Life is an ever-expanding resume for Burr Ridge man
Atlas Tool & Die Works, Inc., Director of Development Zach Mottl holds a component used in litening advanced targeting pod which is made at the company in Lyons. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Name: Zachary Justin Mottl
Hometown: Burr Ridge
Education: 1996 graduate, Hinsdale South High School; 2000 graduate, Benedictine University, Lisle
Positions held: Serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Illinois at Chicago and the advisory board for the American High Speed Rail Association. Gov. Pat Quinn appointed him to several statewide committees, including the Taxpayer Action Board and the Broadband Deployment Council of Illinois.
Updated: April 29, 2013 9:57AM
BURR RIDGE — Zach Mottl is good at a lot of things. Saying no is not one of them. He is director of development at Atlas Tool and Die Works in Lyons, a company his great-grandfather started in 1918. He also serves on the Burr Ridge Economic Development Committee. He recently was honored with a resolution by the Burr Ridge Village Board for the newest item on his resume, being chairman of the Tooling and Manufacturing Association Board.
Q. What was your reaction to being honored with a resolution?
A. I was flattered. I didn’t expect it. I guess this is a big deal.
Q. What is the Tooling and Manufacturing Association?
A. That’s a regional manufacturing organization. TMA represents a little over 1,000 companies. It provides training and advocacy, networking opportunities, training for business owners. My company is the oldest member.
Q. Why do you choose to be involved in so many things?
A. The things I get involved with always lead to another opportunity. That’s why I try to put myself out and get involved with things. I meet customers in the funniest places. It’s led to some interesting opportunities.
Q. What’s the oddest thing you’ve found yourself saying “yes” to?
A. The Broadband Deployment (2010-12) was a reach.
Q. What is Atlas Tool and Die Works?
A. We make things that people don’t even think about — parts for drones, missile systems, launch mechanisms, parts for rockets that send satellites into space. We also make parts that go into water pumping stations and for things like coat racks.
Q. When did you join the family business?
A. After graduating from Illinois Benedictine University in Lisle, with a degree in management and organizational behavior. I figured, somebody has to organize these engineers. I’m the only person in this business in my family who isn’t a mechanical engineer.
Q. What have you accomplished so far?
A. I really led a push to add new services to the company. In the last two years we’ve spent $1.6 million on new equipment. We’re growing. We’re busy. As long as we’re busy, we’ll keep investing.
Q. As a member of the Burr Ridge Economic Development Committee, what types of businesses do you hope to attract to the village?
A. We’re always trying to get new people into that Village Center. That’s the goal. More restaurants and more businesses, and then drawing people to those restaurants and businesses.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Kayaking is probably my favorite hobby. People in the village might see me with my kayaks on top of my car heading for whatever body of water I can find during the summer. I’ll kayak in somebody’s pool if I have to.
When there’s snow, you’ll see me on 87th Street cross-country skiing.
Cooking is my other hobby. If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d stay home and cook all day.
Q. What keeps you in Burr Ridge?
A. I’ve lived here my whole life. My parents live there, as well. I love the community there. There are great running paths. I can be downtown in 20 minutes or I can be to the airport in 20 minutes. I tried an apartment in Chicago for a while and it just wasn’t for me. I like trees. I like some space and some privacy.
Q. You’re a gardener. What do you grow?
A. I have jasmine. I have a hibiscus bush. I bring them in and out. I turn my back deck into a little garden oasis. It’s very peaceful and calming to me.