Young Guns: From Hollywood to Machinery- Chuck Radtke

MDNA’s next Young Gun first came onto the machinery scene 5 years ago after leaving Hollywood and the movie production industry behind to start a family.  Chuck Radtke, now with Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery, Inc., reminiscences on his former life…

“I worked in Hollywood on several live action feature films on the production side.  My first job in LA was on the set of the original SAW movie. It really wasn’t that scary… with the lights on.  Then I got into more family friendly movies by working for Disney on films like: Princess Diaries II, Sky High, and Race to Witch Mountain.”    


We know what you must be thinking…”Why would he leave behind that exciting life for working in the machinery industry?” Chuck had other dreams, ones that many of you may relate to. It all started with a young woman named Amy, who he met in college at the University of Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating the pair moved to LA to pursue their post college dreams. Fast forward seven years later, Chuck and Amy get married and they come to the realization that LA, (far from other family) is not where they want to raise their family. So they find themselves moving back to Wisconsin.

Lucky for Chuck his beautiful new bride Amy happened to be the daughter of MDNA Past President Joseph Kraemer (JR) of Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery.

“Amy’s job allowed her to work from home and thankfully JR offered me a position at Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery.

I initially started working on our website, producing videos, and revamping our online marketing strategy.  Then I started to dabble in sales, answering the phone when nobody was paying attention and trying to sell a machine.  Now, 5 years in, I’m doing sales full time and still trying to sell a machine.” – says Chuck


Chuck’s background in video production and marketing has made him a huge asset to the growth of Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery. He is now producing all of the videos.

He says “We’ve found that they are an invaluable way to portray the condition of the machine, and one of the biggest selling tools besides having a customer come in and inspect the machine in person.  Many times a customer cannot travel to inspect, or it is too cost prohibitive.  I’ve sold several machines to foreign buyers simply by answering their questions with a string of videos.”

Chuck’s editing software of choice is Final Cut Pro, and his preferred avenue for distribution is YouTube. He uses the Adobe Creative Suite for his photo editing.

Chuck Editing_with_Final_Cut (00000003)

Chuck says “I’m constantly critiquing our advertising options on all the different equipment websites, mass email communications, SEO of our website, and will use almost every Google tracking website for monitoring.  I also help facilitate our website’s interaction with online Locator (CIMS.)”

Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery recently celebrated their 30th year in business.  WMM is one of the largest stocking dealers of used metalworking machine tools in the country.  They have over 300 machine tools in their 50,000 square foot warehouse in Waukesha, WI.  They specialize in used metalworking equipment, about 1/3 of inventory consists of fabrication (press brakes, shears, rolls) 1/3 CNC chip making, and 1/3 miscellaneous metalworking equipment.

Today, Chuck and Amy are the proud parents of 2 young children. They live in Hartland, Wisconsin, just 7 minutes away from grandparents, JR and Debbie.  Chuck’s passion outside of work is baseball. Chuck plays softball in several leagues, including one with Amy on the local Co-Ed team: “WMMSC”  – Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery Softball Club.

Family_photo Chuck

Chuck adds “I pretend to golf, I’m good enough to be dangerous on the course, I hit my driver far and crooked, as anyone at past MDNA golf outings can attest.

Chuck is currently serving the MDNA Milwaukee / Minneapolis Chapter as the Treasurer and Secretary.

Here’s a sampling of Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery, Inc’s inventory:


Who are MDNA’s Young Guns? Learn More here