After more than 50 years in the finishing industry, you can now find Jim Jones soaring high above the clouds these days.
Jones is an avid pilot who enjoys taking his planes up in the air whenever he can, which is a lot more often since he retired from the DIFCO in Tucker, Georgia, a company started by his father in 1960.
“I grew up in the finishing business,” says Jones, whose first summer job in 1958 was at Simmons Plating Works in Georgia, where his father worked.
After high school, Jones attended college but then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served in the Minuteman Missile Program at Vandenberg AFB in California and attended Alan Hancock College.
“I also had for a while a part-time job in a plating shop in Santa Maria,” he says.
In 1965, Jones’ father called him and said, “I need you,” and back to Georgia, he went to work at DIFCO.
Jones also became very active in the national finishing associations, as well as being a part of manufacturing groups in general. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on best business practices and served on the board of various national groups.
He formed the Southeastern Fastener Association in 1975 and served as its chairman and president, served on the National Sanitation Foundation Corrosion Resistance Task Force for the food service industry, and on the board of the Precision Metalforming Association.
Jones also served on the president’s council of the National Association of Manufacturers, the president of the Georgia Industry Association — now known as the Georgia Association of Manufacturers — the board of the National Association of Metal Finishers, and the National Association for Surface Finishing.
He has received the NAMF Award of Merit and the NASF’s highest award, the Silvio Taormina Memorial Award, for his support of the surface finishing industry on a national level, as well as the NASF Order of Past Presidents Award for exceptional service to the NASF. He is also a NASF Fellow.
In 2005 DIFCO, Inc. was recognized with the Georgia Governors Manufacturers Award as the Number One Small Manufacturer In Georgia. Jones has testified before the International Trade Commission on the effects of steel tariffs on steel-consuming industries, testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on the effects of tariffs on domestic manufacturing and the metal finishing industry, testified before the House Small Business Committee of the trickle-down effect of the automotive industry on domestic manufacturing and metal finishing industry.