A Timeless Contributor: D. Bruce Mauch Celebrates 47 Years at Chelsea Clock, Decades as a Community Leader

D. Bruce Mauch is celebrating 47 years of service at Chelsea Clock, a milestone that is not going unnoticed by Chelsea residents, so many of whom have either served with him or touched by his kindnesses.

As Susan Gallant said of her friend and fellow Rotarian this week, “Bruce Mauch, like Chelsea Clock, is a beloved Chelsea institution.”

Indeed, D. Bruce Mauch (The D. stands for Douglas, “but nobody has called Douglas since my days in the Army,” he noted) has been a part of the Chelsea fabric and he has helped make this city special and close-knit for five decades.

The Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, have been direct beneficiaries of his community service and leadership. He has served as Chamber and Rotary President and is a two-time Paul Harris Fellow. He is a former Chelsea resident of the year.

His personality, warmth, and sense of humor are Mauchian trademarks. He is a brilliant man, whose background as a graduate of prestigious University of Wisconsin as a Certified Public Account, affirm that and then some.

But what people most admire about Mauch, 76, is that if he puts his effort in to a club or community project, he’s “all in.” Take the Rotary, D. Bruce Mauch has never missed a meeting in his 30 years as a member. Whether it’s assisting Juan Gallego with one of his international projects or suiting up for the Rotary softball team, D. Bruce Mauch is giving his best.

His early and college years  in Wisconsin

D. Bruce Mauch grew up in a small town of 247 people in Wisconsin, 285 miles north and west of Milwaukee. He and his family lived on 20 acres of land.

“My father (George) was a rural mail carrier, his route was 80 miles a day,” recalled Bruce. “And my mother (Jessie) was an elementary school teacher.”

His father was a World War I veteran born in 1895. His mother was born in 1910. He has two brothers, one (Bart) a lawyer and district attorney, the other (Rodney) a UPS driver, and a sister Myrna, a chiropractor.

He had to take a 20-mile bus ride to get to his high school (Tony High School) each day. Mauch played 8-man football as a freshman, but sustained a knee injury and could never get a doctor’s clearance to return.

He was accepted to the University of Wisconsin, one of the elite schools in the country.

“I had gotten great grades, but I wasn’t a studious, student,” he said humbly. “The University of

Wisconsin is a beautiful campus.” He received his degree his Business Administration with a major in Accounting. “The neat thing about it is that you can’t graduate the University of Wisconsin until you pass a swim test,” he remembered.

Upon his graduation, Mauch was offered a position at Price Waterhouse in Milwaukee.

“And then I was drafted,” said Mauch, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. “I spent nine months in action in Vietnam. I was in a fixed-wing aircraft that flew at 1,500 feet and we got shot at a few times.”

He returned to Milwaukee and in 1972 and went to work as a senior internal auditor at Bunker Ramo Corporation in Chicago.

On to Chelsea Clock

Bunker Ramo bought Chelsea Clock while Mauch was on assignment in Trumbull, Connecticut. The assistant comptroller left Chelsea Clock and Nauch was invited to Chelsea to help close the financial books at the end of the quarter. “And I never left,” he said. “Over the years, I became the manufacturing manager, engineering manager, and eventually president and COO.”

When J.K. Nicholas bought the company, Mauch took his current position as vice president of operations.

 Mauch recalled that in his second year at Chelsea Clock in 1973, he watched from as the Great Chelsea Fire started on Everett Avenue (near Chelsea Clock) and destroyed 20 percent of the city.

Chelsea Clock, founded in 1897, has maintained its impeccable reputation as a world-renowned clockmaker with Mauch in the administrative offices.

“We’re the last American-made clockmaker who truly makes clocks,” said Mauch proudly. “Our high-end, top quality clocks are sent and enjoyed all over the world. Families treat our clocks as heirlooms. Elvis Presley once came to our building and bought a lot of clocks. Almost every U.S. President had a Chelsea Clock.”

 Mauch said he takes pride in the company’s unmatched history as a manufacturer of superior timepieces.

“One of the nice things about working at Chelsea Clock is that it’s well known and people know we’re known for quality clocks,” said Mauch. “Wherever you travel, people appreciate the name, Chelsea Clock. There’s a lot of pride working for Chelsea clock.”

The Mauch-Robinson Connection

D. Bruce Mauch and his wife, Gail [Robinson] Mauch, have been married for 36 years. They have a daughter, Nickolette, who is a certified emergency medical technician.

Bruce couldn’t have joined a more, community-service minded and popular family than the Robinsons, typified by his brother-in-laws, Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson and Latimer Society Co-Director Ronald Robinson.

“Through Leo and Gail, that’s when I developed my interest in the city,” said Mauch. “They got me to get involved.”

Bruce and the forever sartorially splendid Gail Mauch are fixtures at local social events from the Chamber’s Pot-O-Gold Dinner to the Rotary’s installations.

The list of organizations which D. Mauch has sat on boards or served in leadership positions include CETA, the Chelsea Community Fund, the Friends of the Chelsea Public Library (as its current president), the Licensing Commission, the Rotary Club, and the Chamber of Commerce.

“I was on an advisory committee with Molly Baldwin when they first started thinking about forming a youth center for ROCA,” recalled Mauch.

 He was a member of the original Chelsea Charter Review Committee that totally changed the structure of Chelsea government.

He has worked on numerous successful campaigns for Leo Robinson, who is the dean of Chelsea government. Bruce Mauch himself served one year as the Ward 1 alderman.

“I love Chelsea,” said Mauch. “I’ve met a lot of great people. Chelsea is a community where people say that you never leave it. Once you’ve been there, you never leave.”

Praise from Sue Gallant and Councillor Leo Robinson

Former Rotary and Chamber of Commerce President Susan Gallant has had a front row seat as she and D. Bruce Mauch have served this city well in many capacities. The Rotary Club’s “Breakfast With Santa” which Gallant has organized and Mauch has volunteered as the great visitor from the North Pole is but one shining example of their collaboration for the betterment of Chelsea.

“I have known Bruce Mauch for 29 years and have always known him to be devoted to family, friends, Rotary and the City of Chelsea,” said Gallant. “I have served on many boards with Bruce, including the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Chelsea, and Youth Service Managers. His comments, suggestions and opinions are always well thought out, well presented, and thought provoking. He, like Chelsea Clock, is a well-loved institution.

Said Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson about D. Bruce Mauch, “He is a man for all seasons, He is very knowledgeable about life. He is very active in our community. Bruce gave me a sound piece of advice: If you own a Chelsea Clock, you can never go broke. And that holds today.”

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