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Last year, during Schad’s 75th anniversary, our newsletter spent a lot of time focusing on and celebrating our past.

This year, we will use this publication to focus on our present and our future. During the past several years, Schad has brought on several key employees who are an integral part of the company’s succession planning as well as its growth goals. These employees have a diverse range of backgrounds and geographies. For the next several months we will feature one of these employees in an effort to help our customers, employees, and partners have more complete relationships with these newer members of our team.

The first employee to be featured is Schad’s Regional Business Manager in Youngstown, Ohio, Matt Sam. Matt has been in the refractory industry since he was a teenager and has worked in several rolls in the industry from laborer to management. One thing unique about Matt is that he has spent time on the material manufacturer side as well as the installation contractor side of the industry.

Due to his geography, Matt’s refractory background is heavily weighted in the steel industry, but during his time at Schad he has developed a network of clients in several industries including aluminum and power.

Matt is a team player and works hard to represent the company well and takes great pride in providing stable employment to the employees that help him get his project’s done each day. He is independent and enjoys using his innovative side to solve the unique challenges faced in this industry on a daily basis.

1. How long have you worked with Schad?

I have worked at Schad for three years this past April.

2. How did you get started in the refractory industry?

I started in this industry by sweeping the floor/cleaning up at a bottom pour tile warehouse at age 15. I thought my father was taking me to a warehouse to give me a car he bought me and was hiding for my upcoming birthday (16). When the door to the warehouse opened he introduced me to my new boss!

3. What is the biggest or most challenging project you have managed?

A powerplant repair in Kentucky. It started as a simple shotcrete job helping another refractory contractor for a few days. At the end of it all we were there for weeks with more than 25 men on the job.

4. What is your favorite part about your job?

Honestly, it is the people that I deal with every day. My customers, my fellow Schad employees, and all of the vendors I deal with keep my job very enjoyable and challenging.

5. What is your fondest memory of working at Schad?

One particular instance sticks out. Just day to day it’s a pleasure dealing with everyone.

6. What are you currently working on?

Right now, I am working on several quotes and planning an outage. I am quoting a complete walking beam roof replacement (steel and all) in Texas, and a combustion job with a refractory reline in West Virginia. I am also preparing to mobilize for a rotary hearth outage not far from the Youngstown office. Being able to multitask is critical to success in my position.

7. What are your biggest professional challenges?

Manpower. It’s been a struggle to find enough qualified people during certain times of the year. Also, it is difficult to satisfy all customer requests at times with only 24 hours in a day.

8. What is your motto or personal mantra?

Treat others how you want to be treated.

9. When you’re not at Schad what you most likely doing?

When I’m not at Schad, I am typically doing something for one of my five children, or if I’m lucky, spending a little time on my Harley with the phone off.

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