This blog is maintained by Kevin Harberts, CEO of Kryton Engineered Metals.
Kevin is a seasoned manufacturing pioneer with a drive to explore new and innovative ways to accomplish a manufacturing challenge.
The best thing that has ever happened to Kevin was getting fired almost 40 years ago!!! The old saying when life throws you lemons make lemonade was something that I needed to put into practice at an early stage in my business career. Senior year of high school, which by the way was 1974, Kevin was doing a split program where he went to school for half a day and was working the other half. As with most of us in our younger years, we do things that we not always proud of and he got fired from his first ever job, and since it was in connection with his senior year of school, he was informed that he was not going to be able to graduate if he didn’t find a replacement job and fast….He did find another job, thus sending him on his new life’s journey and a lifelong endeavor in manufacturing for which he is eternally grateful.
His employment resume is short as he has spent almost his whole life in manufacturing, almost entirely with a company that he started. Kevin was part of a 3 person group to start and operate a company they called Iowa Metal Spinners, Inc. the year was 1981, he was 25 years old. Just married for almost 5 years and two beautiful young daughters, he spent countless hours building the business. In 1995 he bought out one of the partners and again in 1997 he bought the last partner out and has owned the company himself since. Having to pay a couple of times over to build the business and buy out partners taught him some valuable lessons. Iowa Metal Spinners changed their name in April of 2011 to Kryton Engineered Metals to better represent what we do. Annual revenue back in 1981 amounted to $59,000.00 dollars compared to the 10-12 Million annually expected in 2013. Kevin and his team are embarking on a 5 year goal of gross revenue in the 25 to 30 Million ranges by 2017.
Most important lesson learned was from his oldest daughter who was 9 at the time. She needed to learn a poem for school and as with most parents when the child has something to learn, the parents learn it with them. Lisa chose a poem called, “Don’t Quit” by Eleanor Fargene…That poem got down deep inside of Kevin and whenever he was at a point that he wanted to just give up, (which was many), that crazy poem popped in his head and he just kept going……, Rest if you may, but don’t ever quit….what are the chances that a 9 years old girl would just by chance pick that particular poem… He doesn’t think it was by chance, it was meant for him….
His role models are his wife Lorna, his two daughters Lisa, Sarah and his corporate and personal attorney Dave Mason Sr. as well as a few more local business leaders.
Kevin has been blessed with almost 40 years of working in the manufacturing sector and along with that has come opportunity to help serve the community and to help service organizations. Here are a few just to name some…
Iowa State University Advisory Council 1989-1993
State of Iowa 1996 Workforce Development Award Nominee Winner
Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce Investor Award 1997
Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce Re-Investor Award 2000
Cedar Valley Manufactures Association past President 1999-2000
Community Service Award for working to honor the Oklahoma Bombing Victims
Precision Metal Forming past President 2006-2007
Precision Metal Forming Board of Directors 2006-2010
Precision Metal Forming Advancement of Manufacturing Award 2010
UNI Manufacturing Technology Advisory Board 2010-Present
Cedar falls Historical Society Board/Current President 2010-Present