Linetec People to Know: Mark Huber

MarkHuber-(5)Q: Tell me about your job.

A: I am a Production Supervisor in the Anodize facility, working the 12-hour night shift.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: I worked at Nestle Nutrition for almost 10 years as a Validation Scientist prior to becoming a Supervisor. I went on to work at Parker Hannifan as a Supervisor before moving to Wausau and joining the Linetec team.

Q: As we recently celebrated Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your service. Tell me about your military life.

MarkHuber-(4)A: I first joined the Army in 1981 as a medic. I progressed to paramedic and staff sergeant, before accepting a commission as an officer after graduating from Physician Assistant school. I served four years on active duty in the Army and 16 years in the National Guard for a total of 20 years. I retired in 2001 as a captain.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Working with a dedicated team of individuals who take pride in their work and in themselves. I enjoy playing a role in building a positive team environment and am particularly satisfied when one of my direct reports achieves a goal or a promotion.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A: The biggest challenge we’ve seen as of late is trying to be flexible to production demands with limited personnel. Cross training to ensure that people can perform a variety of different skill positions has become paramount to our business success.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A: The focus on improvement and change for the better.

Q: What is something you are looking forward to?

A: I moved to the Wausau area to be closer to my daughter and her family, which I’m happy to say, includes two very spoiled grandchildren.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you? 

A: I love animals and have a Bernese Mountain Dog named “Bear.”

 

Linetec People to Know: Colleen Hruska

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAQ:  Tell me about your job: 

A: My job involves many different responsibilities, including health promotion, management and prevention of illness and injury, and consulting on medical matters and health related issues. I oversee the Linetec First Responder program, which involves recruiting, training and ongoing support for a wonderful group of associates who have stepped up to serve the company in matters beyond their normal job responsibilities. In addition, I manage Linetec’s medical case management program through collaboration with other health professionals and community agencies to meet the health needs of the workforce.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to my position here at Linetec, I worked as the Director of Staff Development for many years at various Skilled Nursing Facilities. I also have many years of experience in the hospital setting in both medical and surgical areas, as well as the Intensive Care Unit.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:  The best part of my job, without a doubt, is the fact that I have the opportunity to interact with the associates here at Linetec and assist them in matters of health and life. I am always very touched by the idea that co-workers come to me with issues, and value my experience and expertise. I truly enjoy all components of my job. The variety of responsibility keeps the days fresh and never boring.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A:  The biggest challenge I face is being able to touch base with all the associates working here. I generally work during the weekday, so associates working varied shifts – nights and weekends – do not have as much contact with me. I try to be very accessible to all associates by giving out my phone and email, and encouraging them to contact me day or night if they have matters that I can help with.

Colleen-5K 2016-web

Photo from 2016 5K

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:  The biggest change in my job over the years here at Linetec is the fact that we have grown so much and I no longer know all the associates by name. I have also noticed that Linetec associates are becoming increasingly more interested in Wellness and realizing the importance of being active and eating well. Linetec has a Wellness Committee whose members plan fun activities, while promoting healthy living for associates and their families. We recently had our 3rd Annual 5K Run/Walk. It was well attended and a great event. Planning is already underway for next year’s race.

Colleen-MaggieQ:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A: I am looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with my family. I also look forward to spending time with my dog, Maggie, who loves to play and take long walks.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you? 

A: One thing that people don’t know about me is that I am quite into sports – both playing and watching. If I was not a nurse, I would like to be a sportscaster or sideline reporter. I like playing softball, tennis and working out at the gym. I also have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Linetec People to Know: Tom Danen

ESGR-Award-Danen-web

Tom was recently honored with the Patriot Award presented by Department of Defense. From left to right: Spc. Andrew Jimenez, Tom Danen – Linetec and Dave Monk – ESGR representative 

 Q:  Tell me about your job

A:  I am the 1st shift applications supervisor at the paint facility. I supervise the mainline applications team, flex line, as well as oversee our wood grain process.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Linetec was my first full time job. Prior to Linetec I had summer jobs and part-time work after school and on the weekends. For all four years of high school, I worked at Kalepp Fish Farm during the summer. In addition to working at the fish farm, I also worked at Blue Odyssey supper club as a waiter/bartender in the evenings and on the weekends.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:  Definitely the people that work here.

Linetec has great core values. I truly believe that most everyone that works at Linetec is happy to be here and that shows through quality and team atmosphere.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A:  The speed of our business definitely is a challenge; however, those same challenges make us better. The pace of material flowing through the facility and changes in priorities make a daily routine ever changing.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:   Our building expansions and growth. When I started here at the paint facility, we used to rack where we currently unload. Wausau Window and Wall Systems used to occupy what we now call “Paint North.” We had an in-line washer and the off-line booth was down in applications. I would have never thought that we would grow as much as we have and would need to add as much building as we have already, and still, we potentially need more space.

Q:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  Two answers for this one: one work and one personal.

On the work side, I look forward to the growth of the company and how we will handle the increased volume. In particular, I’m excited to see the growth of our specialty finishes – such as our wood grain and terra cotta textured finishes – and what we may implement as our next specialty finish.

