For the last 50 years manufacturing has evolved. One person who has had a front row seat in this evolution process is Vent-A-Hood’s plant manager, David Stiles. Stiles began in the manufacturing business in 1957, where he worked on fighter planes for a company called Chance Vought , now known as LTV Aircrafts. Stiles next job was at Pits Industrial where he manufactured AC clutches for cars. In 1964 he moved into the kitchen ventilation industry starting out at Kitchen Vent producing home metal products. Kitchen Vent was a privately owned company that sold in 1974 to Mobecs Corporation. He stayed with this company until 1984 when he moved from Plano to Coppell,Texas (both suburbs of Dallas) to work for New Southwest Metal, which was purchased the following year, by NuTone. He stayed at NuTone until 1999 when he retired. Retirement did not sit well with him, so in 1999 he came to work at Vent-A-Hood. Stiles had done contract work with Vent-A-Hood off and on for years before coming on board full time. Also, two of his former bosses at Kitchen Vent had previously worked at Vent-A-Hood. So, Stiles had known of Vent-A-Hood for many years and along came the perfect time to join the company.
When Stiles was asked how the manufacturing business had changed over the years his response was, “It has become more technical. In the beginning there were more hand-crafted and hand-made products than today. This has come with the changes in technology.” Where does he see the manufacturing business going in the next ten years? “I think manufacturing methods and the use of technology will continue to improve.” Some companies have brought their manufacturing back from overseas and he would like to see more returning in the next decade. Technology is a driving force in production capability today and Stiles has seen an increase in the use of robots with automation. A piece of advice he frequently shares is “Be able to adapt to things constantly changing and to be able to change with it.” One example is continual advances in technology and another would be to be able to change as management changes. He believes if you are able to adapt in those areas then you can do anything.