Hypertherm Honors Community Heroes

Brenda Melius & Art Young

Despite its global presence, Hypertherm, an Upper Valley based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, demonstrates a strong commitment to the community and environment. All Associates at this employee-owned company receive 32 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer in the community. Many Associates go above and beyond that though, serving in excess of 32 hours, while inspiring others. The Hypertherm Community Hero award recognizes those Associates. This year’s heroes are Brenda Melius, a design engineer for the company’s heavy industrial plasma cutting business, and Art Young, leader of the company’s information services and business intelligence team. 

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As a female engineer working in manufacturing, Brenda’s passion lies in introducing young people, girls especially, to engineering. She often plans and coordinates events like Girls Technology Day, working to recruit other engineers and plan activities designed to inspire young people to consider a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) career. Brenda says her favorite question while sitting on a panel in which she fielded questions from middle school students was “Can you be an engineer and also have long hair?” Her answer: Absolutely! In addition to engaging young students in STEM, Brenda serves on the HOPE (Hypertherm Owner’s Philanthropic Endeavors) Foundation’s STEM subcommittee, providing input on STEM grant applications in an effort to ensure funding decisions have the greatest impact. She also serves on the organizing team for the Special Olympics Upper Valley Fall Games hosted every September by Hypertherm.

Art’s dedication to the community prompted him to become a founding member of Hypertherm’s very first Philanthropy Team, the precursor to the HOPE Foundation. Art currently volunteers on the foundation’s Grant Review Committee, rating and reviewing grants before they go to the full HOPE team for voting. In addition, he serves the community as a house volunteer at Maynard House, a home away from home for families with adult patients undergoing treatment at DHMC, is a Hanover Trails Steward, and served a 6-year term as a board member for Outreach House, a senior Assisted Living Facility in Hanover. In addition to his volunteer work as a team leader, Art works to inspire his team to volunteer by sharing his personal experiences with volunteering and forwarding projects he thinks individuals on his team would find of interest. 

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