What drives you?
I’ve always had this feeling there’s more to do; we can do better; never settling for things as they are as OK. Keep pushing forward. Some people don’t like that.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in 2017?
Last year, putting together this deal with the city and our bank (Farmers State Bank of Jesup) to get this ($5.5 million freezer) expansion project off the ground and started. That’s probably the biggest thing that happened.
What are your goals for 2018?
Complete the construction of this freezer expansion and make it available to our customers to provide more service to them — space and services. And emphasize with our team here we need to consider ourselves true partners with our customers, be their eyes and ears, and do the very best we can. That’s what keeps us in business.
What makes the Cedar Valley a great place for business?
The Cedar Valley in general is a great location — central location in an agricultural region between a lot of major cities. But in addition to that, it’s our people who show up to work every day who make things happen. Without a real dedicated crew we’re not able to provide that quality service for our customers. It’s not a very glamorous business. It’s always cold, even in the summer. But my hat’s off to all the people who work here, because they make it happen. We’ve been fortunate to get a good group of people that do come into work in a tough environment. We don’t have much turnover. That’s kind of a nice testimony to what we’re doing and we try to treat our people properly. My hat’s off to our supervisors.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned in your journey?
In 1979, I started in this business. I was just out of college. My family had bought the business from the Young family, and we needed to find a manager. I said I’d try it for a short time until I found a real job. Now here I am, over 38 years later. Nobody starts out in their careers expecting to stay in the same job very long. However, when you find something you enjoy (and) you’re able to work with good people, nothing’s really any better than that, so what else would you want? You work with dedicated staff and good customers, and it makes life good. Never give up. Set you goals high and enjoy the journey — with getting up and freezing every day!