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Hydro-Thermal Expands Mentoring Reach to Milwaukee Youth

Employment levels are the highest they have been in state history, and finding skilled workers to fill open positions is more challenging than ever. Wisconsin is looking to address two concerns with one solution, offering job training to students and inspiring them to join the skilled trades. This innovative, multi-faceted remedy will help combat an expected workforce gap in the near term and decrease the cost of urban unemployment to the state.

Many new programs have been established to increase awareness of opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs for students in Wisconsin. Youth apprenticeships in the state have doubled over four years.  High school students can now get a jump start on their higher education goals via the expansion of state supported Dual Enrollment and Career Options programs.

Today, state budget funded programs allow Wisconsin schools to start providing academic career plans as early as sixth grade. Hydro-Thermal is ahead of the curve on this opportunity, having been involved with the Waukesha-based Schools2Skills program for the last five years. The program raises awareness of STEM programs for students in middle and high school.

Hydro-Thermal recently expanded its reach outside of Waukesha, hosting 45 Milwaukee Academy of Science (MAS) students, from grades 6 through 12. The students received a tour and overview of the company; and learned more in-depth about three key areas of the business - engineering, welding and machining. “Governor Walker specifically commissioned us to bridge the urban environment to provide similar opportunity, like we do for Waukesha” remarked Hydro-Thermal President and CEO, Jim Zaiser.”

The purpose of this initial visit was to introduce students to an engineering and manufacturing company based in Waukesha.  On the tour students gained insights from staff, each answering three questions: “What is our employee background for education and training?” “What skills are used at Hydro-Thermal?” “What would we be looking for from a new employee?”

Future plans with MAS include more tours, as they are requested.  Hydro-Thermal is also planning a tour for MAS students to help identify potential summer interns. Hydro-Thermal has an impressive intern program, hiring more than 35 interns since the start of the program 10 years ago. Today, one in every four interns is hired full-time after graduation.

The Milwaukee Academy of Science is an independent charter school, founded in 2000, chartered by the City of Milwaukee. This college preparatory school serves students from K4 through 12th grade and is governed by the Milwaukee Science Education Consortium, a 501c(3) organization. The Consortium includes representatives from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Mount Mary College.

Hydro-Thermal has a long-standing relationship with area schools, even being recognized as 2016 Corporate Partner of the Year by the Waukesha Education Foundation. This special award recognizes outstanding effort by an organization to foster quality and innovative learning and ensure a strong foundation for the future of the Waukesha community.

When asked why is it important to have Hydro-Thermal involved in visits like this, Hydro-Thermal President and CEO Jim Zaiser said, “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this mutually beneficial solution – and it’s just the right thing to do!”

MKE academyOF science


Hydro-Thermal recently received the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (WIMOTY) Grand Award. This is the 29th year of the WIMOTY annual award program, which recognizes outstanding achievement in manufacturing.

Hydro-Thermal competed in the medium sized business category (100-299 employees), which was also the most competitive category with a total of 10 finalist companies. Award criteria covers commitment to employees, effective research and development, commitment to quality, financial growth and stability, and commitment to community.

Here are a few highlights from Hydro-Thermal’s award application:

Commitment to Employees

• National job tenure average is 4.6 yrs. More than 50% of Hydro-Thermal staff have been here longer than that, with 1 of every 8 here for more than 15 years, and 5 here more than 25 years

Effective Research and Development

• In 2016 Hydro-Thermal filed three new patents, in addition to four patents pending, more than a dozen active patents registered in foreign countries, 40 process patents, and 60 offshoot patents

Commitment to Quality

• Hydro-Thermal recruits expert staff, and mutually shares information with more than two dozen external resources via our strategic research partnerships

Financial Growth and Stability

• More than doubled sales in the last 10 years, tripled manufacturing and office space within the last three years

Commitment to Community

• Numerous collaborations with the Waukesha County Business Alliance (WCBA), more than 10-year commitment to intern and apprentice programs

WIMOTY applications are categorized by number of employees and are judged by a panel of leaders in manufacturing, who are independent of the award program sponsors. This is Hydro-Thermal’s first year of competing in the medium-sized business (100+ employees) category. In 2010 Hydro-Thermal won this award in the small business category (less than 100 employees), and was a finalist in 2015.

