By Leah Sander
PIERCETON — The culmination of “a dream” occurred Thursday, Sept. 23, at Paragon Medical in Pierceton.
The medical device company broke ground for an expansion during a ceremony at the company’s headquarters at 8 Matchett Drive, Pierceton. That includes a 34,000-square-foot building, which “will be dedicated to 3-D printing,” according to information from the company.
In the ceremony which was attended by company leaders and employees, government officials and Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. (KEDCo) and Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce representatives, Paragon Executive Chairman and Founder Toby Buck referred to why the project was a dream.
“This is a dream that we had hoped would manifest itself in reality a long time ago,” he said. “We talked about 3-D printing because we knew it was in essence the fourth industrial revolution in this industry. It’s disruptive and transformative technology.”
“This a big deal for Pierceton,” Buck continued. “This a big deal for the Pierceton campus. It’s a big deal for all of our global employees. It’s a big deal for our clients. It’s a big deal for the Orthopedics Capital of the World and that’s why (Warsaw) Mayor (Joe) Thallemer is here. And the support that we’ve gotten not only from the IEDC (Indiana Economic Development Corp.) and the support that we’ve gotten from the city of Pierceton over the years.”
He then recalled when he and others stood on the 27 acres when they were purchased for the start of the company. The land used to be the Pequignot farm.
“So this is a dream come true,” he said. “I always have believed that all of you out there … make the music play. The rest of us are just trying to facilitate the orchestra while you people make the music play. And thank you for all you do.”
Paragon Vice President and General Manager for the Pierceton Campus Daniel Blum also spoke about how the expansion will usher in new technology.
“And frankly over the years we’ve seen significant change to the industry,” he said. “This is one of them, right. And it’s great to be on the forefront of the evolution of technology and how that technology’s going to change not just our today, but also our tomorrow. So it’s absolutely exciting stuff to be a part of.”
“The culmination of that is really everyone here, right,” he continued. “We can’t do that without the individuals … standing here performing the work, doing everything day-in and day-out. Our success again, it’s not just one: it’s all. So it truly is exciting and the next steps and what we’re moving towards and just want to say thank you to all of our employees as well first and foremost.”
According to written communication from the company, the project “will encompass the facility, printers, inspection, and support equipment that will enable Paragon Medical to vertically integrate the entire additive manufacturing process from powder to finished good. The facility’s initial focus will be on manufacturing porous titanium implants and will quickly expand into additional metals and polymers for various medical device applications.”
Simon Newman, CEO of Paragon parent company MW Industries Inc., further offered thanks.
“First, of all, I’d like to thank our special guests and reiterate how grateful and how thankful we are for your continued support. It means an awful lot to us,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Dan Blum and Matt Thomas, specifically, Mike Street as well for not only putting on this event, but organizing all of the stuff behind the scenes that has to happen to make this happen.”
“And of course, we could not let a momentous occasion go by without mentioning the founder of Paragon Medical, Mr. Toby Buck,” he continued. “Not that he hasn’t had enough accolades in his career, but he’s a true patriot. He’s built an absolutely beautiful and powerful business that we will continue to grow into the future. And lastly and most importantly, I would like to recognize our customers and the thousands of Paragon employees, without which frankly, we would not be standing here today.”
Those who also spoke included Thallemer, IEDC Executive Vice President David Rosenberg and Regional Director for U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, Mary Martin. She read a proclamation from Braun.
The project will create more jobs in the area, which Pierceton Town Council Member Mandy Espinoza acknowledged to InkFreeNews. He and Town Clerk-Treasurer Myra Mast attended the event.
“It means more work, more jobs for people and this expansion like I said, I’ve seen it from the get-go when it first started with one building, two buildings, now they’re expanding even more, which it’s good for our economy, it’s good that we have the facilities, it’s just helping everybody out,” he said.
“And who would think that a small town like Pierceton would have something like this, it’s started out and now it’s expanding, it keeps expanding, that means that things are going good,” he said.