CVTC Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2016

FALL 2016 • ISSUE 2



THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE CVTC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ......................................................................... YOUR ALUMNI NEWS

Darrow’s Path to Industry Leadership Starts at CVTC

Doug Darrow grew up on a family farm near Chippewa Falls, and although he liked to work with his hands, he didn’t want to milk cows. So what’s a farm boy to do? Go to Chippewa Valley Technical College, learn a trade and become majority owner and president of Allied Dies in Chippewa Falls – while doing a little farming on the side. Darrow’s chosen career path worked out quite well for the 1971 graduate of what was then

develop product lines that would grow the business. He became one of four equal owners of the company and has since become majority owner and president. It seems everyone suffered during the Great Recession, but Darrow pulled together his brother and some CVTC graduates and worked on some new products. The

company doubled its volume in spite of the economic times and has increased volume every year since through new products and global markets. “In order to respond to industry needs, we need to continue to develop and design new products,” Darrow said. “That’s why we work with Chippewa Valley Technical College.” Allied Dies currently employs 17 CVTC graduates. Two years ago, Darrow was presented with the Jack Barney Award, named for the founder of EDI, for outstanding achievement in the sheet plastics industry. Darrow has no plans to retire

called the Mechanical Design program. His area of expertise fits into what is called Machine Tooling Technics at CVTC today. Darrow credits amazing instructors and mentors Lew Mallow and Steve Michaud with guiding him toward his 1971 graduation with a perfect grade point average. He had already landed a job with Johnson Plastics Machinery, where he learned the plastics business. “I always had an inquiring mind,” Darrow said. “I wanted to know how things worked. I spent

three years in the lab learning at Johnson Plastics.” Darrow transferred to sales, travelled the world and took a job in Massachusetts selling extrusion equipment in a preview of the part of the business that he would later explore in manufacturing at Allied Dies. He worked for Cloeren, Inc., in Texas and was able to come home when he took a job with Nordson EDI in Chippewa Falls, which specializes in the manufacturing of flat extrusion dies. “That’s the beauty of the die,” Darrow said. “It’s so important to the entire line. You need to know how it all adds up to truly understand the process.” Allied Dies approached Darrow to help the company

any time soon. He’ll keep growing Allied Dies, and staying loyal to his roots as a farm boy and CVTC graduate. He and his wife Becki of 46 years operate a 1,200-acre crop farm near Chippewa Falls. “I would encourage all people looking to further their education to consider CVTC in any program. There is a huge need for the trades, and students will graduate and be in demand not only in the Chippewa Valley, but anywhere they want to go. “

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CVTC Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2016, Issue 2 • • 715-831-7299 •

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