Meet a Nilar Employee – Jim Wennmark

How would you describe yourself?
I hear from others that I am clear and concise with my communication. I feel I am very curious, and I want to know how things work and how things are connected. I constantly want to learn more.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I was in a part-time role at a company nearby and saw the full-time position on social media. It sounded very interesting, so I took a chance. I joined Nilar in February 2020. Given the state of the world shortly after I joined, it can be considered a bit turbulent at times. However, I truly consider these last 2 years as the most exciting in my life and career so far. I have learned so much in such a short period of time. I was super positive about coming to a company where it feels everything is possible. With all the things I have experienced, I feel I have developed not only in my role, but as a human in general. 

What is the most common misconception about your role?
A common misconception about a role in management like mine is that I would have all the answers to anything asked. I have learned over time that a single person should not try to solve everything on their own. My team has the power to have all the answers and I am 100% confident in us coming to a solution together. My team’s biggest strength is their desire and eagerness to learn, and I feel Nilar supports this attitude.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
There are so many things; it has been an exciting two years. For those of us in production, it is cool to be part of the hands-on testing, being able to perform different trials. We have a different team of production engineers who perform the process design within the factory, but it has been really fun to collaborate with them and be part of the development and layout of the equipment.

It is also nice that my role involves both administrative and technical work. I feel value is made on the shop floor for us. As a production manager, it is cool to have the whole responsibility of the production process from raw material in to battery string out. To go from metal powder to tangible product is very cool.

Something you have learned from in your career?
I have a strong faith in people, which is why I highly value my team. I have learned that when managing people, you do not need to be afraid of challenging them. It is important to give people bigger tasks that they themselves do not think they can handle and support them through it. I believe that if you provide the right environment for a person, they will do their best. 

Your favorite movie or book?
It all depends on what state or mood I am in. One movie that really stuck with me is Pulp Fiction. I saw it many years ago and it still is one of my favorites. As for literature, I feel somewhat like a nerd because most books I read these days are in lean production. I feel you can spend a lifetime in just reading about it; there are so many perspectives. I think it is important to keep your knowledge refreshed and implement as you go. I truly believe the value will be in lean production.

A secret talent?
I don’t know if it is a secret, per se, at least not in my group. I love to fly fish and I am very good at casting. It is something I have done throughout my life. My father was a “fishing maniac” and started my journey in fishing, establishing it as a way of life. All my sisters have been fly fishing since they could walk. It was one of primary family outdoor experiences.

I travel all over to get the opportunity to find new areas to experience. It can be a good excuse to travel; I have been able to explore Europe through this hobby. I am fortunate that I also live really close to the sea; I can walk there and fish whenever the mood hits. I truly enjoy fishing and want to do it as often as possible. Not to brag, but I do spend a lot of hours doing it. I am proud that I introduced my wife to fly fishing.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
It’s many things to be honest. Most importantly, it’s all about the coworkers. They are absolutely the best thing about the job. There are many amazing people that work here. I feel like there are not that many jobs where you can speak about something trivial for a moment on the shop floor and then transition into an advanced discussion about chemistry moments later. It is really amazing to have these connections.