By Carla Short
2017-07-072017-07-10https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Michael Kutay, like many others, decided to study Industrial Engineering because he liked the combination of technology and business. He specifically wanted to work in manufacturing. While in college, he had numerous internships and co-op experiences. This helped him finance 100% of his education.
Michael began his career with Locke Insulators, a manufacturer of insulators for the power industry. Michael’s work at Locke was classical IE: work measurement, line balancing, and wage incentives. “I thought I would be at Locke forever, but I decided that I wanted a position where I could expand the scope of my impact,” Michael says.
Michael then joined Clarke American, a printer of checks and other business forms. Clarke had recently bought American Bank Stationery and Michael was involved in rationalizing the number of facilities Clarke needed to keep open. It was at this point that Michael began to value how senior leaders could shape corporate culture, either positively or negatively.
Michael moved to Ormet Aluminum where he progressed through a number of increasingly responsible jobs until he became the Plant Manager of a division of Ormet. It was at this point in Michael’s career when he went from making recommendations to leading the implementation of the recommendations of his staff.
When Ormet started having financial problems, Michael moved to another Plant Manager position with Windsor Windows. While he was only there for less than 3 years, Michael made a tremendous impact on all aspects of Windsor’s operations.
Michael was then recruited to be the Vice President of Winco Window Co. He had responsibility for all operations and was a member of the Executive Management team.
Currently Michael is President of Thermo-Tech Windows. “I went through a nine-month interview process before I joined Thermo-Tech,” Michael explains. Thermo-Tech had been a family owned business and realized that they needed to move to professional leadership. Since Michael joined Thermo-Tech, the company has experienced double digit growth in sales each year.
What Michael values most wherever he works is the culture of the organization. “For Thermo-Tech, it was very important to preserve the legacy and caring of its family founders,” Michael says. Michael advises students: “Make sure you are comfortable with the values of the organization where you work.”
Since 1985, by means of his strategic vision and leadership, Michael Kutay has delivered long-term, sustainable improvements within the areas of manufacturing and sales to achieve dramatic financial results. His unique competencies in cultivating culture improvements and building unified teams have alleviated departmental barriers, maximized efficiency, and generated substantial positive results in employee engagement and in the reduction of turnover. Michael’s style of management has been to aggressively seek solutions, provide a clear sense of purpose and urgency, and promote employee involvement in finding answers to today’s complex organizational challenges.
As a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, and with a Master’s in Business Administration from Wheeling Jesuit University, Michael possesses a unique balance of manufacturing and financial expertise. This blend of knowledge in addition to his special training in areas such as activity based costing, operations management, time standards, and negotiations allow Michael and his teams to implement continuous improvement initiatives while achieving sustainable managed growth.
His achievements in utilizing LEAN manufacturing principles include unprecedented improvements in reductions of quality incidents, distribution costs, scrap rates, and resource procurement. Similarly, he has structured and overseen activities leading to vast increases in manufacturing throughput, labor efficiency, sales, and profitability. His adept management of profit and loss factors has resulted in millions of dollars in annualized savings and the substantial optimization of capital investments.
Michael currently resides in St. Cloud, MN were he has served as President of Thermo-Tech Premium Windows and Doors since 2013. The company has achieved double-digit sales growth in each of the four consecutive years since his start. As an additional focus Michael has been planning for Thermo-Tech’s future by upgrading equipment and increasing production capabilities to support a new product launch planned for early 2018.