Manufacturer of Mesabi heat exchangers employs more than 20 veterans at its operations in Hibbing, Minnesota, and Yankton, South Dakota.
Hibbing, Minnesota — From the shop floor to the front offices, veterans walk the halls of L&M Radiator Inc. every day. Quality Assurance Manager Randy Tupa and Production Engineering Supervisor Stephen Buss are two of the more than 20 military veterans employed by L&M Radiator Inc., a manufacturer of legendary Mesabi® heat exchangers.
“We want to thank our veterans and active-duty military for their service to our country,” said L&M Radiator’s President, Dan Chisholm. “On behalf of L&M Radiator, we also would like to extend our thanks to their family and friends as well for all of the sacrifices they have made in keeping our country secure.”
Veterans Make Careers at L&M Radiator
Stephen Buss joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 17 years old seeking adventure, discipline, and the benefit of financial support for his post-secondary education plans. After six years and three deployments to Okinawa, southwest Asia and the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, Sergeant Buss returned home to Kansas.
Buss’ transition back to civilian life wasn’t easy. He earned a mechanical engineering degree at Wichita State University and eventually joined the L&M Radiator Inc. team, where for 16 years he has built new relationships with his L&M family and camaraderie with other veteran employees.
“When you serve in the military, you have camaraderie. You trust each other and have each other’s back; it’s a special kind of bond that’s hard to replicate,” Buss said.
“Once you’ve served in the military, you have a way about you,” added Randy Tupa. “I know a veteran when I see one. It doesn’t matter the branch. When you have served your country and have seen so much it’s this look that a veteran has, and you just know.”
Tupa, a Hibbing native, joined the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1980.
“I was just a kid up north trying to find my next step and college wasn’t my thing,” Tupa said. “On Veterans Day, 41 years ago, I headed off to Marine Corps boot camp, a path that led to 15 years of service.”
Tupa served in the Marine Corps for eight years, becoming a Sergeant. He remained in the service and joined the Army as a Sergeant and made it to the rank of Sergeant First Class before leaving the service.
“I was deployed all over the world in the Marine Corps,” Tupa said. “Two Mediterranean floats, to the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. I even went to Antarctica once.”
Tupa eventually returned home to Hibbing. His oldest brother, Rob, a Navy veteran, works with him at L&M Radiator. His older brother, Rick, also is a Marine Corps veteran and his youngest brother Tim is an Army veteran.
“I’ve worked at L&M for almost 22 years now,” Tupa said. “I started on the floor in assembly and worked in almost every department. I took real pride in my role as corporate training coordinator, where, with a lot of support, I helped build a robust training program for new employees to effectively teach them their roles which helped them be productive faster than ever before.”
Both Buss and Tupa agree, life as a civilian is different after spending time in the service.
“That’s why Veterans Day is so important to me. It’s like a birthday or a celebration,” Tupa said. “I served many years of my life to protect my loved ones and this country — it’s nice to be recognized for that.”
“There’s an element of internal pride,” Buss added. “We wear our hats and sweatshirts that support our branches, and we take time to thank other servicemen and women. I let them know I’m here for them; I know what it’s like and I will support you.”
Thank you to our L&M Veterans!
Jacob Kearney — Army past service
Terry Langley — Army past service
Stephen Buss — Marines past service
John Bell — Army past service
Louis Dirkes — Current service
Sam Buecksler — Marines past service
Blake Dilley — Army past service
Ean Pulford — National Guard current service
Rylee McLaughlin — National Guard current service
Joe Martian — Marines past service
Carson Link — Marines past service
Gene Gilbertson — Air Force past service
Randy Tupa — Marines past service
Bob Tupa — Navy past service
Lance Hietala — Navy past service
Ed Curtis — Army Sergeant past service
Keith Haenfler — National Guard past service
Ty Chisholm — Marines past service
Jace Peiffer — Army past service
Jay Urban — Marines past service
Mike Gustafson — Navy past service
Levi Bruun — Marines past service
Tony Mariano – Navy past service
Rod Lampton – Army past service
About L&M Radiator, Inc.
Headquartered in Hibbing, Minnesota, L&M Radiator, Inc. (mesabi.com) is a global company with employees and operations in the United States, Australia, Mexico and Chile. For more than six decades, L&M Radiator has served heavy industry around the globe with dedication, focus, and integrity. Since the company’s inception, it has had one goal – to deliver the best quality products based on innovative heat transfer technologies. The company was founded in 1957 as a pioneer in the burgeoning heat transfer industry. Armed with its Mesabi replaceable cooling tube technology and a passion for succeeding, L&M Radiator proved that focusing on identifying customer needs and providing the Mesabi Difference would position the company as a leader and supplier of choice.