MOTY logo 29th annual winner


Hydro-Thermal is entering its sixth year of volunteering with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). In that time we have served more than 2,000 people delicious, home-cooked meals!

RMHC is a national non-profit that provides a home away from home for millions of families caring for a sick child, who need a place where the whole family can be together. Their mission is to offer as much support as possible during their trials. Access to a hot meal is one of the many ways that RMHC provides normalcy in chaotic times for these families.

Hydro-Thermal has been volunteering at RMHC since 2012. Each time we volunteer, Hydro-Thermal staff serve anywhere from 50 to more than 100 parents and children at a typical meal. These meals are a welcome reprieve from hospital food and parents and children are extremely grateful for the time and care that goes into the meals. Meal types include a wide variety-from grilled fare to fajitas to breakfast casseroles!

Usually meals are prepared from scratch. Hydro-Thermal sponsors some of the ingredients while staff choose to purchase some of them on their own. All meals are prepared on site and the homemade smell permeates the entire place! Grateful families claim, “This is the best food I’ve eaten in a long time!”

Hydro-Thermal also donates pop tabs to support RMHC. In 2016 they collected 8,561 pounds of aluminum. In 2016, this program raised more than $18,000 – an all-time record!



Hydro-Thermal recently participated in the second annual MADE (Manufacturing, Automotive, Design and Engineering) Career Pathways Expo 2016. The event aims to raise awareness and educate high school students about the diverse opportunities available in manufacturing around the Waukesha area.


Approximately 1,000 students attended the expo.  All are enrolled in CNC, engineering, manufacturing and welding classes at their high schools. To help entice the students, Hydro-Thermal staff demonstrated the orbital welder and also displayed product cutaways, various internal parts, and the EZ Heater Skid system.


This year more than 30 companies participated including HUSCO, Quad/Graphics, Trace-A-Matic, and more. The event was sponsored by the Waukesha County Business Alliance and was held at the Waukesha County Technical College.


Hydro-Thermal staff worked on two shifts to cover the day-long deluge of inquisitive students. Staffers included, engineer-Avito Saghu, quality lead-Bill Rheingans, business development engineer-Frank Pizzitola, former shop interns, now part-time staff-Jordan Glazewski and Kayla Ellis, and welder-Mark Kwiatkowski.


Aside from the throngs of students that attended, the MADE Expo also welcomed some non-student special guests. Waukesha Mayor-Shawn Reilly, County Executive-Paul Farrow, and Department of Work Development Secretary-Georgia Maxwell all showed up to lend their support to the cause. 


Long before there was the Indy 500 or Daytona, there was Wisconsin’s Great Race of 1878. Recognized as the first documented car race, it was highly anticipated and featured cars powered by steam traction engine. The winner stood to gain $10,000.

In 1875 Wisconsin was looking to stimulate automotive development. The state legislature offered a $10,000 bounty to the creator of a machine “propelled by steam or other motive agent which shall be cheap and practical substitute for the horse and other animals on the highway and farm.” The state was a buzz with engineers, inventors, and others in pursuit of the big prize.

By the time race day came, six registrants signed on for the historic race. Each of the six cars were named after the city where they were built. When the start flag waved only two registrants actually made it to race day, the Oshkosh and the Green Bay. The 200-mile race wound its way through Wisconsin, at an average speed of six miles per hour.

The Oshkosh’s winning time was 33 hours and 27 minutes. Although it was the simpler of the two competitors, and it weighed more than 10,000 pounds. It also featured a large vertical boiler and cylinders of 6” bore and 8” stroke made all of 12 horsepower.

