By Jennifer Ferrero, APR, CC
Do you find it tough to break away for a vacation?
Imagine owning a busy manufacturing company with your spouse. Allison and Chad Budvarson, owners of Out of the Box Manufacturing in Renton, WA, are taking their first week-long vacation together since their honeymoon, nine years ago.
They co-own and operate a circuit board manufacturing company, have three young children together, and 38 employees. Allison is the Vice President, and Chad is CEO. They were married in 2008, the same year that they started the company, and shortly after – their family.
The couple met while working at another manufacturing company. “We were friends first, and our working relationship has always come very easily to us,” Allison said, and added with a laugh, “I see more of him at work than at home.”
The company started as a freelance enterprise, while both still had full-time jobs. Chad started taking on side projects which eventually became the beginnings of this business. After the business began, Allison came on to administer the human resource function.
She has lead the charge on continuous improvement programs and quality certifications and registration. As they have grown, she also works with the sales and marketing team, but loyally stated that Chad is the brains behind the business.
They have positioned the company as the “intelligent” choice and are still surprised to hear from people, “I had no idea that ‘manufacturing’ was still done in the United States.” Allison said that they aren’t the cheapest option in town, but they offer, “…highly engineered, high quality, high delivery for our clients. Keeping design and development local is valuable for our customers.”
Hiring can be a challenge for them. But, as a company they are taking steps to expand their opportunities. Allison sits on several community college advisory councils, and has participated in the Kent Chamber of Commerce. She noted, “I find traction in manufacturing-based organizations.” She likes the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC) for their business.
They also participate in the high school focused, Manufacturing Day. They bring in students, and suppliers for tours and offer fun hands-on activities to introduce manufacturing.
While aerospace is only a portion of their business, an area they are working to expand, they do quite a bit of work for the government and for military applications.
Their upcoming vacation should be low-key and relaxing as they travel to Silverwood Theme Park in northern Idaho with the kids and their camper. Hopefully they can think ‘out of the box’ and not talk business during their vacation!