Way back in 1971, my older brother, Andy Steinbock, started working in the Whip Mix maintenance department while waiting for his friends to help him in starting a sports car repair shop in Colorado where they had all attended college together at CSU. For a variety of reasons, the repair shop plan never materialized, but by then Andy had already demonstrated his problem solving skills, a knack for mechanical things and a dependable work ethic, all of which have served him well over the last 44 years at Whip Mix.
Never one to be in the limelight (as proven by the scarcity of available photos), Andy had to be coaxed into being involved in the operations of the company, first in managing portions of the Mechanical Division, serving on the company’s Board of Directors and eventually heading up our Engineering Department. As a result, his coworkers have seldom been aware of how his exacting analysis of product production issues have resulted in improved fixturing, reduced rework or scrap and more satisfied customers. With help from Sharon Young and Mike Hall, he created close to 1000 Mechanical Division Bills of Materials and this allowed Whip Mix to get its processes into the computer age and out of the manual pencil and paper past with its laborious inventory tracking/counting, hand typed purchase orders and intricate receiving inspection process.
Our long term supplier relationships are also a tribute to Andy’s loyalty to suppliers who put our interests above their own. Thanks to Andy’s example, we have made our supplier into partners - - -resulting in many cost savings and product enhancements suggested by suppliers who help us specify optimal grades of raw materials that differentiate our products from others on the market.
Similarly, Andy has bent over backwards to help loyal coworkers struggling with personal or family issues. He has come to appreciate that good people are hard to find, so helping them in a time of need has been good for them and good for the Company. Our low team member turnover is enviable!
So it’s not surprising that Andy as a youth was an active Boy Scout (earning the Eagle rank) and later as an adult volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 1 Pioneers, the oldest Troop in Kentucky. As the Scoutmaster for 8 years, Andy helped more than a dozen scouts attain the Eagle rank and hundreds more scouts become productive members of the community.
So now is our time to reflect on his long career and celebrate this occasion with a man that, depending on your connection, you may know as a husband, father, brother, coworker, boss, mentor, valued customer or key supplier.
AND, unless a freak November hurricane barrels into the Bahamas islands, ruining the upcoming Family Work Week, you’ll hear in January, 2016 how Whip Mix pioneered a transition from dental office and lab use of bulk investment and gypsum powders to a new system of unit dose packaging in sealed moisture proof envelopes.