We are sad to announce that Member Services Vice President Steve Lesnewich will be retiring from AMT on June 1, 2021. Steve joined AMT in 2012 as vice president of industry engagement from the American Machine Tools Distributor Association (AMTDA), where he served in the same role, and brought more than 40 years of experience in the machine tool industry. Bill Herman will be succeeding Steve in leading Member Services.
Before joining AMT, Steve held positions in procurement, sales, marketing, and at the executive level. Previously, he served as president of machine tool builder Doosan Infracore, which was originally Daewoo Heavy Industries. At Daewoo, he orchestrated one of his best marketing decisions by partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing, which gave Daewoo – a little-known but well-made Korean brand – the credibility to become an industry leader. This partnership of more than 20 years continues today. Earlier in his career, Steve held sales and marketing positions at leading industry brands Marubeni Citizen, where he established a new distributor network, and SMW Systems, where he started many of the relationships with both OEMs and distributors that he maintains today. Steve also served as president of Samsung Machine Tools America, where he was instrumental in the brand launch of Samsung in the United States.
Although Steve worked primarily in Member Services at AMT, he also served as vice president of MTInsight Group, which was instrumental in the growth of the Passport program, and vice president of Global Services, where he traveled to China, India, and Brazil and worked with the regional directors of these countries’ AMT Technology Centers to help members grow their businesses.
Steve has always played an important role working with distributors at AMT and is the staff liaison for the AMT Distribution Working Group. The group provided programs and services targeted to distributors, including educational workshops, certification for machine tool sales engineers, industry data and statistics, and targeted networking opportunities with other machine tool distributors and builders such as D19.
“We listened closely to the priorities and concerns of distributors and made sure their needs were not overlooked,” said Steve. “We focused on creating value for AMTDA member companies at AMT through programs such as USMTO, educational courses, the Leadership Forums, national and regional conferences and meetings, as well as joint meetings with other trade association partners. We also developed the D-series of conferences for distributors, which were very important networking and educational conferences for this audience.”
Steve has taught the Manufacturing Technology Sales Fundamentals (MTSF) class to hundreds of students over the years, and he is currently developing a new Effective Virtual Selling class, which will be offered virtually for the first few months free of charge to members.
“Although my duties officially end on June 1st, I expect to attend several of this year’s regional shows and conferences, where I will continue to introduce Bill Herman, who will be moving into my position, to the people I’ve known over the past 40 years,” Steve continued. “I also plan to continue to teach Sales Fundamentals, liaise a Leadership Forum, meet with the DG Committee, and hopefully attend IMTS 2022.”
We asked Steve what hobbies and interests he plans to pursue during retirement and were not surprised to learn that he will be playing more golf in his free time. We were a bit more surprised to learn that Steve also cross-stitches from time to time – one project already planned is to make Christmas ornaments for his grandchildren. Steve also loves reading adventure, spy, and detective novels, and he and his wife plan to travel more frequently, including a few more trips to Europe and traveling and vacationing with friends across the United States. We wish Steve the best in retirement and thank him for all his many dedicated years of service at AMT!