Curt G. Joa, Inc., a global, custom-engineering design and machine-building company, announced today that Gene Kiela II will retire as Company President effective April 24, 2019, completing the transition begun in 2018.
Kiela II joined Curt G. Joa, Inc. in June of 1980. Prior to joining the company, he received a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kiela II is a grandson of the founder, Curt G. Joa, and as such has grown up in the closely held, family owned business for most of his life. In his nearly 40-year career with JOA, Kiela II learned the business from the “floor” up, starting out as a field service technician, then design engineer, sales engineer and sales manager. In 1985, he was appointed to the board of directors, where he continued his learning under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Joa, until their passing in November 1998 and January 1999, respectively. He served as Company President since 2010. Kiela II’s successor, Richard (Rick) Michaletz, was announced in August 2018.
“Throughout the search process for my successor, we knew we had the time and family support to get it right.” stated Kiela II. “We are delighted that Rick has joined Curt G. Joa, Inc. as Company President. Rick’s experience and leadership abilities build upon the strong relationships we share with our customers, employees, suppliers and family,” Kiela II said. “Furthermore, I have utmost confidence, along with the Joa family and board of directors, that Rick and our leadership team will ensure that JOA will remain JOA: a confidential, independent, innovative and reliable partner to support the business needs of our customers. Now is the right time for the Company and for me to transition into retirement
He continued on a personal note, stating, “I want to express my deep appreciation for the opportunity to work with and benefit from so many talented and dedicated colleagues. My career with JOA has also allowed me to engage with people at all levels of organizations and I thank them for allowing me to help support their goals and priorities.”
Prior to joining the company, Michaletz spent over 20 years (1995-2017) with the Bemis Company in Oshkosh, WI, where he held a variety of leadership positions, most recently as the Senior Vice President, Commercial for Bemis North America. Prior to that role, Michaletz served as President of Bemis Europe while residing in Brussels, Belgium for over three years. Michaletz earned his Industrial Engineering degree from the University Wisconsin-Madison and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Rochester.
Michaletz stated, “My father was a skilled tradesman from Germany who built his family business in the Sheboygan Falls area on solid customer loyalty, and I knew Curt G. Joa, Inc. had the same focus on customers. I am delighted to be back home and leading this organization.” I am looking forward to my continuing interaction with our leadership team from my position on our board.”