For a history of Sherline products, CLICK HERE.
Karl Rohlin: VP of Manufacturing/Machine Shop Foreman
Karl started with Sherline in 1979 as a machine operator. Joe Martin soon recognized his ability and work ethic, and he eventually rose to the position of shop foreman.
Every part of every machine that leaves Sherline is his responsibility, and sometimes it seems like there must be more than one of him. Whenever you go out on the plant floor, you will see him. He’s at work scheduling on the computer, and then he’s setting up a machine. Walk to another part of the shop, and he’s there ahead of you. He has become quite accomplished not only at programming the complicated new machines now used in production but also in seeing that they continue to operate efficiently. The smooth operation of the entire production side of the plant flows through his office. That means he must deal with not only the machines, but also the men who operate them, and he is equally expert adept at both. A man of rare talents and quiet confidence, he is a key figure in the continued success of Sherline Products. With all that goes on in the shop, a juggler trying to keep seven balls in the air at one time has it easy compared to Karl.
Karl’s jobs now also include product design. His extensive knowledge of AutoCad® and his familiarity with every machine tool on the factory floor assures that a steady flow of tool upgrades and new products are added to the Sherline tool and accessory line.
Charla Papp: VP of Production and Finance/General Manager
Charla also started with Sherline in 1979 working in the office doing clerical work and also working in electronic assembly and the shipping department at various times. Her job is almost impossible to assign an accurate title to because it covers so many different areas. She has to know “everything about anything” that happens here. She can tell you the part number and price of just about any of the hundreds of parts we make off the top of her head. Between her vast knowledge of the product line and her winning ways, Charla is part of the reason so many suppliers and customers have been happy with the service they receive when dealing with Sherline.
Charla’s job extends to all aspects of keeping the business running. This means working with the office staff, as well as those in assembly and shipping. She handles all the paperwork for corporate, state, and federal taxes; it’s almost a full-time job on its own. Purchasing materials and finding the best suppliers are all part of her job too. She has also overseen the implementation and upgrading of our computer inventory and records management systems over the years.
Jeff Ryan: Marketing Manager
Jeff’s job is to make sure that Sherline presents a professional image in everything the customer sees. This includes Sherline’s websites, corporate identity, cards, ads, videos, catalog and instructions—even the show booth and the signage in the factory. Everyone who works for a company of this size must do several jobs, and Jeff is no exception. Large companies have ad agencies, draftsmen, technical writers, marketing departments, webmasters. At Sherline it’s Jeff.
Jeff has a certificate in Video and Media Design from MiraCosta College, but his job extends beyond just doing the technical drawings and exploded views you see in the instructions. He also does all the photography, design, layout, copywriting, and production for the catalogs and magazine ads as well as writing and sending out press releases and building and maintaining the various Sherline websites.
Jeff has been with Sherline full time since July 2015. He is a designer with over 25 years of expertise in creating professional-looking packaging, marketing collateral and corporate identity in both print and digital media, and he is also adept at video production and editing. He also has an extensive background in various printing processes and administrative procedures.
Kim Kapple: Expediter
As her title implies, she also does a little bit of everything in the office from answering the phone when things are busy to ordering materials. She is also on the front lines when it comes to fielding customer questions and handling overdue accounts. Her bubbly personality and hearty laugh are her trademarks.
Kat Powell: Administration/Customer Relations
Kat has been one of the voices of Sherline on the phones since 2007. In addition to taking phone orders, answering customer product questions and directing other calls to the proper person, she also administers the e-commerce website. Being somewhat camera shy, she prefers to be represented by her favorite pet, Kip.
Francisco Palacios: Assembly Supervisor
Francisco is in charge of the final assembly of all the tools and accessories, so in large part, he has the final responsibility for what you get when you open a box containing a new Sherline tool or accessory. He also handles all machines that are returned for repair or warranty service. In addition, his bi-lingual skills mean he is often called upon to answer technical questions for our Spanish-speaking customers.
Francisco started work as an assembler for Sherline in 1998. When former assembly foreman Luis Baez was killed in a car accident in 2007, Francisco was the logical choice to move into that position due to his leadership skills and his experience with the product line.
Pamela Weiss: Lead Toolmaker
What does a toolmaker do? In Pam’s case, just about any job that needs to be done, from repairing large and complicated CNC machines that break down from time to time to running the Flo-Jet waterjet cutter to designing and fabricating an automotive cam grinder from scratch to installing air and electrical lines in the factory and in the Craftsmanship Museum shop. Pam also works with Karl doing research and product development as we introduce new products to the line.
Pam walked in the door looking to buy some tools in 1996 and ended up talking to Joe Martin. Joe recognized her obvious mechanical skills and offered her a job on the spot to work on his race cars as part of the pit crew. Her responsibilities soon expanded to machine operation and repair as it was learned there was just about wasn’t anything mechanical that she could not fix.
Pam is also an accomplished machinist and hobbyist whose projects include a 1/2 scale Gattling gun, a partially complete 1/4 scale Offenhauser engine, a Bill Smith Epicyclic Train Clock in progress and a Snow IC engine. Her current project is a 7-1/2″ gauge live steam locomotive and tender that will be over 14′ long when completed.
Fred Smittle: Technical Support/Customer Relations/Product Demonstrations
Fred is a retired toolmaker/machinist who has also spent some time as a machine shop instructor at the local Jr. College. Starting at Sherline in 2006, he works part-time in our product showroom answering technical calls from customers, hosting tours of the factory and demonstrating Sherline tools and accessories in the showroom for anyone wishing to try their hand at machining. His vast knowledge of materials and how they are cut can be a real benefit to anyone new to machining. His familiarity with Sherline’s tool line can also help keep on track when it comes to keeping your machine properly adjusted and maintained.
If you have a question about what Sherline tool or accessory would work best for you, Fred is available generally from 11 AM to 4 PM by phone.
CLICK HERE for a page that honors past Sherline employees who helped make the company what it is today.