Andy Fiegener and his wife, Sarah, met at Oklahoma State University, where they graduated as mechanical engineers.
Now, they are partners in a business, Rye Design in Claremore.
“We do well with it,” Andy Fiegener said by phone. “A lot of people have said, ‘I could not work with my wife or work with my husband.’
“Sarah and I have learned that we both have our own ways of doing things. In the end, they both are going to turn out right. But our methods of getting there are different. We always keep separate projects.”
In 2013, Andy Fiegener founded Rye Design, a custom automation equipment manufacturer and integrator for a variety of components and robotic lines. Sarah Fiegener joined the company a year later.
“We’re not managing each other,” she said of the pair’s 9-to-5 relationship. “We don’t have to check each other’s work because we trust what the other person did. Employees are a lot different. Employees, you have to check every single thing.”
The Fiegeners were among the state’s Emerging Manufacturing Leaders honored Thursday at the annual Dream It Do It Oklahoma kickoff breakfast at Tulsa Tech. A total of 36 recipients from 26 companies in the Tulsa region were recognized.
Area manufacturing employers were invited to nominate emerging leaders within their company who are under 40 years of age and show great potential in their manufacturing career. Andy Fiegener is 33 and Sarah 31.
An initiative of the nonprofit OK2Grow, Dream It Do It Oklahoma facilitates classroom visits, tours and internship opportunities for students interested in manufacturing.
“It is neat that they are finding ways to grow or help bring young people into manufacturing and acknowledge that this is an important industry,” Andy Fiegener said. “We’re excited about the award.”
Dream It Do It Oklahoma will play host to activities throughout Manufacturing Month in October.
“We want to celebrate success in manufacturing and help more individuals connect with career paths in the industry,” Stephanie Cameron, state director of Dream It Do It Oklahoma, said in a statement.