Written by Frank Li
Walter Young is the owner and CEO of Emery Winslow Scale (EWS) Company, headquartered in Seymour, Connecticut.
Walter is 91 years young. As far as I know, he is the senior-most active CEO in the scale industry, as well as in America. His life story is both legendary and ordinary, but uniquely American …
Walter was born in Garfield, New Jersey, in 1922, as the third and youngest son to immigrant parents. Walter’s father emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1910, seeking and hoping to make a better life for his wife and his future children.
Garfield was a small mill town and most of the citizens came from Europe – Irish, French, Germans, Italians and others. They came by the thousands to the U.S., a place known as the “Land of Opportunity”.
Family life for Walter was joyful. Loving and hardworking parents made life a wonderful experience, although in retrospect, he realized his family had been poor. Walter and his brothers grew up with a deep and abiding love of, and belief in, God.
Walter enjoyed sports, and played football for Garfield High School, achieving All-State Honors. A string of 22 victories without a defeat earned Garfield High School the honor of playing Miami High School for the U.S. National High School Championship, referred to as “an Infantile Paralysis Bowl” in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt! The game was played at today’s Orange Bowl site. Garfield was victorious and named the U.S. National High School Football Champions!
An omen of things to come!
2. Early adulthood
After high school, Walter’s parents insisted on further education. In 1940, Walter attended Newark College of Engineering, seeking a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The world was in turmoil and World War II was in full fury. Walter believed it was time to volunteer: he joined the Army Air Corp. and studied to become an Air Corp Meteorologist with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He served for three years with duty in North Africa and Europe.
3. Climbing the corporate ladder
After his return from the war, Walter completed his mechanical engineering education, graduating in 1948. His first job was with the Richardson Scale Company, a manufacturer of automatic industrial scales and batching systems. He specialized in mechanical and electrical scale system design and then he was asked to move into sales engineering, becoming Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
Walter gives full credit to Mr. Ingram Richardson, President of Richardson Scale Company, for his success in the company. Mr. Richardson saw some potential in Sales and Marketing for Walter that he himself did not see.
In the early 1960s, Richardson Scale was acquired by the Robert Morse Corporation, a Canadian firm that owned Howe Scale Company and other scale and non-scale organizations. Walter served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the combined Howe Richardson Scale Company.
These were days of active mergers and acquisitions. The entire Robert Morse Corporation was sold to the large and powerful Aerojet Corporation, a division of the General Tire and Rubber Corporation.
Walter rose to become the President and CEO of the Howe Richardson Scale Company. However, it became apparent that change was the order of the day, and it was time to run his own show, completely.
4. Striking out
Walter looked for new opportunities. Finally, he and a few associates purchased the A.H. Emery Corporation, a small specialty manufacturer of hydraulic load cell weigh systems with annual sales of less than one million dollars.
In 1974, The A.H. Emery Company acquired a small manufacturer of mechanical truck and wagon scales with the great name of the Winslow Government Standard Scale Works located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The A.H. Emery and Winslow Scale were combined to form what is currently the Emery Winslow Scale (EWS) Company.
In 2003, EWS acquired the Pennsylvania Scale Company located in Lancaster, PA, a manufacturer of electronic counting, bench, floor, postal and baggage scales.
Today, EWS manufactures, exclusively in the USA, a wide variety of scale products, including a line of Hydrostatic load cells whose capacity ranges from 100 lb. to 1,000,000 Ib. EWS also manufactured the largest capacity load cell ever made: 12,000,000 Ib. It was designed and built for the National Bureau of Standards.
Currently, the EWS product line includes truck and track scales, tank and hopper scales, floor and bench scales, tension measurement systems, process control weighing systems, and a variety of custom designed weigh systems. The picture below shows a killer whale sliding up on a 9 by 15 foot platform scale designed to hold up to 40,000 pounds.
Throughout his life in business, Walter experienced many events, some wonderful and some tragic and sad, including numerous recessions, limited cash flow, bank loan refusals, and constantly pledging all his possessions.
In summary, Walter states EWS has been blessed. On top of paying its fair shares of taxes, EWS has never missed a single payroll to its employees!
EWS currently has approximately 70 employees and manufactures all its products in the USA, with facilities in Seymour (Connecticut), Lancaster (Pennsylvania), and Terre Haute (Indiana).
5. Balance in life
Despite the busy life in business, Walter keeps himself balanced in many ways. For example, he served the Lord as a Pastor and Rector of a church and served in a pastoral capacity for over 35 years.
Walter credits many others for helping and advising him along the way. While he agreed to have me write about him for my series of “America: A Nation of Self-Made Men (and Women)“, Walter firmly states that a self-made man does not describe his long industrial career. Rather, he had help along the way from many wonderful and caring people, such as Mr. Richardson in Walter’s early career.
EWS is a privately held family company and succession is an on-going concern. Walter has three sons active in the business, each with important company responsibility of sales, finance, and manufacturing.
Walter states that his company’s mission has always been to manufacture magnificent highly reliable industrial weighing systems that bring total satisfaction to their customers.
Walter expects his company to continue his legacy way beyond him …
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