As Vent-A-Hood has grown and evolved over the years, so has its close-knit community with some of the most skilled artisans in the appliance industry who have witnessed the evolution of American manufacturing on the front lines.
So when Frank Juric, a member of the Vent-A-Hood hall of fame, desired to retire after more than 37 years at Vent-A-Hood, it was a celebration mixed with happy congratulations for his wonderful contributions and sentimental remarks for how much he will be missed. Cake was served to the whole company at the manufacturing plant with Frank and his wife, Norma, in attendance as the company paid tribute.
“Days like today we contemplate the larger Vent-A-Hood family,” said Blake Woodall, vice president of the company.
As a machinist from the former country of Yugoslavia, Frank was first hired by Vent-A-Hood and assigned to work in the custom department.
“Everything was handmade back then,” said Skip Woodall, CEO. “It took a lot of math, and Frank was a great mathematician.” His skills were quickly evident. “Frank became one of the top people in that department,” Skip said.
Soon he was plucked from the custom department to work in the press shop. It was a technological shift for the business to go from a hand-crafted product, which still thrives today, to a mass-produced engineering giant that turns out huge quantities of range hoods in record time with sophisticated machines. With each passing year, the press shop graduated to new levels, and so did the team that Frank managed.
“He’s done everything that could be done in this building,” said David Stiles, plant manager at Vent-A-Hood. “And he’s seen a lot of changes here.”
“As we see a member of our Vent-A-Hood family retire, it is a bittersweet day for us.” Skip added. “We’ve come a long way. And I’m so proud of where we are today. My dream was always to have a great place to work. You want to have fun doing it too.”
Frank and Norma plan to enjoy retirement in Croatia where they have a family home and many relatives nearby.
Thank you, Frank Juric! You’ve set a wonderful example for the next generation at Vent-A-Hood.