Building a Career, He Never Imagined – Dan Frazer

Dan Frazer just wanted a job. Instead, he found a career.

When he retired at the end of 2022, Frazer had compiled 43 years in plating at Lacks, a remarkable achievement given he came to the company with no manufacturing experience.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career and I had just gotten married,” he said. “My brother-in-law talked me into coming to work for him because he had two openings for process technicians on the plating line at Saranac. I didn’t have any idea of what I was getting myself into.”

Frazer said he had no knowledge of the chemicals in the plating process, but he quickly learned what was needed. “Back then it was a lot of trial and error,” he said. “We didn’t have the tools that we have today that make our jobs so much easier.”

“I was brought up to work hard and pay attention, and I learned what I could,” he said. “I started asking a lot of questions and I was able to learn from a lot of good people.”

After a couple of years on the job, Frazer was asked to take on a plating supervisor role. “I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, although I had done some work as a lead process technician,” he said. “Third shift was like a revolving door back then so when the third shift supervisor quit, they put me there.”

After learning the process at Saranac, Frazer helped launch the company’s new plating facility at Airlane in 1985. He spent about a dozen years there before he transferred to Plastic Plate Monroe. Frazer acted as both process and plant manager at a pivotal time in the plant’s history.

“They wanted to automate Monroe and that was a real struggle,” he said. “Everybody worked together to get the plating line to run when a lot of people said it couldn’t be done.”

In 2005, Frazer was asked to go to Barden Plater as a process manager. Barden offered a new challenge for Lacks as it was the company’s first straight-line plater. “Each plater has represented and improvement over the previous one,” Frazer said. “We always took the things that we learned from our previous experiences and we used that information to fix any potential issues before we even started up the new plater.”

In 2013, Frazer went to Kraft Plater, which featured another straight-line design but was a lot longer than Barden.

“Once we got the line running, we started developing talent to move forward,” he said. “One of our goals was to teach our technicians the plating process so they could have the opportunity to become plating supervisors. A lot of great employees have come out of that facility and are now in other buildings.”

“Frazer spent the last couple of years a general process manager for the company. “over the years, I guess plating got into my blood,” he said. “I hope I’ve been able to leave my little legacy.”

“I could have stocked shelves for the rest of my life because I was happy doing that. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the great people that I had the pleasure to work alongside. I’ve made so many friendships over the years.

The Lacks family have been awesome people to work for. I didn’t have any formal training, but they gave me all the tools I needed. I can’t thank them enough because they gave me the chance to build my career the way that I did. I have been truly blessed.”

By Mark Newman | Communications Specialist, Lacks Enterprises