About Nathaniel Group

Nathaniel Group, Inc. (NGI) is a world leader original equipment designer and manufacturer. Through close collaboration with its global customers, the company implements its flexible design model to develop reliable, high-quality, low-cost-of-ownership solutions that are easily integrated into new or existing systems. The company excels at design for manufacturability exercising full use of its lean manufacturing operations to customer advantage. Key markets include scientific and medical illumination in addition to medical devices.

Founded in 1984, Nathaniel Group is headquartered in Vergennes, Vermont, and operates via a global customer support network. The company's unique onshore sourcing business approach (engineered – assembled - delivered) is supported by technology integration, allowing NGI to respond quickly to new developments, apply the technology to manufacturing challenges and expedite device manufacturing in high volume. A member of the Vermont Business Roundtable and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Nathaniel Group has been a recipient of the VBSR Small Business Leader Terry Ehrich award for excellence in socially responsible business practices as well as Vermont Business Magazine's 5x5x5 awards in multiple categories. Nathaniel was also honored by the State of Vermont for its practices in employing people with disabilities.

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Our Management Team

Nathaniel is run by a dynamic leadership team with diverse experience. From engineering to human resources and manufacturing to ISO, our senior management has a strong customer orientation. We welcome direct contact if you have a question or need more information from anyone on the team.

Joel Melnick - General Manager

Joel is originally from New York City, is a registered P.E., and received his training in electrical engineering at SUNY Buffalo. His first job was at Boeing, which gave him significant training in circuit design and safety controls. He was recruited to Vermont to work for what is now a division of Goodrich, where he developed a thorough understanding of patented technology.

Joel founded Nathaniel in 1984, and over time he has grown it from a small consultancy into a robust design, prototyping and manufacturing firm. He notes that the secret to success in the technical device work is control: “The trick is to figure out what the elements are that you need to control very closely – so you have reliable, accurate results from an instrument over the long term.”

The success of Nathaniel is due in large part, says Joel, to the culture of curiosity and innovation that he has worked so hard to create. “I started my business to be heard, and now I help others get heard.”

Barbara McDonald - Finance and Administration Manager

Barbi joined the company as its seventh employee, originally to handle payables and payroll functions. Now she manages the company’s financials and operations

A native Vermonter, Barbi has an extensive business background. In addition to owning and managing several businesses of her own, she has been the treasurer for the local school system, and has served the City of Vergennes in numerous capacities.

Barbi attributes her business success to her lack of fear: “I am not afraid to try things and figure them out; to ask questions and to include others in the decision making process.”

Peter Bergendahl - Engineering Manager

Peter has always had a passion for creating products, technologies, and the future as an Engineer. As his career and experience grew, his focus turned to leading teams and helping them to find their own success. He completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Vermont, and has developed products that have varied from snowboards to specialty fastener tools to power/data distribution products for office contract furniture. Along the way, he has led teams which included Engineers, Testing Coordinators, Research Specialists and Industrial Designers. Peter would like to use his broad engineering knowledge and servant leadership to raise the Ushio Engineering Team to new levels of success with customers, develop new technical competencies, and increase excitement in their work.

June LeCompte - Materials Manager

June has more than twenty years’ experience in Manufacturing including working for Goodrich and Nexus Custom Electronics where she developed her expertise in material and supply chain management. She has created inventory systems with suppliers to reduce inventory on hand; driven cost reductions; decreased lead times to the customer and increased cash flow for the company..

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About Our Workplace

When you join Nathaniel Group, you’ll not only work with a team of dedicated, diverse, and highly talented professionals, you’ll become a member of a fast-growing company. We strive to provide a positive, rewarding work environment for our entire team through meaningful, challenging work.

The team at Nathaniel has a wide range of skills and talents; we work in a fast-paced manufacturing environment; and we have to meet high standards and strict deadlines. How do we keep things moving smoothly? We train our employees well, we communicate clearly, and we try to have as much fun as possible.

To help us maintain our fun, family atmosphere we schedule a variety of non-work related activities. We have a monthly birthday party and by tradition, newly hired employees are encouraged to start the singing! We often have a lunch “meeting” where we share laughter and a good meal. We will frequently begin one of our company meetings by cooking and serving breakfast or a barbeque.

We encourage our employees to be involved in many of the decisions that we make on a daily basis. For example, during our renovation project, a cross-functional team of employees designed the new layout and flow of our production, warehouse and engineering areas.


We offer an outstanding benefits package, designed to be affordable and comprehensive, to meet your needs and those of your family. Some of these benefits include:

• 401k / Profit Sharing Retirement Plan
• Paid Vacation
• Paid Holidays
• Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
• Tuition Reimbursement
• Medical and Dental Insurances
• Short Term and Long Term Disability
• Group Term Life Insurance
• Supplemental Life Insurance
• Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

Our Hiring Process

At Nathaniel our hiring process is very deliberate. We are a close knit team and we have experienced the difficulties that arise when an employee does not fit and embrace our culture. Applicants participate in at least two interviews before we make the final decision and offer the position to the applicant who fits and has the skills. Some applicants will be interviewed by up to 10 of our employees representing many, if not all, of the functional areas within the company. Our employees are very passionate about finding and hiring the right people to add to our team and they willingly commit the time and energy to interview applicants in depth. Once the interview process is complete, the entire interview team will meet to discuss the positive and “not so positive” aspects of each candidate. This process provides the hiring manager with impressions and feedback from every member of the team. It also gives the hiring manager a broad outlook on the impressions that the candidate made on everyone.

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Social Responsibility

Our commitment to social responsibility – paying attention to more than just the financial bottom line – has been part of the company since it was founded in 1984. We believe that a company that inspires its employees and partners to be as creative, as honest, and as thoughtful as possible will create long-term wealth in its community and for its stakeholders.

We are a member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility ( VBSR).

VBSR is the oldest and strongest socially responsible business organization in the U.S., and its 500 member businesses share best practices in the areas of people and resource management.

We practice open-book management using The Great Game of Business™. Our employees are our partners in creating a business that uses resources – financial, environmental, and human capital – effectively for the long term. Giving our employees critical information about our resources helps them make contributions to our dual bottom line – serving the financial and community needs of the company.

Treating our employees fairly and honestly, while considering the needs of all of our stakeholders – customers, owners, employees and neighbors – is not just a “feel-good” for us, it’s a critical business practice. Our stakeholders and partners are invested in our success, and the contributions they make with their time and talents are priceless

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Environmental Stewardship

NGI is a responsible global organization committed to safeguarding the welfare of the environment in which we work. We strive to conduct our operations in an environmentally responsible manner and to create environmentally friendly products.

We do this by:

  • Meeting or exceeding applicable international, federal and local environmental regulatory requirements as well as all other environmentally relevant requirements to which we have committed.
  • Supporting environmental initiatives such as RoHS, WEEE, Energy STAR Alliance, among other initiatives.
  • Continuously improving our environmental performance by using materials and energy efficiently and by reducing emissions and discharges as much as practical.
  • Tracking our performance in reducing waste in our processes and focusing on near perfect first pass yield in our lean manufacturing.
  • Reducing, reusing, recycling - to minimize waste at all levels of the organization.
  • Reviewing our environmental performance on a regular basis.

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