King Cycle Group hired Chris DiStefano to its sales and marketing management team. His position and duties take effect immediately. DiStefano comes to KCG from Leopold, Ketel & Partners, also of Portland, Oregon, where he served agency clients in public relations and brand strategy operations. Previously, Mr. DiStefano held service and marketing responsibilities at Shimano American Corporation of Irvine, California from 1996 to 2004.

DiStefano has recently completed a proprietary training program developed by KCG Vice-President Matt O’Rourke. The program is specifically tailored to each new hire and can have a duration of up to several months. In that time, participants train in all areas from manufacturing and assembly through to sales and shipping.

“Before any newly hired professional person sits down at a desk, gets a computer or phone extension, they work in the shop,” said O’Rourke. “Not just for a day or two, they are out there for a month or more working alongside our production staff. They start in the shop like all of our new machine operators do; mopping floors, moving raw material around, cutting barstock, handling inventory transactions, etc. Once it seems that they know how to work, we move them out into the other areas of the production floor, assembly, polishing, grinding, CNC, all of it. They are trained to run the machines and left to run them. If they can't do it, maybe they'd be better off working at another company.”

O’Rourke adds, “The professional staff at King knows what it takes to make our parts because they have made them. This way they form their own ideas and opinions based on first hand experience. They are not limited by what I think we need to do. It gives them more confidence and a sense of direction before they hit their desk. One of the best parts is that the rest of the staff really gets to know the new guy this way, not just what their name is. This has been my favorite part of the program.”

“Chris DiStefano was on the shop floor for 5 weeks. Our Production Manager, David Prause, was running production for 6 weeks. Our new Manufacturing Technology Engineer, Erik Drews, was out there for 5 weeks. No desks, no phone calls, no meetings, I wish that I could do it myself,” concludes O’Rourke.

“I am impressed with every person and process at King Cycle Group,” said DiStefano. “I mopped floors, operated CNC machines, built components, shipped orders, and worked with customer service. At every position I encountered individuals committed to personal excellence and company success through process improvement,” he added. “This is a demanding workplace but I am certain every cyclist who has chosen us for their bicycle appreciates the effort taken.”

Regarding the company DiStefano adds, “Celebrating 30 years of manufacturing in the USA says a great deal about the foundation of this company and the future it is certain to enjoy. I could not be any more pleased than to be right here, right now. I am eager to speak with anyone who wishes to learn more about us and given all that I’ve experienced I’m ready to do so. “