Honoring Hu-Friedy Master Instrument Maker Neville Hammond
Last week, the Hu-Friedy family suffered a tremendous loss when our friend, 52-year teammate, and Master Instrument Maker, Neville Hammond, passed away.
Neville joined Hu-Friedy in 1966 after moving to the U.S. from England, where he earned his Master Craftsman certificate making surgical instruments. His technical expertise and his desire to share his knowledge with
Hu-Friedy teammates were just a few of the many ways he made a difference.
For those of us lucky enough to know Neville, we understand what an incredible person he was and how much he loved and cared for his Hu-Friedy family.
For those who did not have the good fortune to know him personally, you know him from the unparalleled contributions he made to our company, the dental industry and the amazing legacy he leaves behind.
Neville had a passion for instrument making and was extraordinarily proud of the high bar he and his team set. While he was never one for ego, Hu-Friedy certainly always knew what a special talent he was — so much so that, in 2008, we chose to honor him with a line of instruments carrying his name, which he helped to design. And, if you’re a fan of the Hu-Friedy mascot “Nevi,” you now know where that name came from.
It is not an exaggeration to say that no one has made a bigger impact on our organization than Neville Hammond. Neville joined Hu-Friedy 52 years ago, when our company was led by Hu-Friedy visionary and former Chairman and CEO, Richard Saslow. In the years following, Neville taught us what “world-class quality” really meant by creating our manufacturing practices and coaching his team to achieve that vision. Neville was influential in many parts of Hu-Friedy’s history, including the design of our factory headquarters. His refusal to accept the status quo and his passion for continuous improvement pushed us to develop and expand our product lines into Ortho, Ultrasonic Inserts and many other categories. Even as recently as a few years ago, Neville remained a vital component of Hu-Friedy’s innovation strategy and next-generation instrument design.
It is because of Neville and his legacy that the Hu-Friedy story remains as powerful today as ever. When any doctor or hygienist in the world utters the words “Hu-Friedy’s products are the best,” it is a testament to Neville and the foundation he built for us through his hard work, inquisitive nature and manufacturing brilliance. Moreover, there is a new generation of Hu-Friedy instrument artisans who have been inspired by Neville and are committed to upholding the highest level of quality he always demanded.
Indeed, while all of us at Hu-Friedy reflect on the loss of Neville with heavy hearts, we have many fond memories of the man who taught us, befriended us, pushed us to always do better, and who adopted every one of us as his own family. At his 50-year anniversary celebration in 2016, he was quoted as saying, “I have found working with the people to be the most rewarding part of my job. Training employees how to make instruments, and then later watching them train other employees to do the same, is my greatest source of pride.”
For us, the best part of our job was working with Neville. In honor of the man who had nothing but love, respect and the highest hopes for the hardworking people of Hu-Friedy, a new employee lounge at our global headquarters in Chicago has been dedicated in his name: “The Nevi Lounge”.
Neville will be greatly missed, but he will never be forgotten.