As a young man working on the family-owned farm in northeast Columbus, Tim Heer learned there was no substitute for hard work, ingenuity and creativity. His career path reflects a man driven to create high-quality results and weld a seamless bead between life and work.
In 1977, pursuing a passion for horses, Heer chose a career path in Veterinarian Medicine. Midway through his program, he turned, followed his heart and created Heritage Stables, a sports breeding and training farm. After a very successful 10 years in business, he decided to sell the farm.
"Our tradition is the small job shop, so I went for it. I'm busier than I can handle, and it's because I learned how to do it correctly."
Needing to retool quickly and effectively, Heer returned to school. He earned his associate degree in Computer Information Systems in 1987 from Columbus State (then Columbus Technical Institute) and took a job with Nationwide. He worked in IT for 20 years, until he realized he was no longer excited about it.
"You gotta have a passion for your job and for what you're doing, and that was dwindling. I didn't want to die behind the desk," Heer says.
One of his interests was rebuilding an old Harley Davidson motorcycle. Wanting to craft better parts than were available from distributors, Heer began to refine his welding and fabrication skills. He knew he needed to learn from someone who understood his goals.
Heer shopped the various education opportunities, and found that the welding, machining and engineering courses at Columbus State were more comprehensive and practical than those offered elsewhere.
"Hands down, I believe in the Columbus State curriculum. I've worked with people who have degrees from other schools – including four-year universities – and everyone who comes from Columbus State knows more and can get more done."
Creating quality parts was his goal, but his passion for excellence, his vast bank of knowledge, and his business experience led to Mad Metal Welding and Fabrication. He didn't intend to open the shop – it was only a matter of timing and forging the right materials.
"While I was making the parts in the early days, I thought about American small businesses. Our tradition is the small job shop, so I went for it. I'm busier than I can handle, and it's because I learned how to do it correctly."