Jones to retire as top AFS executive in 2000, search for replacement initiated by Special Committee.
Jones, whose background was in hotel management, came to know AFS after working closely with top AFS official Ashley Sinnett in Casting Congress planning activities in 1967 and 1968 in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, respectively. In 1970, he joined AFS as director of membership services, with primary responsibilities of working with local chapters and members and coordinating the annual AFS Casting Congress events.
In 1974, he was named secretary of the Society, responsible for carrying out all official recordkeeping duties of the Society. In 1979, he assumed the position of vice president of administration, in which he began to take on staff direction duties. In 1983, when Sinnett retired from the top post, Jones was named vice president and general manager of the Society and shortly thereafter was named executive vice president. He is also secretary of the AFS Alumni Group and serves on the board of directors of the Cast Metals Institute (CMI).
Through the last 15 years, the Society has seen much change. The largest was the 1991 merger with the American Cast Metals Assn. (ACMA) which brought human resources, marketing and government affairs to the Society's offering. Other changes included the development of AFS Software Services, new cycles for the CastExpo trade show, new publications and other services.
"Chuck has been key in continuing to guide the Society through its period of growth," said AFS President Jack Moore, Stahl Specialty Co. "He's played a very active role in the programs of the last 20 years that have positively impacted the organization and the industry. During his years at the helm, he prepared the Society for its evolution from solely a technical organization into one that now is involved in marketing, human resources, government affairs and so on."
While his retirement will not take effect until 2000, Jones was asked to reflect on his 28 years with AFS.
Jones first made a name for himself in the membership services area, which he grew from 13,000 to 18,300 in a very short period of time, and had signed on 1000 corporate members. The industry's heydays saw deep downturns first in the 1970s and then the 1980s, and the organization suffered along with the rest of the industry. Today, said Jones, the Society is much stronger as a result of having endured those times.
Among the items Jones is most proud of is the success of the CMI "Campaign for the Future." "It was clear that based on operational costs, CMI couldn't survive long-term on tuition alone," he said. "With more than 200 volunteers, we raised $4.7 million to see that the Institute would remain to educate new generations of foundrymen."
And seven years after management services were integrated into the organization, the benefits are clearly seen. "The marketing programs have made inroads," said Jones, "and as a result of our government affairs program, AFS and the metalcasting industry is now recognizable in Washington, D.C. In fact, congressional staffs and regulatory offices now look to us for our input and opinion." In addition, he noted that the Society's research program has now leveraged $10 million for metalcasting research, much of which was secured through government agencies. "The industry was lucky to spend $100,000 a year as recent as 15 years ago," he said.
Jones is also pleased with the growth seen in publications and software services. He's quick to caution, however, that many of the Society's accomplishments were not a result of his individual contributions, but rather the fruits of what he called his empowered management style. "I believe that if you're going to give people responsibility," he said, "you must empower them as much as possible and give them the freedom to do their jobs. This is especially important in directing an organization like AFS. I'm proud of the fact that I can walk out of this office and be confident that the staff has the ability to run things well. The empowerment has paid off."
When asked what type of individual will be the right fit for succeeding him, Jones said, "To succeed, the person will need to manage consensus across a wide variety of individuals, and be a good personnel manager that can effectively delegate responsibility."
Also quick to credit his wife, Marlene, as a real asset, he said, "I've been very fortunate to work with good people - not only on staff but also the officers and board members. It's been 28 years of learning."
Succession plans are in place to select the sixth person to lead AFS as it begins the next millennium. A special, seven-person committee has been formed to select the next Society administrator. The AFS committee consists of Moore, Vice President Jack Pohlman, Taylor-Pohlman, Inc., 2nd Vice President Don Gaertner, Metalcasting Equipment, Inc., Immediate Past President George Boyd, Jr., Goldens' Foundry & Machine Co., Past President Charles Fausel, Lester B. Knight Cast Metals, Past President Conner Warren, Citation Corp., and AFS Director Don Huizenga, Kurdziel Industries.
According to Moore, the committee has reviewed the job description and will consider a variety of routes in locating candidates, including reviewing potential candidates from AFS staff and industry, as well as employ the services of an executive recruiting firm. Ideally, the committee hopes to fill the administrative position by the first quarter of 1999, so that the individual can work closely in a mentoring capacity with Jones until he formally retires in late 2000.
Individuals interested in the position should send their letters and resumes for the position by December 1 to: Chuck Jones, executive vice president, American Foundrymen's Society, 505 State Street, Des Plaines, Illinois 60016-8399.
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|Title Annotation:||includes related article on AFS' successcion plan; American Foundrymen's Society's Chuck Jones|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1998|
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