Lifetime Employee Says Goodbye
It’s become a popular fad this century for Americans to make electronic login passwords based on favorite activities, hobbies or dates. Basically, anything that resonates as a great memory.
Kevin Farmer went in a different direction when he created a new password at the beginning of 2023.
“I had been swapping out just kind of made up passwords with all these crazy characters. Things like that. Then one of the IT guys said to me, ‘Use a phrase.’ So one of my new passwords for Compass Precision in January was ‘retire.2023?’”
As it turned out, the password was a premonition. The answer to the question would be yes. Kevin officially retired as President of Quality Products & Machine on September 29. He spent 40 years at the company, serving at all levels of the Compass operating company.
“Kevin has been great to work with,” explained Compass Precision CEO Gary Holcomb, to whom Kevin has reported since Compass acquired the company four years ago. “He has been the steady hand at Quality Products, its rock. At the end of every day, he would text me info on daily shipments and new orders. It is so weird not to get those texts from him any more.”
Kevin had no previous machining experience before Quality Products. Prior to joining the company, he worked for nearly two years as an installation mechanic at Dover Elevators and briefly held a temporary job at a sheet metal HVAC company.
After getting laid off at the HVAC company, Kevin filed for unemployment. But the next day, he began working at Quality Products.
That was 1983. Kevin never worried about unemployment again, as he spent the rest of his career at the Compass operating company.
To begin his tenure at Quality Products, Kevin swept floors and delivered parts in a truck. Then after a 60-day trial period, he moved into the fabrication shop.
Over the next 35 years, Kevin served as fabricator, fabrication manager, manufacturing engineer, quality manager, and vice president. In 2018, he reached the top as president of the
He remained as Quality Products president until his retirement. Despite his impressive rise up the organization, Kevin still found the most joy in the simple
things – making high-quality products.
“To know you built a piece that’s on every one of those vehicles or something of that nature, it’s pretty awesome, especially military stuff,” Kevin said. “The stuff that we made for the military
was a direct link to helping save lives because of the equipment that the bracketry we made held.”
Kevin described fabricating, particularly working with the laser cutter, as his favorite role at Quality Products. But he also loved working with his co-workers.
In four decades with the company, Kevin managed countless employees and worked with hundreds of customers. He left a lasting impression on all of them.
They did that for him too.
“The biggest thing will always be the people. There’s a really great crew there,” said Kevin. “I think they’re going to step up to the challenge and move on to the next challenge. That’s what
you teach people to do.
“I don’t want to say they’re my kids but I kind of look at it like family. You try to teach people and get them moving in a specific direction and let them learn on their own. That’s the way I’ve
always done it, and they’ve picked up the pace.”
Kevin described now as the right time to retire. He expressed that the company is in very good hands and added that he and his wife, Donna, are young enough to still enjoy the physical
activities they love to do.
“I’ve always said that I don’t want to retire too early, so I have to go back to work,” Kevin said. “But I don’t want to retire late enough in life and I’ll be saying, ‘I wish I would have.’ I feel like
right now, this is the best time.
“We can do what we want when we want, and we’re still young enough to ride bikes, ride motorcycles, and go camping. Those are the things we like to do.”
Kevin also hopes to spend more time with family during his retirement. He and Donna have a great-grandson who is 15 months old.