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Monday, March 25 2024

Celebrating Jon Coy as He Retires After 17 Years at Purdue MEP

At the end of this month, Jon Coy, Director of Technical Services for Purdue MEP, is retiring from the organization after 17 years of service. Jon has been a driving force for many initiatives at the Center throughout his tenure. Before his retirement, we thought it'd be fun to get his thoughts on what's happened over the years and recall some of his favorite memories.

Jon Coy retirement

How did you get your start at Purdue MEP?

I had been working in manufacturing for over 20 years and decided to go back to Purdue for a master’s degree from the College of Technology through their Weekend Master’s Program. While there, I got to know some of the faculty and became aware of Purdue MEP for the first time. It sounded like an excellent organization, and as I investigated it more, I saw the opening for Associate Director which sounded like a great fit. I applied on the Purdue website, was hired in 2007 and the rest is history!

How did your previous experience support your work with Indiana manufacturers?

I spent my first 10 years with General Motors in Anderson, Indiana, primarily doing automation projects as a controls engineer. I was able to work with robots, PLCs, and other automation equipment which were leading edge at the time. I also spent time as a team advisor supporting day-to-day operations. My next 10 years with Indiana Automation began as a controls engineer working on automation projects around the State. I worked with a variety of companies of all sizes. As we grew our business in the jail automation field, I helped start up a CCTV group and managed the service team with some excellent engineers and technicians. I added the role of manufacturing manager for our in-house manufacturing and was responsible for the supply chain before leaving for Purdue MEP. The experiences working in manufacturing and working with engineers and technicians in a service role prepared me well for the role at Purdue MEP.

What were some of your favorite projects/moments/memories from your time with Purdue MEP?

The process of winning a 10-year grant to be the MEP for Indiana and growing from around fifteen people to nearly forty was very exciting. Building the teams and infrastructure to support the growth were challenging and rewarding. Being part engineering nerd, I enjoyed working with our IT team and staff to implement Salesforce as a CRM and then building our day-to-day operations systems into it.

What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned throughout your career?

Listen to your co-workers, they have great ideas. Treat them with respect and do everything you can to help each other be successful.

How has Purdue MEP changed over your time here?

The breadth of our services has increased immensely. We continue to improve our ability to help Indiana manufacturers solve problems.

What advice do you have for Indiana manufacturers? (Besides utilizing Purdue MEP services!)

Well, probably nothing that would be a revelation, so I think I would rather say thank you to our Indiana manufacturers for making the State a great place to live and work. I am convinced that manufacturing is the most important industry for our economy and the quality of life for many people in Indiana. Continue investing in your people and considering new technologies that can provide a competitive edge.

What will you miss most about this organization?

Hands down the people I work with! I have been fortunate to work with great people everywhere I have been and the people at Purdue MEP are no exception. Everyone understands the importance of their position and the impact it is having on Indiana companies and their people. Their professionalism and collaboration are outstanding. The team is awesome, and it has been a blast!

What does your retirement life look like?

Well, it starts with spending time with my grandchildren (4 granddaughters now with a 5th granddaughter due any time now and our 6th grandchild due in September 2024). My wife and I enjoy exploring new places on our bicycles so we will throw the bikes on the back of the truck and head out to find new trails and routes. Yes, we’ve also joined the world of Pickleball and really enjoy playing with friends and meeting new people. We bleed black and gold, so attending Purdue football and basketball games is high on the list. I’ve done just about every home renovation you can think of, so I hope that I can take what I have learned and help others who may not have the means to complete needed repairs or improvements. I’ve been blessed throughout my life, so we’ll see where God takes us next!

Any parting advice for the Purdue MEP Center?

Continue to take time to stop and recognize all the great things you are doing! It is easy to get caught up in everyday tasks and forget about the important work you are doing and the jobs you are helping create and retain! You have an amazing team, and the future is very bright for Purdue MEP!


Writer: Julie Warner, 765-496-1200,

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