John Axelberg - President
John is the third generation of the Axelberg family to own and operate General Stamping & Metalworks, succeeding his father, Jim, as president in 2005. John formally joined the family enterprise in 1984, learning the business through involvement in all aspects of the operation.
As President, John continually collaborates with the executive team to promote growth and the continuous improvement of the company, as well as its employees. John is still very much a “hands-on” President and active mentor to many of the company’s employees.
John earned a B.A. in English literature from DePauw University and has been actively engaged in board and directorship positions within the South Bend community and the metal fabricating industry.
John Ryal - VP & CFO
As Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, John is responsible for financial oversight of the company, and directs the information systems team to support the company’s operations.
John began his career in public accounting, and served in finance and administrative roles in other companies before joining General Stamping & Metalworks in 2011.
John earned a B.S. in accounting from Mount Saint Mary’s College and an M.B.A from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kathy Crimmins - Director of Cultural Development
As Director of Cultural Development, Kathy is charged with developing and maintaining the systems required to attract, train, and retain talented employees, and fostering an environment that is conducive to growth, opportunity, and elevated standards. She also directs the Human Resources function of the company.
Since joining the company in 1993, Kathy has held positions ranging from Controller to Director of Operations, and has gained a deep understanding of the procurement, planning, manufacturing operations, finance, and administrative support functions.
Kathy holds a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana University South Bend, and has earned Advanced Manufacturing and Six-Sigma Black Belt training certifications from Purdue University. Kathy is also a member of the Career Technical Education Advisory Board for the South Bend School Corporation.
Chris Hawkins - Plant Manager SB
As Plant Manager of our South Bend facility, Chris is responsible for developing and implementing manufacturing strategies and objectives that will increase throughput, overall plant performance, and maximize our return on investment.
Chris has over 30 years of manufacturing experience, in various industries, and has spent most of that time in production and operational management roles.
As a native of South Bend, Chris attended Riley High School, and has completed many educational programs over the years dedicated to leadership, problem-solving, and professional development.
Lori Russo - Director of Administration
As Director of Administration, Lori is responsible for the development, general direction, and supervision of the company’s administrative support functions and staff, who are cross-trained to respond to the needs of all departments in a fluid manner.
Lori has worked in administrative support roles, including administrative management and executive support, for over 25 years, and came to General Stamping & Metalworks in 2010.
Lori holds a B.S. in business administration from Indiana University South Bend, and holds a Certified Administrative Professional designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Jeff Zelley - Plant Manager - Tomah
As Plant Manager of our Tomah facility, Jeff is responsible for developing and implementing manufacturing strategies and objectives that will increase throughput, overall plant performance, and maximize our return on investment.
Jeff joined GSM in 2008 with almost a decade of experience in metal manufacturing and product design, and was hired to manage the company’s first new, remote facility.
Jeff is a military veteran who holds a an A.S. degree in mechanical design from Western Wisconsin Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a B.S. in industrial management from the University of Wisconsin, Stout, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, and an M.B.A from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.