Emerging Leader R.J. Reed Carries on Family Legacy of Manufacturing
R.J. Reed, regional sales manager, Midwest for Matsuura Machinery USA Inc., is continuing his family’s legacy of working in the manufacturing industry and thriving while doing so. R.J. grew up with a grandfather who sold Burgmaster turret drills; his uncles ran a machine shop where his cousin still carries on the family business; his mother and father met while both working for a shop; and most recently, another cousin graduated and joined Mastercam.
R.J. was selected by Matsuura President Craig St. John to manage machine tool sales for Chicago and Midwestern regions. He was recruited for his years of leadership in sales, project management, along with his desire to solve customers’ manufacturing challenges.
“R.J. is an energetic team player who specializes in acquiring new business, while maintaining relationships with a compelling focus on problem solving and partnership,” Mr. St. John says.
Since R.J. graduated from Eastern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, he has merited many accreditations in professional sales and management, including being named a certified manufacturing technology sales engineer (CMTSE).
R.J. explains that his passion and dedication to machine tool technology, discovering solutions and helping customers achieve results drives every decision in his life. “I want to help customers by focusing on solutions and make their businesses better. They are all customers, but more importantly, they are all people, friends and neighbors. It is critical to our country’s future to be on the cutting edge of what manufacturing has to offer,” R.J. explains.
Although R.J.’s work is a priority for him, so are his wife and two children. Volunteering is also important to him: He spends time giving back to the community through local organizations and along with his Matsuura colleagues with vocational programs, educational foundations, local children’s hospitals and the Convoy of Hope humanitarian organization.
R.J. sees the industry transforming in the future as more women enter the industry. “I find inspiration in and am thankful for the women who are currently blazing trials in the machine tool industry. I will encourage my daughter to embrace STEM. When my daughter writes her version of our manufacturing family tree, I want there to be more sisters, wives and mothers right next to all those men (in this industry). My father always said to me, ‘I’ll crack the door for you, but you have to kick it in.’ I plan to be there to “crack the door” just a bit for my children,” R.J. says. His father, whose perseverance R.J. always respected, was still working as machine tool salesmen until he passed away last year.
For more information about other Production Machining 2019 Emerging Leaders, read “Meet Production Machining’s 2019 Emerging Leaders.”
If you’d like to nominate an Emerging Leader for 2020 or find out more information about the program, visit our nomination page.
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