GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Stiles Machinery Inc. hosted a retirement celebration in honor of seven former employees on May 11. In an effort to demonstrate their gratitude to these individuals, who’ve each played a significant role in shaping who the company is today, Stiles unveiled a new foundation that aims to invest in the lives of future industry leaders for years to come.

This year, in honor of their recent retirees and over 190 years of combined service to the company, Stiles contributed $10,000 to the Manufacturing Industry Learning Labs’ National Training Center located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Manufacturing Industry Learning Labs (MILL) offers training courses in lean manufacturing, using the latest woods technology and industry-driven curriculum. It is the first national training center of its kind designed to educate future leaders and talents in the wood manufacturing industry.

The donation, which was accepted by the MILL’s founder and president, Dean Mattson, will go towards supporting the continual efforts of the MILL to impact the lives of more than 400 manufacturing students who attend their educational courses daily.

“We wanted to honor our retirees with the opportunity to become part of a greater legacy, one that gives back to the industry and will live on in their name for years to come,” stated Christian Vollmers, president of Stiles Machinery. “We’ve decided to honor their efforts and years of service (by further investing in the MILL) to grow and develop new talent for our industry.”

In his heartfelt response to the donation, Mattson explained that his decision to pursue education was directly influenced by his desire to help people and that he considers Stiles to be one of his largest role models. “Many corporations only care about money, but Stiles cares about people,” said Mattson.

The event, which was hosted at The Knickerbocker in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan was the company’s first inaugural recognition celebration. Stiles plans to continue celebrating their retirees by giving back to the industry and investing in the lives of future leaders. Visit Stiles at

Stiles recognized, from left, Bob Kostelnik, Steve Waltman, Pam Sievers and Duane Griffiths at the event, with Stiles president Christian Vollmers, right.

Manufacturing Industry Learning Labs founder and president Dean Mattson speaks at the Grand Rapids event.

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