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Ward Dumm, Senior Vice President, Operations

Ward Dumm

Senior Vice President, Operations

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Manufacturing is in my DNA: five of six siblings in my family are engineers. I’ve strived to understand how things work for as long as I can remember. There’s no doubt that my love of manufacturing environments developed through the lens of my dad’s 46 years of service as a tool and die maker at a Ford Motor Company engine plant in Brook Park, Ohio.

An early test of my mechanical aptitude came at age 14, when I started a lawn mower repair business. I serviced and sold the various brands of mowers that people would discard as trash. Within about a year, I expanded my knowledge by working on heavy equipment. A mentor and I would go to auctions where we’d find tractors and bulldozers to weld, fix, and use or sell.

In my first job at Swagelok, I ran a screw machine for a few months while finishing my engineering degree at Cleveland State University. Some people might see running a piece of equipment as mindless work. It’s not. There’s a special aptitude required to get in sync with a machine’s cadence. For me, the experience was invaluable. It was my orientation to manufacturing, and I’ve been serving Swagelok ever since. Following my start on the manufacturing shop floor, I served the company and our customers through management and leadership roles in engineering, production, and plant management.

Today I’m responsible for our global manufacturing strategy and the methodologies we use to make products. My team watches and manages continuous improvement, new technology, the safety of our people, and the company’s sustainability goals. Swagelok’s name is built on world-class quality, and our manufacturing processes must ensure that we live up to those high standards.

One of the most important parts of my job is ensuring the broader manufacturing organization knows and understands our manufacturing strategies. That comprehension allows individuals within every Swagelok plant and service group to work together on vitally important continuous improvement efforts.

When I’m giving back to the community to help others it’s often tied to the well-being of kids. I served as a Big Brothers Big Sisters match for 10 years, and because my mom was a type 1 diabetic from age 10, I help with diabetes groups such as Camp Ho Mita Koda. Currently I serve on the board for College Now.

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