We are pleased to welcome Mike Salazar, our new chief industrial process engineer, to Epstein! Mike received his Master's in Engineering - Industrial Technology from IIT (Go Scarlet Hawks!) in 2009 as well as his Bachelor's in Engineering – Mechanical Technology from IIT in 2007.
Mike is a native Chicagoan and before joining Epstein, Mike was a Plant Engineer for Tyson Foods (Poultry and Sauces) and for Johnsonville (Pork) and Pactiv (Plastic extrusion), the Director of Projects and Engineering for Cloverhill Bakery (Baked Deliciousness), and Director of Maintenance/Maintenance Supervisor for M&M/Mars (Confections) and Dove Ice Cream (Dairy). And at Epstein, Mike is currently working on the planning for a new flavoring plant in Mexico. (Anybody else hungry after reading all of that? Even the plastic extrusion part sounds delicious when combined with all the other mouthwatering foods!)
Mike says he is at his best when participating in teams using a "hands-on" approach to fully research, purchase, install and commission entire production lines within the allocated time frames and budget.
Perhaps Mike's favorite activity is his role as President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers of Chicago. His networking efforts focus on promoting diversity within Fortune 500 companies and fundraising to help Hispanic students stay in college. Additionally, he enjoys guest speaking to educate grade school and high school students on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), encouraging them to major in these fields.
To further get a sense of Mike's commitment to STEM education and his pride in being a Hispanic role model please take a look at this video produced last year by ComEd on Mike to promote Hispanic Heritage…
When not working, mentoring and generally making the world a better & yummy place, Mike likes to bike ride by the lake and bike trails across Illinois.
Lastly, Mike describes himself as an "over-achiever" but there are those who say he has a lighter side, especially if there is a mariachi playing. (Mike – we have to see photos of that!)
Once again, welcome to the Family – Mike! We'll do our best to keep adding new and diverse food processes for you to engineer!