- On September 22, 2020
Mike O’Neill – MassMEP Employee Highlights
“I have always loved manufacturing,” states Project Manager Mike O’Neill. “My dad was in manufacturing his whole life, and he eventually bought a company. I sense that you can’t have 330 million people all flipping burgers or be in banks. You need to have a broad economy and people making things. I love manufacturing – I love the process of transforming something from rough material to finished product and everything that goes with it.”
Mike works in the Northeast region of Massachusetts, and really likes being able to work from a home office and not having to drive to Worcester every day. More on that later! Mike works with manufacturing clients to try to help them and understand their needs regarding training, consulting, technology, anything that else that they may need. Once the needs have been clarified, he looks first to determine what he can directly provide for them and does so. For things that he can’t provide or feels someone is better qualified, he works to bring those resources to bear for their benefit. A large percentage of companies Mike works with are small companies, so his tasks can involve all kinds of things: sales, execution, writing, proposals, and more.
“This is probably the most exciting job I’ve had in my entire life,” Mike continues. He joined MassMEP in 2012. He had been General Manager for an independent paper mill in Worcester and living on the North Shore. Yup, that’s 75 miles commute each way, which he did for the 11 years that he was at the paper mill, hence his appreciation for working from a home office. “I had spent a couple of months dealing with the loose ends of closing down the paper mill, and I had a glimmer of hope that maybe things would still work out. You get attached to your job and the people, and I knew many of those that worked for us would not get jobs that paid that well again. I love really big machines and so loved the paper mill. I also loved working with the people – there were lots of good people working there. Once the last hope died I put out feelers for my next career move. It might have been an ad but someone might have clued me in about the MassMEP position. I interviewed and it seemed like a really good fit!”
Mike’s early career began with his degree in industrial engineering. He then worked at EG&G as a customer service rep, an application engineer, and a sales engineer. He went back to school and following that he worked at a consulting firm that focused on manufacturing and government things. Eventually, this company started to be more government-oriented and less manufacturing. That is when he heard about the opportunity at the paper mill.
Outside of work hours, Mike continues to follow in his father’s footsteps. “I am a sailor. My dad was a sailor his whole life too. I was in diapers when I started sailing. I’ve always had a sailboat, usually 20 footers, and eventually bought a 36’ sloop that I’ve had for many years now. Besides that, I really enjoy reading and history. I lock in on different time periods like the Civil War and the founding of the United States. Ancient Greek and Roman history and where civilization came from also fascinate me,” Mike concludes.
How well do you know Mike? Two of these statements are true and one is not. Can you guess which one?
1) I am on the no-fly list for TSA.
2) I almost drowned.
3) I crewed on a boat in the Newport Bermuda Race. 2)