Our Team

Our Team

Samuel G. Thornton

General Manager

Since the late 90s, Sam has gradually worked his way up within Jax-Group Companies, starting from running machines on the plant floor to managing his own branch. He has obtained various skills, including manual and CNC machining, product design, product scheduling, sales and marketing, team building, strategic planning, operations management, negotiation, and new business development. His career goal with the experience and skills that he has obtained is to develop and let prosper relationships with associates, suppliers, and customers. He reflects “Since my early years I have been interested in the tire mold industry, it has always excited and inspired me and my career.”

Izabela Walls

Office Manager

Izabela had always pictured herself working in an office setting, since she was very little. She started her professional journey working at a law office for about 10 years doing immigration and bankruptcy law. In 2015, she joined the Jax-Group Companies. She reflects “I have learned more in life by working with the Jax-Group Companies than anywhere else, professionally, and individually. Athens Mold and Machine is more than just a place to work, it is a place to grow in life. We can never learn enough, no matter how old we are nor how much we already know”.

April Thompson

Administrative Assistant/Purchasing

April has been working at Athens Mold and Machine since May 2017. She holds an associate degree in Office Management from Hocking College.

Dave Wilson

Dave is a former Ohio University student, a veteran of the USA military (he was drafted in 1967) and has been working in manufacturing for 66 years. He started working with tire molds at the Athens Machine Company (now Athens Mold and Machine) in 1956 and has been with us ever since. He started as a machinist and worked his way up to become plant manager. After trying to retire three times from his position as plant manager, Dave found his love for tire mold manufacturing was bigger than retirement and that he could not stay away. Nowadays, Dave is our connection with the knowledge and history of tire mold manufacturing. His wisdom in several aspects of the business is irreplaceable and the most valuable asset of our company. We are extremely lucky to have him!

Tim Thompson

Plant Manager

Tim has been working at Athens Mold and Machine since the very beginning in 2016. Tim was there the day the doors opened and was an integral part of getting the company off the ground. Tim has 25 years of machining experience and had worked for Athens Mold and Machine in the mid 1990’s. He moved on to work for Starr Machine in Nelsonville, Ohio for 15 years before coming back to help reopen Athens Mold and Machine in 2016.

Keith Grady

Inside Sales

A graduate of Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Keith holds an associate degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), from Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Keith has been with AMM since 2017 and now has 10+ years of sales experience.

Jeff Francis

Quality Manager

Jeff Francis is originally from upstate New York and has backgrounds in business management, human services, higher education, human resources, building restoration and preservation, and is also an AMM shop floor veteran. Dedicated, detail oriented and hard-working, Jeff’s diverse experiences coupled with his ability to multi-task are well suited for his current role and the other responsibilities he handles at AMM.

Adam Mills

Engineer

Adam has been working for Jax Group Companies since 2014. He was raised on a dairy farm in rural Ohio, where he went on to study and graduate from North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio with a degree in Electromechanical Engineering Technology. Adam is an avid rock and ice climber with over 10 years of climbing experience. In addition to being a certified Wilderness First Responder, he is also a certified apprentice rock guide through the American Mountain Guide Association. He is a current member of The American Alpine Club, The Access Fund, and The Long Now Foundation.

Josh Lahman

Engineer

Josh earned a BS in Engineering Technology & Management from Ohio University. He has been an engineer at AMM since 2018, where he does most of the CNC programming for milling operation, as well as some design. He is a big car guy and enjoys fabrication/building cars.

Bob LeClain

Team Lead – Inspection, shipping, finish line, and the Nitride department

Bob has worked at Athens Mold and Machine since the beginning of 2016, when AMM reopened its doors.
He started in the spring of 1993 at Lempco in New Lexington OH as a draftsman making in-process drawings for the shop floor from customer’s prints. Then moving on in 2004 to Starr Machine in Nelsonville OH, as a Lead Inspector and then developing and maintaining the ISO Certificate. After which he came to AMM in 2016 to help with getting the plant re-opened and is currently working on becoming a Journeyman and mentor in the Inspection field.

Stan Smathers

Team Lead – Large Milling Department

Stan has been working at Athens Mold and Machine since 2019. Stan grew up in The Plains and attended Hocking College where he graduated with a degree in Fish Management and Aquaculture Sciences. Stan has played a crucial role in the implementation and operation of multiple new 5-axis machines. Stan is a passionate golfer, and easily the longest fairway driver on the entire AMM team.

Kyle Thomas

Team Lead – Maintenance

Kyle has been working at Athens Mold and Machine since 2020. He grew up in Athens and attended Alexander High School. He is an avid autodidact and spends many nights doing research into machine maintenance. A crucial part of the AMM team, Kyle has been integral in restructuring our maintenance procedures to comply with ISO and OSHA standards. Manufacturing maintenance is a tough and intricate job and Kyle consistently handles his responsibilities with class and excellence.

Brad Moore

Team Lead – Small Parts Department

Brad has been working at Athens Mold and Machine since 2018. Brad grew up in Athens, Ohio, but moved to Texas in 1996 where he managed a home theater and audio store. He moved back to Athens, Ohio in 2018 to be closer to family. Brad is an excellent manager and oversees not only the small parts department, but also many internal IT and construction projects. Brad is also a passionate golfer who loses to Stan on a consistent basis.

Josh King

Team Lead- Turning

Josh joined the AMM Team in 2021. He grew up locally in The Plains. Josh started working in the print industry right out of high school and has been in manufacturing for the last 23 years. After handling large volume print production, he feels that moving to tire molds is incredibly intuitive. In his spare time, Josh enjoys boating, fishing, occasionally hunting, and spending time with his two kids.