There’s a new president at Hanson Mold, and the company has promoted from within. Hanson told us all about it:
Hanson Mold, a division of the Hanson Group in St. Joseph, Michigan, recently announced the promotion of the company’s Vice President-Chief Financial Officer Julie LaVanway to the president. She now leads the world-class tooling company, which specializes in building precision molds and dies for automotive international brands. The previous president, Dan Mitchell, is retiring after 39 years with the company.
LaVanway joined Hanson Mold in 2018 as controller and was named VP-CFO in 2021. She previously served seven years as manager of accounting and a financial analyst for Hanson Logistics.
“Julie’s strategic thinking, commitment to investing in technology and upholding of our company’s family culture have made the transition from Dan’s leadership to hers seamless,” said Greg Hanson, CEO of Hanson Mold. “Her enthusiasm for our business and community is inspiring.”
Mitchell, who will stay in an advisory capacity until the end of this year, joined the company as a tool-and-die apprentice in 1983 after graduating from River Valley High School. He grew up in a tool-and-die family that operated and worked at smaller shops in Southwest Michigan. Over his career, Mitchell served as a moldmaker, supervisor and vice president of sales, before being named president in 2013.
During his presidency, Hanson credited Mitchell’s leadership in bringing the company back stronger after the economic setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and his strategic planning that has led to continuous, company-wide improvements.
“Dan’s biggest contribution, however, has been sharing his passion for world-class tool and die making with young people,” said Hanson.
Hanson said Mitchell was influential in putting together programs at Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Technology Center. He talks regularly to high school technology classes and gives tours to students to show them available career opportunities.
“Dan is proof of what aspiring to become the best moldmaker can lead to professionally.”
LaVanway says she will continue to bring more young people into apprenticeships and make Hanson Mold an attractive place to work and do business.
“I am humbled by this opportunity to bring Hanson Mold into the exciting future of building world-class tooling,” said LaVanway. “We have a great family of teammates who are dedicated to being the best.”
Hanson Mold, a division of the Hanson Group, specializes in the design, build, sampling and inspection of precision molds and zinc, magnesium and aluminum dies. From small, multi-cavity dies to large, single-cavity tooling with complex slides, Hanson Mold delivers world-class tooling. Located in St. Joseph, Michigan, it primarily services automotive international brands. For more information, visit www.hansonmold.com or call 269-429-5555.