Claude Hutchens

Building the Company Culture

During GK’s 60-year history, a unique culture has developed. The people at the forefront of that culture have laid the groundwork for how we operate today. It is our dedicated employees who have stayed the course and carry on that tradition that make GK a top-tier work environment.  

 

To better understand the origin of our culture, GK’s marketing team sat down with Claude Guenther-Hutchens, Market Director – Foundry, to document his journey at GK.  

 

Marketing: What makes GK tick?  

 

CGH: It’s the wealth of knowledgeable people, dedicated to bringing the best manufacturing and equipment designs to our partners (our customers) that drives us. We innovate. We move ideas forward, and while some may not take flight, others take on a new life and drive the innovation necessary to survive.  

Claude Hutchens

Marketing: Do you remember the lessons you learned from the people who started the company? 

 

CGH: For sure, they are the ones who taught me to be a professional. The lessons were everywhere I turned. From the early days at the drafting board, when we did all the calculations by hand, getting it “right” was everything. There was no detail that could be overlooked or glossed over. The work I sent up for approval had to be as flawless as possible. I learned how to listen and be part of a team. The “old guys” took the time to engage in conversation and share their knowledge. They didn’t just talk at you, but they listened and made learning a fun part of the job.  outpHi 

 

Marketing: What do you remember about GK’s founder Al Musschoot?  

 

CGH: I remember how selfless he was with his time. Al would walk up to you at 6:00 pm, as he was leaving for the day. Looking over your shoulder, he’d begin asking questions about the current project. From that 1st question, the conversation would evolve into an hour-long discussion of engineering and customer expectations. He had a passion for innovating and giving the customer more than they were anticipating. He lived that philosophy every day, and it took hold through him personally spending time with every employee.  

 

Marketing: What’s next for you at GK.  

 

CGH: With the knowledge and team we have, I feel we are at the peak of our ability to solve the industry’s toughest production challenges. This motivates me and drives me every day. Beyond that, I look around and see young, eager engineers. That was me when I started my career. I want to impart what I have learned and leave as great an impression on them as the engineers that influenced me. 

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Claude Guenther-Hutchens

Director of Foundry Market

Claude Guenther-Hutchens has been with General Kinematics for nearly 30 years starting as a Design Engineer to now Director of Foundry Market. Claude received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at UW Platteville before getting his Professional Engineer License. For all of his years of experience in the field, Claude earned his seat on the CISA Board of Directors and the Cope & Drag Organization. Claude is considered a thought-leader throughout the foundry industry. When he’s not in the office Claude can be found in the great outdoors biking on roads or in mountains and skiing on both water and land.
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