Oshkosh’s winning vehicle was built by six of the town residents: Alexander Gallinger, Anson Farrand, Frank Schomer, John F. Morse, John Owens, Martin T. Battis. All the men were involved in businesses that would benefit from the successful invention of a vehicle beyond horse and buggy.

Gallinger, the driver of the Oshkosh, has been credited with being the mastermind behind the inspiration for the Oshkosh as well as the invention of the mechanical differential.

Alexander Gallinger is the great, great grandfather of Hydro-Thermal employee, Grant Gallinger. This story, along with many others were handed down through the generations, along with a love of racing, steam, and engineering.

Prior to the Great Race of 1878, Grant’s great, great Grandfather and the Gallinger family were mostly involved in agricultural business. Since Alexander’s success, many of the Gallingers have pursued careers that align with some form of racing, steam or engineering.

His great, great grandfather’s celebrity was influential in moving Grant himself into a career that involved steam and engineering. Today Grant is the Industry Sales Manager for Hydro-Thermal’s Industrial team. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship and Small Business from Illinois State University.

Since then Grant has been working with industrial steam and condensate return systems for more than 10 years. He has achieved a rare level of certification as a Steam System Specialist level I, II, and III and has won numerous awards for his expertise. Grant was also voted Salesperson of the Year by his previous employer, Swagelok Energy Advisors, an international firm specializing in steam system performance.

Grant also shares a love of racing with his great, great Grandfather, although his machines go much faster than six miles per hour. At age 16 he started autocross, went on to graduate from Skip Barber Racing school, earn a competition license, and compete in a wide variety of races across the US.

Grant is also the proud owner of a wide variety of vintage and classic cars and motorcycles, including a 1965 Norton 650SS, 1985 Porsche Carrera 911, 2014 Shelby Mustang GT500 and more. Sharing his grandfather’s mechanical adeptness and ingenuity, Grant has also rebuilt a number of Norton Commando motorcycles.

When asked about the Oshkosh, knowing his love of history and restoration, Grant said “Unfortunately, it no longer exists. It was converted into a farm implement and then used up. Nobody was nostalgic in those days.”

Grant and his wife have proven sentimental though. Their son is named after Grant’s great, great Grandfather, Alexander.

Waukesha, WI – Hydro-Thermal Corporation has been selected as a 2016 Fastest Growing Firm by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

For a company to be selected, it must have annual revenue between $3 million and $500 million, and have recorded a profit for the past three years. Companies with the highest percentages of growth from 2013 to 2015 were selected as winners. In all, 28 Wisconsin firms received the honor for 2016.

“We have another group of highly successful winners that have pushed hard and smartly gone about their business to sustain growth over the past few years. It’s another good sign of the strength of our economy,” said Mark Kass, Editor-in-Chief, for the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser, credits this award to “thinking long term, and investing in the future with a dedicated team of individuals who share the same goals, for Hydro-Thermal and the future of business in southeastern Wisconsin.”

The 2016 winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Friday, August 12 at the Pfister Hotel from 11:30am–1:45pm, as well as in the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Aug. 12 weekly edition.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.


Waukesha, WI – (April 27, 2016) Dramatically increasing sales and ever-changing complexity of the business recently prompted Hydro-Thermal Corporation to reorganize staff into industry-specific teams. The teams cover newer applications as well as established markets for Hydro-Thermal, including Food and Beverage, Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener, and Industrial. Previously sales staff were divided by geographic territory, with segments broke out for US/Canada and International. Sales, engineering, and marketing staff were affected by the reorganization.

The main customer-facing component is that all sales staff will now have a specific, dedicated industry. Existing sales relationships will be gradually transitioned to their new contacts and the team will work together to ensure that all current sales opportunities are properly serviced.

