Mike May a fourth-generation Chairman-elect of the Utah Manufacturers Association.

By Todd Bingham | Nov 19, 2014

The Utah Manufacturers Association will celebrate its 110-year anniversary this coming year. Over the years, individuals from many different types of manufacturers have led UMA, from companies in everything from sugar beets to mattresses, copper to airplanes, and candy to cardboard boxes. They've provided vision, direction and guidance for this well-established association.

Yet no single company has had more individuals serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors than May Foundry and Machine. That trend will continue in 2015 with Mike May.

Reuben May launched his namesake company in 1912, a patternmaker who leased space from the Silver Brothers in a foundry located at what is now 600 North and 400 West in Salt Lake City. May later re-established the foundry and passed it on to his son, Jack.

Jack May was a visionary, building on the pioneering company his father had built by fine-tuning the foundry model and transforming the business into a lean, modern company. As Jack grew May Foundry, he gave back to the industry by serving in 1981 as Chairman of the Board of Directors of UMA -- a character trait that was to be observed and duplicated by subsequent May generations.

In 2008, Jack's son, Mark May, served as Chairman after having served many years in leadership positions on UMA's Board of Directors. Mark was instrumental in leading the organization during a difficult time as the recession took a bite out of many manufacturing companies in the state and nationwide.

Today May Foundry and Machine specializes in castings up to 9,000 pounds in industry sectors as diverse as mining and automotive. They also have a 16,000-square-foot machine shop that performs custom work of all kinds -- in the same building off 400 West and 600 North! It's a piece of history. Their motto? "You are never more than 20 feet from a casting."

In 2015, Mike May will become the family's fourth-generation UMA leader, having participated in various roles the past several years. Literally and figuratively, the Mays have molded the face of Utah for nearly 100 years. It's a reason to be very proud.

As he begins his role, 'pioneering and innovation' are coming back to the forefront at May Foundry, where a focus on new processes, products, services, and streamlining business processes occupy Mike's time.

It's a perspective that fits perfectly with UMA's role today, 110 years after our inception. UMA is steeped in tradition, but like our member companies and the industry at large, entrepreneurship and innovation are again are paramount to overall success. It's critical that we keep pace with trends in reshoring, technology, workforce development, to name a few, impacting all regional manufacturers.

It's only fitting that traits like risk-taking, vision, and drive are again mission-critical traits in the manufacturing sector for a generation just beginning to grab hold of the reins and leave their mark on manufacturing. Fortunately, we've had leaders over the years like the Mays who have helped shape an industry and mold UMA into the organization we are today.

And the ride, although nearly 110 years old, is just beginning. Hold on. It's going to be a wild one.