Nashville, Tenn. – Nancy Peterson Hearn, chairman of the board of Peterson Tool Company, has been awarded the prominent Gold Micrometer Award by the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) for making significant contributions to the industry during her 40 years of service.
Hearn has led Peterson Tool Company for over 30 years. Under her leadership, Peterson Tool Company made exponential gains in sales, production and reputation virtually every year and is today ranked among the world's premier designers and manufacturers of custom insert tooling.
“It is an honor to receive this award and I am so grateful to my extraordinary colleagues at Peterson Tool who have been part of every achievement over the decades,” said Hearn. “Our important industry has changed dramatically over the years but we have maintained our focus on our customers and that has been the catalyst for all successes.”
Hearn began her career in the precision machine parts industry in 1972 when she coordinated the back end of her husband’s business, Peterson Tool Company, while raising six children. Her husband, John L. Peterson, Sr., passed away suddenly in 1979 and without hesitation, she stepped in to run the company as president and CEO. During this era, it was unusual for women to lead corporations and even more rare for women to head companies in the machinery industry. Therefore, Hearn decided to not inform the customers of her husband’s death until she could prove she could run the company in his absence. After eight months, she called on each customer personally to inform them of his death. She won the respect of every customer as a result.
Throughout her career, Hearn has brought global attention to the precision machined parts industry with countless awards for her leadership and determination. The first American to earn the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award, she also received the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter; the YWCA Academy of Women of Achievement award; CABLE’s “Walk of Fame” award for women on corporate boards and the “Trailblazer Award” from Women in the Workplace.
She has served as Vice Chair of the Foundation, Southeast Region chair and Membership Chair for C200, a global, invitation-only organization that fosters and advances opportunities for women in business. In tribute to Hearn’s leadership in C200, the organization established a scholar award in her honor. She chaired the C200 Auction from 2000 to 2008, and her efforts have helped to raise several millions of dollars for the C200 Foundation. She also has served on the board of The Society of International Business Fellows, the Aquinas College Board of Governors, Mississippi University for Women's National Board of Distinguished Women, Nashville Symphony, Cheekwood and Nashville Ballet Boards.
Nancy is presently on Board of Siebert Financial and Leah Rose Werhan Home.
Hearn's longstanding record of community activism also includes roles in Leadership Nashville, the Tennessee Workforce Development Board, the Tennessee Council on Vocational Education, and she has been recognized by The National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth. As a spokesperson for private industry, she champions the advancement of sound economic policies and professional healthcare standards.
In May 2012, Hearn passed the leadership torch to her daughter, Diane Peterson Edwards, and she now serves as chairman of the board & chief executive officer. Hearn continues to provide strategic guidance to Peterson Tool Company.
About Peterson Tool Company
Over the past 50 years, Peterson Tool Company has become a worldwide leader in special cutting tool solutions primarily for the automatic screw machine market. Peterson Tool Company products are the most previse and carefully-engineered carbine tools in the world, therefore, the company serves customers in 30 countries in the aerospace, automotive, farm equipment, home appliance, defense, welding and medical industries. Peterson Tool Company offers cutting tool solutions that maintain tight tolerances while reducing downtime and maintenance. The company also provides various carbine insert solutions for CNC equipment and turning equipment. Peterson Tool Company is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. and has representatives in Europe, India and China.