Unlike many company-wide reorganizations, no staff was terminated. In fact, 13 new positions have already been added in 2016 and a handful more are forecast throughout the rest of the year. Hydro-Thermal has also introduced a number of new products over the past few years. Most notably, the SilverLine, a continuous food and beverage processing system was introduced in 2015. Several other new products are currently in development.

“As our sales grow exponentially, the industries we flourish in have emerged over the years. These teams will allow our staff to become industry experts, while facilitating idea sharing, and coinciding with our strategic plan. We are investing resources into these teams for training, development plus a more robust method of planning and strategy. Our customers will be better served by having industry-specific teams,” said Jim Zaiser, CEO and President of Hydro-Thermal Corporation.

Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener   Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener
Bob Hennings–Midwest  

Kris Schmidt–US & Canada

Jim Fraser–outside of Midwest   Darci Cole–International
Gary Bymers-International  
Food and Beverage  Food and Beverage
Dave Mardon–West Greg Curtis–East & Upper Midwest
Rick Green–East Dean Wentz–West
Ed Faulks–Upper Midwest Marie Grafwallner-Huseth–International
Industrial    Industrial   
Chip Massey–South   Kevin Wittwer–US & Canada
Shaun Whelan–North      Kate Stater–US & Canada
  Debbi Marki–International


Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

Waukesha, WI - Hydro-Thermal Corporation has been named a 2015 Future 50 company by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE).

The Future 50 program, now in its 28th year, recognizes privately-owned companies in the seven-county Milwaukee region that have been in business for at least three years and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.

“It is always encouraging to see such a strong group of applicants and winners in this program each year. These companies truly represent the future of our region,” said Mary Steinbrecher, executive director of COSBE.

When asked what entrepreneurial traits helped him lead the organization to where it is today, Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser, credits his self-motivation, inner drive, optimism, trust in himself, courage, passion, discipline and strong communication. He also acknowledges that he still practices and evolves these traits every day. Jim notes, “They are a key element in determining the sustainability of our team and our future.”

The Future 50 companies will be honored at an awards luncheon on Thursday, September 10, from 11:30am to 1:30pm at The Pfister Hotel. The luncheon will be hosted by the MMAC, COSBE and BizTimes Media. To register to attend, visit

“We look forward to honoring these fast-growing companies and learning more about the best practices that are driving their growth,” said Dan Meyer, publisher of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

Dave M CLFP2016This week, Hydro-Thermal showcased two of our most innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry at the largest food processing tradeshow in California, Food Processing Expo 2016.

On the Expo floor our SilverLine system and the Solaris heater were introduced to the more than 2,000 show attendees from 11 countries. The SilverLine was recently recognized with the IQ (Innovation Quotient) award for being one of most creative products developed in 2014.

Food Processing Expo attendees could also attend Tomato Processing School, which is an area Hydro-Thermal is heavily steeped in with our technology.

Sr. Industry Sales Manager of the Food Team at Hydro-Thermal, Dave Mardon, is pictured here in the Hydro-Thermal booth with the SilverLine system and Solaris heater.

WIMOTYpresentationFINALHydro-Thermal is proud to be named as a finalist for the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (WIMOTY) Award. Our CEO and President, Jim Zaiser, was recently presented with the nomination certificate by representatives from two of the award sponsor companies, Corey Tremaine of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and Richard L Kaiser of Michael Best & Friedrich. Hydro-Thermal is one of 28 finalists to receive this distinction.

The WIMOTY annual award program celebrates the successes of manufacturers in the state: their innovations, philanthropy, technological advances, commitment to customer satisfaction, and quality jobs. This is the WIMOTY Awards 28th year of existence.

Hydro-Thermal won this award in 2010. This year’s winners will be named at the WIMOTY awards banquet on Thursday, February 25.

