In Memoriam: David Marsh

In recent days the industry lost an iconic figure in the passing of David Marsh, who died unexpectedly at his home in Bridgewater, Michigan.

Dave’s contribution to the advancement of the surface finishing industry was far reaching, both technologically and from an advocacy standpoint educating the regulatory community as to the importance of surface finishing in preserving the nation’s natural resources.  Not only was David one of the first job shop owners to embrace automation as a way to increase productivity and profitability, he was equally insightful in being one of the first finishers to offer his customers emerging technologies that would provide better corrosion protection than were possible with older technologies.  This helped Marsh develop a reputation for being able to apply consistent, high quality finishes that other shops had difficulty matching.

David’s many skills were quickly recognized by his peers in the surface finishing industry, resulting in him ascending to leadership positions in the industry’s various trade associations.  He was one of the individuals most responsible for coordinating the government relations efforts of all three trade associations at the time into a single group known as the Government Advisory Committee.

It was this committee that was involved in ground-breaking collaborative programs with the EPA, most notably the Common Sense Initiative, which was created as part of President Clinton’s Reinventing Government initiative.  David was also a well respected and vocal supporter of the need for trade association consolidation, which led to the creation of the National Association for Surface Finishing.

Several years ago David turned over the day to day management of the various finishing operations owned by the Marsh family to sons Matthew and Mitchell, but he maintained an advisory role as the family opened new plating facilities in the Southeastern United States and in the Midwest.  This change in roles for David afforded him more time to pursue his many hobbies, such as bird hunting, fishing, traveling in his motor coach, playing golf, training his hunting dogs, and ensuring his beloved “farm” in Bridgewater was maintained to his specifications.

A visitation will be held for friends and industry colleagues on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at the Polo Fields Country Club, 5200 Polo Fields Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

Posted in NASF Members, Obituaries