Tom-bow-and-arrow-webOn the personal side, we are approaching one of my favorite times of the year – fall, when the weather gets a little bit cooler and the archery season opens.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A:  I have a passion to be in the outdoors: hunting, fishing, spending time at the family cabin, riding four-wheelers, camping, cutting firewood, making maple syrup, shooting archery and the list continues.

Q: What is something that most people do not know about you?

A:  Well there are two things that most people do not know and they are: I used to motocross race ATVs, and that I really enjoy shooting 3-D archery and even shoot competitively.

TomDanen-hunting-web     TomDanen-ATV-web

Linetec People to Know: Andy Joswiak

JoswiakQ:  Tell me about your job

A:  For the past 18 years, I have been the V.P. of Operations. The duties and details of the job were very extensive, so with Linetec’s recent growth, the decision was made to split that role into two positions.

The two new positions are:

V.P. – Operations with responsibility for daily manufacturing, scheduling and safety

V.P. – Engineering and Technical Services, (my new position), with responsibility for Engineering, Environmental, Continuous Improvement, Maintenance, New Product Introductions, and New Plant & Equipment

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: I focused on my education and held part-time jobs. I sent out one resume while in my senior year of college – and I am still here.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:  Working with all the great people at Linetec and helping to build a team and culture that has made Linetec the best in our industry.

I also enjoy working on concepts and projects that make us safer, better, faster and more reliable.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A:  Easy – keeping up with the significant growth we have seen over the past four years.

It has been phenomenal, but ensuring we have capacity to service that growth has at times been challenging.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:   Change – it never stops. We are constantly improving our process capability, capacities and offerings. It has been great to be part of the change improvement for the past three decades.

If I had to pick one, it would be connecting nearly all the buildings of Linetec with the Line 3 “Great Hall” connection.

Q:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  Getting into more detail of my new position to make Linetec even better and more capable.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Andy-snowmobiling-webA:  I really enjoy the outdoors, both winter and summer. It is tough to find things to do outside in Wisconsin in the winter. Snowmobiling is one thing I really enjoy no matter how cold it gets outside.

You don’t understand cold until you are doing 100 MPH on a snowmobile with an outside temperature of -17F. (I am not sure what the wind chill was, but it was a little cool.)

I have also snow-machined in Alaska several times. If you ever have that opportunity, do it. It is nothing like trailriding in Wisconsin. And I still managed to keep in contact with customers via cell phone in the mountains!

Andy-snowmobiling2-web

Linetec People to Know: Cara Bahlow

CaraB-(2)-webQ:  Tell me about your job

A:  I am the Quality Engineer for the paint facility. This year, I will celebrate my 10-year anniversary with Linetec.  My responsibilities include supervising the Quality Assurance department, reviewing customer specifications and working with customers to understand their quality expectations, managing customer concerns and returns, corrective actions, maintaining certifications, and providing requests for documentation such as test reports and certificates of analysis.  I relay customers’ needs internally to ensure that we are providing the quality finish that our customers are expecting.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to Linetec I worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a global adhesive corporation specializing in the distribution of specialty chemicals and equipment. I spent eight years as the Quality Manager for two divisions that offered custom packaging for a variety of materials and developed custom-formulated products.  I enjoyed my job thoroughly, but was excited for the opportunity to return to Wausau with my young family so we could spend a lot of time with our extended family. Linetec was the perfect fit!  Often people tease me that I went from watching glue dry to watching paint dry!

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:  My favorite part of my job, as well as the biggest challenge of my job, is the fast paced nature of the production environment.  In quality you can never have a plan for the day because you do not know what challenges the day will bring.  I really like visiting customers and working through customer audits to understand how they use our services and what end application their product has.  I also like helping and watching employees grow into experienced, confident employees who are proud of their work and what Linetec has to offer.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:  The biggest change I’ve seen in my job is the evolvement of Linetec’s quality program and that of our customers.  Many of our customers use instrumentation in their receiving and quality inspection.  Our employees, the data we maintain, and the testing and procedures that we have in place have advanced significantly over the years.  Customer requests that once seemed an impossibility have now become standard procedure.  I am proud of what we’ve accomplished; the Linetec team has never been stronger!

Q:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  At Linetec I look forward to the growth our new product offerings.  There are some very exciting finishes I can’t wait to see more of on our paint line!  Personally, I look forward to family vacations and every moment spent together making memories as a family.

CaraB-(3)-webQ:  What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A:  Outside of work, my husband and I enjoy cheering our 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter on in their activities – whether it is on a football field, dance studio or one of their many Scouting adventures.  I’ve been a Girl Scout leader and a Sunday School teacher for many years. I love seeing that look on a child’s face when they’ve learned something new or mastered a new skill.  I hope I’ve influenced them positively and someday they’ll remember these moments with a smile.  I love singing for our church and participating in the church choir.  I enjoy swimming, figure skating and playing tennis.  My favorite place to be is our family cabin in Tomahawk, Wisconsin – boating, fishing, swimming, campfires and ice cream.  It has been a very special part of my life since I was a young child.  There is no place that I would rather be!

