Marking the 99th birthday of Ernest Hotze


March 1, 2014 marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of CECO founder Mr. Ernest G. Hotze Jr. Mr. Hotze was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the family’s quarters above his dad’s shoe shop.  It was just seven months after the outbreak of World War I in Europe, when a kid could go to the store and buy candy and a pickle for a nickel. Growing up, Mr. Hotze would work at the shoemaker’s trade and go to school. He bought his first car, a used 1923 Model T Ford, in 1931 for $13.00.

Ernest worked in the Oklahoma oil fields as a teenager, working while he attended Oklahoma University. He graduated in 1940, and soon went to work out of Tulsa, traveling for Clark Brothers Company of Olean, New York, manufacturer of engines and compressors. Clark Brothers became Dresser-Clark and as the company grew, Mr. Hotze was transferred to Houston. While traveling, Mr. Hotze met Margaret Mary Fagan in Corpus Christi, and they were married in 1949.

Mr. Hotze was a consummate salesman responsive to his clients’ needs, and when in 1964, a customer asked for a particular valve for his compressor that Mr. Hotze’s own company could not make, he undertook to have the valves made — and that was how CECO was born.

Mr. Hotze retired from Dresser-Clark as Vice President (it would later become Dresser-Rand) and devoted full time to CECO in the 1970’s, and the CECO grew into one of the largest independent manufacturers of aftermarket compressor parts in the world, making parts of all kinds for compressors and engines of all kinds. The company now also provides pipeline services, training and emissions testing, field maintenance and repair services.

When he died on November 2, 1995, Mr. Hotze had left a legacy of eight children and many grandchildren and many friends, associates and customers who appreciated his good humor, hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and devotion to God, his family, and his extended family at CECO.

Mr. Hotze’s gravestone reads:

Newsboy, oilfield worker, petroleum engineer, super salesman, entrepreneur, inventor, handyman, political activist, benefactor, storyteller, counselor, friend, father of eight children.

We fondly cherish the memory of his many virtues and his infectious laugh. His upright deportment, integrity & enormously hugely joyful happy nature secured the esteem of all who knew him. Firm in his faith and constant in the practice of his religion weep no more; he died hoping for mercy at the Resurrection.

James R. Hutton Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of his Professional Engineers License


Compressor Engineering Corporation (CECO) Vice President James R. Hutton has held his Professional Engineer (PE) license for a remarkable 60 years. At 94, Hutton is the 5th oldest active PE residing in Texas. In Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico he stands as the oldest active Professional Engineer.

After serving as a Chief Engineer in the US Navy during World War II, Hutton graduated with Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of How to Sell Technical Equipment and Services (PennWell, 2005).

Hutton came to CECO in 1986 after retiring as president of the International Division of Dresser Machinery, where he had worked for 38 years. Hutton began his career with Clark Brothers, a Division of Dresser, where they manufactured compressor and integral gas engines. His long years of service to the oil and gas industry are unparalleled.

In October of 2012, Hutton received the Edward N. Henderson Award from the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC). The award honors distinguished service to the GMRC and the gas industry.

At that time, Mike Grubb, president of the GMRC, said, “Mr. Hutton has been an inspiration to so many young engineers over the course of his career. His passion for mentoring, especially in the area of ethics, has helped many professionals in our industry grow into the positions they enjoy today.”

Richard Hotze, president of CECO, said, “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Mr. Hutton for the past 28 years. He will always be a leader, a friend, and a wealth of knowledge about engineering and sales.”