GAM Enterprises began in 1990 when Gary Michalek saw an opportunity to start a long-term relationship with Jakob Antriebstechnik, a German based company who introduced the first servo bellows coupling into the machine tool market. GAM started as a distributor but soon realized that to be successful and give better service, they needed to add manufacturing.
In 1998, GAM Gear was formed with Craig Van den Avont, to start GAM’s high precision gearbox company to complement the coupling product line. The gearbox product line and overall company has grown under their leadership. For 17 years, GAM shared a space with Quality Control Corporation (Harwood Heights, IL), until 2007 when GAM moved to Mount Prospect, a suburb just outside of Chicago. With a new building and room to grow, GAM built on momentum from customer demand by expanding the product line, bringing assembly and manufacturing in house which in turn brought new engineering and production jobs to the local community.
“We started off with just one product and built the company one customer at a time”, said Gary Michalek, Founder and CEO of GAM, “It is amazing to think about just how far we’ve come, but I’m excited to see where the company goes in the next twenty five years”.
In addition to leading the organization, both Craig and Gary understand the importance of giving back and are actively involved in the community. Craig has developed close relationships with schools in local district 214, mentoring students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), hosting field trips and career days at GAM so students can get a firsthand view of the opportunities that exist in engineering and manufacturing.
“Building a great company and culture is extremely important to me”, said Craig Van den Avont, President of GAM. “However, I am also very passionate about helping students get excited about engineering and manufacturing”.
Throughout its 25 year history, being flexible, providing great service, and offering a wide range of products designed to solve customers’ problems have been the focus of GAM’s mission.
GAM has been able to average 15% growth over the last 15 years. In order to retain what made them successful in the past, GAM developed core values to align employees with GAM’s overall strategy. Every month, the employee who best displays GAM’s Core Values (Teamwork, Action Oriented, Long-term Relationships, Professionalism, and Fun) is honored with the GAMMY award, which is determined by the previous month’s winner. The GAMMY award is a visual representation of the core values, helping to ensure the culture at GAM remains the same even as the company grows into the future.