Another Crack in the ‘Glass Ceiling’

Past PMPA president, Ron Bracalente, presents the prestigious Gold Micrometer Award to Nancy Peterson Hearn at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego. ​


Nancy Peterson Hearn, chairman of the board at Peterson Tool Company, has been awarded the prominent Gold Micrometer Award by the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) for making significant contributions to the industry during her 40 years of service.

Over the past 50 years, Peterson Tool Company has become a leader in special cutting tool solutions primarily for the automatic screw machine market. The company serves customers in 30 countries in the aerospace, automotive, farm equipment, home appliance, defense, welding and medical industries.

This industry achievement has been won by very few women and is a testament to Mrs. Hearn’s leadership. An interesting fact about Mrs. Hearn is that she began her career in the precision machine parts industry in 1972 when she coordinated the back end of her husband’s business, Peterson Tool Company, while raising six children.

Her husband, John L. Peterson, Sr., passed away suddenly in 1979 and without hesitation, she stepped in to run the company as president and CEO. During this era, it was unusual for women to lead corporations and even more rare for women to head companies in the machinery industry. She is living proof that one can have it all.