Jim Shaner Brings Decades of Experience to New Role

HLC has a new “man in the middle,” responsible for overseeing several important aspects of the quality products we create on a daily basis. Industry veteran Jim Shaner has been named to the critical job of Director of Ceramic Engineering. It’s a position that doesn’t see much turnover, so Shaner’s appointment is a significant occurrence within the company.


Shaner joined HLC in 2017, but his history in the ceramics industry reaches back three decades. He earned his bachelor’s degree in ceramic sciences and engineering from Penn State University and went on to make a name for himself in ceramic engineering and quality assurance. His career includes extended stints with Du-Co Ceramics and Saxonburg Ceramics.


“When I started out, I worked for a pigment manufacturer and supplied HLC with several colors,” said Jim. “Coming to HLC was very comfortable for me because of that experience.”


In his new role, Shaner manages the HLC lab and a team of engineers and supervisors vital to operations. The team includes ceramic engineers, a kiln supervisor, two glaze supervisors, a lab/batching plant supervisor, and two lab technicians.  


Company president Liz McIlvain says Shaner’s work gets to the heart of what Homer Laughlin is all about. “In overseeing the engineering and quality of the final product, Jim and his team are responsible for the very lifeblood of the brand. We’re fortunate to have someone with his experience and qualifications in the role.”


“I look forward to using my background in ceramic pigments and quality assurance to further improve HLC’s position in the tableware market,” said Shaner. “I’m setting out to build on the high quality standards of our production process by integrating techniques and quality programs I have worked with in the past. I guess my job is to keep making me and HLC better.”


As we welcome Jim to the role, we also wish the very best to former Director of Ceramic Engineering Michael Tkach, who has retired after 20 years with the company.


July 2018


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