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This profile was last updated on 5/24/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. John A. Mellowes

Wrong John A. Mellowes?

Director of Strategic Planning an...

Phone: (262) ***-****  
Email: m***@***.com
Charter Manufacturing Company Inc
1212 West Glen Oaks Lane
Mequon , Wisconsin 53092
United States

Company Description: Charter Manufacturing is a privately held family of companies that has been providing quality steel and steel components since 1936. Financially strong, disciplined...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • honorary degree
  • mechanical engineering
    Cornell University , Ithaca , N.Y.
140 Total References
Web References
John Mellowes at his ..., 24 May 2015 [cached]
John Mellowes at his office in Mequon.
John Mellowes at his office in Mequon.
John A. Mellowes was named chairman and chief executive of Charter Manufacturing at a time when the American steel industry was in a major meltdown.
It was 1980, and the collapse resulted in the closure of mills and the loss of thousands of jobs.
"There were a lot of bankruptcies and a lot of companies didn't survive. We lost a big part of our net worth in that year," Mellowes said.
Not long after, however, the Mequon-based company regained its footing and continued with growth that has resulted in it becoming one of the nation's largest specialty steel manufacturers.
Tuesday, Mellowes will be honored by the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin as the 2014 Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year. The chairman emeritus of Charter Manufacturing joined his family's business, which makes steel bars, rods and wire, in 1965 and served as chairman and CEO from 1980 to 2013.
I had this vision of making our own steel," Mellowes said.
Mellowes' first assignment was to manage a Charter plant in New Jersey.
He was already familiar with the company's operations, having grown up in the family business and following in the steps of his father and grandfather to study engineering at Cornell University.
"I was always interested in machinery and I liked big machines. ... My dad did a good job, through osmosis perhaps, of getting me really interested in working in the family business," Mellowes said.
Rising through various managerial roles, Mellowes realized the importance of expanding the business through new products and acquisitions.
"In 2011, we hit a couple of real important milestones. One was that we produced and shipped a million tons of steel that year, which is a lot of steel, and we were one of the biggest companies in our little corner of the steel industry. Our sales also reached $1 billion that year," Mellowes said.
"The cultural fit with us was amazing," Mellowes said.
Company stays in family
Over the years, some thought that Charter would become a publicly traded company.
"But ultimately I decided against it because we were able to raise the cash, mostly through borrowing, to expand the way we wanted and now have our debt level down to a very manageable level," Mellowes said.
There were other reasons not to go public, too.
"I served on the board of a couple of publicly traded companies for substantial periods of time and saw the trouble they had. I saw the trouble that the management had in having to deal with analysts and quarterly reports, and the constant pressure for making the short-term look good instead of worrying about the long term," Mellowes said.
"They both went to business school, which I didn't do," Mellowes said. His sons also were required to work outside the company before deciding whether they wanted to be part of the family business.
The company hired a consulting firm to assist with the leadership transition.
"I think we were prepared about as well as we could be. We didn't just wing it," Mellowes said.
John Mellowes is a board member of Milwaukee School of Engineering and the World President's Organization.
Previously, he was a member of the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce and the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
The HBS Club and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will host a dinner to honor Mellowes on Tuesday at the Pfister Hotel. Proceeds from the dinner will fund scholarships for executive directors of nonprofits to attend a Harvard Business School program in nonprofit management.
"I am very pleased, and sort of amazed, that I was picked for the award because the list of people who have gotten it is quite venerable. There are a lot of good people and good companies on that list," Mellowes said.
John W. Mellowes - CEO, ..., 21 Feb 2015 [cached]
John W. Mellowes - CEO, Charter Manufacturing Co.
Charter Manufacturing / About / History, 1 June 2014 [cached]
John Mellowes John Mellowes, Charles' son and a Cornell engineering graduate, joins Charter Manufacturing as manager of Positive Lock Washer, a New Jersey company that had been acquired by Charter.
John Mellowes returns to Milwaukee to lead Charter Wire. He removes the company's time clocks and replaces them with a system of "pay continuation," which, in effect, makes hourly workers salaried employees.
Charter Manufacturing sales = $11.4 million
John Mellowes becomes president of Charter Manufacturing.
Charter Manufacturing sales = $19.4 million
John Mellowes decides to grow the business through vertical integration by establishing its own melt shop and rolling mill.
Charter Electric Melting is established through the purchase of a bankrupt melt shop in Chicago, completing John Mellowes' vertical integration initiative.
John Mellowes establishes an Advanced Development Center to test new manufacturing processes and develop new products.
John Mellowes John Mellowes is named Charter Manufacturing's Chairman and Chief Executive.
John W. Mellowes is promoted to the position of Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development for Charter Manufacturing Company.
John Mellowes wins the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
John W. Mellowes John W. Mellowes is promoted to the position of Vice President and General Manager of Charter Wire.
John W. Mellowes is promoted to the position of Vice President - Charter Steel Operations.
John W. Mellowes is promoted to Vice President - General Manager of Charter Steel.
John A. Mellowes assumed the role of Chairman Emeritus, Charles A. Mellowes added Chairman of the Board to his existing responsibilities of Vice President of Business Development, and John W. Mellowes took on the role of Chief Executive Officer.
JOHN A. MELLOWES, Chairman & ..., 6 Oct 2013 [cached]
JOHN A. MELLOWES, Chairman & CEO Charter Manufacturing Company, Inc., Mequon
..., 2 June 2011 [cached]
0001187361 MELLOWES JOHN A 770 N. WATER ST. MILWAUKEE WI 53202 1
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