Chicago-based Gatto Industrial Platers Inc. has hired Darron Kirkman to be transportation manager for the high-production metal finishing company, which specializes in zinc plating, zinc-nickel plating and aluminum chromate.

In the new position, Kirkman will supervise Gatto’s logistics operations, including both in-plant forklift drivers and delivery truck drivers and will assume total responsibility for Gatto’s customer service department.

“We are pleased to have Darron in this new position,” says George Gatto Jr., one of the owners of the family business. “His management experience and communication skills will be extremely valuable in reshaping our existing logistics and customer service teams. Since joining us in November, he has already made valuable improvements to our shipping procedures.”

Kirkman was previously employed as a branch manager by W.W. Grainger Inc. His main objectives at Gatto will be to reduce Gatto’s response time to customers by being immediately available to answer inquiries, and to draw on his management experience to suggest improvements to both Gatto’s shipping operations and customer service.

“I am pleased to be associated with Gatto,” says Kirkman. “From our first meeting, I felt comfortable with the family-owned company’s philosophy and felt that I could contribute to the continued growth of the operation.”

Kirkman is a Chicago native, and formerly played professional football with the Oakland Raiders.