Tag Archives: quality

Quality Manager – Rachel Holt

AFI would like to introduce Rachel Holt
as our new quality manager as of April 2022.

She has been developing into her
role since January of 2021 working as a
quality technician throughout our facilities.
Rachel was referred to AFI by a
friend and intrigued to become a part of
our team because of our family culture.
Rachel has shown excellent motivation
to grow and learn in her career leading
her to develop strong relationships with
both customers and colleagues.
Rachel is a native to Mankato, MN. She
graduated from Minnesota Valley Lutheran
High School in Courtland, MN.
After high school, Rachel attended college
at Bethany Lutheran College where
she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in
Business Administration. Her previous
jobs have included managing teams and
processes in customer service.
Rachel’s aspirations with Associated Finishing
Inc. mirror the top qualities we
were looking for in a Quality Manager.
Her attention to detail has been a staple
to our production team. Rachel will
oversee all quality issues that may arise,
determine the root cause, complete corrective
action cases, and also document
and manage the data collection on any
given issue.
Rachel will play a pivotal role in
continuing our ISO 9001certification
and continually improving
our quality management system.
She was very involved in improving
our quality system in the
months leading up to the most
recent ISO audit and through
this process she got a in-depth
look at the strengths and opportunities
our quality system.
While she admits she has much
yet to learn, we are excited
about her willingness to push for
success into the future.
Rachel’s goals within her position
as Quality Manager are to develop
new processes that will help
the company as a whole improve
customer quality and satisfaction.
She believes Quality Managers
need to be able to act on their
observations and make strategic
suggestions about how to uphold
quality standards and improve
the accuracy of outgoing shipments.
They’re strong leaders who can
motivate and train their team with relevant
feedback and helpful suggestions.
Overall, Rachel believes that quality is
one of the most important aspects of
the industry and she is very committed
to helping this department grow!
Outside of being a Quality Manager,
Rachel’s favorite activities include exploring
nature and hiking with her dog.
She also loves kayaking down the Blue
Earth river and spending time with family
and friends.

Continuing the Legacy — Extreme Custom Powder Coating

Extreme Custom Powder Coating has been servicing the industry since December 2000. Located in Blooming Prairie, MN, the original owner, Greg Peterson (and wife Linda Peterson), had a vision to serve southern Minnesota with quality affordable and dependable coatings. Greg, being a national go-kart racing champion, had enthusiasm and drive for everything he did. In the mid ‘80s Greg traveled to California to purchase a new kart motor. During that trip, he was introduced to powder coating firsthand. Greg thought the concept and durability of the coating was extraordinary. It was something that stuck with him and later developed into his entrepreneurial dream.

For many years Greg worked factory positions and although he was fulfilled, he desired to do more. It was then that he and childhood best friend and kart racing companion Jim, designed a business plan for Greg to achieve his powder coating dream. Greg’s plan was to primarily service the dirt track racing community and area fabricators. The dream soon took off, like high octane racing fuel. He was coating for Shryock Racing Components out of Joice, IA. His relationships paved a foundation to network and promote the capabilities of his ever-growing business. Greg owned a dirt modified car, driven by the legend and best friend Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie. Soon after, he got into Elko Speedway, owning a thunder car for champion Conrad Jorgenson.

All the while he was mixing business with pleasure at the racetrack and area fabrication companies were taking notice as well. With spending more time in the office, he found himself running much more than race car chassis. His mother, Barbara Peterson, stepped in as his secretary which became an integral role in the business. With all this activity, Greg was quickly outgrowing his small beginner shop. This led him to building a new facility on the north end of town in 2007.

With stable ground to stand on industrially, Greg was drawn into custom coatings and building hot rods. He had a vision, the shop, and resources to promote powder coating to high-end consumer in the street rod world. Greg was a part of the Minnesota Street Rod Association, Gopher State Timing Association, and Goodguy’s Rod and Custom Association. His builds were featured in Hot Rod Magazine, Car Craft Magazine, Super Rod Magazine, Street Trucks Magazine and Gauge Magazine. His work and creativity were recognized and awarded Builder’s Choice through Goodguy’s and he eventually became a judge at their events. Greg was right where he wanted to be personally and professionally.

It was early summer 2013 when Greg was suddenly diagnosed with Leukemia. He pressed on determined to beat the disease. Ultimately, Greg passed away 6 months and many treatments later. He had been in remission from Leukemia, but side effects of the treatment caused trouble. Greg left behind his family, friends, and his business.

The Peterson family had no choice but to step up and carry on Greg’s legacy. They knew they still had a great staff to employ, and many customers to service. With immeasurable strength, Barbara, Greg’s mother took control of the finances. Tiffany, Greg’s daughter, was dedicated and had worked side by side with her dad for six years prior to his passing. She learned quoting techniques bed side in LaCrosse where Greg was treated for cancer. Greg’s wife Linda stepped in as President and CEO supporting Greg’s vision. The staff of 8, were incredible, and forged ahead without their leader.

Eight years as well as a 20-year anniversary milestone had passed and the team decided it was time for change. Linda and Barbara desired retirement and Tiffany desired more for the company, but after eight years, did not want to pursue that alone. At this time, Tiffany met Ted and John at AFI through mutual contacts. After many meetings and keeping in touch with Ted, the Peterson family felt that the culture of AFI really matched the core values of Extreme’s. Extreme wanted their employees to be in good hands and to continue to grow through AFI’s support and resources. It was a sign from heaven, on October 1st, Greg’s Birthday, that the owner of Extreme Custom Powder Coating Inc. and Associated Finishing Inc. came together to close on the sale of the business. The Peterson family celebrated looking forward to retirement and a fresh start on career opportunities for the whole team.

Extreme Powder Coating is situated in a 16,000 square foot facility. They host a manual trolley system that glides parts through a two-stage iron phosphate wash system. With an IonTech spray booth and batch oven up to 42’ in length, they can handle a wide variety of products. The site also offers a 35’ self-reclaiming blast system installed in 2016. Extreme handles large jobs, custom high end jobs, and small projects for anyone off the street.

AFI and Extreme Powder Coating plan to keep Greg’s legacy alive and well for many years to come!

Website Update!

AFI has been working all spring on updating our website to have more information and be easier to use for our employees, customers, and applicants. We hope that you find our new website easy to navigate and easy to find the answers to your questions. Our updated pages answer many questions about how powder coating works and if it is the right fit for your project. If you need further assistance, check out the contact page to find the right person to call. Don’t forget to sign up for the quarterly newsletter on the bottom of the page.

A big Thank-you goes out to Thundera MultiMedia for the creating and the continuing support of the new website.