Fifty years ago, Al Friedman didn’t set out to be an innovative manufacturer of wire. He wasn’t planning to carry the world’s largest variety of magnet wire under one roof. He simply wanted to win the trust and loyalty of customers by providing exceptional service and always honoring his commitments, even if that meant exploring new ways to solve tough challenges. By following these principles, MWS grew.
In the first few years of business, Al discovered that “Yes” was a very powerful word. “Yes, I’ll try that for you. Yes, I think we can make it that way.” He took orders over the phone while spooling wire by hand. He personally delivered orders when he needed to meet customer deadlines.
With only so many hours in the day, Al needed help. So, he hired his first employee, Pat Berry to send out invoices and pay the bills. Pat stayed with MWS until she retired in 1992. Today, Adeline Strabley has taken over his role, oversees the entire accounting department and enjoys the respect and friendship of everyone at MWS.
As Al continued to build MWS, he found and hired a few college students who loved team sports. Ken Goss, Greg Fancon, and Mike McClure all shared in Al’s passion to excel at providing the highest quality wire and excellent service. And no one was surprised to find that they made a winning team.
Today, Ken Goss is President of MWS and Greg Fancon recently retired as Sales Manager. And while Mike McClure is happily retired from his position as Marketing Manager after 46 years on the job, his sons Kevin and Brian are both in Sales. Denis Goss (Ken’s son) is Controller; and Greg Fancon’s daughter Brett Fancon is Sales Service Supervisor. And there’s more: David and Chris Yelich are the sons of Outside Sales Manager Eric Yelich. Hector Alvarez Jr.’s father, Hector Sr., has been a standout in the MWS shipping department since 1994. Lastly as the HR administrator, Jackie Burckhard enjoys seeing her nephew Nick Smyrniotis as a part of the MWS team in manufacturing. To say MWS is a family-oriented business is putting it mildly.
In January 2014, MWS became a part of The Elektrisola Group – a major international producer of fine and ultra-fine magnet wire. With a proud history of technical innovations to its credit, Elektrisola has manufacturing locations throughout the world, with 8 plants located in Europe (Germany, two in Italy, Switzerland), America (USA and Mexico) and Asia (Malaysia and China).
As MWS turns 50, it breaks new ground on its next chapter. In a little more than a year, the company will relocate 25 miles west to the business-friendly community of Oxnard, California. As technology changes and new employees join the company, Al Friedman’s commitment to put the needs of his customers first will continue to guide MWS into the next 50 years.