Focus on: Bob Cheskey
When Bob turned 18, he needed a job and began spending summers in the foundry with his father, shaking out solidified metal from molds at night and gaining hands-on experience in pattern storage.
Those early summer jobs were only the beginning of his lifelong vocation in foundries. Although Bob moved away to study mechanical engineering at Norwich University in Vermont, he returned to Connecticut to assist his family after his father fell ill. In 1966, Bob enlisted in the army; he would spend the next three years stationed around the world, with stops in Fort Eustis, Va. and Ft. Hood, Texas, as well as overseas stints in South Korea and Germany.
Stateside once again, Bob returned to the industry he knew best.
At Alloy Foundries, he worked in production before becoming supervisor in the core room and shell-molding department. In 1973, another foundry, Philbrick, Booth & Spencer in Conn., hired Bob in its QC office, and after four months, he transferred to the melting department.
He eventually earned a promotion to System Foundry Manager, and after his boss died unexpectedly in 1987, Bob became Foundry Manager and later Technical Director.
As many in the industry know, the last decade was a tumultuous one for U.S. foundries, with a number of operations failing in the face of recession and overseas competition. After 26 years at Philbrick, Booth & Spencer, Penn Steel (PA Foundry Group) hired Bob to be their Manager of Engineering and Field Technical Services, but nine months into the job, the foundry closed. Bob transferred to Quaker Alloy to hold the same position, and within the year, he was promoted to Vice President of Technical Services. After that foundry shut its doors in 2003, Bob took the position of Quality Manager at Penncast Corporation in Marietta, Pa.
In October 2005, he joined the Effort team as Vice President of Quality, bringing his extensive expertise in Non-Destructive Examination, problem solving, pattern building, furnace relining, melting, molding, equipment purchasing, and creating new processes. After working in the trade for 45 years and gaining all of that experience, though, he says he still learns something new every day.
Outside the foundry, Bob enjoys spending time with his wife of 41 years, Kathy, and visiting his two daughters and grandchildren in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
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