In Loving Memory of our Founder
Roger R. Mayer, 1948 – 2019
Roger spent his entire life living and working in the Kenosha area. Roger graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a degree in Industrial Engineering. In 1969, Roger joined with partners to form Manu-tronics, Inc. He strongly believed that a small electronics assembly house could be a success and started building simple electronic garage door openers in a 2600 square foot garage. Roger and his partners worked literally 20 hours per day, 7 days per week assembling transmitters and receivers for garage door openers. From these humble beginnings, his company grew at an astounding rate until in 1988 they became the first business to construct a facility in Lake View Corporate Park. At its height, Manu-tronics employed approximately 800 people. In 1999, Roger sold Manu-tronics to Sanmina Corporation.
With a personal commitment to hard work and integrity, he wanted to share his passion and help foster the entrepreneurial spirit within young business people. With this objective in mind, construction began on The Colerget Conference Center in November of 1999. The building houses, an eclectic mix of modern art and ancient artifacts coupled with the extraordinary beauty of the gardens, all of which reflect Roger’s love of Asian architecture and beautiful landscapes. Through Colerget Roger has shared his successes and philosophies with the business community.
Roger gave of his time selflessly, serving as Chairman of the Pleasant Prairie Police and Fire Commission for over 30 years, past president of Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Edgewood Bank board of directors and past president of the Chamber of Commerce, he founded the IPC Trade Association for the Printed Circuit Board Assembly Industry. In 1988 he was nominated Businessman of the year, in 1989 he was nominated Entrepreneur of the year. Roger has been active in his support of the Kenosha Achievement Center, St. Joseph’s Nursing Home, The Goodfellows Christmas Charities, Hospice Alliance, Inc., the Kiwanis Breakfast Club, The Boys and Girls Club and countless others.
Roger was a lifelong learner, a voracious reader and world traveler. He had a substantial collection of antique and vintage muscle cars. Roger cherished most of his time spent with family. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Catherine “Kate”; his daughter, Julie (Bob) Howard; stepson, Michael (Kerrie) Paupore. He was papa to Michael (Katerina) Howard, Nicholas (Claire) Howard, Samuel and Ryan Paupore. He was papa grande to Elizabeth, Eleanor, Gabriel and Lucy.