MEET JIM CHOATE JR.
During college, he spent summers in the company’s fabrication shop and upon graduation gained employment with a large trucking company. Since joining the team full-time eleven years ago, Jim has worked as a field worker, a supervisor, and for the past several years as Schad’s office manager, replacing long-time Schad office manager, Kathy Sosa, upon her retirement.
His current role requires him to be involved in many facets of the company including processing payroll, accounting, human resources, and insurances.
Jim has made himself a fixture in the Schad office, and his work ethic and dependability are characteristics that the company has grown to depend on. He is dedicated to all of the tasks that he performs, especially, making sure that the payroll is processed properly each week, which is no easy task.
Outside of the office, in addition to being a dedicated husband and father to his wife, Andrea, and his children, Emily and David, Jim is a proud supporter of the Rebel Alliance “In a galaxy far, far away.”
1. How long have you worked with Schad?
I’ve been a full-time employee for 11 years.
2. How did you get started in the refractory industry?
I am the 4th generation at Schad, so I’ve been around it most of my life. I spent many summers working in the fab shop before coming on full-time.
3. What is the biggest or most challenging project you have managed?
When I first started with the company, I helped supervise a job in northern Michigan. A large portion of the job consisted of work on the outside of the facility. It was December, so the temperatures were in the negatives and there were several feet of snow. Nothing seemed to go as planned due to the weather, but we managed to complete the job in a safe/timely manner. Coldest I’ve ever been.
4. What is your favorite part about your job?
Every day is different and brings a new challenge. I’m always wearing different hats which keeps it interesting.
5. What is your fondest memory of working at Schad?
I worked on a job in Wisconsin for 8 weeks straight. My wife would take the ferry over Lake Michigan every weekend and we would have a mini-vacation in Wisconsin together.
6. What are you currently working on?
I am wrapping up administrative year-end tasks in preparation for the coming year.
7. What are your biggest professional challenges?
With our new salesmen and locations, the company is growing very quickly. Our workforce in the field has doubled since 2014. Keeping up with all the new-hires, unions, taxes can be a challenge, but a welcome one.
8. What is your motto or personal mantra?
If you’re going to do it, do it right.
9. When you’re not at Schad what are you most likely doing?
When I’m not at Schad, I’m spending time with my family. My kids keep me very busy, especially around the holidays.
10. What in the next year are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to seeing the company have another record year.