Gene Haas: Haas Automation, Inc.
Gene Haas learned the metalworking trade at an early age, working in local machine shops throughout high-school and college. A few years after graduating, Mr. Haas opened his own shop where he machined parts for the electronics and aerospace industries. It was there that he developed the industry’s first fully programmable collet indexer – a device that automatically re-positions parts for machining. In 1983, Mr. Haas formed Haas Automation, Inc., to manufacture and distribute the patented device.
Over the next 4 years, Gene Haas expanded the product line to include a full line of programmable indexers and rotary tables, making Haas Automation the leader in 4th- and 5th-axis parts positioning.
In 1987, Gene Haas began development of a CNC vertical machining center (VMC), with the idea of providing a high-quality, easy-to-use, affordable machine for the company’s current customers. The success of this machine – the VF-1 – led Gene Haas to develop a complete line vertical machining centers (VMCs), horizontal machining centers (HMCs), CNC lathes and rotary tables.
Today, Haas Automation is America’s leading CNC machine tool manufacturer.
Gene Haas: Racing Interests
Gene Haas formed his NASCAR racing team, Haas CNC Racing, in 2002 with cars and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports. In 2008, Gene Haas announced he would join forces with NASCAR legend Tony Stewart to form a new team: Stewart-Haas Racing. Ryan Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 Champion, joined the Stewart-Haas Racing team as Stewart’s driver-teammate for the inaugural 2009 season. Both Stewart-Haas Racing team drivers finished in the Top-10 for the 2009 racing season – an almost-unheard-of feat for a first-season NASCAR team.
Gene Haas: Philanthropist Interests and Activities
Gene Haas created the non-profit Gene Haas Foundation in 1999 to help fund community humanitarian causes. The Gene Haas Foundation has provided more than $8.5 million in contributions, grants, and gifts to more than 800 non-profit and charitable community organizations.
The Gene Haas Foundation supports organizations that provide educational opportunities, and programs that shelter the homeless and help feed hungry families. The Gene Haas Foundation contributes to organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The American Red Cross, the YMCA, and many others, to strengthen local, state, and international communities.