Tom Cunningham ’94
President and CEO, Climax Portable Machining and Welding Systems, Inc.
Since graduating from Hiram College as a member of the Class of 1994, Tom Cunningham has lived and worked in several cities in the United States and abroad. Over the course of his career, he has worked for companies in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Dubai. “A well-rounded, liberal arts education prepared me to take on just about anything I want to,” says Cunningham.
After leaving Hiram with his bachelor’s in physics, he completed a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia and began working at Intel as a product and design engineer, first in Portland, Ore. and then in Hudson, Mass. Since leaving Intel, Cunningham’s career path has led him to a start-up company in Pittsburgh, Pa.; a subsidiary of the Bayer Corporation as a project manager; Paris, France as the president of Oldham Industries, SAS; and many other industrialized countries around the world. While also working full-time, Cunningham attended the Wharton School at the University of Pittsburgh to earn his MBA.
“I enjoy the international business aspects of my job,” he says. “I enjoy experiencing different cultures and finding out what is special or unique about each one, comparing and contrasting them in terms of business environments, social systems, government and political systems, economic systems, etc.”
In his current role as president and CEO of CLIMAX Portable Machining and Welding Systems, Cunningham oversees the company’s headquarters in Portland but operates out of their office and factory in Ohio. He also spent two years in Dusseldorf, Germany, working with CLIMAX’s European team. Thinking on what he finds compelling about his role as CEO, Cunningham is drawn to “the opportunity to bring a whole organization together into a complete system, with a clear and compelling competitive strategy.”