work together towards a common goal.”

Scott Patterson

Age : 36

Education : Purdue University (undergrad); University of Tennessee MBA 2008

Employer : Peerless Pump Company

What they say about him : “Prior to joining Peerless Pump in 2008, Scott was the quality and continuous improvement manager for Fleetwood Motor Homes. Scott has worked in manufacturing roles since 1996, including mass production, build-to-order and engineered-to-order facilities.

“Many leadership qualities may be developed over time. Others seem to be more natural or inherent to an individual. Scott is one of those people who you meet and know that you have met a true leader. When you visit a plant floor with Scott, he knows everyone by name and something about each individual. You see the respect he has from those working with him. That respect is driven by his abilities to implement quality standards, his interest in people and returns results to the bottom line.”

Why he’s excited about a future in manufacturing : “From my perspective, manufacturing has been a crucial component of the United States’ ability to gain and defend its independence. Our forefathers capitalized on abundant natural resources, a determined nation of immigrant craftsmen and a common purpose in developing the strongest manufacturing capability in the world.

“Today, manufacturing allows me to apply my core values of national pride, common organization purpose, leadership and teamwork on a daily basis. I feel a personal responsibility to support rebuilding a strong manufacturing base within the U.S. This effort will be achieved through strong leadership, application of lean manufacturing, agile capacity and continuous process improvement.”

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