Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Johnson.
Steve, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My grandfather started Teltron fifty years ago. He was the American dream come true, growing up poor in South Boston leaving high school early to join the Navy. After brief stints in a few manufacturing companies, including Gillette, he partnered with a few guys to form their own business. All ended up going separate ways and starting their own companies.
Teltron did well doing work primarily for semiconductor equipment manufacturers.
Ernie semi-retired in the early 2000’s and the 2008 recession wiped out most of the business.
Around this time, I was in graduate school for philosophy and history pursuing my initial plan of becoming a professor. When I realized that was not my path, I was unsure of my next move while Teltron was on the verge of becoming defunct. I had a knack for people and sales so my Grandfather and I thought it was worth me giving it a shop.
I fell in love with our shop, our people and the work on day one. From there it was learning and growing with the business pushing things forward. We built things to where Teltron is stronger than ever, and I was able to purchase the business in September 2016.
We currently have 20 employees, a growing and diversified customer base, and plans to significantly invest to grow and improve our business.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Family business is a very loaded term for a lot of people. Thankfully I come from a very strong and close family where everyone puts family first. But the family hurdles were without a doubt the most challenging.
It was a long and difficult process for my grandfather to let go of something he built and owned for fifty years. And it was even more difficult for my two aunts and uncle who worked here and had expectations of their own.
There were a few very difficult times, especially for myself as I felt isolated and distrusted from the family while running and being responsible for the family business.
Thankfully we never had any regrettable moments and being completely and consistently open and honest about my plans and intentions put them at ease and it has brought us closer.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Teltron Engineering story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a job shop, or custom manufacturer that specializes in precision metal fabrication and CNC machining. So we make custom parts for a variety of different customers and industries. Mostly companies that make electronic equipment, medical devices, industrial automation, and signs and displays.
We offer more services than most shops our size, including paint, powder coat and custom graphics. So we do the finish work on a majority of the parts that we fabricate and machine.
I am most proud of our culture. We have always been a happy shop that has been blessed with some special people. Really knowing and caring about most of the people you work with creates a positive environment where people can be themselves and focus on work.
Our people truly set us apart. When a group has similar values and commitment, you can get a tremendous amount done even with a smaller amount of people.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I can’t really speak to luck, but timing has been crucial. My ability to buy the business had so much to do with timing because too much earlier it would not have been possible, and too much later not worthwhile.
Timing was just as important as any abilities or accomplishments I had in buying the business. For that and for all good things in my life I feel blessed. I can’t say I have ever felt lucky or unlucky, just fortunate for a lot of reasons.
- Address: Teltron Engineering
131 Morse Street
Foxboro, MA 02035
- Website: www.teltronmetalfab.com
- Phone: 508-543-6600
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org