Snapshot: Mike Iassogna
Occupation: I am currently one of the co-owners of Tier One Machining and Assembly located at 31 Pecks Lane in Newtown. We manufacture highly-engineered and function-critical machined parts and assemblies, primarily for the medical instruments market. We also make several aerospace parts. I am a mechanical engineer by background with a BSME from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. After graduation, I started my career with DuPont in Wilmington, Del. I was transferred to the DuPont Newtown plant in 1989. After several divestitures, mergers, and acquisitions, the company decided to close the Newtown plant and move it to North Carolina. We got the opportunity to purchase the machining equipment from them and start up Tier One in 2003.
Family: My wife, Linda, and I met working at McDonald’s in Bridgeport when we were both in high school. Linda, a CPA, was Tier One’s CFO since we started the company until she retired last year. We were married in 1983 and have two children. Jen, a pediatric occupational therapist, is married and lives in Virginia with her husband, Dave. They recently had our first grandchild, Violet. Matt is a chemical engineer and lives in Cleveland. My dad, Joe, lives in Heritage Village in Southbury.
How long have you lived in Newtown? We moved to Newtown in 1989 just after Jen was born. We’ve lived in the same house for over 30 years!
What do you like to do in your free time? I love carpentry and restoring old houses and furniture. I enjoy working out at Crossfit Redzone in Newtown. And I’m a HUGE baseball fan. GO Yankees!
Do you have a favorite book or author? I don’t have a single favorite, but I do enjoy reading about American history and our founding fathers and others who have made contributions to our country in different ways.
What is your favorite travel destination? We have always loved the National Parks. I am awestruck by the immenseness and beauty of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon.
What is the best part about Newtown? I can’t think of a better place to raise a family. Our kids received terrific educations from the Newtown schools and were well-prepared for college and their careers. We have very close friends from many facets of the community.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life? My mom was the kindest, most caring person and gave me a strong moral compass. In addition, Linda has been my soulmate and guide through life and has helped me handle whatever situation has arisen in our lives.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? St Joseph. He was a caring husband and father and he trusted God during a very turbulent time. I’d love to hear his feelings about how he handled everything that was thrown at him.
Who is your favorite musical artist? Wow, that’s a tough question. I have diverse musical interests ranging from classic rock to alternative to folk to blues to jazz. If I have to pick a favorite, I guess I’d choose Eric Clapton because he has spanned a number of those genres.
Do you have a favorite TV show? Not currently, but I loved the Wonder Years and Happy Days. I guess I’m an old soul.
What is your favorite food? I love Italian food. Linda’s gravy and meatballs, which she still makes using 40-year-old handwritten notes from her mom, Jennie, is the best anywhere. I especially love it with homemade Ravioli!
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? My mom always told us, “If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything!”
What is something you cannot live without? I subscribe to a daily meditation e-mail called “Regnum Christi.” It is the Gospel reading for the day with interpretations and application to daily life. It instills a mindset in me to approach the upcoming day.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Besides raising our kids, I am very proud that we were able to start-up Tier One back in 2003, when manufacturing was being outsourced to low-cost countries. We just knew we could be successful if we made really hard parts that meet the needs of our customers. We employ over 60 great people, have a registered apprentice program, work closely with Newtown High School, local technical high schools, and community colleges, and partner with organizations like Ability Beyond to provide special working opportunities and internships.
What is your favorite quote? “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” — W. Edwards Deming
How can Newtown improve? Newtown needs to be open to businesses of all types. When people see Tier One in a 130,000 square foot facility on Pecks Lane, they usually say, “I didn’t know this kind of company was in Newtown.” There are ways to grow the business base without destroying the rural beauty of this town.
What organizations are you part of in Newtown? I was a member of the Legislative Council from 1999 to 2004. I am currently a Eucharistic minister and a catechist at St Rose Parish, currently in my 11th year teaching religious education to seventh and eighth graders to prepare them for the sacrament of Confirmation.