Leroy Ott began his career at U.S. Automatic Corporation, which would later become Nordson Corporation, in 1964." />

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Leroy Ott Celebrates 55 Years at Nordson

Leroy Ott stands in Nordson's Amherst, Ohio facility where he has worked for 55 years. 


In 1964, Lyndon Johnson was U.S. president, 30 cents would buy a gallon of gasoline, the Cleveland Browns were NFL champions and Leroy Ott began his career at "U.S. Automatic Corporation," which would later become Nordson Corporation.  LO2

Leroy joined the team as a drill press operator. He was just 20 years old and had no high school degree.

"Bob Kropf Sr. hired me and took a chance on me. He died 10 years ago. I was standing outside the church at his funeral and his grandson came up and asked how I knew his grandpa. I told him, your grandpa gave me a chance at life. He hired me with no education and I have a beautiful life because of your grandpa," said Leroy.

Over the years, Leroy has moved from the drilling area to the milling department and today is a machinist leader and CNC programmer.

"What I enjoy about my job is working with people and programming equipment," said Leroy. "Everything has to be perfect when you program. If not, you can do a $20,000 mistake just like that, or get hurt. The adrenaline is flowing and when it's all done, it's like winning the Super Bowl. Every day."

"It makes my job easy working with a guy like Leroy because of his knowledge, his dedication to the job and his willingness to be here, no matter what," said Leroy's supervisor, Jayson Leavelle. "He's always willing to solve a problem, and he goes out of his way to do it. If something is running smoothly, he thinks there's got to be a way for it to be running even smoother."

Leroy has suffered personal tragedies during his time at Nordson, and he credits the support of the Nords and his work colleagues with helping him to move forward. 

"In 1972, I lost my son to a brain tumor. When I came back, Evan and Eric Nord were at the gate waiting for me. They offered to help with the medical bills. I never asked for any help, but somehow, we didn't have many medical bills. If I had a wish, I wish the family knew how much they helped me over the years," said Leroy.

AMH2As the industry began to evolve, Leroy advanced his skills and career. He remembers the days when he would physically run the machines and come home covered head to toe in oil. As the machines got more complex, Leroy took an interest and taught himself to code. Today, nine machines at our Amherst facility run on his programming.

"If you want to accomplish a lot, just do it," said Leroy.

Jayson commented, "Literally half of what we do in this department, Leroy and one of the engineers developed. The whole tooling system, the way the machines are laid out and the programs that make the parts were written, built, designed, stored and maintained by Leroy for 30 plus years." 

Leroy recently celebrated his 75th birthday, but he has no plans to retire.

"I love it," said Leroy. "I love what I'm doing. It's fun to work. It's challenging to work. I have the best job here at Nordson. I want to work as long as I can. As long as I have something of value to add to the company, I want to work." 

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