The biography of Paul May summarizes the accomplishments of an individual from a small town who was committed to succeed in life. May grew up in Pierce, Idaho, and graduated from Pierce High School in a senior class of 13 graduates. He then entered the engineering program at the University of Idaho and with the strong influence from his professors, including Henry Silha, Ted Norgard, Jasper Avery and Richard Jacobsen, he graduated in 1969, cum laude, with a bachelor's mechanical engineering degree.
May immediately joined Wagstaff Machine Works (later renamed to Wagstaff Engineering, Inc. and again renamed to Wagstaff, Inc.), a small manufacturing company of 35 employees that was just beginning to make an impact in the aluminum industry with the direct chill casting equipment that they were designing and manufacturing. The company has had a commendable growth pattern since that time and now has approximately 350 employees worldwide and has provided casting equipment for aluminum plants in 55 foreign countries as well as the entire aluminum industry in the United States. Currently the company employs approximately 50 graduate engineers with about a quarter of them U of I graduates. See Wagstaff’s website at wagstaff.com for further details.
May started as a design engineer for Wagstaff and shared sales duties as well. During the period from 1969 to 1990, he served in the positions of chief engineer, sales manager and then 12 years as plant manager. In 1990, he left Wagstaff to become the operations manager of MacKay Manufacturing Inc. in the Spokane Valley. The company went through extensive growth in the years that May was there.
In 2002, May rejoined Wagstaff as vice president of manufacturing operations. He later served as chief operating officer and his last four and a half years as chief executive officer. With his management and leadership skills he redirected the corporate leadership which had become disoriented prior to his return. May retired from Wagstaff in July, 2011.