Bergeron Machine CNC Setup Operator Earns Outstanding Achievement

There may have been a little bit of an inevitable feeling to Derek Herbst working at Bergeron Machine. But destined or not, Derek has become one of the top contributors at the Compass operating company.

For his achievements, Compass has named Derek its Employee of the Month for June 2024.

”I am proud of Derek and the contributions he has made to Bergeron Machine for over a decade,” said Compass CEO Gary Holcomb. “Like his father and brother before him, we are fortunate to have him contributing to our success.”

Derek Herbst is the 51st employee of the month at Compass. He is also the fourth recipient from Bergeron Machine. CNC lead Danny Du was the most recent Bergeron Machine employee honored as employee of the month in December 2023. 

From a young age, Derek was mechanically inclined. His father, Dave Herbst Sr. and older brother, Dave Herbst Jr., influenced Derek too. Not only did they work in machining, Herbst Sr. served at Bergeron for 43 years. Herbst Jr. also worked at Bergeron from 2007-24.

Following high school, Derek first worked in construction and then at a couple other machine shops. But after learning he didn’t particularly enjoy working on a mill, Derek elected to follow in his family’s footsteps.

“I decided to give screw machine a shot. I liked it. It was a little bit more challenging, so I just stuck with it,” said Derek. “Plus, I enjoyed working with my father, and my brother was working here too.”

When Derek began his tenure at Bergeron, he started as an operator. Within a few months, he became comfortable enough with the machines to begin performing setups.

Over 11 years at the Compass operating company, Derek has learned the intricacies of the screw machines, how to do center tooling, and program changes. He said it took about two years to become proficient at his job but also described it as still challenging.

Today, in addition to performing setups, Derek fixes broken down machines and helps Shop Lead Bory Vuth, who was the Compass Precision August 2023 Employee of the Month, train new employees.

Derek’s father and brother don’t work at Bergeron anymore. But Derek still enjoys the people he works with, and he finds his role fulfilling.

“I enjoy taking basically a blank slate and turning it into something sellable,” said Derek. “We’re a specialty machine shop, so it’s difficult to really work well with the type of metals that we work on. 

“It’s a whole challenge in itself getting the machines set up the way they should be. It keeps me thinking. [I’m] never done learning here.”

Derek is also never done improving. At night after his shift, he works on getting better at writing programs and making tooling. Derek is also trying to improve his machining skills. 

Since Compass assumed ownership of Bergeron in April 2023, Derek says he feels even more challenged and useful.

“My goals are to try and keep growing,” said Derek.

Derek has spent his entire life in Massachusetts. He lives in Stow with his six-year-old son and two English bulldogs. 

For fun, Derek enjoys playing guitar and hockey. He is in a band which writes its own music and performs a gig about once a month. On Thursday nights, he plays right wing for his men’s ice hockey team.

He also enjoys hunting, fishing and archery. He shoots arrows most nights in his backyard. Derek usually hunts and fishes with his brother.