Merlin Hanson was recently appointed Chairman Emeritus of Hanson Logistics, following a decades-long successful career in tool and die, logistics and automated equipment systems. Mr. Hanson was Chairman of the Board since he purchased the company in 1989. Hanson Logistics is just one of several thriving companies Mr. Hanson has built during his career. He shares that of all of his successes, he is most proud of the employees he has been able to work with over the years. “We’ve been fortunate to build major companies into fine operations with great people, offering them good wages and benefits,” Merlin said. “That’s overall what I’m as proud of as anything.”
A Tool Man at Heart
After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Merlin began learning the toolmaking industry as an apprentice. He soon worked his way to a supervisory position. During this time, he was able to continue gaining experience building a team of dedicated staff, which he grew from 20 to 100 employees under his watch.
A Logistics Company Bears His Name
A toolmaker by trade, Mr. Hanson stepped out of the machining arena to purchase Southern Michigan Cold Storage in the late 80’s. Under his leadership, he drove a company rebranding to Hanson Logistics. The company has since grown to nine facilities in Michigan and Indiana, employing 300 Teammates, with a refrigerated transportation fleet and the country’s largest and most successful frozen food consolidation program located in Hobart, Indiana.
A Vision for the Future
A key consideration for Merlin within his various organizations is the impact that they have on the surrounding community and to the families of current and potential employees. “Our purpose is to create an environment that is comfortable to move into, with good schools. I think that’s part of the responsibility for people who employ others in the area,” he said.
Building for Upcoming Generations
From beginning his career as an apprentice to leading several successful companies, Merlin understands the importance of training future generations. With a passion for growing his companies and also supporting and encouraging his employees and bolstering the surrounding communities, Hanson continues to advocate for individuals and families in the area. Through apprentice programs and with upward growth within the organizational ranks, Merlin has established an ongoing legacy that will benefit many people for years to come.