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Stanley Machining & Tool

By: Jeanie MayerDreymiller-3.jpg

The story of Stanley Machining is one of humble beginnings and embodies the American Dream.  The company began in the garage of Krystyna and Slawomir (Stanley) Trzaska in 1966.  As young, first-generation immigrants from Poland, the couple started the business with one machine and a desk, and their first customer was Stanley’s employer, who gave him overflow work he could do on weekends.

A $1,000 investment made by a friend allowed the Trzaskas to expand the business, and they kept on growing until they landed in a 25,000 square foot space in Lincolnwood. In 1987 they moved to Carpentersville, and in 2014 they expanded into the Village of Hampshire.

Today, three generations of Trzaskas work for the company, including all five of the couple’s children. Their daughter, Karen Trzaska, heads up the company’s external and government affairs and business development.

A true woman-owned and family business founded on April 3, 1966, the Trzaskas say that Stanley Machining is like one of their children because it was officially born the same day as Krystyna gave birth to one of their sons.

“While my mom was giving birth to my brother, Stanley Machining was officially incorporated,” Karen said.

According to Karen, the company is like Hampshire, “We believe in family, opportunity, growth and expansion, but also remembering our roots,” she said.

Over the years, the company has grown and expanded, following the vision of its founders.  Currently, the company operates in two locations.  The 280,000 square foot facility located in Hampshire’s industrial park on Keyes Avenue primarily handles manufacturing, shipping, receiving and warehousing.  Another 120,000 square foot facility is located in nearby Carpentersville.  As a business-to-business company, Stanley Machining manufactures contract-machined parts for aerospace, defense, power, transportation, medical, oil field and heavy equipment industries.

The Trzaska’s chose their Hampshire location back in 2014 because of the potential they saw in the community.

“We knew Hampshire was very business-friendly and welcoming.  We knew it was a place our employees could move to and live, and the schools were great,” Karen said.

As far as corporate culture goes, the company prides itself on its people, the quality of its products and on integrity.  Karen said that from the beginning, her father always handled the engineering and the shop-end of the business, and her mother dealt with the sales and finance part of running the business.

“She was my mentor.  She taught me to lead with integrity and always be honest and transparent,” Karen said.

Stanley Machining & Tool is not only an industry leader in manufacturing, the Trzaskas also believe in leading by example in the communities in which they live and work.  As such, Karen is an active member of the Hampshire Business Development Commission, as well as serving on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township (BGCDT).  Stanley’s involvement in BGCDT focuses on advocacy and workforce development initiatives with District 300, District 158 and District 220.

“Stanley got involved (in workforce development) knowing that these kids are our future neighbors and employees,” she said.

Karen said the company is passionate about growth and opportunity for all.

“We want to see Hampshire continue to grow and prosper.”

Stanley Machining has weathered many economic storms over the past five decades of being in business.  When a business partner asked Karen why her father didn’t sell the company during one difficult recession, Stanley’s response was one of fatherly integrity:

“Would you sell your own kid?  I’ve got 100 kids under that roof and they all have families,” he said.

The family-oriented culture is one reason Stanley enjoys low turnover with employees.  Karen said her father is, “a great visionary with a generous heart and an incredible engineering mind.”  She said he looks for talent within his employees as well.

“Precision machining is an art. We always refer to our employees as artisans.  Our parts are complex and are going into heavy equipment, windmills, oil rigs.  They have to be perfect because the safety of people is our top priority.”

Stanley Machining has grown from their mom-and-pop garage in 1966 to a world class contract manufacturing company now employing over 100 people. Through it all, the culture of the company has been one of integrity, passion and growth.

“We pride ourselves on our people, our quality and our integrity,” Karen said.

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