Master Spring is in its third generation of family ownership. Each generation feels a responsibility to make the company stronger. Over the course of Master Spring’s history, the leadership works to excel at three things:
Jeff Burda, a second-generation family business owner, has been President of Master Spring & Wire Form Co. since 1987. Jeff works with customer engineers to solve their design problems, develops quotes for new customers, and troubleshoots manufacturing problems. He started full-time employment with the company in 1975. Growing up less than a block away from his father’s business, he worked part-time at the company when he was a kid. At age 16, he was making deliveries and picking up wire. When needed, he would help out on kick-presses. He learned from his dad how to design and make forming tools and set-up 4-slide machines. As he got more experience, Jeff visited customers to help with design issues.
Throughout the years he has worked with many engineers in all types of industries. He enjoys the challenge of solving spring and wire form design issues. Over his 40 plus years in the spring industry, he likes to say “just when you’ve seen it all” when he receives a spring or wire form designed in a new way.
Outside of springs and wire forms, Jeff loves spending time with his wife and their three young-adult children as they start families. He is passionate about hockey, especially the Chicago Blackhawks, and enjoys supporting the Special Olympics.
Steve Skolozynski, a third-generation family business owner, joined Master Spring’s team in December 1997 as General Manager. Steve is responsible for the long term profitability of Master Spring. A typical day for Steve includes leading process improvements, evaluating capital investment decisions, determining marketing plans, handling personnel issues, and working with vendors to troubleshoot computer and machinery issues. He works to define and implement Master Spring’s strategic vision for continuous improvement and future growth.
Steve brings an optimistic and confident attitude that spreads throughout the company. He views his work as an opportunity to serve others: his customers, co-workers, vendors and his family. He enjoys managing the variety of challenges and decisions in growing a small business and takes pride in the wide variety of products that Master Spring’s springs and wire forms go into.
In 1987, Steve graduated with Highest Honors from the University Of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. After college he worked as a financial analyst for a personal financial planning firm for high-end wealth individuals. In 1989, he joined the Chicago Tribune in their corporate financial planning and analysis department as a Senior Financial Analyst. Later, he was promoted to Manager of Planning and Analysis. In 1996, he completed a Masters in Management degree, with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, in the Evening Program of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Steve has volunteered coaching his daughters’ volleyball and basketball grammar school teams at St. Paul of the Cross School in Park Ridge. He also has served on St. Paul of the Cross School’s Finance Committee, which helps develop the school budget and tuition rates.
Steve’s favorite activity is spending time with his wife, two daughters and the family dog, Dude.
Sherry Anton, a third-generation family business owner, is the Quality Manager and has been with Master Spring since 1986. She graduated with high honors from Dominican University with a degree in English Literature. While pursuing her Master’s at DePaul University and working part time at Master Spring, she was asked by Jeff Burda to establish a formal quality program at Master Spring.
Achieving ISO Certification without help from a quality consultant, Sherry’s grass roots approach to implementing a quality system is based on her belief that a quality system should not be bought or added to a company’s business system, but rather should support and bring value to the systems that are working.
She obtained a certificate in Quality Control from Triton College as well as completed several courses In ISO 9000, Lean Manufacturing, and Internal Auditing from the Chicago Manufacturing Center. Most recently, she has been a part of the continuous improvement team partnered with the University of Wisconsin’s Quick Response Manufacturing Center which strives to reduce lead time in every operation, not just fabrication.
Sherry enjoys working with others to find simple solutions to make corrective actions or improvements.
She is passionate about her three children and their interests.
Paul John Burda is a third-generation spring manufacturer and has been with Master Spring since March of 2014. Paul is Jeff’s son and is learning the ways of the business through him and his 40+ years of experience. After graduating from Illinois State University in the fall of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Communication and Design, he came to work at Master Spring not fully knowing what job he would hold. Fortunately, having been around springs and wire forming his entire life, the transition ended up being a seamless one.
Paul’s day-to-day operations are now handling all incoming request for quotes as well as inside sales. The continued growth of Master Spring has allowed Paul to concentrate directly on new customers while Jeff can now focus in on larger clientele and big picture initiatives. Recently, Paul has also taken over all marketing for the company using what he learned from his major and implementing it to the manufacturing world.
When he is not working, Paul enjoys traveling more than anything. Whether it is snowboarding through Canada or heading south to warmer climates, he is always ready to get away on any given weekend. His current goal is to see the Chicago Blackhawks, his favorite professional team, play in all thirty NHL stadiums before the age of thirty.
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