Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti Visits Pioneer Service for #MFGDay17

On October 5, 2017, Lt. Governor Sanguinetti visited Pioneer Service to see manufacturing operations, hear the Pioneer story, and collect ideas on reaching more youth for STEM careers like manufacturing. 

Photo (from left to right):

Tiernan Murrell, Co-Director for SparkShop
Steve Brezwyn, V.P. Operations, Pioneer Service
Aneesa Muthana, President & Co-Owner, Pioneer Service
Eric Smith, Director of Sales, Pioneer Service
Lt. Governor of Illinois, Evelyn Sanguinetti
Mayor of Addison, Rich Veenstra
Rose of Sharon DeVos, Business Development Manager, Pioneer Service
James Rewis, Quality Manager, Pioneer Service

In her visit, the Lt. Governor expressed genuine interest in our industry and enthusiasm for engaging more of Illinois' youth in STEM programs boost career opportunities. After a plant tour, Tiernan Murell shared the vision for and was invited to present further to the Rural Affairs Counsel about the program that "sparks" interest in STEM careers in elementary school.

Addison Mayor Rich Veenstra discussed local initiatives to boost manufacturing's image, and had his team create video footage of the visit for inclusion in video production on the subject. It was a great example of local and state government working with small businesses to make a difference in communities!

Pioneer Service Hosts 91 Students During #MfgDay17

On October 4, 2017 and October 6, 2017 Pioneer Service hosted high school students for a tour and presentation on manufacturing careers. In all, 91 students were able to come! Students from Reavis High School, Oak Lawn High School and Addison Trail High School saw first-hand how machined parts are made on advanced CNC Swiss machines with production manager Bob Anderson, as well how they are checked with vision inspection systems. A third of their time was spent addressing perceptions vs. reality in manufacturing and how they might find their own passion in unconventional places. Rose of Sharon DeVos presented the myths, her own story of joining the industry, Pioneer Service's story and encouraged students to be intentional in writing their own life and career stories.


Breaking Boundaries For Women with Unconventional Occupations

September 29, 2017 The Breaking Boundaries, a "Career Exploration Series" provided women looking for career opportunities with unique insights into the lives of successful women in non-traditional careers.

SparkShop Shares Vision with Educators, Politicians and Manufacturing Associations at Pioneer Service

September 19, 2017 SparkShop directors Shonali Ditz and Tiernan Murrell, along with Ted Ganchiff, founder of the Science & Entrepreneurship Exchange (SEE) presented the SparkShop STEM program to politicians, educators and manufacturing association representatives.

Pioneer Service Women Join Women in STEM Panel to Inspire

July 10, 2017 Congressman Randy Hultgren (left) moderates a panel of female business professionals in STEM career fields at the STEM Scholars Graduation.

Innovation Alive 7th Grade Students Show Off Ideas at Pioneer Service

June 21, 2017 - Pioneer Service hosted a very special class of students from Indian Trail Jr. High School. These bright young men and women visited Pioneer to see manufacturing first hand and have "Shark Tank" like evaluation of their design concepts of table lamps which will be pitched to successful business people, including the CEO of Land of Nod.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti Collaborates with Women Leaders of TMA to Discuss Promoting Women in Manufacturing

May 25, 2017 - A small, but powerful group of female manufacturing "thought leaders" from the Technology and Manufacturing Association met with Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti before her commencement speech for the TMA Related Theory class.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Mayor Veenstra Tour Pioneer Service to See Impact of Partnerships

Pictured above, from left to right: Jim Dunbar (IMEC), Rose of Sharon DeVos (Pioneer Service), Steve Brezwyn (Pioneer Service), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Eric Smith (Pioneer Service), Aneesa Muthana (Pioneer Service), Mayor Rich Veenstra, John Bradarich (IMEC)

Pioneer Service Inc. hosted US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Addison Mayor Rich Veenstra along with Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) representatives John Bradarich and Jim Dunbar for a tour and discussion of how IMEC, the supporting Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and others have helped Pioneer transform it's product line and workforce.

May 30, 2017 - Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, US Congressman for Illinois' 8th district, visited Pioneer Service along with his Chief of Staff, Steven Baskin, and Constituent Service Liaison Douglas McGinnis as part of his effort to better understand the needs of small manufacturers in his district. His visit was particularly timely since funding for MEP is at risk in the most recent Presidential Budget Proposal p.17, published on May 22, 2017.

Addison, Illinois Mayor Rich Veenstra joined the tour, to support the congressman and Pioneer Service Owner and President, Aneesa Muthana. Mayor Veenstra has been a strong advocate efforts to connect local manufacturers with each other, the workforce and students who may be interested in a manufacturing career.

The group heard and saw first-hand the story of a company which, when faced with competition from Asia, found the right partnerships and re-invented itself. The necessity for change began in 2010, when Pioneer Service's top three customers consolidated and started outsourcing the precision shafts that Pioneer had been making since 1990, causing sales to plummet. In 2014, John Bradarich of IMEC visited and began to open doors to jump start the change. He provided connections to supporting grants that helped Pioneer Service develop a new, stronger customer base in a variety of industries, train employees on new equipment, and implement new software and processes.  

Other key support came in 2015 when Pioneer Service became actively engaged with the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA), which provided technical expertise and training, as well as political advocacy for manufacturing issues. The congressman and mayor were able to see and hear how networking with these organizations and others has led to resources which facilitated the change in product line from simple shafts to complex CNC machined parts, keeping over 30 people employed. 

The group takes the tour through the Swiss CNC department to see how parts are machined. It takes both mechanical ability and computer programing expertise to drop complete parts off these machines.


Quality Manager James Rewis explains to Congressman Raja the importance of quality inspection for the automotive and medical industries.

Congressman Raja walks with Aneesa Muthana outside the Quality Room.

Stepping Up to Inspire Women to Fill the Workforce Gap in Manufacturing

Manufacturers have job openings and great career paths. Women account for only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead awards are designed to inspire women to bridge the gap.On April 20, 2017, at the Ronald Regan Building in Washington, D.C., the Manufacturing Institute honored 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders with the STEP Ahead Award. Aneesa Muthana, President and Owner of Pioneer Service Inc., took her place among other leaders from across the country who have set examples for women in a field dominated by men.

Women have been making significant contributions to manufacturing in the United States for generations, but still only comprise 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Ms. Muthana, who started her career as a pre-teen in her parents grinding shop, embraced the opportunity to run her own manufacturing company in her early 20’s. Since then, her vision and passion have made a difference in the lives of employees, customers, suppliers, her family and a large network of friends. She is always “paying it forward” by helping young people envision a brighter future for themselves by considering manufacturing as a path to success. 

One of the original "Rosie the Riveters", Anna Hess, shared her story of hard work, patriotism, and passion in her own manufacturing career that began in 1940 and paved the way for women in the industry.



"We are makers. The process of bringing people together to MAKE something that will go on to serve a greater purpose fuels my passion and fills my days." Aneesa Muthana, President & Owner of Pioneer Service Inc. 

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