- On April 6, 2021
Ron Giard – MassMEP Employee Highlights
“These are some exciting times at MassMEP,” says Ron Giard. “My role at MassMEP is as Sales Manager, and it focuses around business development. We’re transitioning and are all taking on some additional roles. Our mission at MassMEP is to support MA manufacturing companies. First and foremost I am involved in educating manufacturing companies about MassMEP and letting them know about the support systems available to them as a MA manufacturing company. Those support systems include advising support and training support. We also assist them in learning about and applying for training grants through the Workforce Training Fund.”
Ron continues, “I’ve been with MassMEP about a year. I joined the organization in January and then shortly after that COVID hit. It’s been quite a ride as we’ve all gone through this. It’s been a change for a lot of people on how to deal with issues day to day.”
Ron has 35 years of manufacturing experience starting from the standpoint of engineering. He began his education by getting his degree in mechanical engineering from WPI. Along the way, as he was supporting companies as a process engineer, he decided he wanted to learn more of the business side of the companies he was working for. So he went back to school and got his MBA. That allowed him to move from engineering to operations, and subsequently he also got involved in general management.
“After many years of working in the manufacturing environment, I wanted to do something different, and I wanted to stay in manufacturing,” Ron shares. “The opportunity at MassMEP came up and I interviewed with a couple people here and learned more about the mission. I knew some about MassMEP and have certainly learned more since coming to work here. It’s been a bright spot for me. When I came I started as a Project Manager working directly with companies providing training assistance, advisory support and more. I transitioned to the NE Region Manager, working with a lot of our Project Managers. We’re having to reshuffle due to COVID and figure out how to do things a little differently. This includes converting training to virtual, and becoming a big support system for the state working with the M-ERT (Manufacturing Emergency Response Team). During this initiative we assisted manufacturers that were making PPE, as well as those that had that skill set and pivoted to begin making PPE. We became the liaison between these companies and M-ERT to help these companies transition. We are working to further develop business with them outside of PPE and are educating them on other offerings that we provide to manufacturers.”
Ron provides insight into his favorite part of his work. “Professionally my passion has not changed. I’ve worked for a number of different manufacturing organizations and industries, and being the engineer that I am, the desire to learn about the product, the process, the people never leaves you. It’s been no different at MassMEP. My role is different in one sense, but at the end of the day I break it into 3 things: people, process, tools. The environment could be different, the product could be different, but the process is the same. So learning the value, and then passing that on to the people, whether co-workers, colleagues, or clients, and getting them to realize the value that they offer to their company and co-workers, results in getting them excited about what they do every day. That can be difficult to do. You go to work every day and some days are going to be better than others. If you can learn something new, or add value, or see that you’re adding value – it’s satisfying. At MassMEP that’s what we do. We offer training and advisory support and work to help them to understand that what they do every day makes a difference. This really comes to light, especially with companies making PPE, when they realize the value that are providing to people, and in some cases lifesaving value. That’s really been my passion.”
When asked about what he does for hobbies and is passionate about in his personal life, after he’s shut his office door at the end of the day, Ron says that with the roles he’s been in, and who he is, that he finds it tough to just shut things off. As an example he cites, “When you wake up at 2am and think ‘I’ve got to write that down so I don’t forget that…’ it is clear that it is hard to just shut it off.” He goes on to say, “My personal passion has changed over time. My wife and I have 3 kids that are now adults, and really they have been my passion. We have always enjoyed being involved with their schooling, sports, and outside activities, and before you know it 30 years have passed. It’s hard to believe how quickly that time goes by. That’s been my passion – being there for them and providing them the support that they need so they can be successful. So now they’re adults and no longer under our roof, so we’ve been successful there.”
“I’m also a big do-it-yourselfer. Maybe that’s part of my engineering side. Over the years I’ve been reluctant to have others do things for me because I can do it. Even when I haven’t done something before, I’ll figure a way to do it. That has been a big part of my life. Luckily the kids have been interested too, so they’ve learned a lot of those skills. I do a lot of projects around the house and it is sort of my therapy. I enjoy being able to have time to myself to do some of those things. It’s satisfying because you see something completed. In today’s world things may start and then it’s an evolution that may take years. For example, look at medical devices and the amount of time it takes to bring it to market. The ability to complete my projects in a much shorter time frame is very satisfying.”
How well do you know Ron? Two of these statements are true and one is not. Can you guess which one?
1) I was a pretty good soccer coach.
2) I was an avid cross-country runner in my day.
3) I am an avid golfer.