Brian Prigel, CEO
Brian Prigel, Owner and President of Prigel Machine & Fabrication, started in the machining trade by accident. When in high school, he really didn’t know what he wanted to do until somebody suggested he go to a vocational school. Brian liked mechanical things and making things. They suggested the machine shop. He immediately fell in love with the creativity of making things from scratch from a concept and turning it into reality.
After vocational school, Brian learned the application of machining technology in a large machine shop in Tampa, Florida. While there, he learned to excel at machining large, high value parts on very big machines. His most memorable experience from that job was the time that he selected to machine a new rudder shaft for an ocean going ship that had lost its rudder on its maiden voyage while in the Gulf of Mexico and was towed to Tampa Dry Dock for emergency repairs. He had to machine this very expensive part while being observed by representatives of the ship’s owner, representatives from insurer Lloyds of London, and representatives from Tampa Dry Dock. Every hour that the loaded ship was in dry dock was costing Lloyds of London considerable amounts of money. Brian learned to work under pressure and have confidence in his abilities.
In 1985 Windsurfing lured Brian to the Columbia River Gorge where he took a detour from machining for seven years to work in the windsurfing and composites industry. Brian started Progressive Composites to manufacture lightweight sandwich construction sailboards and snowboards. His knowledge of and experience with composites means that Prigel Machine better understands the needs of its composites customers whether it is machining molds and tooling or post machining composites parts.
Brian has always tried to learn new thing whenever the opportunity arises. Along the way he has gained experience and knowledge in the areas of plastic injection molding, hydraulics, pneumatics, robotics and automation. All of this experience aids in understanding and meeting the needs of customers.
In the early 1990’s a neighbor convinced Brian to step into the realm of local governance and ran for city council. He served for 2 years on the city council and was elected to 3 terms as Mayor of Bingen, Washington. In his 14 years of public service, Brian gained significant experience in regulatory compliance, legal documentation, government contracting, governmental processes, and accountability. This experience has proven very valuable in navigating the regulatory, legal and customer requirements encountered in the administration of Prigel Machine.
Brian started Prigel Machine in 2002. Since then he has applied his knowledge of machining along with his knowledge of other areas of manufacturing to meet the needs of the customers of Prigel Machine. The business has grown steadily and in 2012, Brian built a 10,000 s/f modern facility that has allowed the shop to add more capacity and capability. This helps PM&F to better meet the need of our current and future customers.
John Van Bysteren, VP of operations (COO)
John Van Bysteren brings over 27 years of machine experience to Prigel Machine and is an integral part of day to day operations.
John’s interest in the CNC machining and manufacturing industry began early in his life. It was in his high-school design technology class that he was first exposed to this field and all it has to offer. Immediately after high-school graduation he promptly found an apprenticeship in a local machine shop In Southern California and immersed himself in all aspects of machining and manufacturing.
For the next five years John continued strengthening his experience as a machinist and programmer in the aerospace and defense industry. John then found his way back to Oregon where he was born & raised and began machining Quartz glass products in the semiconductor industry in the Beaverton area where he spent twelve years. During this time he gained experience manufacturing multi-wafer holding products and helped to lead the manufacturer in “best practices” for the “solids” single wafer products; he did this by ensuring that the same practices were used to produce the identical product in over five different sites globally.
John has since transitioned back to the aerospace and defense industry at Prigel Machine in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, where he has striven to ensure that the company works towards customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. Most recently this has been demonstrated by his exhaustive dedication to implement and succeed at certification of AS9100C:2009-01 and ISO9001:2008 standards.
John looks forward to being a part of continued growth and improvement at Prigel Machine for many years to come.