The American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society (AESF) Chicago Branch, a chapter of the National Association for Surface Finishing, has named Castle Metal Finishing’s Phil Meier the winner of its 2012 “Charlie Geldzahler Award.”
He will be honored at the AESF Board Meeting on April 12.
After serving in the Vietnam War, Phil started his career in the finishing trade in 1972 as a production foreman for Rego Division of Golconda, a contract manufacturing company formerly known as Bastian and Blessing, a 350,000 square foot manufacturing job shop employing around 1100 people on Peterson Avenue in Chicago.
Phil was promoted to Metal Finishing Manager, and he joined the American Electroplater's Society, AES, in 1975. He earned the Certified Electroplater Finisher designation by the AES in 1978.
In 1978, Phil was accepted as a full time student at Northeastern Illinois University as a 30-year old full time student. By that time, Phil had been lured back into military service by joining an Army Reserve Unit, as well as employment as a full time Plating Facility Manager. His wife, Betty, was a great supporter, taking care of the homestead and making sure Phil received nourishing meals, often as late as 11 p.m., and showed their children his picture often as he was not around. Phil received a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors from Northeastern in 1984.
In 1980 Phil was recruited and hired by Tony Castle of Castle Metal Finishing Corp, to work as Tony's Plant Manager and was promoted to Vice President. In 1984, Phil was asked to serve on the Chicago Branch of the AES as the Educational Chairman. In 1987, he was elected President of the Branch, and found that his participation on committees, boards and participation on the national level would take a major part of his time for the next 10 years or so. During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a veritable explosion of new laws, regulations, permitting and licensing requirements.
In fact, Charles Geldzahler was a common sounding board used by Phil when he had one of his frequent novel ideas or thoughts as to how some of the common problems and obstacles might be solved.
Tony Castle passed away in the late 1990s, and Phil was elected President of Castle Metal Finishing. He continues to work at Castle, and still loves to teach others what he has learned of this industry, as an art, as well as science.
About Charles “Charlie” Geldzahler: he was a true Chicagoan. He was very active on our Board of Directors, even well after his presidency (1959-60), up until the day he died December 28, 1993. Charlie was a consummate master plater, a fountain of technical knowledge and plating lore, which he shared freely with everyone
Charlie Geldzahler Award Recipients
1997 Charles P. Goodrich CEF-SE, Charles Goodrich Consulting
1998 Sherwood “Skip” Cassell, Jaynor, Inc.
1999 Albert “Al” Pomella CEF, Rin-Rockford, Inc.
2000 Peter Tremmel CQE, CBP Consulting Associates, Inc.
2001 Ken Jacobsen, James Precious Metals Plating
2002 Simon Gary, Fellow
2003 Charles A Remied, SERFILCO
2004 Frank Altmayer MSF, Scientific Control Labs Inc.
2005 Robert “Bob” Alley CEF, Midwest Metal Finishing
2006 Lawrence Bernstein CEF, Metafin Supply Company
2007 Lawrence Goto CEF, The GO TO Company
2008 Gerald Stutz CEF, The Stutz Company
2009 Louise Corbeil, SERFILCO
2010 Andrew Gruda CEF, Gatto Industrial
2011 Charles Erdman, Chemray Corp.
2011 Phil Meier, Castle Metal Finishing