Stephen J. Baisch was born on October 28, 1917, in Ironwood, Michigan. His family moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, when he was two years old. Later, they moved to Antigo, Wisconsin, where Mr. Baisch attended public school. He graduated from Antigo High School in 1935. He attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1942 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. While a student, he joined the Army ROTC. After graduation, he served under General Patton in the invasion of French North Africa and later in Sicily. By the time his military service was over, he had earned the rank of Major.
In 1945, Mr. Baisch joined Thillmany Pulp and Paper Company as chief design engineer and was responsible for the overall engineering for three new paper machines, as well as a new woodroom, new screen room, new brown stock washing installation, and the relining and replacement of a digester, converting machines, and a warehouse.
On January 15, 1958, he ended his career at Thilmany when he founded his own consulting and engineering firm, S.J. Baisch Associates Inc., in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.
For many years, Mr. Baisch managed all of the active projects. By creating a strong personal relationship with the owner and then following through with technical expertise and ethical business dealings, he was able to build a strong foundation of repeat clients. He had a keen eye for dedicated and skilled employees, whom he guided and instructed in what became the "Baisch tradition".
Mr. Baisch created a benchmark of expertise and client services that some owners in the industry have come to expect from their consultants. The Baisch philosophy is to work closely with the owner and other members of the project team to determine the most cost-effective solution to a specific challenge. The company was built on handshakes and trust, and trust remains an integral part of the Baisch tradition. Owners came to view Baisch engineers as friendly faces backed up by years of proven experience.
Through his technical expertise, business know-how, and motivational abilities, S. J. Baisch Associates Inc. expanded to more than 50 employees by the mid-1980's. Today, 50+ years after he began building his dream, the company has grown to nearly 100 employees and has maintained a strong and respected presence in the pulp and paper industry.