About Us

Our Success Is Measured By Your Success

Why are we so passionate about control manufacturing and system integration?  It’s because we believe in making our OEM and end user customers successful above all else.

We do this through our close design collaborations, rigorous quality standards, and continuous improvement methodology.  We design and manufacture control systems to meet any needs in the market.

It’s in Our DNA

With a history that goes back to 1982, The Industrial Controls Company was born out of a merger between LAS Automation, an engineering firm, and Tenric, a control panels manufacturer.

Merged as Absolute Automation, the company was renamed in 2010 to The Industrial Controls Company, to better represent its strengths.  To continue our growth and enhance our ability to serve customers in true partnership, we acquired Control Masters, Inc. (located in Downers Grove, Illinois).

The result is a company dedicated to the belief that our success is solely measured by your success.

Doing Things Better

Today, ICC uniquely bridges the two worlds of engineering and manufacturing.  We envision solutions. Engineer and build prototypes. And roll out production on whatever scale your project requires.

We prize the flexibility that enables us to provide both short-run and long-run manufacturing. We value our broad-based industry knowledge and the free flow of learning between our engineers and our assembly technicians.


Don Lavrenz - President

Don is President of The Industrial Companies, Inc. and provides the enterprise with the strategic direction and vision behind its unique partnership philosophy.  Don encourages employees to develop a comprehensive understanding of each customer’s goals and project requirements.  That’s why each employee has a relationship based approach to customers and is dedicated to the belief that company success is solely measured by the success of its customers.

An entrepreneur with extensive experience in the industrial automation space, Don developed the company’s value added services and leads the innovation behind future service development.  He’s a business professional with the ability to see the big picture, a commitment to doing the right thing and the ability to identify creative solutions to difficult challenges.

Don received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

Tim Thorn - Executive Team

As Managing Partner, Tim takes ownership of implementing new initiatives and directives that come from the partners / officers of the company.  With a passion for staying on top of current and upcoming standards that affect control panel manufacturing, Tim’s specialty is project leadership and management.  He is our customer’s go-to guy for UL certification requirements.  Tim also manages the day-to-day operations with the customer support team, ensuring customer projects are completed on time, on spec and on budget.  He has responsibility for timely reporting and analysis of company finances as well as the company’s economic strategies.

Tim received his BA in Finance and Management from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Keith Talbot

As the Vice President, Information Systems, Keith understands the importance of strong alliances with customers and supplier partners, as well as the role of effective and efficient resource utilization. It’s the philosophy he honed throughout his career as a business owner and operations leader.

Keith’s business process improvement skills, commitment to lean principles and deep ERP knowledge help us streamline operations and increase customer satisfaction.  He is the driving force behind our quality systems, which are second to none in the process control industry.

Keith has held key positions at John Deere, Frito-Lay, Avery-Dennison, Neodata, AGI and SourceOne Worldwide, Inc.  He earned his Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and his MBA from the University of Northern Iowa.

Donny Lavrenz - Project Management

Donny Lavrenz is the Project Manager at The Industrial Controls Company. He utilizes his diverse background in business studies to enhance the processes at ICC, allowing the company to improve in their service to customers.

Donny plays a vital role in both strategic and tactical corporate initiatives.  He participates in the ongoing evaluation of corporate Key Performance Indicators, contributes to the organization brand development as well as designs electrical schematics and panel layout drawings.  He played the lead role in the multi-location implementation of AutoCAD Electrical and Autodesk Vault.

Donny received his BBA from UW – Madison with a focus on entrepreneurship, strategic management, operations, and supply chain management.  He is past President of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.

Mike Hagen Regional Sales Manager

With a passion for understanding customer needs that go beyond the panel control requirements, Mike is the charismatic leader of all of the company’s sales and marketing initiatives.  In addition to developing customer relationships, Mike is responsible for development of new products and new markets.  He provides the leadership to help innovative manufacturers take the new product concepts they dream up and turn them into reality.

Mike is relentless when it comes to his commitment to customer satisfaction. He is driven by the success of our customers.

Mike received both his BS and BSBM in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University.

Rick Griffiths - Engineering

Rick is our Chief Engineer with responsibilities for Project Management and Product/Process Design and Enhancement.  Deep down, he’s an inventor.  Some projects begin with a blank sheet of paper and Rick is the one we call on to take it from there!  He guides it every step of the way: concept, design, prototype, sourcing, production and installation.  This level of guidance and expertise is unheard of in the industry but its Rick’s passion.  And it’s a good demonstration of how we are firmly committed to making your project successful.

Rick serves as technical consultant for our engineering team as well as our customers.  The key to successful outcomes is heading down the right path from the very first step.  It saves valuable time and money and requires the kind of deep experience in control panel design and manufacturing that Rick has.

Rick possesses multiple certifications, with a special focus on Hazardous Locations, with Explosion-Proof Panels (NNNY) and Panels with Intrinsically Safe (IS) barriers (UL 698A, NRBX). His BS in Electrical Engineering was earned from The University of Toledo.

Fred Horn - President Control Masters Division

As President of the Control Masters division of The Industrial Companies, Inc., Fred provides vision, direction and leadership to the engineering group as well as the staff.  He joined the company in 1976 and has been President since 1989.

Fred has an unrelenting commitment to the company’s 11 step methodology because it works!  He is the driving force behind the company’s successful implementation of this process.  In partnership with his team, Fred transitions customer programs through each stage of the process.

It’s Fred’s commitment to excellence that sets him and his team apart.  He ensures that every project has the optimal engineering processes, technical expertise and resources to meet customer requirements.  From a big picture standpoint, he is directly responsible for developing the facility engineering and operations plans.

Fred received his BSEE in Engineering Power & Controls from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

John Langman - Regional Sales Manager

John is the Regional Sales Manager for ICC’s Control Masters Division in Chicago.  John is responsible for managing all aspects of the division’s sales, marketing and customer satisfaction initiatives.

John is focused on listening to and understanding customers’ needs. He advocates customer views, helps develop and resource customer solutions, leads business capture efforts, drives strategic planning, and seeks to build long-term partnerships with new and existing clients.

John earned a B.A. in Business Management from North Central College where he was a co-founder of the FBDA student-athlete association.

Sherry Duffin - Office Manager

Sherry is the Office Manager of the Control Masters division of The Industrial Companies, Inc.  Sherry not only facilitates the efficient administration of this division, she assists leadership in developing and managing objectives at the business and department levels.

With over 30 years’ experience providing Corporate Compliance, Financial Management and Accounting, Human Resources, Payroll and Benefits Administration, Sherry is the go-to person for tackling issues related to business operations.  She has a passion for anticipating issues, resolving problems, supporting senior management and ensuring customer satisfaction and the success of the company.  Wearing many different hats, she serves as an additional point of contact for staff, suppliers and customers.

Tony Ream - Engineering Manager

Tony Ream is the Engineering Manager for the Control Masters Division, leading and mentoring a team of electrical engineers and drafters. Tony’s deep and diverse experience in design, manufacturing and client service helps drive successful results for our customers.  Having joined the company in 1991, there aren’t many control system applications he hasn’t rolled up his sleeves on.

Taking a hands-on management approach, Tony is responsible for the division’s engineering content including all control panel design, PLC programming, operator interface design and field support.  His technical expertise spans numerous programming languages, operating systems and databases.

Tony received his B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.   He received his Professional Engineering (PE) license in Control Systems Engineering (CSE) in October 2006.