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MACNY announces 2023 Innovator of the Year

DeWITT, N.Y. — MACNY, the Manufacturers Association, on Wednesday announced the selection of Brent Zerkle, director of prototyping and VP of Cryomech, Inc., as the 2023 Innovator of the Year.

Rich Dausman, president of Cryomech; Parminder Banga, engineering manager; and Arifin Budihardjo, business-development manager nominated Zerkle for his innovative developments in the design optimization and prototype creation of customized systems.

Zerkle joined Cryomech as a model maker back in 1982 when they produced 10 to 20 cryocoolers per year. Over the years, he has held different positions in the research and development (R&D) department, as well as in the production and manufacturing department. Each role he’s held has helped Cryomech grow to its current capacity of producing over 1,000 systems per year, “while still innovating new products,” MACNY said.

Colleagues call Zerkle an “innovator at heart who strives to make improvements wherever he can.” For example, he was “instrumental” in streamlining piece part and sub-assembly manufacturing to achieve high quality first pass yields in finished goods, MACNY said.

Dausman reflected on Zerkle’s talents and value to the organization. “Translating ideas into a working prototype is Brent’s superpower,” Dausman said in the MACNY news release. “He is a mechanical genius who can visualize the entire manufacturing process.”

“From all of us at MACNY, I would like to congratulate Brent and Cryomech on their incredibly meaningful, innovative accomplishments and receiving this well-deserved honor,” Randy Wolken, president & CEO of MACNY, the Manufacturers Association, said. “Brent’s commitment to innovation and enthusiasm to pass along his knowledge to others is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of the MACNY membership, we look forward to recognizing Brent as MACNY’s Innovator of the Year at MACNY’s 110th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing.”

MACNY’s Innovator of the Year Award was created at the suggestion of MACNY members. It’s a way to nominate and recognize individuals within a company who “consistently demonstrate forward thinking ideas” in the areas of technology, innovation, and advancement of products and production, per the MACNY announcement.

As is tradition, MACNY will honor Zerkle at its 110th Annual Celebration of Manufacturing in front of his colleagues and a large audience from the manufacturing and business community from Central and Upstate New York.

The event is set for May 11 at the SRC Arena and Events Center in on the campus of Onondaga Community College in the town of Onondaga.


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