Metal Finishing Technologies, LLC Announces Arrival of Zach Kleiner as President
New President Zach Kleiner will shepherd MFT through Operational Growth, Workforce Pipeline Development, and Continued Leadership on Sustainability in Metal Finishing.
BRISTOL, CT. November 15, 2022 (mftech.com) — Metal Finishing Technologies, LLC (MFT) is excited to announce the recent appointment of Zach Kleiner as President. In this role, Kleiner will leverage decades of experience in manufacturing and aerospace to lead MFT through a promising new phase of operational growth. Kleiner’s strategic expertise and familiarity with large-scale operations will bring clarity and big-picture perspective to the complex day-to-day demands of the Bristol finishing house.
Before his appointment as MFT’s President, Kleiner spent many years developing his skills through wide-ranging business operations roles in the manufacturing industry. He comes most recently from a two-year position as a Plant Manager with Praxair Surface Technologies, where he oversaw plant operations in the area of thermal spray, and wear-and-corrosion-resistant coatings. The overlap with MFT (as a job shop environment) has helped prepare Kleiner for the dynamic nature of outside vendor operations.
Prior to Praxair, Kleiner held a two-year position as Director of Business Operations for PCC Aerostructures. He spent the eleven years before that working with Rolls-Royce across a variety of management positions, including financial, customer service, and manufacturing operations. These experiences have given Kleiner a strong foundation in the rules and tools of the aerospace manufacturing industry that will serve him well as he leads MFT into the future.
Chairman and CEO Peter Mirabello was effusive in his praise for the selection of Kleiner, who he views as “the right person at the right time for us.” Mirabello says he’s “excited to have somebody of this caliber to come in here and really focus on the operations of the Bristol facility.” He points to Kleiner’s unique combination of industry experience, skill set, and financial background as a perfect fit for MFT’s current phase of growth. “We’re delighted to bring him aboard.”
MFT will face many of the same challenging headwinds as the rest of the industry over the next five years, especially in the area of workforce pipeline development. The average age of manufacturing workers continues to increase as the talent pool for recruitment of qualified candidates remains limited. The tricky thing for MFT, Mirabello asserts, is that “nobody really teaches what we do” — often due to a lack of laboratory space.
This is an area in which Kleiner is passionate and MFT is well-positioned to lead. Kleiner is thrilled to take the reins as the company is already engaged with multiple industry and government agencies, designing technical curriculum, and developing the framework for a career pipeline into metal finishing. “The groundwork has already been laid,” Kleiner says, “and I intend to continue the work that’s being executed.” Under his operational leadership, MFT will remain committed to providing the platform, the laboratory space, the chemistry, and the exposure that opens up career paths for young professionals.
Another area of pride for MFT is the work the company has done with its sustainability efforts. Kleiner is excited to see this work being done not only because of the importance sustainability will have for future obligations, but also due to its impact on people. He observes that a focus on environmental stewardship makes MFT a rarity among metal finishing companies, attracts new employees, and encourages customers to do business with the finishing house. “This is a component for a business that is just so critical to have right,” Kleiner asserts. “I’m eager to get to work on continuing our leadership in that effort, rather than being caught on our heels and trying to play catch-up.”
One piece of advice that Kleiner lives by is “courage over comfort.” He speaks a lot with his kids about the importance of never getting so comfortable that you’re not willing to take a risk. This is a mindset he hopes to instill as President of MFT, creating an environment of taking big swings, learning from mistakes, and continuing to get better — while never getting complacent.
When he’s not at MFT, Kleiner enjoys playing with his four kids (6,8, 11, and 13) and spending time outdoors. Whether it’s a hike in the mountains, a visit to the lake, or lounging at the beach, the family is always busy enjoying the local attractions in Connecticut. Recently, they’ve started the ambitious and rewarding project of raising chickens, who have started providing eggs. “They’re pets with benefits!” Kleiner jokes, “and they’re fun to watch.”
Kleiner has been settling into his role as President for a month now, with an intention to remain curious, ask questions, and immerse himself in the business as quickly as possible. Mirabello’s review of the early returns is as fitting as one could imagine for the finishing industry:
“The chemistry is very good.”
Metal Finishing Technologies, LLC. (www.mftech.com), MFT is one of the largest, oldest and most diversified metal finishers in New England. Since its founding in 1947, MFT has serviced plating and turbine component coating and removal clients throughout the Northeast and across the US. MFT has been under new ownership since 2011 when Peter Mirabello bought the Company. The company operates out of a 72,000 square foot ISO 9000-2008 / AS9100 governed facility, designed specifically to meet the stringent handling and environmental needs of the metal finishing industry.