KANSAS CITY, MO – Mike Bauer, former Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs for Tnemec Co. Inc., passed away on July 3, 2014, at age 70.
When Bauer joined Tnemec Co., the company’s R&D and Technical Service departments had a total of six employees. After 13 different positions within the company, holding an integral role in the invention and development of numerous products over the years, Bauer watched Tnemec grow into one of the largest privately held companies in North America specializing in industrial and architectural coatings.
Bauer graduated from Central Missouri State College with a degree in chemistry and, following college, joined Cook Paint in Kansas City. After working with enamels and food can coatings at Cook for eight years, Bauer came to work for a much smaller company, Tnemec, in 1975. With an uncompromising dedication to the coatings industry, he moved through the company ranks, from Junior Chemist to Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs.
“Mike Bauer dedicated 35 years of his life to Tnemec,” said company President and CEO Pete Cortelyou. “Out of that time, he spent 23 years as an officer of the company and 12 years in a director position, always involved in a variety of important projects.”
Over the years, Bauer was an active member of many coatings-related organizations including SSPC, AWWA and NPCA (Now, ACA), where he was once President of his local chapter and was awarded the organization’s Industry Statesman Award in 2003. Bauer was on the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Drinking Water Additives Joint Committee and, in more recent years, became an expert on the development of VOC regulations. In 1996, Bauer began an internal company-wide training program, Tnemec University, and was regularly in charge of training new representatives. He was quoted as saying that the training programs had one goal, which was “to have the most technically proficient employees and sales representatives in the industry.”
“He enjoyed sharing his knowledge, and his trainees enjoyed listening to him,” recalled Cortelyou. “The chemistry and technical aspects of coatings can be relatively dry, but he knew how to keep it entertaining.”
Tnemec’s long-time friend and colleague spent his career making sure the product line was at the forefront of technology while remaining dedicated to his customers’ needs. In a profile in CoatingsPro magazine in 2010, Bauer gave some advice about how to make a difference in the industry. “Treat your job like you are going to do it better than anyone has ever done it before,” he said. “Work hard, be honest, and promotions and advancements will come.”