In the early 1990s, Russ Walton worked at a shop that had purchased a Biesse machine. When he went to the Biesse training facility in Italy, his immediate impression was that it was an innovative and smart little factory that focused on each customer’s needs. When he came back home, he told Biesse America that if they ever needed a technician, he would like to apply for the job.
Walton got his wish and came to work for Biesse on July 5, 1994. “Obviously it was a much smaller company back then,” he said, “but they really impressed me with their focus on good quality products. In 1999 when Federico Broccoli came aboard, the company became more focused and structured about everything that supported quality and customers -- from accounts receivable to spare parts inventories.” On November 20, 2019, after being instrumental to Biesse America’s customer commitment for 25 years, the company will celebrate a new chapter of Russ Walton’s life as he retires from his position as CNC Service Hotliner.
Walton is a man more prone to talking about his customers than about himself, so it’s not surprising when he says that being able to work closely with Biesse customers has been the best part of his career. “Every time I looked back at the end of the day and saw how many ways we were able to help customers, it was very satisfying.” He said. “You knew they were glad they had purchased a Biesse machine, and they appreciated that we gave them great service. For me, every single time I solved an issue, it helped to build the company we have today and that’s what it’s all about.”
Walton said it’s been gratifying to have so many people call on him for expertise in different areas. “There are a lot of opportunities for collaboration, and I feel like I’ve always had a lot of support,” he said.
“All of us at Biesse Group would like to congratulate Russ on his retirement,” said Federico Broccoli, President and CEO of Biesse America and Biesse Canada. “We have been fortunate to have him as a part of our team for over 25 years and his contributions to our overall service strategy and the guidance he’s provided to the technical team will be sorely missed. Russ is an inspirational role model, sharing his knowledge with others. His hard work and diligence have greatly benefited our company, and we will strive to honor him by following his stellar example.”
As he leaves the company, Walton sees great opportunities for the next generation of technicians who follow in his footsteps. “I would say that, today especially, we have a lot of technology and learning opportunities available for people who enjoy working with machinery, people and processes. Working at Biesse America means you aren’t restricted -- people in this company can continually grow and move into new positions. There are many directions their careers can take in North America and beyond. That’s a great feeling.”
Congratulations, Russ! You’re one in a million!