For more on the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award go to

At a small business symposium held in earlier this month, Hydro-Thermal Corporation’s President and CEO, Jim Zaiser, inspired local business owners with his leadership lessons. His keynote presentation for the What to Consider when Growing Your Business event, shared his views on the critical components to making big strides in a small business. Hydro-Thermal experienced greater than 30% growth in 2015, so attendees were eager to learn his secrets.

A balance of innovation, diversification, risk and hiring the best possible talent were a few of the critical key drivers for success. Zaiser also spoke of the benefits of partnering with entities outside your organization. This greatly increases intellectual capital and accelerates R&D, while also expanding knowledge of new technologies.

Investing in where you want to be as an organization was another theme that resonated with attendees. After chatting with participants informally after his presentation Zaiser remarked, “What I shared today are lessons that can truly benefit any business owner, regardless of their company size or industry type. They are foundational elements for success.” Symposium attendees were from a wide range of industries – from food and beverage to service providers, municipal to manufacturing, and more.

Hydro-Thermal is a global manufacturing company that designs Hydroheaters for applications in a vast array of industries. Eighty-one years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 80 countries around the world.

Hydro-Thermal recently expanded their channel partner agreement with Morin Process Equipment. Previously Morin’s territory included Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Now Morin will expand their marketing and sales of Hydro-Thermal’s products to Tennessee as well.

Morin is a best-in-class distributor of industrial valves, pumps, and instrumentation products and solutions for the process industry. For more than a decade, Hydro-Thermal has partnered with Morin to provide industry expertise, deliver solutions, and superior local support for customers.

Hydro-Thermal is a national award-winning, global manufacturing company with 80 years of expertise in the design, engineering, production, and installation of Hydroheaters. Our patented heating system infuses steam into process liquids, delivering precise and consistent temperature, and instantaneous, efficient heating with no scaling or fouling of the product.

Through our home office and our global channel partner network, Hydro-Thermal is represented in six continents and all industrialized areas. Our Hydroheaters are present in facilities in more than 80 countries around the world.

In 2014 Hydro-Thermal Corporation celebrated 80 years of steam innovation with an event that harkened back to 1934. The celebration took place during Hydro-Thermal’s annual sales meeting which unites the organization’s sales staff and channel partners from around the world. Invited guests also included Hydro-Thermal customers, vendors, local government, current and past staff, neighbors and business associates.

Guests were greeted by a fleet of Model A automobiles, and also a 2015 Maserati, to drive home Hydro-Thermal’s spirit of continuous improvement and innovation. Many attendees dressed in the fashions of 1934. Some opted for a simple newsboy hat, while others went all out, dressing as old school bobbys, retro sports characters, swanky high society movers and shakers, and more.

The event featured period entertainment including live polka music, professional swing dance demos, and caricature drawings. The event’s keynote speaker, Chip Lutz, inspired with his perspective on unconventional leadership. Rounding out the attractions was a multimedia retrospective exhibit, complete with Busby Berkeley and 1934 MIT films, along with office and shop tours with a historical spin.

“It’s amazing to see how steam innovation has progressed in 80 years.” remarked Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser. “Looking back as a company has ignited even greater curiosity with our staff. We’re stoked for another 80 years!”

apprentice lifeRemember your days as an intern? You were so excited to hit the real world of work and dazzle employers with your newly acquired skills and expertise. You envisioned yourself sharing ideas that revolutionized the organization. The reality? You spent the summer making copies.

Hydro-Thermal believes in treating interns like the valuable resource they are. Our interns get a legitimate dose of real world experience. In fact, Hydro-Thermal’s internships are so beneficial, we’ve had students return summer after summer after summer to roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

Before starting an internship at Hydro-Thermal, prospective candidate’s skills are assessed, as well as personal and scholastic interests. After evaluating the results, internships are designed based on the intern’s input and needs at Hydro-Thermal.

A sincere interest in paring interns where there is the greatest mutually beneficial opportunity is only one of the best selling points of a Hydro-Thermal internship. Another big selling point is that internships are offered by all departments across the company – from Engineering to Accounting, Marketing to Sales, and CNC Programming to Manufacturing.

