Through the years it’s been said our people, products, and legacy here at Milacron are something special- ask Steve Steward, a 35-year veteran of the company. He’s the third in a line of four generations, consisting of five family members, and more than 110 years of tenured service to the Southwest Ohio-based company.
When Steve was hired in Milacron assembly back in 1988, he signed a 20-year commitment within that division. Little did he know the journey his career would take with the company over the next more than three decades, including powerline machines in the old Oakley facility, several years as a specialist of the VH machine (a retired injection molding series), a season of extensive travel in the warranty service sector, facility and organizational transitions, as well as the birth of his twin sons that would also eventually carry on the family legacy for years to come.
These days Steve works at Milacron’s global headquarters just outside Batavia, Ohio as a Customer Account Specialist in auxiliary parts, where he relies on his extensive 35 years of industry knowledge to help him effectively document and troubleshoot injection molding machines. It’s a vastly different role than the assembly gig that introduced him to Milacron alongside his dad and grandpa in the 80s.
Steve attributes his longevity at Milacron to that of his father’s 44-year commitment to the company. Tom Steward, Jr. started at the Milacron Oakley facility as a University of Cincinnati Engineering Co-Op in the late 60s, before transferring to the Purchasing division at Afton in 1971. Tom Jr. had his hands in many buckets (no pun intended) as the industry shifted and plastics processing continued to expand in the 80s and 90s, including the Contract Service division at the Mt. Orab facility, where he inevitably retired in 2000. His father, the first generation of Stewards employed by the company, actually joined Milacron later in life, spending ten years also in Mt. Orab as a machinist before retiring in the late 1980’s. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree!
Fast-forward to 2024, and Steve’s twin sons, the fourth generation of Stewards at Milacron, proudly stand alongside dad – Dustin in Aftermarket Sales with 13 years of service, and Dylan in General Parts with a decade under his belt. They are confident Great Grandpa Steward would be proud, as well as in awe of the industry and technology trends of today’s Milacron, so much of which has been touched by a Steward for decades-on-end.
As for Steve, his 35-year tenure was celebrated during the company’s quarterly associate service award event at the end of 2023. And, although he currently enjoys the presence of his boys as co-workers at the Milacron headquarters facility, their drag racing weekends together are far more entertaining!