Jackson Area Manufacturing Association bestowed its highest honor to Caster Concepts’ late Co-Founder Richard H. Dobbins, inducting the manufacturer into the JAMA Hall of Fame for his impact on the industry and the region, one that’s still felt today.
The JAMA Heritage Hall of Fame Award honors individuals who have made a significant historical contribution to the success of manufacturing in southwest Michigan. By inducting Dobbins into the Hall of Fame, JAMA acknowledges Dobbins’ influences as a manufacturing professional who held numerous leadership positions at area companies and as an entrepreneur, launching Caster Concepts in 1987.
“As a family, we recognize the immense impact my father’s vision has had. We couldn’t be prouder to keep that vision alive and even build on it through our products, our employees and through investment in the community of Albion,” said Dobbins’ son Bill, who is president and CEO of Caster Concepts.
Today, the Caster Concepts Richard Dobbins founded 35 years ago is recognized as a leading global manufacturer of casters and caster wheels for the automotive, aerospace, ground support, and warehousing industries, among others. Based in the town of Albion, the company employs about 100 and is recognized for developing innovative solutions for manufacturers and investing in the next generation of engineers and workers.
JAMA recognized the contributions of Dr. Elmer Lee, director of Exploration at Conceptual Innovations, a Caster Concepts subsidiary, naming him the 2022 Peter F. Hurst Manufacturing Innovator. Lee leads the company’s engineering team, credited with developing innovative material handling systems that have changed the way manufacturers move heavy equipment while reducing workplace injuries. Lee is also credited with developing local school robotics teams and the launch of Innovate Albion, a nonprofit launched by Caster Concepts to educate and inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists.
“Caster Concepts has given me the platform to develop systems that support manufacturers, changing the industry for the better, and to influence the next generation. Our goal is to give students the tools to dream, design and discover,” Lee said.