Chris Neitsch has grown up living and breathing Gemini. His father Herb set up the business more than 30 years ago, naming it Gemini in honor of his twins, Chris and his sister Kirsten. Herb’s passion for manufacturing, and delivering superior products and customer service quickly built him a strong reputation in the local Nisku market and the oil field services industry.
Chris has always been fascinated by the business, visiting as a youngster and then being put to work as a teenager shoveling chips and cleaning the shop floor. Following Herb’s passing he moved into a management role in his early twenties and spent many years learning the business from the ground up. Although Chris has had a diverse career path (corporate banking, investment real estate, private industry national executive, mergers and acquisitions); the one constant has always been his involvement, passion, and strong commitment to the family at Gemini.
Chris is an active member of the Gemini team and provides hands on management and guidance within the organization on a daily basis. Under his direction, the business has grown from a 2,000 sq ft shop with one lathe, mill, and drill press into the current brand-new 41,000 sq. ft. world-class manufacturing facility. He is proud to carry on strength, tradition and innovation of the Gemini brand while he leads the business into new growth areas.
The first place Mike goes when he gets to work in the morning is the shop floor. Before he fulfills any of his duties as General Manager at Gemini, he gets some face time with the team to say good morning and see what everyone is working on. When required, he draws on their talents and knowledge of materials to help with various project bids.
Mike’s accounting and business background quickly became a sales background more than 27 years ago when he went to work for an international company. Since then, he has grown his experience in the mining, power generating, oil and gas production, drilling, gas compression industries, and on-highway trucking industry.
His venture at Gemini began in 2011. He started out managing a team of 11, which has now grown to 22, and incorporates 30,000 more square feet of shop space in the last year. Mike’s leadership approach begins with building strong relationships in-house. He involves team members in all processes on the shop floor, including quality control, to instill a sense of ownership in client projects.
In 2006, Dana took on the position of Office Manager, which came with such job descriptions as Receptionist, Purchaser, Payroll Officer, Events Coordinator, HR Manager, Safety Officer, among others. With her long list of titles and a particular affinity for details, she streamlines Gemini’s business processes along-side the Management Team. To date, her favourite project has been taking the company’s WCB Certification of Recognition (COR) and ISO program under her wing, making the well-being of her coworkers her priority. With her long list of tasks to complete, she is never short of something to do, but is always available to help in any way possible.
Dana has been a part of the Gemini team from the small, condo bay shop on 19th Avenue, where the company started, to the world class facility in the newly developed East Nisku district. The family atmosphere and company leadership approach is what makes her stay.
During her time away from the office in Nisku, Dana is actively involved in slo-pitch and indoor volleyball, as well as spending time perfecting the art of cake decorating.
The transformation of paper drawing into custom part is one of the most remarkable feats of a machinist’s work. As the Lead Hand Machinist and Quality Supervisor at Gemini, Laun’s goal is to create parts that will render production more efficient and revenue uninterrupted for clients. A typical project starts by discussing the scope of work with a client, gathering measurements and information with a site visit, and agreeing on a timely course for production. Then, the Gemini team is launched into action.
Laun is fairly new to the Gemini team but his almost 20 years of machining experience is a definite asset. Laun brings an above standard of excellence on machined parts and shop management.
Outside of work, Laun is an avid fisherman, excellent bowler and loves to take his two daughters camping
For Garry, the best part of machining is being able to take a steel bar and make something useful out of it. When Garry accepted the job as Production Lead Hand at Gemini over six years ago, he came looking for a challenge. He prepares and programs CNC machines for projects, and orders tooling for all jobs on the shop floor.
Garry’s career as a machinist was launched by accident 34 years ago. After a logging job and some experience as a small engines mechanic, he was hired to help with cleanup in a machine shop. It was there his career stars aligned. After his employer hired an apprentice who didn’t show up on his first day of work, Garry began his own apprenticeship a week later.
The project he is most proud of to-date at Gemini included the challenge of manufacturing aluminum blocks to fit a 20-year old electrical breaker. Not only was annual spring maintenance getting expensive, but the client was losing production time. With new drawings, some creative problem solving, and the incorporation of new technology, the job was a success. When Garry has time off, he enjoys travelling with his wife and woodworking in his garage.