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A-1 Tool Owner and President Receives Mold Maker of the Year Award

Geoff Luther, owner and president of A-1 Tool, was the recent recipient of the prestigious Mold Maker of the Year Award, presented by the Society of Plastics Technology Mold Technologies Division.

TS1_5480-A1ToolGeoff Luther (front, center) is presented with the SPE Mold Technologies Division's Mold Maker of the Year Award by, from left. Greg Osborn, Cynthia Kustush and Glenn Starkey. (Photos by Creative Technology)

The award is well deserved, according to MoldMaking Technology’s Senior Editor Cynthia Kustush, because Luther is “highly respected in the mold making community as the leader of one of the largest and most technologically advanced mold shops in the Midwest.”

Active in Education

In addition to his extensive skills and expertise in mold making, Luther is active on the American Mold Builders Association’s (AMBA) Chicago Education Committee, charged with promoting careers in mold manufacturing to high school students and educators.

Luther also devotes countless hours of his free time helping local high schools with their machining programs. And he serves on a community advisory committee with East and West Lyndon high schools, helping to develop a first-class metalworking curriculum, and providing internships and full-time apprenticeships at A-1 Tool. Because of Luther’s efforts, hundreds of area students are exposed to advanced manufacturing career opportunities each year.

Luther was nominated by Greg Osborn from Synventive Molding Solutions, who serves as Education Committee Chair for the SPE Mold Technologies Division. According to Osborn, not only does Luther lead an impressive mold making operation, but he “has demonstrated his commitment to his employees’ well-being, professionally and personally, by updating his company with new, state-of-the-art machinery; providing clean, organized and well-lit work areas, spacious break rooms and kitchens, a fully-equipped gym and even a sauna.”
Kustush said she serves with both Luther and Osborn on the Education Committee of the AMBA Chicago Chapter. “I can say that there is no lack of enthusiasm or energy in the way Geoff gives of his time and experience to help us reach out to other school districts, their instructors, advisors and students,” she said.

Built on Solid Relationships

Francine Petrucci, AMBA Chicago president and chair of its education committee, echoed those sentiments. “Geoff has inspired us all by sharing his experience with building solid relationships at the Leyden high schools,” she said. “His strategies for recruiting apprentices are so valuable; they have provided our committee with a strong foundation for launching similar efforts on a wider scale across northern Illinois.”

Luther was presented with a plaque and a scholarship check for $500, which he will donate to Leyden Township’s metalworking program.

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