Nothing Industrial, Just Individual

Likes, hobbies and preferences of Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO of TR Cutler, Inc.

Thomas R. Cutler has been a microphone and amplifier for the manufacturing sector for more than two decades. While working for the Arizona Association of Industries (AAI), the manufacturing association for Arizona, Cutler served on the Council of States Manufacturing Association at the national level. Cutler also became integrally involved with the MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) program, a part of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies). Cutler served as the voice of the South Florida MEP, until launching TR Cutler, Inc. in 1999.

Cutler was frustrated that there was not a comprehensive database for journalists, editors, economists, and other stakeholders in the manufacturing, industrial, and distribution sectors. Accordingly he founded the Manufacturing Media Consortium, which now has more than 4000 members worldwide. Cutler filled an important gap for manufacturers: telling their story. According to Cutler, “Some of the small and midsize manufacturers, larger organizations as well, are not particularly good at communicating the amazing products they create and distribute. These are hardworking and dedicated professionals who often are focused on making great products rather than the words to describe themselves and their products. These companies and the people who own and operate them are extraordinary and their accomplishments, passion, and dedication is worthy of media coverage.”

Cutler was the producer of both the magazine and television show, State of Manufacturing. Cutler has served as the editor of Manufacturing Profiles, A Quarterly Insight to the Industrial Sector since 2006.

Since 1999 Cutler has authored more than 5000 feature articles for more than 1000 different publications worldwide. Cutler is also the President & CEO of TR Cutler, Inc., the largest manufacturing public relations firm worldwide. Cutler explained, “It's not enough to simply write articles. We need to make sure that all aspects of the media, from PR to social media, from trade shows to award recognition, is used to fully share the dynamic accomplishment of amazing manufacturing, industrial, and distribution organizations.”

The team at TR Cutler, Inc. now consists of more than 45 associates worldwide who are industry-sector experts with strong relationships in the media. Cutler has authored numerous books, case studies, white papers, and is a well-respected journalist and public speaker. Cutler is clear: “Never before have the issues facing manufacturers been as critical. From safety to regulatory compliance, from technology solutions to skills shortages, thin operating margins are squeezing how business is conducted.”


1. If you are not in Industrial manufacturing / Industrial Automation Industry, where you would be?

As a journalist my role is to cover those issues most important to dynamism. Whether people or products, processes or constraints, the need to monitor, track, reflect, and report on the influences and trends in the world creates a vital and relevant purpose. Contributing a voice and history to these movements in society, culture, and people is a meaningful contribution whether in the industrial automation sector or otherwise.

2. Your mentor and how has he/she made a difference in your life?

My mentor was a professor who taught me to: “Write for grandma.” He said if grandma can understand your work, everyone can understand your work. This seemingly simplistic advice allows me to bring a relatable style making even the most complex subject-matter interesting.

3. The ideal business person and why?

Listen…and listen some more. Ask good questions, listen to the answers, and ask more good questions. Great business people must listen to the voice of the customer. Ideal business people respond to such listening with compassion, clarity, and an open-mind.

4. Which book are you presently reading? The book that inspired you and why?

Jeffrey Toobin's book, “The Oath” about the US Supreme Court. It inspired me because justice is a thoughtful proposition.

5. What was your turning point in your life?

The realization that we design our lives and choose to live them powerfully. My father's premature death emphasized carpe diem.

6. What is your strength and weakness.

Passion is both my strength and weakness. It has created a magnificent journey and allowed me to contribute to others. It is also blind.

7. When... you get angry.

Prejudice and injustice provokes anger. We are all human beings worthy of dignity. Failure to recognize the dignity in a fellow human being is unacceptable.

8. After business hours, what's your Ideal past time

Musical theater is a perfect distraction….a Sondheim musical inspires thought while transporting to another time, place, and emotion.

9. What car do you drive? Your dream car and why?

BMW 328i. Cars are not the stuff from which dreams are made. They are transportation.

10. Where did you go for your last holiday? Your favourite destination in the world and why?

Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The French Riviera…the cadence, pace, sensuality is omnipresent.

11. About your family

Family is a choice. The people whom I consider family are people (and pets) where companionship is meaningful, powerful, extraordinary, and fun. Family is what we create when we love magnificently.

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