- On June 26, 2023
Gary Tavares MassMEP Employee Highlights
Meet Gary Tavares, MassMEP Business Development Advisor. Gary has been with MassMEP for 7 months, and enthusiastically states, “I just love it. I go into factories across the state and look at their operations and their problems. Then I propose solutions and bring in the MassMEP delivery team to come on in and knock it out of the park.”
With this excitement for his job, Gary shares, “I’ve had a great career path. I started on the front end of the whole product development cycle, basically in R&D. I spent my first ten years at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft designing components for aircraft engines. Following that I pivoted and jumped into consumer products, though I was still in R&D and product development. The consumer products were in the golf industry – yes, I designed and developed golf balls. It was great. I got to interact with a lot of great professionals. Designing golf balls is a lot more complicated when you really start feeling back the layers, especially the aerodynamics. There are also many technical details that you get into it and everybody’s different. I was in Chicopee, Massachusetts working for Spalding Sports and then went to Nike in Portland, Oregon when they got into the golf industry. I traveled around the country. That’s where I met Tiger Woods and we designed products for him, which was pretty exciting. Then Nike got into the golf club end of the business, and I had the opportunity to start that business from scratch in Fort Worth, TX. I was there for about 10 years designing and developing golf clubs. You can guess that I used to hit a lot of golf balls.”
Gary continues, “Around 2010 I moved back to central Massachusetts, working for a local manufacturer and started running the manufacturing operation. That’s where I first met MassMEP. I run four different operations in Massachusetts at the manufacturing level, and they all had a relationship with MassMEP or we brought them in to help write grants for training.”
Ask Gary about his favorite part of his work and he tells you, “I just love the manufacturing part, actually better than R&D, because that’s where the rubber meets the road, where stuff really happens in that factory. I just love going through factories and watching things. Whether it’s golf balls or widgets being made, it excites me. As neat, cool and fun as it is watching anything be made, if you look real closely there’s so much opportunity to help these manufacturers, especially the small business that don’t know all the best practices. For example, we can help a manufacturer with what’s the best way to optimize their workflow and really increase the throughput, as well as increase their quality. That’s why this job is a perfect fit. I really enjoy it.”
When he’s not on the job, Gary has plenty that keeps him busy. In previous years he really enjoyed racquetball and then after that it was golf, which he used to play 3-4 times a week. Now it’s bird dogs that he has a passion for. “Training, developing, whether they’re competition dogs or just hunting dogs, they are how I spend my time. I’ve got four at the house now in different ages and it’s just neat watching them develop from little puppies all the way to a mature animal. They all behave a little differently and they have different personalities. It’s fun.”
How well do you know Brian? Two of these statements are true and one is not. Can you guess which one?
1) I love reading. I love biographies and have read at least one biography of every president.
2) Very few people know that I can play the piano.
3) I’m actually very introverted.