Bryon Williams ’19 grabs a pair of safety glasses and walks out onto the manufacturing floor at Montalvo Corporation’s headquarters, located within the industrial park in Gorham, Maine, pointing to various equipment like load cells, sensing rollers, tension controllers, amplifiers, tension control brakes, and clutches.
Since 1947 the Montalvo Corporation has specialized in manufacturing, integrating, retrofitting and servicing a wide range of tension control products for the paper, film, foil, plastic, corrugated, medical, and composite industries, among others. The tension in the manufacturing process for all of these materials needs to be consistent.
“Take, for instance, a BAND-AID®. A pad needs to be placed precisely on the same exact spot for each and every adhesive bandage,” Bryon explains. That’s where Montalvo comes in. They manage this process to reduce waste and errors, producing quality results. Some of their local clients include Yale Cordage in Saco and Sappi’s Westbrook Mill. Some of their larger clients include TPI (the largest U.S.-based independent manufacturer of composite wind blades for wind energy), Georgia-Pacific Company (an American pulp and paper company), 3M (a conglomerate that produces thousands of products ranging from medical dressings to reflective materials) and Avery Products Corporation (best known for their labels). Montalvo has representatives in several countries and offices in the United States, Denmark, Germany, and China.
In his role as director of sales and marketing, Bryon works closely with the sales force to communicate messages to businesses about Montalvo’s competitive advantages. It’s challenging to write about a subject matter that is so technical, but Bryon enjoys the creative license he is given to make industrial products attractive and engaging. He storyboards ideas, then scripts, shoots, and edits videos for their website and social media.
Bryon grew up in Gorham, graduated from Cheverus High School in 2002, and then attended Bryant University in Rhode Island for his undergraduate degree in business administration. At first, Bryon wanted to pursue a master’s degree just for professional advancement— to earn a promotion and higher income. But as he started researching schools, he realized his desire and need to acquire leadership skills ran much deeper than a title change.
“I compared the curricula of programs at Saint Joseph’s College, the University of Southern Maine, and Husson University. The MBA in Leadership at Saint Joseph’s was different for all the right reasons. The other programs are focused on the ‘how?’ Saint Joseph’s focuses on the ‘what?’ and the ‘why?’”
He explains that stepping into a managerial role requires a significant change in how he thinks about operations. “You don’t need to know how to do each job, but you do need to know how to manage those positions, which means understanding personality types and effective decision making processes… You have to change how you think. At the beginning of your career everything is about you. As you advance into management it becomes about focusing the shift to everyone else,” he says.
He can directly relate his graduate coursework to his current role at Montalvo. Assignments for his Systems Thinking class led Bryon to deliver a presentation to Montalvo’s CEO Robin Goodwin about looking at workflows, identifying potential breakdowns, and streamlining processes.
Bryon was also drawn to Saint Joseph’s because of the flexible, online program that allows him to juggle classes with the demands of a full-time job and raising his two young children, Grayson Stark and Scarlett Rogue. He smiles after mentioning their names. “My wife Nicole and I are big fans of Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics.”