Michael Reader ’86 is someone who is making Wisconsin work. His company, PrecisionPlus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, manufactures precision parts, including pins, screws, shafts, valve components, spools, gears, and gear blanks. There is little margin for error in this type of manufacturing, and the business partners with some of the best technology companies on the planet to produce some of the most precisely made components you’ll find anywhere.
However, Reader’s educational path was less than precise.
“I wasn’t laser focused at 18,” he says. “The University of Wisconsin–Madison allowed me to choose what was right for me.”
The University of Wisconsin–Madison allowed me to choose what was right for me.
Reader loved the broad range of offerings that UW–Madison provided, and he found that the things he learned outside of the classroom were as important as his coursework. Some of those non-classroom lessons resulted from having to make decisions about balancing school and extracurricular activities.
“Problem-solving was a big part of that,” he says, “and time allocation. There’s so much available on campus — it’s a melting pot of people and ideas.”
Reader’s belief in the power of education is evident in his life today. He serves on the Milwaukee School of Engineering corporate board and is on the advisory boards of Blackhawk Technical College, Waukesha Technical College, and Gateway Technical College. He also serves on Gateway’s foundation board, raising funds to promote greater access to education. In addition, he serves on the advisory boards for eight area high schools.
Reader, who has spent so much time, effort, and resources to support education, has little patience for those who don’t take full advantage of the educational opportunities they’re presented with.
“If you’re bored at the University of Wisconsin–Madison,” Reader says, “you better check your pulse.”