AT ASHCROFT, WE USE ALL OF OUR ENERGY TO PROTECT OUR CUSTOMERS AND THEIR PROCESSES AND PROFITS.
Meet the leadership team that guides us every day.
/ Steve Culmone
President and CEO
Steve was appointed President and CEO of Ashcroft in 2011 following a 20 year track record of leadership roles within the company. Starting in 1990, he served in a variety of management positions and became an Executive Board member in 2000 as Senior VP of Global Operations. Steve’s industry knowledge, expertise and personal commitment to standards of care and excellence have positioned Ashcroft to continuously exceed customer expectations. Prior to Ashcroft, Steve began his career at C. Cowles in 1983 where he served seven years as Quality Manager and VP of Operations. Steve earned his MBA from Quinnipiac University and his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Fairfield University and has a Six Sigma Black Belt. His affiliations include Board of Director, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, New Haven Manufacturers Association and CBIA.
/ John P. Connolly
Chief Financial Officer
John joined Ashcroft Inc. as CFO in August of 2021, leading the financial aspects of the company and is responsible for financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, risk management, tax management and credit and collections. Prior to Ashcroft, John held global roles with increasing responsibility including CFO, Chief Accounting Officer, Leader of Finance and Pricing Strategy. His vast industry experience includes technology, transportation, consumer products, and mostly manufacturing acquired through his time at Xylem, ITT Corporation, IBM, Element Solutions, Pitney Bowes, PepsiCo and PricewaterhouseCoopers. John is a CPA and holds an MBA in Finance from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University where he also received his B.S. in Accounting. He currently serves on the Audit Committee of the North Salem Central School District. John has been a long-standing sports fan, participant and coach of youth sports including baseball, basketball and soccer. In recent years, he has become a devoted golfer.
/ Markus Best
Vice President / General Manager Europe and Africa
Markus Best is Vice President Sales and Marketing for Europe and Africa. Markus is responsible for strategy, sales growth, business returns and P&L management in these regions. He joined Ashcroft in 2019 with extensive sales, marketing and engineering experience from previous positions at MGB Engineering, Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH, Helios Ventilatoren GmbH und Co. and WIKA. Markus holds an engineering degree in energy and building services engineering from TH Köln / Germany. As a passionate runner he enjoys sports in his private life. Furthermore, Markus is interested in European history and current social and political contexts.
/ Tyler Bessette
Vice President Engineering
Tyler joined the executive team in November, 2016 as Director of Engineering and was promoted to Vice President in April 2021. He is responsible for leading the developmental engineering activities including new products, product upgrades and custom engineering solutions (CES) to deliver the most reliable and innovative product solutions to meet our customer’s demanding requirements. He began his career at Ashcroft in 1997 as an Engineering Co-Op while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After joining the company full time in 1999 as a Development Engineer, he advanced through roles as Project Engineer (2001), Senior Project Engineer (2006) and Senior Project Engineer/Lead Mechanical Engineer (2015) in which he was the key project leader and designer for numerous products. Tyler earned his B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering (1999) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
/ Adam Freyler
Vice President Sales & Marketing America / General Manager of Latin America
Adam has executive responsibility over Sales and Marketing for the Americas and is responsible for driving growth in those markets. Prior to joining the Executive Team, Adam was the Director of Sales and Marketing-Americas (2013), and Electronic Products (2011). He also served as the Sales and Marketing Manager for Electronic Products as a new hire in 2004. Prior to joining Ashcroft, Adam had 10 years of experience in Sales Management, Marketing and Engineering at GE Druck and Gems Sensors. Adam earned his B.S. in Physics from the University of Maryland.
/ Sam Fan
Vice President / General Manager Asia Pacific and Mideast
Sam is responsible for strategy and revenue growth in the Mid East and Asia Pacific markets. A team member since 1999, Sam was the Director of Sales and Marketing, APAC/EMEA (2013);GM, China (2007), Business Unit Manager (2006), and Senior Analyst/Project Leader (2002). His initial role with the company was Business Analyst. Sam earned his MBA from UCONN, and studied MS in Computer Information Science from RPI -Hartford Graduate Center, with a B.S. in Finance, minor in Information Systems from Post University.
/ Sheila Nevins
Vice President of Human Resources
Sheila began her career specializing in Human Resources and Compensation and Benefits and was appointed Director Human Resources in 2009 and Vice President in 2018. She is largely responsible for the growth and continuous development of employee capital in support of corporate strategy, as well as labor relations, EHS and wellness initiatives. Sheila holds a B.S. in Finance from Fairfield University and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She attended certificate studies at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and is an affiliate member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Professional affiliations include Board Member, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Board Member Stratford Chamber of Commerce;Vice President of Board of Directors, Burroughs Community Center;New Haven Manufacturers Association and CBIA.
/ Jim Baldwin
Vice President / General Manager Stratford and Querétaro
Jim is responsible for P&L management of the Stratford and Querétaro locations to achieve excellence, deliver profitability and drive world-class lean manufacturing. A team member since 1993, Jim was Vice President, Global Operations, Director of Manufacturing (2011), Manufacturing Manager, Electronic Products (2007) and Manager Customer Service and Sales Support (2006) in addition to other earlier roles in manufacturing and sales support. Jim attended Southern Connecticut State University and earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Charter Oak State College. Professional affiliations include ManufactureCT, formerly the New Haven Manufacturers Association.
/ Kazuto Takegami
Senior Vice President
Kazuto serves as Senior Vice President and liaison between Ashcroft and Nagano Keiki, Ashcroft’s parent company in Japan. He is responsible for areas including financing, internal audit, co-working development for mechanical products and Marketing. He started with Nagano Keiki in 2013 and in 2014 joined Ashcroft. Prior to joining this industry, he worked for Mizuho Bank, Ltd (formerly The Industrial Bank of Japan) from 1983 to 2013. Kazuto is well experienced mainly in the corporate finance and international business areas. He also has over 10 years of management experience not only in Japan, but also in France, England and Canada. Kazuto also served as the President of Toronto Japanese Association of Commerce & Industry (2012). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan.
/ Jim Orzechowski
Vice President Information Technology
Jim was appointed Director of Global Information Technology at Ashcroft in 2011, and Vice President in April 2021. Jim is responsible for application development, Global infrastructure, ERP systems, telecommunications, data analysis, and strategic planning for Ashcroft’s ever changing I.T. needs. He joined Ashcroft in 2007 as a Senior Business Analyst-New Technologies. Prior to Ashcroft, Jim served as I.T. Manager at ASML and Silicon Valley Group. He also served as Manufacturing Engineer-Factory Automation at Norden Systems. Jim attended the University of Connecticut and earned a masters certificate-Client Server Technologies at Fairfield University.
THINK CUSTOMER FIRST
Every measure, every plan and every project is aimed first and foremost at you, our customer. We see the world through your eyes.
NEVER SETTLE / CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO
What was true yesterday is not necessarily true today. At Ashcroft, we challenge each other to never be indifferent, to keep improving ourselves and the company.
RESPECT EACH OTHER
We celebrate our diversity, share our ideas and intensify our collective thinking. We act and discuss in mutual respect and thus find better solutions.
THINK BEYOND BORDERS
Across geographical borders. Beyond the factory. Beyond your own area of responsibility. Beyond the personal comfort zone.
WIN AS A TEAM
The common goal is more important to us than our own.