Spotlight on Maria Castagna: Enhancing Customer Trust

Thanks to our team, we achieve groundbreaking feats every day. In our Employee Spotlight series, we aim to highlight these individuals who primarily work behind the scenes, making invaluable contributions to our company and industry. Today, we are thrilled to feature Maria Castagna, recently promoted to Customer Service Advocate at KMM. Bill Schumack, KMM’s Operations Manager, explained that Maria’s new role will provide our customers with a single point of contact. This proactive communication strategy ensures timely updates and answers to questions, enhancing transparency and solidifying trust.

We recently caught up with Maria to discuss her new role at KMM. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Describe your current leadership role at KMM. How has your role evolved since joining the company?

MC: My journey began as a receptionist at M&S Grinding before the merger that formed KMM. I gradually took on additional responsibilities in Accounts Receivable and Payable, collaborated closely with production and quality, and implemented crucial processes for our job status reports and quote follow-ups. I also played a key role in our employee engagement program. As I step into the Customer Service Advocate role, I’m excited to become the link between our production floor and customers, doing what I’m most passionate about.


Q: What or who inspired you to choose a career with KMM? 

MC: The person who inspired me the most is John Shegda, KMM’s CEO. I first met John while working at an insurance company next to M&S Grinding, and his kindness and caring nature drew me to the company. Michelle Martin-Laughlin, KMM’s Director of HR, has also significantly shaped my career. I knew I had found my place when I met the machine operators on the shop floor. To this day, I hold a special place in my heart for the machinists.

Q: What are the accomplishments that you’re most proud of?

MC: I am proud to have managed diverse roles across accounting, production, shipping, and quality while managing communications. Launching our employee engagement program and being a go-to resource for our employees when they need support are also high on my list. But most of all, I value the relationships I’ve built with our fantastic customers.

Q: How would you describe yourself, and how do these characteristics enhance the quality of your work?

MC: I’m caring, honest, loyal, empathetic, and friendly. These traits are crucial in my role because I genuinely care about and empathize with our customers. I ensure that every interaction is handled with care and understanding, especially in challenging situations.

Q: As a Customer Service Advocate at KMM, what is your vision for the role? 

MC: My vision for the role is to deepen customer relationships through consistent, transparent communication. I aim to be a dependable resource, providing accurate and prompt information. Ultimately, I strive to ensure that every interaction with KMM is pleasant and memorable. I want our customers to feel that KMM is an extension of their team.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

MC: The most rewarding part of my job is knowing I have truly helped someone. I want our customers to feel confident that at KMM, they will always interact with a real person who can provide the answers they need.

Q: What are your hobbies or personal interests?

MC: I am an absolute animal lover! I enjoy feeding and watching the birds, squirrels, and deer in my backyard. Cooking, baking, and gardening are also my passions. My favorite activity is sitting on the beach with my feet in the sand. There’s nothing like being at the shore—the smell of the fresh sea air and the overwhelming sense of relaxation it brings.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

MC: My favorite quote is, “No matter how talented, rich, or intelligent you are, how you treat animals tells me all I need to know about you.” Another quote I love is, “Not everyone is in a position to help animals, but everyone is in a position not to harm them.”

We want to thank Maria for sharing her experiences and insights and look forward to her continued contributions in her new role as KMM’s Customer Service Advocate. Bill praised Maria, adding, “Maria’s engaging personality and strong customer relationships make her well-suited for this role. I look forward to supporting her growth and development at KMM.”


For more, check out the other employee spotlight articles in this blog series, including profiles of Director of Training Darrin Brown, Director of Quality Ryan Johnson, Accounting Administrator Tammy Parker, Technical Sales Engineer Erin Cunningham, Precision Grinding Floor Supervisor Doug Bloemker, and Manufacturing Engineer & Turning Dept. Supervisor Sean Kennedy.

Are you seeking a precision manufacturing partner who values efficiency, transparency, and empathetic communication? Partner with us to discover how our customer-centered approach and dedicated point of contact can enhance your experience and streamline your projects. At KMM, we’re committed to building strong relationships and delivering exceptional service. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your needs and help drive your success.