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2009 Gephardt Award

January - 2010
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It was announced at the recent Southern Metal Finishing Conference that Jim Trottier would be the Gephardt award recipient for 2009. This prestigious honor is bestowed annually to a single Finishing Talk member who is selected on the merits of their regular and helpful contributions in the Finishing Talk Online Forums.  Jim was recognized with a custom engraved plaque highlighting his outstanding contributions, and was invited to present the 2010 award in person next year in Charleston, SC as a distinguished guest of the event.

“This award is all about honoring the dissemination of information in an open forum; and Jim’s willingness over the past year to share his significant experience in the surface finishing industry with fellow Finishing Talk members is a beautiful example of collaboration at its finest”. With thousands of unique visitors on the site each week, and nearly 3000 members from all over the world, Finishing Talk has become the largest online community for collaboration the surface finishing industry.  Using this broad reach, the website’s goal is to share the art and science of surface finishing in a way that helps enhance and perpetuate the possibilities for future generations of finishers.
 
Jim has lived in Mt. Carmel, IL for the last fifty years and was hired by Snap-On Tools right out of high school.  Like so many others in his generation, his father also worked Mt. Carmel facility before him. Beginning in the machine shop he was eventually transferred to the plating department, where he excelled and quickly became their resident plating expert, where he eventually reviewed and approved any new coatings Snap-On was to consider, and was instrumental in the companies switch to trivalent chrome.

In 2003 the Snap On closed the sixty-five year old Mt. Carmel facility which encouraged Jim to take a position at Koch Originals in Evansville, IN.  Here he was able to expand on his surface finishing knowledge, learning powder coating, and other organic top coats as well as new applications for the decorative plating processes he already knew very well. He once again applied his superior knowledge base in trivalent decorative chrome and helped the Evansville facility install their own non-hex chrome bath which they were able to use as a market differentiator.

Jim is married with over a dozen children and grandchildren and when he is not helping out on the Finishing Talk forums he is spending all of his free time with his family on the lake and at local football games.