“Everything you would want in a leader during a crisis.”
“One of the best human beings anyone can meet.”
“Thoughtful, collaborative, collegial.”
These are just some of the ways colleagues and fellow manufacturers described former NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach during an intimate tribute at this week’s board meeting.
Unexpected honor: During the gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona, the NAM surprised Lamach, who retired from his post as Trane Technologies CEO last July and stepped down as NAM board chair at the end of 2021, with a thank-you video, a flag from the U.S. Capitol and a check for nonprofit FeedNC.
A career of triumphs: Lamach’s long and accomplished career in manufacturing has comprised successes for the industry and society at large, video interviewees said. These have included the following:
- COVID-19 response: During the pandemic, “there was one crisis on top of another, and Mike just had that reassuring presence,” said Ketchie President and Owner Courtney Silver, vice chair of the NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group. “The most important thing to do in a crisis is to make decisions and not wait, and certainly that’s what I saw Mike do as leader of the NAM through all of this.”
- Infrastructure: Lamach worked with the NAM to help get the historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill of 2021 passed—and was at the White House next to President Biden when the measure was signed into law. “That was 30 years in the making, and Mike got that done,” Timmons said.
- Diversity and inclusion: After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, “Mike was clear: ‘[Putting out] a statement is important, but I don’t want words; I want actions,’” Timmons recalled. “So, he sat down and helped us write a Pledge for Action.”
Torch passed: Dow Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling, who took over the NAM chairmanship from Lamach, thanked the father of three for his years of service.
“Thank you, Mike, on behalf of the Dow team and other U.S. manufacturers for your leadership as NAM board chair—and your hard work to help make the NAM and our entire sector better both now and into the future.”