Meet Lan Patthana, a Quality Inspector at GWS-Batavia in Batavia, Illinois. Lan started at the facility as a part-time employee while in college, and has now been there for 34 years!

Lan’s story in the cutting tool industry began as a part-time college student, seeking more stability than her job at a candy shop could offer. Her brother, already working at the then CJT Koolcarb Inc., introduced her to the world of cutting tool manufacturing. Lan initially joined as a part-time assembly worker and later transitioned to the grinding department. However, her desire to be more hands-on and employ her critical thinking skills eventually led her to the quality department.

In her role, Lan plays a pivotal part in ensuring our customers receive the highest quality products. Every morning, she meticulously assesses the top-priority projects across the floor. Lan thrives on the daily challenges, as GWS-Batavia specializes in a significant amount of custom work. She often encounters tools that push the boundaries of her expertise, but it’s this focus and attention to detail that makes her thrive.

One of Lan’s key responsibilities is making sure that the first piece passes her stringent inspection. If it doesn’t, she conducts thorough rechecks and collaborates with the machinists to align specifications and potentially recreate the tool. Her commitment to quality is unwavering.

Lan is grateful that while GWS Tool Group is a large corporation, they continually focus on their employees, offering many opportunities. She enjoys the family feel of her facility – and in fact, her family does work there! Since she was originally brought to the facility through her brother, two of her brothers and her son now work with her. Lan is very proud of the opportunities GWS has granted her – to work at a company she enjoys with the ability to move up in the company.

Life Outside GWS

Lan’s appreciation for family extends far beyond the workplace. She spends most of her time outside of work with her loved ones. Despite having a large family, they manage to spend quality time together, whether it’s a family barbeque or moments shared with her son and 3-year-old granddaughter.

Family gatherings in the Patthana household aren’t your typical affairs; they are a harmonious celebration of music. Lan’s husband, brother, and sister have a band, in which she occasionally lends her vocal talents. They perform at weddings and parties, bringing joy through music. Lan’s diverse talents extend to languages – she is fluent in Lao, Thai, and Mandarin, showcasing her deep cultural connections.

Lan’s love for culture also finds expression through her passion for travel. The Bahamas holds a special place in her heart, as it was the destination for her honeymoon. Looking ahead, she has exciting plans for a two-week trip to Vietnam for her nephew’s wedding, a visit to her homeland, Laos, and an exploration of Thailand. Lan’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and the richness of family bonds that transcend both work and leisure.

Interested In A Career At GWS Tool Group?

If you enjoy working with dedicated people like Lan, consider applying to GWS Tool Group. We are always looking for talented and driven individuals to work at our facilities in Florida, California, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Canada. Browse open jobs here.