Meet Team Kadant - Tim Henry, Research and Development Manager
Department/Title: Research and Development Manager
Worked at Kadant Johnson Since: September 1997
Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant Johnson.
After graduating from Purdue University with a Mechanical Engineering degree, I landed a job at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. I worked on several projects including the Cobra Mustang and eventually became the Program Manager for the natural gas programs. I landed at Kadant Johnson after learning about the job opportunity at a wedding where a friend of mine who worked there told me they were looking for an engineer. My wife and I discussed moving closer to home and Kadant Johnson was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Seeing other people's successes that I have been a part of. Whether it is a personal goal within our group, somebody's new product completing a test successfully, or someone's idea being implemented.
What do you think is the most important quality for success?
Listening. To everyone.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
To be open and honest even when it is uncomfortable. No matter the situation; employee relations, customer interfacing, project execution etc., the earlier your views/perceptions are known the quicker a solution is obtained.
What aspect of your day-to-day do you enjoy the most?
Working with the fantastic group of people in the R&D center. We have our fun but when it is time to get serious everyone pulls in one direction. They are a great group and I am proud to be a part of the team.
What is one aspect of your job that is unique to your role or department?
Managing our global research center, I am afforded a front-row seat to see the next idea/technology/opportunity that our teams from around the world are coming up with.
Tell me about your family.
My wife Michaele and I have been married for 28 years but our journey started out in the 7th grade as middle school sweethearts--that’s 39 years. We have three children, our twin boys Trent and Trevor who are 20 and our little girl Tessa, 19 who might have me wrapped around her finger. Trevor is attending Michigan Technological University studying mechanical engineering/business; Trent is at Michigan State for speech language-pathology and Tessa is graduating this year from an early College program in human sciences.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I have been blessed with many so it’s hard to pick one, so here are a few that raise to the top:
Professionally - Jerry Timm, our retired VP of Research, embodied what we strive to do for our customers here at Kadant Johnson which is find solutions.
Personally - Mr. Dave DeCou, a teacher/coach at our local high school for the past 46 years (and still at it). A gentlemen’s gentlemen who is an icon on how to earn and show respect.
And in life - my Bride who despite adversity has always seen the positive in all things.
What do you like to do in your free time and why?
I enjoy hunting, muscle cars, and working on our farm among others. These hobbies are all hands-on and outdoors but appeal to me for different reasons. I have hunted long enough now that I enjoy teaching others more than hunting myself; muscle cars—I love working on these beautiful machines and sharing experiences with others; and farming provides that opportunity to break away from it all, there is something about being out in the middle of our farm that calms the soul.
What is your favorite quote?
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower