Leadership

Thomas M. Hemmer, President and Chief Executive Officer

Tom Hemmer was appointed President and CEO of Solomon Corporation in November of 2013 following a private equity investment in the company by Oaktree Capital Management. Prior to that, Mr. Hemmer served as Sales Manager and was part of a successful, five-sibling, second generation ownership group that achieved three-fold sales growth and ten-fold EBITDA improvement over 13 years.

The business, founded by his father, Gene Hemmer, in 1971, specializes in rebuilding, repairing, and the recycling of oil-filled electrical equipment for utility and industrial customers nationwide. Solomon Corporation currently employs over 650 people at facilities in Solomon, Kansas; Decatur, Tennessee; Georgetown, Texas; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Prior to his experience at Solomon Corporation, Mr. Hemmer spent 11 years as a Congressional staffer on Capitol Hill; first on the staff of Congressman Pat Roberts (KS-01), as a legislative assistant handling agricultural issues and as Deputy Press Secretary to the House Agriculture Committee; then as Chief of Staff to Congressman, Jerry Moran (KS-01). Both of Hemmer’s former bosses in the U.S. House of Representatives are now United States Senators.

Hemmer graduated with honors from Kansas State University in 1989 with a degree in Economics. During his freshman year of college, he served as the State FFA President.

Hemmer is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Salina Chamber of Commerce, the Coronado area council of Boy Scouts and the Executive Committee of the Kansas Republican Party. He is currently on the boards of the Salina Regional Health Foundation, the Kansas FFA Foundation and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Tom and his wife, Maggie, live in Salina, Kansas with their three boys, Mac, Calvin and Brady. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, cooking, and travel.

Lance Allen, Chief Financial Officer

Lance joined Solomon Corporation as the Chief Financial Officer in May 2014.  Prior to joining Solomon, Lance was the Chief Executive Officer for a private-equity owned dairy feed ingredient business based in Wisconsin for two years.  From 2000-2011, Lance held various finance and operations roles at Leprino Foods Company, a $2 billion multinational food manufacturing business based in Colorado.  His roles included Vice President Finance and Vice President International.  He had full profit and loss responsibility for all of Leprino’s business outside of the United States. He also served as the Chairman of Glanbia Cheese Limited, Europe’s largest mozzarella manufacturing business, from 2005-2011.

 

Lance started his career with the global accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche in Denver and moved to London to work as a Manager in their Financial Services Practice. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jerry Newton, Chief Operating Officer

Jerry joined Solomon Corporation as the Chief Operating Officer in October 2015. Prior to joining Solomon, he was the Global Director for John Deere Cylinder. He had responsibility for manufacturing operations in the U.S., Mexico, and China as well as Deere’s cylinder partnerships in France, India, Japan and Brazil.

Jerry started his career as a mechanical systems designer in Entergy Corporation’s nuclear power group, and later worked as a consultant in Booz Allen Hamilton’s energy practice. After joining Deere in 2000, he progressed through assignments of increasing responsibility in engineering, operations, and market development. From 2004 to 2007, he completed an expatriate assignment to the Russian Federation where he founded Deere’s first manufacturing operation in Russia, John Deere Orenburg. In March of 2007, he was appointed to the role of Operations Manager for John Deere’s Davenport Works.

Jerry graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1995 and received an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College in 2000.

Mike Wallace, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Mike joined Solomon Corporation as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing in January 2017. Prior to joining Solomon, Mike most recently was the Vice President of Sales for the Energy and Partner Services organization for Square D Company-Schneider Electric. In Mike’s 29 years at Square D Company-Schneider Electric, he held various positions including Manufacturing Engineer at the Medium Voltage Switchgear facility in Smyrna, TN, 5 years as a Field Service Testing Engineer, 4 years in Regional Marketing, 3 Years as a National Account Manager, 10 years as an Area Sales Manager and 3 years as the Vice President of Sales of the US Services Organization. Mike also spent 3 ½ years at ABB as a Field Sales Engineer.

 Mike has a BS in Industrial Technology Engineering and a minor in Business and graduated from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. During Mike’s junior & senior years he served as President of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and was Vice President of the Tennessee Tech’s Inner Fraternity Council.

 Mike has a residence in Murfreesboro, TN and Salina, Kansas. Mike has been married to Regina since 2002 and has 4 children; Danielle, Emily, Ryan and Hannah. Mike enjoys golf, bicycling, travel and time with the family.

 

 

Mark Bazely, Director of Process Management

Mark joined Solomon Corporation as their Director of Process Management in February 2016. Prior to this, Mark spent 17 years working for Deere and Co.  In his most recent role, he spearheaded a significant investment in the US and Mexico to modernize and increase capacity for Deere’s hydraulic cylinder business.  Before leading this project, he progressed through managerial roles in Quality, Engineering, and Operations in the U.S. and in Canada.

Prior to Deere, Mark worked for such companies as Kraft General Foods and American Cyanamid in various engineering roles.

Mark has a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and has completed an MBA program from the University of Iowa.

 

Jim Haverkamp, Director of Operations

Jim Haverkamp, has been with Solomon Corporation since 1991. He began his career in the Regulator Department which grew 10 fold during his tenure. When Solomon Corp. acquired their Grand Junction facility Jim relocated and acted as General Manager taking charge of all facets of the business. In 2013 he moved back to Solomon where he is currently The Senior Operations Manager with an emphasis on the Substation facility. His depth and breadth of knowledge regarding regulators, transformers, construction projects, and production standardization have made him invaluable to our organization and to our customers. He has vast technical skills, but his true passion is for helping customers trouble-shoot equipment issues day or night. Jim has an A.A.S. Electronics, Electrical & Business degree from Cloud County Community College and & North Central Kansas.  He has also completed Eaton/Cooper related ASE training for regulators & controls, OCR’s & controls, switch gear & transformers.

Kim Hoelting,  Director of Human Resources

Over the past 10 years, she has specialized in health plan management for our Self Funded Medical Plan. She is responsible for the design, planning, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive medical and behavior based health plan for the 900+ covered lives at Solomon Corporation. Our health plan premium costs are among the very lowest due to a strong partnership with employees and despite inflationary trends across most manufacturing industries.

She has 20+ years of experience in Human Resources and in manufacturing. Working previously for large corporate employers such as Hallmark, Pepsi-Co and Schwan’s, she also oversees the on-site clinic and oversees all other HR areas such as compliance, staffing, performance management, payroll and benefits.

Kim holds a PHR Certification in addition to Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Mount Marty College in Yankton, SD and a Masters Degree from Kansas State University.

Ken Puetz, Director of Engineering

Ken received his BSEE from South Dakota State University and has been with Solomon Corporation his entire career. Over the past 28 years he has been invaluable to Solomon Corp. and to our customers providing expertise and technical support on transformer testing standards, design, manufacturing procedures and standards. Ken has design experience on transformers up to 30 mva and 350 KV BIL along with experience in evaluating Dissolved Gas Analysis for transformers and voltage regulators. He has been a member of IEEE since 1988 and is on the Doble Transformer Sub Committee Dealing with Wind Farm Gassing Issues. Ken and his entire staff have decades of experience, and they are always available to share their expertise with our customers.

Jennifer Wood, Director of Partnerships, Large Utilities