Dee Barnes is the President and CEO of Evans Tool & Die and Evens Metal Stamping, Inc. The company is a family owned business that was founded in 1948 by her grandparents. She is the third generation of family leadership. In discussing the history, one interesting fact is that her grandmother was a toolmaker. Dee says that her grandmother may be the only female toolmaker in the history of the industry. Dee learned many lessons from her grandmother and says she is a lot like her.
The family tradition continues as sons, nephews and cousins are currently active in the business and Dee feels the responsibility of their future as well as every employee and their families in the decisions she makes. She loves manufacturing and respects the skill that tool making requires. An apprenticeship of 5 years is required to become a toolmaker, and 10 years to become a master toolmaker. Although the tool making trade is a highly skilled position, there is a deep respect for every position from the press operator, maintenance and quality crew to the floor sweeper. Our company doesn’t make profits without each and every position. Every player’s position is so valuable.
Dee continues the family value of excellence. The company exists to improve communities through manufacturing excellence. It starts with the “Evans community” internally and spreads to all of the outside communities that Evans touches.
When asked for some lessons she has learned, she shared the value of never quitting even when the first try doesn’t work. Another lesson is to understand that you can’t do everything even when you would like to. There are always many “good” things that you can do, but you must choose where your efforts and energies are best used. Dee founded a Christian ministry named His Wonderful Works, Inc. The ministry helps people in the areas of family, relationships and sexuality. She also does lay counseling in this area.
Dee admonishes women in business to make the choice to take care of themselves so that they can stay effective in business and life. She says consistent habits in her life are coffee with friends, working out, bike riding, the chiropractor and massage therapy and family time. She says it is often tempting to skip some of these items, but she can’ t afford not to take the time to do these things. It gives her energy and keeps her sharp enough to be effective.
She says her most valuable advice is to pray about everything, large and small, and everything will fall into place.
Evans Tool & Die