Giving back is at the very top of Gordon Ehret's must-do listBy BOB HOOKWAY
Special to the Union Leader
January 26. 2014 8:14AM
Gordon Ehret, 33Home: Orford
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
Family: Wife, Amanda; son, Willem, 3; parents: Phil and Anne
High school: Long Trail School, Dorset, Vt.
College/post grad degrees: Fact light: Dartmouth College, A.B., 2002; Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, B.E. 2003; Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, MEM, 2004
Current job: Interim operations leader, Hypertherm
Key past positions held: Interim supply chain leader, Hypertherm; Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Hypertherm; area manager planning, Timken Aerospace; project engineer, Jetboil
Volunteer activities: Granite United Way board of directors and chair of Upper Valley Community Impact Committee; Everybody Wins reading mentor program volunteer; Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership volunteer. Thayer School of Engineering volunteer panelist and review board member. Volunteer activities within Hypertherm: Chair, HOPE team (makes funding decisions for Hypertherm HOPE Foundation) and Green Team (environmental sustainability focus)
Most admired person (outside your family): Gerrit Kouwenhoven, a member of the southwestern Vermont community where my wife and I grew up. He recently passed away but continues to be an inspiration to me. He was on the governing board of countless organizations in Vermont including our high school. He was generous with his time and treasure. He lent gravitas to everything he was involved in, he was always available with sharp and insightful counsel, and he spoke and wrote poetically. It was for these and other reasons that Amanda and I asked him to officiate our wedding, a memory we will always cherish.
Key current professional challenge: Joining a new team for a one-year assignment as interim operations leader
Last major achievement: Being selected as class speaker of my Leadership Upper Valley class
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Climate change: Watching weather event after extreme weather event tear through the landscape of the Upper Valley these past few years has clearly shown the need to adapt to a new reality.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: The woods. To be more specific, our family has enjoyed the Cross Rivendell trail which connects the towns in our school district. Also, there is a local family that opens their extensive properties in Orford, Lyme, and Dorchester to the public for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.
What book are you reading now? "The Outside Story," a collection of articles on nature topics published in local newspapers http://www.amazon.com/The-Outside-Story-Writers-Hampshire/dp/0978659902
How do you relax? By getting outside: hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter
What websites do you visit most often? News sites – I often use Google News as a digest.
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: VPR (NHPR when it comes in)
ORFORD — Volunteerism appears to be at the core of Gordon Ehret's belief system. Giving back, at work and in the community, is near the top of his must-do list, according to those who know the 33-year-old husband and father, an operations leader at Hypertherm in Lebanon.
Listing Ehret's numerous accomplishments, including his work on the board of Granite United Way and his efforts on the Upper Valley Region's Community Impact Committee, Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin said she was glad to endorse his nomination for 40 Under Forty.
"The Upper Valley is grateful for Gordon's commitment, vision, leadership and generosity. This young leader is deserving of recognition," Griffin wrote.
The Philadelphia native and his wife, Amanda, have a 3-year-old son, Willem. Ehret has Dartmouth College degrees including a masters from the Thayer School of Engineering.
His favorite place in New Hampshire? "The woods," Ehret replied. "To be more specific, our family has enjoyed the Cross Rivendell trail which connects the towns in our school district. Also, there is a local family that opens their extensive properties in Orford, Lyme, and Dorchester to the public for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities."
In addition to helping his company manufacture some of the world's most advanced industrial cutting equipment, that volunteerism — including weekly book reading for the community's elementary school children — just keeps surfacing as a key part of who Gordon Ehret is.
"But what truly distinguishes Gordon among his peers in the company and in the wider community is his emergence as a volunteer leader with force," said Evan Smith, Hypertherm's president.
"Others outside of Hypertherm have noticed his combination of capability, passion and commitment."