David Dax, a longtime Luxemburg business leader, has been selected as this year’s Luxemburg-Casco School District Distinguished Alumni Award winner. A 1973 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School, Dax started D & S Machine Service with his wife Jean and has spent over 30 years as an active community member. He served as the president of the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and was the “Man of the Year” in 2006.
Luxemburg-Casco Principal Troy Haws says “Dave is a great Illustration of what we strive for with our students at Luxemburg-Casco High School. He learned tangible skills while at L-C before taking them into the workplace, where he grew and expanded his knowledge. “He built a successful manufacturing business in Luxemburg while also serving the community in meaningful ways. In recent years, the company he started has given back to our students through immersive experiences and equipment donations”.
Dax will be honored at the 2022 graduation ceremony for L-C seniors next Wednesday. The award recognizes past graduates’ achievements in high school and beyond.
You can read the complete news release from the Luxemburg-Casco School District below.
Dax chosen as recipient of 2022 L-C Distinguished Alumni Award
Long-time community leader and businessman continues to impact district’s students
LUXEMBURG, Wis. – David Dax, a 1973 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School, is the recipient of the 2022 Luxemburg-Casco School District Distinguished Alumni Award. Dax has spent more than three decades as an active community volunteer, along with starting D&S Machine Service, a pillar in the local manufacturing community, with his wife, Jean.
The Luxemburg-Casco School District annually recognizes a past graduate at its graduation ceremony. Among the criteria in selection of the Distinguished Alumni Award are achievement in high school or beyond, community service and the ability to serve as an inspiration to L-C students. The 2022 commencement will be held May 25.
“Dave is a great illustration of what we strive for with our students at Luxemburg-Casco High School,” says Principal Troy Haws. “He learned tangible skills while at L-C before taking them into the workplace, where he grew and expanded his knowledge. He went on to build a successful manufacturing business in Luxemburg, while also serving the community in meaningful ways. In recent years, the company he started has given back to our students through immersive experiences and equipment donations.”
Dax grew up on a dairy farm in rural Luxemburg. At L-C, his school activities included Agriculture, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and showing Hereford beef cattle.
He credits his high school Metals teacher, Roger Lee, with teaching him about the many variables of working with metals, skills he subsequently would utilize in a rewarding professional career.
Following graduation from L-C, Dax first worked as a machinist at Kewaunee Engineering, training under an expert machinist, Elwood Holmes. He then gained experience in the mechanical field through time as a service technician at the local Caterpillar construction-equipment dealer, furthering his skills through Caterpillar Service courses in cooling systems and hydrostatic transmission rebuilding.
In 1978, Dax began work as a machinist for Lindquist Machine in Green Bay. He earned a series of promotions at Lindquist, to programmer, supervisor and, ultimately, manufacturer engineer.
Meanwhile, Dax continued his education through coursework in business planning, inspection procedures, quality management, manufacturing technologies estimation, supervisory skills and independent business finance through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
D&S Machine was started by Dave and Jean in 1985 in a small garage on their home farm in Luxemburg. Initially, he continued to work full-time at Lindquist, performing D&S production at night and on weekends, while his wife spent her days on D&S business and taking care of the couple’s three sons, frequently delivering parts to customers and picking up steel with the kids in tow.
The company outgrew its initial building twice before purchasing a 40-by-50-foot facility – tripling its workspace – in the Luxemburg Industrial Park in 1989. D&S Machine Service continued to flourish, offering machining, fabrication and engineering to a wide variety of industries, including mining, construction equipment, paper and packaging, marine, oil and gas, and pipeline/pipeline repair.
After 17 years of ownership, Dave and Jean sold the company in December 2002 to its current owner, Russ Nowak. Dave continued to work as its general manager until he retired in June 2021, though he admits to still working several hours per week.
D&S Machine Service has worked closely with the Luxemburg-Casco School District on its technical education curriculum since 2018. Its involvement has entailed company employees going into the classroom to work directly with L-C students, in addition to a six-figure donation of machinery in 2019.
The community involvement of Dax includes 30 years of service to the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce, including recognition as its president in 1998 and selection as its “Man of the Year” in 2006. He also volunteered at the Luxemburg Sportsman Club for 35 years, serving as the club’s president from 2006-11.
In retirement, Dax and Jean love to spend time with their sons (Alex, Andy and Adam), 10 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He also enjoys a good barbecue and cheering on the Green Bay Packers, while continuing his hobbies of trap and clay shooting, hunting and fishing.
Deb Marcelle, also a 1973 Luxemburg-Casco graduate, was the 2021 winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award.