When Madi King says her career at West Ohio Tool started from the ground up, she’s not kidding.
The 25-year-old daughter of West Ohio Tool CEO Kaci King and company President Rea King, Madi represents the third generation of Buchenroths in the custom tooling company started by her grandpa, Kerry, 34 years ago. Before joining the company full time in 2019, Madi started mowing the grass and doing landscape work around the facility and then began helping Kerry with general shop support three days a week.
Occasionally, she would help Kaci with the business accounting, and from there things started to take off. Madi is now head of accounting at West Ohio Tool, a position she learned from her mother.
“Everything I do here, I learned from my mom’s experience,” Madi said.
But as with most small, family-owned enterprises, Madi wears a number of hats on any given day. Though accounting, purchasing and keeping track of service work accounts for the majority of her time, she also helps Rea with warehouse organization, answers the phones, researches issues for clients and assembles documentation for obtaining the company’s enhanced ISO, AS9100, and CMMC certifications.
Though there’ve been plenty of highlights during her tenure with West Ohio Tool, moving to the front office stands out as a personal and professional milestone, Madi said.
“Starting as the low person on the totem pole and growing up through the company, being added to the management team was a really big deal,” she said.
Engaged to be married next September, Madi still finds time in her busy schedule to give back – something she’s carried forward from the King’s family values. (West Ohio Tool actively supports the fight against hunger and food insecurity and encourages employee community volunteer efforts.) In addition to being a 4-H leader, mentoring kids ages 6 to 18 with her ample experience in raising and showing cattle and competing in world-class equestrian events, she continues spearheading the “Wardrobe Wranglin’ Show” costume class fundraiser at Ohio’s Logan County Fair.
Madi first brought the show to Logan County in 2021 and gives local 4-H livestock exhibitors the opportunity to dress up their animals to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants life-changing wishes to critically ill children. The effort is special for Madi as she and her younger brother endured multiple surgeries for significant medical conditions in their youth and received a special trip from an organization similar to Make-A-Wish. The show has grown from three to 24 exhibitors, and this year the show was featured in local news media and raised $5,000 for the foundation.
It’s been an interesting journey from being a bona fide farm girl to learning the business from the ground up as she goes along, but Madi says she’s just where she wants to be.
“I really do love my job,” she said.