Tell us about your job.
I am the Location Manager for the Forge truss plant. We are a smaller truss plant in Northern Kentucky, producing floor and roof trusses.
How did you get into the industry?
Accidently! I was a 25-year-old millennial living in his parents’ basement, holding a history degree, without a clue what to do next. I ended up getting an Associate’ Degree in Drafting and Design. I got my foot in the door as an engineered wood products designer for KI Lumber before taking advantage of other opportunities they had available.
What do you like most about your work?
I’m not stuck just doing one thing. It’s different every day; I can bounce between sales, production, design, continuous improvement, safety, and inventory, to name a few.
How have you grown as a professional since you joined your company?
Formal education honed my critical thinking and communication skills and on-the-job experience helped me put those skills to practice. Going through Green Belt, Pulse, and other US LBM training programs has made me much more comfortable participating in and leading projects. Change has been the one constant in my career, but I have become more adaptable in navigating change, for example bringing the team up to speed and creating buy-in, which starts with buying in myself. As a leader I think I am much more aware of what my team needs from me on a regular basis than I was just a few years ago.
How would you describe the culture at US LBM?
The culture at US LBM gives opportunities to those with aspirations looking to better oneself. If you’re willing to take chances, volunteer for different projects, then opportunities will present themselves.
What would you say makes the company unique?
US LBM has grown exponentially but I still feel like I’m in control at my local level. The decisions I make affect myself and the those around me so I’m motivated to do well for the team and to make us better.
What would you tell someone considering joining the building materials industry?
Show up on time, work harder than the person next to you, and volunteer for a project outside of your comfort zone. If you’re doing those things and learning, then the rest generally takes care of itself.
What is it that excites you about working this industry?
The vertical mobility afforded me and to others that work hard and stick with it. Nine years ago I was a yard associate putting I-Joist packages together in the lumber yard. Now I’m a Location Manager. When talking to folks in our plant that are just starting out, I remind myself that this person might be who I was less than a decade ago – maybe they just need a chance. I feel that if you work hard in this industry, you have control of your own destiny to a degree.