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Tom Caldwell

Tom Caldwell


As both an employee and consultant, Tom has helped privately owned firms grow during times of dramatic change in their markets. Having run marketing, sales, purchasing, engineering and operations, and as a division general manager and CEO, Tom’s functional breadth helps his clients create and execute solid, practical plans for growing revenue and earnings.

Growing up in a family business, after college Tom began as an engineer developing materials processing technologies in the Corporate Labs of NL Industries, a Fortune 200 firm. He then became Engineering Manager of a seven plant Bearings Division, later moving to the Doehler- Jarvis Division as Product Line Manager. Upon its sale to a private equity sponsor, he served as VP each of Marketing and Sales, Purchasing, Engineering and Operations as the firm grew from $180 to $440 million sales in current dollars. Tom then joined a privately owned firm, Madison- Kipp, as President & CEO leading a turnaround and tripling sales over a dozen years to $75 million, creating a new niche for precision machined critical components and assemblies for the automotive market. Returning to New England, Tom joined Hitchiner, a family owned manufacturer of automotive, aerospace and defense components as VP and Division GM, resetting division strategy and improving operations.

During his corporate career in manufacturing, Tom gained deep experience in developing and launching new products while commercializing ten technologies generating over $350 million annual sales. He’s done business in ten countries, and created and managed global technology and manufacturing partnerships in Europe and India, plus a domestic joint venture.

As a consultant to private equity and owner operated firms, Tom has performed project and interim COO engagements for clients in industries ranging from candy making to steel fabrication, and in organizational cultures ranging from an art museum to union shops.

As many markets are changing rapidly, often the initial task is building a winning value proposition for growth in a current or new market. Working with employees to create and execute a structure and process for what today is termed “operational excellence” is often a critical part of this. Adapting and implementing “Lean Manufacturing” practices for a specific firm’s operations is often part of the plan. Engagements may include hands-on training for team problem solving, mentoring managers or building supply chains. New product development and launch is often a key part of the growth strategy. This requires all parts of a firm to execute together, and Tom employs his multifunctional experience to bring a perspective that all functions can buy into.

Tom is an MIT graduate, a published researcher, a US patent holder and a Registered Professional Engineer. He’s completed executive programs at Harvard Business and Law Schools. Tom’s been a Board member for an owner operated firm, a high-tech startup, several not-for-profit organizations and a CEO Mentor for the Entrepreneurs Organization. He is a member of the Exit Planning Exchange and the New England Business Association.

Our Articles

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Loss or Reinvention

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