When West Ohio Tool began to approach Chad Mahurin about joining their team as Production Manager, Mahurin was accustomed to customers asking him if he wanted to get back into the shop as opposed to working as a tech specialist and trainer. After all, he had built a reputation as a smart, knowledgeable expert with years of experience and a knack for connecting with shop personnel. But this time, something was different.
West Ohio Tool’s persistent offer appealed to Mahurin for several reasons. He and his family missed the friendly pace of a smaller town. As a Missouri native who’d worked in bigger cities but treasured his hometown lifestyle, he eventually wanted to get back to his roots. West Ohio Tool was built around a family atmosphere of respect and collaboration, and its village location reminded him of where he’d grown up. But even more importantly than the similarities between the Russells Point area and his childhood home, Mahurin wanted a change.
Mahurin began his career as a machinist, working for a maker of industrial honing machines. With a technical college degree and experience rebuilding railroad traction motors, he transitioned into the tool grinding industry at the beginning of 1996 when his prior employer closed the facility at which he worked. After 21 years with the biggest tool grinding company in North America, he had broadened his horizons with knowledge of many industries, types of tools and applications. Once again, he shifted gears to provide support and training for a leading grinding machine OEM.
But something was missing. “I was getting stagnant because I didn’t have the kinds of opportunities that enable me to use my mind and keep it working,” Mahurin said. “I’m always up for a challenge and I wanted to get into new opportunities.” He accepted West Ohio Tool’s offer.
Mahurin joined West Ohio Tool in 2021 and immediately began to capitalize on the strengths that had made him an asset at all the previous stops on his resume. “I understand how shops work and what helps them succeed,” Mahurin said. “I’ve learned how to help operators build their skills and their efficiency, and feel good about their work.” Beyond his knowledge, Mahurin also knows that the greatest value of expertise lies in sharing it with his team, rather keeping it to himself.
His rapport with shop life has benefitted him in more ways than one. Along with helping his West Ohio Tool colleagues accomplish tasks in new ways, Mahurin has proven his worth in the new-business development arena. “I’m not a sales guy. I’m a shop person,” Mahurin said. “When I talk to customers, we’re on the same wavelength. They know that I understand their business and how to help them solve problems.” He’s already helped make introductions for West Ohio Tool at a wide range of prospects in diverse industries.
One aspect of the tool-grinding industry that Mahurin would like to change: Its lack of in-depth, organized training programs. “You can learn machining in many places,” Mahurin said, “but tool grinding is an art that you have to learn on the job. You need to understand a long list of tool criteria to get a real grasp on what you’re doing.” At West Ohio Tool, Mahurin certainly helps his colleagues benefit from his insight, experience and love of “making things out of metal and ideas.”