Chris DiMascio – My Journey To ECS

I’ve always been a results-oriented person.

From a young age, I played sports, cut grass, shoveled snow, and worked in retail stores to earn money. I was an average student because my focus was elsewhere (girls, sports, music). Math and science were the most difficult subjects for me, which frustrated my father the most since he was a chemistry teacher. While I had the capacity, I lacked the interest.

When I graduated from Cheltenham High School (Philadelphia suburb), my career/education focus was narrow. I had a serious girlfriend at the time and very little guidance when it came to choosing a future. I abandoned my dream of becoming an architect because I convinced myself at the time that there wouldn’t be any jobs. So, I enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technology associate degree program at a local Penn State campus.

Then surprise: I got an A in calculus my first semester. To the shock of my parents (and to a degree myself), I was on a roll! I was now focused, working hard, and having success – and fun. I completed my associate degree with high marks and was offered the opportunity to transfer credits into the bachelor’s degree program for mechanical engineering – done!

I spent the next three years between Penn State’s main campus and the Harrisburg graduate campus as I completed my degree in Mechanical Engineering. During that time, I was a Resident Assistant (I have some great stories there), and I was active in other social activities.

Upon graduating, I married that serious girlfriend from high school and took my first job as a design engineer at a small plastics and metal fabrication company. I moved on to a larger position as a plant engineer in the precision steel tubing industry, and this changed my focus from design to production. From there, I moved to the global company, Johnson Matthey, where I spent the next 25 years.

During my time at Johnson Matthey, I progressed from a senior project engineer to building new plants in the US and foreign countries to running manufacturing operations. I worked for an incubator division of the company that exposed me to the business side of manufacturing. I worked on many projects with small companies that utilized our catalyst technology and even spent 8 months working with a company developing a propane backyard mosquito trap. (To this day, I probably know more about mosquitoes than most!)

In 1999, I completed my MBA at night from Penn State; I decided to pursue this degree as I wanted to expand my understanding of all areas of business. This was followed by a brief time running a business segment for a company outside of Johnson Matthey. But I then returned to the global company and was chosen to report to a board member while I developed the global operational excellence program (which incorporated 51 sites in 30 countries). Needless to say, I earned enough frequent flyer miles to be one of those people who board the plane first – which is not something to admire, by the way! This provided me with an invaluable experience as I learned how to achieve results in different cultures and how to influence change across a wide variety of people and organizations. I then came back to a business unit within Johnson Matthey as the COO, with the responsibility of running 8 sites across 5 countries.

In 2017 a new CEO came to the corporation and made sweeping changes. Like many other senior managers, I found myself on the outside looking in. I took this opportunity along with my severance pay to start my consulting business. This move wasn’t a reach for me as I’ve always been entrepreneurial. While some other initiatives I’ve tried at various times never came to fruition for one reason or another, I made sure this new business happened.

OpX Partners was born in January of 2018. It was successful for me and fun to do. Around the same time, I met Bill Morrow at a cigar social function. As we talked further, I learned more about ECS and there seemed to be some underlying synergies between my experience and ECS’s desire to grow in the area of operations.

Bill and I kept in touch periodically through 2020. When COVID hit, I pivoted and chose to work exclusively for one client. This was a good situation for both of us, but ultimately I desired to get back to consulting. I’m excited to now be working directly for ECS. Engaging with clients while having access to a broad team of colleagues with a variety of expertise has made me a better advisor and added a level of fun to the job that had been missing for some time.

On a more personal note, I have a passion for woodworking. I spend a lot of time making furniture of all sorts for people at no real cost other than materials. Before COVID, I played guitar and bass in a classic rock band (“Not Now Lilly!”) for 8 years – reliving my earlier years!

I have a love for beagles. My best friend was Wrigley, a rescue dog we adopted in 2008 but who passed away in 2019. He always remains in my heart.

My wife Denise and I have been happily married for 14 years. We have three great adult kids (Chelsea, Tony, and Kelly) who live nearby. We also have a home in Naples, Florida which we go to as often as life will allow.

So, I come to the ECS family with a good right brain (creative) / left brain (analytical) balance and a happy, diverse life.

Connect with Chris to talk all things operations, engineering, beagles, and classic rock. Reach out to him on LinkedIn or send him an email (cdimascio@thinkempirical.com).

 

 

 

 

 

More Posts