Click Bond clicks.The Carson City-based maker of rivet-less fastening systems for airplanes, other transport vehicles or surfaces requiring mechanical/adhesive bonding has nearly seven times as many employees as it did 14 years ago.The family-operated corporation, which began 25 years ago with a handful of employees, also is a television star with an award-winning president.Click Bond Inc., featured last year on “60 Minutes” for its education work force innovation, this year got more recognition as President Collie Hutter won a STEP Award for manufacturing achievement in science, technology, engineering and production. The inaugural Women in Manufacturing STEP Awards went to just 122 females from the Manufacturing Institute, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the University of Phoenix and Deloitte.“I believe that the best thing a man or woman can say at the end of a day is that they are proud of what they accomplished that day,” she said, taking the award in stride. “And what greater accomplishment is there than to have made something beautiful and functional?”The company is headed by Charles Hutter, her husband and the firm’s chairman/CEO, and by Collie Hutter as president. Their son Karl serves as chief operating officer.The Hutters both earned degrees in physics; their COO/son earned his degrees in systems engineering, as well as applied science and operations management.Inside sales specialist Karl Gibb said the company had 50 employees when he joined 14 years ago.Ryan Costella, company director of strategic initiatives, said it has 330 now — 250 in Carson City, 70 in Watertown, Conn., and 10 in sales around the world. More growth is on the horizon.“The potential is there to grow substantially,” Costella said. “We’re in a very, very strong position. Anything that flies has our parts in it.”He said the company work force has doubled in the past five years. The company is in transition, with the next generation moving into key roles, but the couple who got it going did so based on Cutter’s small first product for his own plane. The product literally took off years ago.In a film the company put together about Click Bond, the president said her background was not only in physics, as with her husband, but also in manufacturing.Her comment in the film, which came because Cutter’s bonding method for stopping leaks on wings worked so well, harked back to those beginnings: “I said I think we should start making this product ourselves.”Now such parts, and others developed since, are everywhere and Click Bond has become a customer-centric business with major clients worldwide. But it still goes back to those beginnings, Costella said. “At our core, we’re really an engineering and design company,” he said.
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