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Fil Rocha Spencerport, NY

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Submitted by his co-worker Leonard Hall

My Hero


Fil Rocha is my Hero because he took over a welding teaching position halfway into a school year in what was his first year of teaching! Talk about a difficult task.

Making a Difference


Fil has a great attitude with the students (11th and 12th graders) and the other teachers at our school. He is able to get the students involved in school activities and welding projects. He broadens their abilities in welding with art, manufacturing, and areas like utilities. Fil has a drive to turn students into the best welders they can be. He is a professional, shows respect and demands respect, which in turn makes his students great employees and young adults.

Welding Application


To give you another way to gauge Fil’s dedication to teaching: He drives one hour to get to our school every day just so he has the chance to work with his kids. He challenges the bright students and keeps the slower ones from getting discouraged. Fil engages the students with his expertise in welding art, welding sculpture work, and motorcycle work. He helps boys become men.


Miller on the Job


Fil uses the educational resources from Miller and the local distributor provides the class with equipment. Fil uses equipment like gloves as incentives in class to maintain student interest and as rewards for a job well done. His giveaways are often unexpected surprises for the students. Fil relies on Miller equipment and he is a welding Hero.

Mike O’Connell, Service Technician

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Mike takes pride in taking care of the customer in an efficient manner. “Whether a call is with a distributor, district manager, or field sales person, the key is understanding what their needs are and acting on them efficiently to get whatever they need done,” said O’Connell.

Mike knows that in dealing with an end-user in a remote location, they may not have a lot of local support. Mike described one such situation where he was able to quickly help a user: “The end-user was very appreciative of what we did. He felt as though we really went out of our way to take care of him. In today’s world you don’t get a lot of that from factory support, so I think that’s what sets us apart from other manufacturers.”


Daniel McMillen, Strongsville, Ohio

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Nominated by Michael McMillen

My Hero

I nominated my father, Daniel McMillen. Dad started as a meter reader for Columbia Gas in the ’70s. He was chosen to become a welder where he was taught the trade on live gas mains! He retired several years back and now runs a small shop out of his garage. He doesn’t weld to make money. He charges the minimal amount in an effort to cover his costs. He welds to help those who need a professional.

He is a master at figuring out solutions to problems. My 8-year-old son has autism. Dad has engineered products to keep him safe and our family sane! For example, he welded a metal bar that mounts to the ceiling to keep the Christmas tree up (my son continuously knocked it down). He has also engineered locks for our doors so my son cannot run away. He is the smartest guy I know.

Making a Difference

Dad has inspired at least three others to learn the trade and work professionally as welders. One is my brother, one is a childhood friend of the family (a neighbor when I was growing up), and the final person has replaced Dad at the gas company. When his replacement was chosen, Dad worked with him in his off-duty time to ensure he passed the required tests.

Welding Application

Dad welds it all. No job is too big or too small. While at Columbia Gas, he was a certified pipe welder and now welds many different jobs from his shop or on location. Recently, he was called to a greenhouse to weld a “T” on a live gas main. Tomorrow he will be headed to an outdoor shooting range to complete a job.

Miller on the JobDad’s portable trailer utilizes a Miller [welder/generator]. He has used it for many years.