Four decades as a Tasowheeler

A man of his word, a walking handbook, a mentor, a master, a Tappara fan…May 13th is a remarkable day for the whole company, as Development Manager Kimmo Hyvärinen heads into retirement. After 39 years at Tasowheel, he will definitely be missed.

“No matter how busy he was, he always found time to teach and guide.”

Roughly a week before the retirement day, you would expect to meet a person in an empty room, sipping the last drops of office coffee, bored waiting for the interviewer to arrive.

No way.

“He is always on the phone…how can someone talk that much on the phone!”

For Kimmo Hyvärinen, the show is on like never before. His mobile phone rings, emails beep, and nothing in the room reveals that its host is about to leave. Apparently, Kimmo will jump off a moving train, as he says.

  • I’ve tried to empty the shelves but with no success. Made it to two lockers so far, 46 more to go.

Although some projects from his long list inevitably remain unfinished, Kimmo trusts that he can complete things to the point where it is possible to step aside in good feelings.

  • Things will be in good hands. It’s not that I am irreplaceable, only someone who has been here “forever”.

“With Kimmo, we are losing a great amount of silent knowledge that cannot be stored in any systems.”

“He knows the business environment, its policies, the customers and their products, the product lifecycles and company history – like a walking database on anything relating to Tasowheel.”

”If you want to spot a true company advocate, that is Kimmo.”

After almost four decades as a “Tasowheeler”, you cannot avoid one question: what has made Kimmo stay this long?

  • Time flies when you’re in a good company.

The summarization says it all, yet after some pondering, Kimmo names another ace that has helped him “stay sane” through the years.

  • I have been good at closing the office door behind me. I never took work home or let it into my night dreams.

Kimmo was a 24-year-old kid – in his own words – when he walked into Tasowheel and began to develop the machine park with the company owner Taisto Sorjonen.

  • In the 1980s, it was as hard to find good machinery as it is now to find good professionals: it took a lot of traveling and brought us unforgettable adventures.

This is where the story has come full circle. Recently, Kimmo has been busy relocating and selling old machinery, those that have no more use in the new production layout.

  • I admit that it breaks my heart a little to let some of the good old fellows go. We’ve come a long way together.

“Relentless and resilient, leaves no stone unturned to reach the goal.”

Kimmo has always loved the challenges of his job. Importantly, he has also learnt to eliminate feelings of inadequacy and deadline stress.

  • You need the right attitude. Tight timelines are hard, but with the right amount of irritation, you can handle them without risking your own wellbeing.

Recovery is resilience’s best friend. Kimmo’s key lesson is to separate the work and personal life. For him, watching motorsport or ice hockey has been the best way to recharge his mind. Although the national hockey season is over – with Kimmo’s favorite team Tappara as the new Finnish Champion – there will be plenty of recharging options, as the Ice Hockey World Championship will start in Tampere – also on May 13. Not surprisingly, Kimmo has already made plans.

  • I have tickets for Czech Republic vs. Sweden. It will be relaxing to watch good hockey without the excitement for your own team.

Beyond sports, Kimmo’s future plans include traveling – no more for new machinery but for new generations. During the pandemic, seeing his daughters and their families became a rare luxury. Still, the most important grandparental value has been transmitted remotely.

  • The kids are enthusiastic Tappara fans.

”His teachings have helped me develop my own expertise in performance and product quality.”

Looking back now, how would Kimmo describe the years at Tasowheel?

  • It has been a constant change, but we have gone forward all the time. Our wise guiding line is to make Tasowheel successful not only today but also in a long term. That is good.

Taking a seat in the audience, Kimmo is excited to see how the company develops in the years to follow. Very well, he believes.

  • I trust this team.

“A trusted man that has always been there for me”

Are there any things that he will miss about Tasowheel?

  • This nice feeling of togetherness, team spirit, and working for the same goals – I will certainly miss that. But it is not that I am leaving the team; we will definitely meet again, outside work.

For instance, in hockey games.

The excerpts are examples of how Kimmo’s colleagues have characterized him.