At Ashcroft, we direct all of our energy towards helping protect our customers' people, their processes and their profits. Here are the people who guide us:
Steven Culmone was appointed President and CEO of Ashcroft in 2011 following a 20 year track record of leadership roles within the company. Starting in 1990, he served in a variety of management positions and became an Executive Board member in 2000 as Senior VP of Global Operations. Steve's industry knowledge, expertise and personal commitment to standards of care and excellence have positioned Ashcroft to continuously exceed customer expectations. Prior to Ashcroft, Steve began his career at C. Cowles in 1983 where he served seven years as Quality Manager and VP of Operations. Steve earned his MBA from Quinnipiac University and his Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Fairfield University and has a Six Sigma Black Belt. His affiliations include Board of Director, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, New Haven Manufacturers Association and CBIA.
John Vuono is the Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, risk management, tax management and credit and collections. He joined Ashcroft in 2005 as Vice President of Finance and was named CFO in 2017. Prior to that, John served 15 years in senior financial roles with Hasbro, Victoria's Secret, Wachovia Bank and ACH CPA's. John earned his B.S. from Miami University, his MBA from Wake Forest University and is a CPA and CMA.
Tyler Bessette joined the executive team in November, 2016 as Director of Engineering. He is responsible for leading the developmental engineering activities including new products, product upgrades and custom engineering solutions (CES) to deliver the most reliable and innovative product solutions to meet our customer's demanding requirements. He began his career at Ashcroft in 1997 as an Engineering Co-Op while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After joining the company full time in 1999 as a Development Engineer, he advanced through roles as Project Engineer (2001), Senior Project Engineer (2006) and Senior Project Engineer/Lead Mechanical Engineer (2015) in which he was the key project leader and designer for numerous products. Tyler earned his B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering (1999) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Adam Freyler is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ashcroft. Adam has executive responsibility over Sales and Marketing for the Americas and is responsible for driving growth in those markets. Prior to joining the Executive Team, Adam was the Director of Sales and Marketing-Americas (2013), and Electronic Products (2011). He also served as the Sales and Marketing Manager for Electronic Products as a new hire in 2004. Prior to joining Ashcroft, Adam had 10 years of experience in Sales Management, Marketing and Engineering at GE Druck and Gems Sensors. Adam earned his B.S. in Physics from the University of Maryland.
Sam Fan is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, APAC/GM, China for Ashcroft. Sam is responsible for strategy and revenue growth in the Mid East and Asia Pacific markets. A team member since 1999, Sam was the Director of Sales and Marketing, APAC/EMEA (2013);GM, China (2007), Business Unit Manager (2006), and Senior Analyst/Project Leader (2002). His initial role with the company was Business Analyst. Sam earned his MBA from UCONN, and studied MS in Computer Information Science from RPI -Hartford Graduate Center, with a B.S. in Finance, minor in Information Systems from Post University.
Markus Best is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Europe. Markus is responsible for driving revenue growth and business return, as well as providing directional market intelligence to grow Ashcroft's base business in the European region, Turkey and the UK. He joined Ashcroft in 2019 with extensive instrumentation experience in Sales, Marketing and Engineering from previous roles with MGB Engineering, Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH, Helios Ventilatoren GmbH and Co. and WIKA Instruments. Markus earned an Engineering Diploma from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne Germany.
Sheila Nevins is the Vice President of Human Resources. Sheila began her career specializing in Human Resources and Compensation and Benefits and was appointed Director Human Resources in 2009 and Vice President in 2018. She is largely responsible for the growth and continuous development of employee capital in support of corporate strategy, as well as labor relations, EHS and wellness initiatives. Sheila holds a B.S. in Finance from Fairfield University and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She attended certificate studies at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and is an affiliate member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Professional affiliations include Board Member, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Board Member Stratford Chamber of Commerce;Vice President of Board of Directors, Burroughs Community Center;New Haven Manufacturers Association and CBIA.
Jim Baldwin is the Vice President Global Operations at Ashcroft. Jim is responsible for managing global operation resources to deliver customer satisfaction, achieve strategic business goals and Drive World Class Lean Manufacturing. A team member since 1993, Jim was Director of Manufacturing (2011), Manufacturing Manager, Electronic Products (2007) and Manager Customer Service and Sales Support (2006) in addition to other earlier roles in manufacturing and sales support. Jim attended Southern Connecticut State University. Professional affiliations include the New Haven Manufacturers Association.
Kazuto Takegami serves as Senior Vice President and liaison between Ashcroft and Nagano Keiki, Ashcroft's parent company in Japan. He is responsible for areas including financing, internal audit, co-working development for mechanical products and Marketing. He started with Nagano Keiki in 2013 and in 2014 joined Ashcroft. Prior to joining this industry, he worked for Mizuho Bank, Ltd (formerly The Industrial Bank of Japan) from 1983 to 2013. Kazuto is well experienced mainly in the corporate finance and international business areas. He also has over 10 years of management experience not only in Japan, but also in France, England and Canada. Kazuto also served as the President of Toronto Japanese Association of Commerce &Industry (2012). He has a Bachelor's degree in Law from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan.
Jim Orzechowski was appointed Director of Global Information Technologies at Ashcroft in 2011. Jim is responsible for application development, Global infrastructure, ERP systems, telecommunications, data analysis, and strategic planning for Ashcroft's ever changing I.T. needs. He joined Ashcroft in 2007 as a Senior Business Analyst-New Technologies. Prior to Ashcroft, Jim served as I.T. Manager at ASML and Silicon Valley Group. He also served as Manufacturing Engineer-Factory Automation at Norden Systems. Jim attended the University of Connecticut and earned a masters certificate-Client Server Technologies at Fairfield University.