When asked what insight is offered to court interns, Jill Zoromski of Hydro Thermal human resources remarked, “This is a really innovative place with a true commitment to providing a mutually rewarding experience.”

Some common threads that Hydro Thermal interns mention is that they felt truly involved in their department and the work was challenging. Interns also often mention growth in skills that will help in their everyday life like project management, customer service, time management, organization and responsibility.

Two attributes that Hydro-Thermal values in students are the creative energy and enthusiasm they bring. We have hired more than 25 interns since the start of the intern program approximately eight years ago. Today, one in four Hydro-Thermal interns has been hired as full time staff after graduation.

Mechanical engineering intern, Selena Boltik, remarked on her time here, “I was able to experience a wide variety of engineering tasks; from product design and modeling to lab testing and data compilation; which helped me decide what I want to do in my career and feel I was making a valuable contribution to the company.”

Hydro-Thermal doesn’t only offer internships for students who are in college. If you’re in high school and are interested in learning more about a prospective career field, Hydro-Thermal would like to speak with you.

“In the eight months that I’ve been here, I’ve developed a sense of communications and tactics that will stick out in a competitive interview,” said Alyson Reighn, manufacturing intern, incoming freshman at UW-Stout. “The hands-on experience will help me narrow down my options for the future.”

Hydro Thermal interns have moved on to some prestigious schools following their time here. Some universities and colleges that have welcomed Hydro-Thermal intern alums include Colgate University, MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering), University of Minneapolis, Marquette University, and many schools in the UW-System.

Interested in an internship? Candidates should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., list of expected classes for the next semester, and a one-page essay about your experience and goals for your time with Hydro-Thermal. 

Badger State Ethanol is a dry mill ethanol production facility producing 58 million gallons of ethanol per year. The company, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, also produces co-products such as distiller grains, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.

100 0040In ethanol facilities, clean-in-place (CIP) is an important application that it is often overlooked. If ethanol producers do not have enough hot water through their CIP process, the batch could become contaminated and result in wasted product. In order to counteract this problem, ethanol producers heat the water hotter or add more chemicals, both of which are expensive and inefficient.

Badger State previously used an inefficient sparging system for their CIP applications. Sparging causes uncondensed steam bubbles to evaporate in the atmosphere, wasting large amounts of energy. This lost heat/condensate can corrode piping and ceilings. In addition, steam bubbles form and cavitate on tank walls, causing hammering and damage to the tank and surrounding piping. Badger State experienced a variety of these problems and more – sparging nozzles completely breaking off during operation, rust on the high beams of their ceiling, and damage to the tank due to violent shaking.

Badger State decided to replace their inefficient sparging system with aHydro-Thermal EZ Heater skid (EZH skid). The EZH skid reduced their maintenance needs, by requiring minimal service only once a year, and eliminated the cavitation and hammer issues faced with the sparging.

Badger State also noticed a reduction in their boiler makeup water. Doug Friedrich, Badger State Ethanol’s Operations Manager, elaborated, “When we first put the EZ Heater on line, our boiler makeup water dropped by a gallon and a half. It is normally 35 gallons a minute and it dropped to about 33 and a half.”

The reduced steam usage was verified by the reduced boiler makeup water. Due to the reduction in their boiler water, Badger State experienced a total savings of $32,045 per year. With sparging, Badger State was heating the tank to its maximum temperature. Due to higher efficiency steam mixing, Badger State is able to heat the water hotter while using less steam. Although heating the water to a higher temperature results in a less drastic amount of steam savings, it does ensure a more consistent CIP, which was the goal for Badger State.

Badger State is improving their product quality and ethanol production process thanks to their strong business relationship with Hydro-Thermal. Would you like to achieve precise temperature control for CIP at your plant? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a Hydro-Thermal representative to learn more about the EZ Heater.