CaraB-(1)-web

Linetec People to Know: Tom Harenda

Tom-motorcycle-webQ:  Tell me about your job

A: I am the Transportation Manager at Linetec. I started out in the Packaging department back in 1991 and transferred to the Shipping department shortly after that. I worked the dock loading trucks and also was the Shipping Clerk prior to becoming the Transportation Manager. My current responsibilities include oversight of our Linetec fleet/trucks, coordinating the trucking for numerous customers and supervising the 1st shift Shipping department. Being at the “back-end” of the process is not easy, as we’re challenged to get things out the door almost daily, especially with the increase in volume we’ve experienced the past few years.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to Linetec, for several years I installed material handling equipment (conveyor and overhead rail systems, storage racks, etc.) I got tired of the travel and living out of a suitcase, so I sought out other employment.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:   Having a sense of accomplishment when my team and I are able to assist sales or a customer. Typically that entails securing trucking on short notice, or expediting a “hot” shipment to meet their schedule. It’s critical to have a network of carriers/contacts to satisfy those types of requests, and it’s not very often that we’re unable to meet a specific demand. Building and surrounding myself with a strong team has been a necessity and I take pride in the team that we’ve built.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A:  Without a doubt – our growth… We’ve been extremely busy lately. As I mentioned earlier, being the last step in the process continually puts us in a position where we have to perform, without exception. We strive to be as accurate as possible, knowing that any mistakes we make can delay our customers’ already tight production timeframes.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:   Once again – our growth… When I took over our transportation, we had two trucks and a “partner carrier” to accommodate the routes that we ran. Today, we have seven of our own over-the-road OTR trucks and drivers, and two “partner carriers.” We currently serve around30 states and over 75 customers. Transportation has proven to be a great asset sales tool for Linetec customers. My team and I are proud to be a part of a service that has continually grown and provided additional finishing opportunities for Linetec.

Tom-golf-outing-webQ:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  I’m looking forward to the remainder of the summer, and hopefully DRY weather… It’s been an extremely wet spring/early summer and it’s hampered my ability to get outside and do some of the things I like to do, specifically riding my motorcycle.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A:  Most people I work with know that I ride my motorcycle as often as possible. I’ve put on over 180,000 miles in the past 10 years. I have taken several long distance rides, going to Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Black Hills, the Ozarks and Colorado, but the majority of those miles have been in Wisconsin. There are plenty of great roads here to seek out, especially in the southwest portion of the state.

I also enjoy live music. Often, my motorcycle rides entail riding to a specific destination to watch a band. I’ve seen countless famous, big name rock bands, but I prefer finding new, local bands playing at the local pub.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is my new favorite hot spot for music. There are several good bands that call Sturgeon Bay and Door County their home. In the summer, there are numerous venues to choose from that host live music. It’s also beautiful there. I find it very relaxing and hope to retire there someday.

 

 

Linetec People to Know: Jon Close

Jon-close-upQ: Tell me about your job

A: I am the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Linetec. My responsibilities include the oversight of our Outside Sales, Inside Sales, Estimating and Marketing functions. Making sure each of these areas works closely – not only with each other – but also with the rest of the organization is a large part of what I do every day. I also spend a significant amount of my time working with our customers and making sure we are doing our best to service them and meet their needs.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to joining Linetec, I worked in the automotive and aerospace finishing industry in Detroit. While many of the finishing technologies are similar, the architectural and automotive/aerospace industry is completely different. Architectural is primarily focused on performance and aesthetics, and the area of the automotive/aerospace industry I worked in was primarily concerned with functionality.

Jon-2013-golf-teamQ: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: What I enjoy most is working with our customers and with all of the associates at Linetec. By having a national presence, Linetec has a very diverse customer base. I enjoy learning and getting to know more about our customers, their businesses, and the regions in which their businesses are located. Also, our employees are second to none. Linetec’s employees work very hard and take great pride in their work. There is no doubt our employees make my job easier.

Q: What poses the biggest challenge for you?

A: The velocity of Linetec’s environment is incredible. Because we are a service company we have very little foresight of what is coming at us from a volume standpoint, and our customers’ order frequency and job sizes are not consistent through the year. Balancing these factors, while ensuring our quality, reliability and service remain at high levels, requires constant effort.

Q: Are there any finishing types or trends that you are seeing more of lately?

A: Not necessarily new, but finishes and colors that are or emulate natural metals remain very popular. Because anodize is a natural finish, we have seen it gain more and more favor in recent years due to the depth the finish offers along with its metallic appearance. Also, paint colors that resemble natural metals like zinc, pewter, copper, weathered steel and others are very popular with architects and specifiers.

Jon-horsesQ: What is something you are looking forward to?

A: Warm weather and all of the outdoor activities I will be able to do as a result of it.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: Anything  outdoors. I like biking, running, fishing, hiking, camping and anything that keeps me active and moving. I also love to travel with my family and showing them as many new places as possible. When the weather does not cooperate and I have to be indoors, I like woodworking.

Jon-ski

Park City, Utah

 

Jon-arch

Arches National Park

 

Jon-hulahoop

Linetec Golf Outing hula-hoop contest