May 16, 2012
Mike Chester, CEO of IMS Buhrke-Olson, Arlington Heights, Ill., has been selected as the 2012 winner of the Winzeler Award from Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA), Park Ridge, Ill. The award is given annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding service to the tool and die industry.
Chester's career began with the tool and die apprenticeship program through Triton Community College in River Grove, Ill., and TMA. He joined Buhrke Industries Inc. in 1986 and worked as a lead diemaker and toolroom shop steward. He and a partner acquired the company in 2001 when founder Fred Buhrke retired. In 2004 Buhrke Industries merged with Innovative Manufacturing Solutions Inc. (IMS) to form IMS Buhrke LLC, and Chester was named president of the IMS Companies group and CEO of IMS Buhrke. In 2008 the company expanded further through the acquisition of Olson Intl. Ltd to form IMS Buhrke-Olson. Chester also serves as vice chairman of IMS.
IMS Buhrke-Olson is a custom manufacturer of precision metal stampings and assemblies for the automotive, appliance, electronics, and industrial markets. TMA is a manufacturing association in northern Illinois serving nearly 1,000 members.