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Employee Bios

Colin Murphy, Simmons Knife & Saw

Colin Murphy - President/Owner - Onboard Since: 2011
Colin joined Simmons in 2011 as General Manager as well as the acting Director of Sales & Marketing.  He spent years learning Simmons’ customers and products as well as being mentored by his father-in-law and former owner, Bruce Gillilan.  In 2017, Colin and his wife, Kara, purchased Simmons from Kara’s parents, Bruce & Marta Gillilan.  Colin & Kara are now the fourth generation to own and operate Simmons.  On the personal side, Colin & Kara have twin sons who were born in 2007. Colin thoroughly enjoys coaching his sons in all sports that they play.  As a family, they enjoy sports, travel, reading, and just spending time together.  Colin grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and has the burden of being a die-hard fan of Cleveland’s continually struggling sports teams. But, as a true optimist, he always thinks that “this year will be the year!”

Wally Plywaczewski - Director of Manufacturing/ISO Management Representative - Onboard Since: 1997
Wally is responsible for all manufacturing related operations, along with administering the ISO quality management system. Wally has his BS degree from Millikin University and more recently earned his Master’s Degree.  He has been married for over 32 years with three adult children.  In his spare time Wally bowls on a league with his three kids and is an avid golfer trying to keep his handicap in the single digits and still awaiting his first hole in one.  Wally loves the rock band “The Who” and passionately cheers for the Bears, White Sox and Blackhawks.

 

Michele Kuper, Simmons Knife & Saw

Michele Kuper - Human Resources Manager - Onboard Since: 2000
As the Human Resources Manager, she may be biased, but claims Simmons employs some of the best people in the industry. With an average employee tenure of over 11 years, she has the pleasure every day of keeping these great folks happy & content. Her motto is “an organization that smiles together succeeds together! I believe that we have an environment here where people come to work and are energized, have fun, do great work, wow our customers and are proud of what we do!”. Michele loves pizza and cherishes spending time with her family and friends and making people smile and laugh. Vacation hot spots are aboard a cruise ship or quick getaways to Las Vegas or Napa Valley!

Wence Kedzior, Simmons Knife & Saw

Wence Kedzior – Controller – Onboard Since: 2013
Wence is responsible for Accounting/Finance at Simmons. He brings over 20 years of experience in  accounting, international accounting, business intelligence, financial planning and analysis to the Simmons team. Wence is married with two daughters and a son. He grew up in Chicago, as a die-hard Cub fan, he is hoping that the Cubs will win another the World Series in his life time. He spends most of his free time working out, playing softball, basketball and catching up with family and friends. Travelling with his wife and kids is always on top of the list when it comes to free time.

Dan Rauwald, Simmons Knife & Saw

Dan Rauwald - Director of Engineering – Onboard Since: 2014
Dan has responsibility for Engineering and Maintenance.  He is passionate about developing others, and Engineering being a support and solution provider to the company. Dan has a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and is a proud Badger.  He is Married with one daughter born in 2011.  In addition to spending time with his wife and daughter, Dan enjoys running, biking, water skiing, and fishing.  When he can’t get outside, he appreciates film, food, and home improvement projects.

 

Erin O'Brien, Simmons Knife & Saw

Erin O'Brien - Director of Sales & Marketing - Onboard Since: 2002
Erin leads our domestic and international sales team and coordinates our marketing efforts, including our catalog, website and tradeshow appearances. Erin grew up in Iowa and enjoys cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes. She spends most of her free time catching up with family and friends. Erin loves to travel to new places and experience different cultures. You can often find her researching her next travel adventure. 

Scott Wallgren, Simmons Knife & Saw

Scott Wallgren - Regional Sales Manager - Midwest - Onboard Since: 1978

Scott is responsible for all sales activities in the Midwestern region.  Scott enjoys some quiet time through gardening and enjoys exercising whether it is through a routine workout or a long walk at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  His favorite spectator sport is football, both professional and college.  As a diehard Cub fan, he enjoys watching or listening to the now “World Champion Chicago Cubs”.  Scott has spent his life in the Chicago area.  He is married with three grown daughters, two of whom are married, and three grandsons.  Scott enjoys spending much of his time with his growing family.     

 

Angie Price, Simmons Knife & Saw

Angie Price - Regional Sales Manager - East - Onboard Since: 1998
Angie lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband and is mother to 3 sons and 1 daughter. She is also grandmother to 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, all under the age of 10. In her down time...which is not much....she enjoys being with family and friends at her Wisconsin lake house. Traveling has always been high on her list of favorite things to do, which is another reason she enjoys her job visiting all her customers and distributors from Maine to Florida.

 

Robert VanDeVeire, Simmons Knife & Saw

Robert VanDeVeire - Regional Sales Manager - West - Onboard Since: 2017

With over 10 years experience working throughout the distribution supply chain, Rob provides solutions throughout the West US Region for Simmons. Close with his family, and uncle to a niece and nephew; he enjoys football Sundays with the family, traveling, and baseball in the summer. An avid ‘foodie’, Rob can often be seen trying new restaurants, exploring new foods, and cooking new dishes.

 

Marianne Dworak, Simmons Knife & Saw

Marianne Dworak - Customer Service Representative - Onboard Since: 2017
Marianne ensures that our customers are met with a prompt, knowledgeable, and friendly response when they contact Simmons.  She supports the Midwest and West territories. Marianne has spent her life in the Chicago area and lives in the western suburbs. She has two married children and 5 granddaughters under the age of 10. The girls keep her busy. She enjoys being with family and friends and loves to travel, experiencing new places. 

Jacqueline Rincon, Simmons Knife & Saw

Jackie Rincón - Customer Service Representative - Onboard Since: 2017
Jackie ensures that our customers are met with a prompt, knowledgeable, and friendly response when they contact Simmons. She is bi-lingual in Spanish and she supports the East and International territories. Jackie spends her evenings hanging out with her beautiful cat, Lucy and her boyfriend, Christian. She spends weekends at her parents’ house and loves watching food-tourism shows and animal documentaries on Netflix. During the warmer months, you can find Jackie outside, under a shady tree enjoying the breeze, making sure to never miss a summer sunset.”