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With loads of experience in the industrial construction industry and a family tradition of hard work and strong values, Dennis Gentile had a strong work ethic and a lot of problem-solving ability when he started at Schad, but he has had a lot to learn about the refractory industry during the past three years. His energy and curiosity have been a significant asset to his development as a valuable member of the Schad organization during his time with the company. Dennis has a deep commitment to his customers as well as a deep appreciation for the crews that work for him on his job-sites. His open-mindedness and willingness to listen to customers, tradesmen, and managers contribute to his ability to develop innovative ideas and solutions on his projects. His dutiful service to his family at home and at work have made him a valuable member of the Schad team with a bright future in the refractory industry!

1. How long have you worked with Schad?

Just shy of 3 years (32 Months).

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

I had been in the industrial construction industry as a millwright for over a decade, when Schad reached out to me in search of a project/business development manager.  The Schad ownership, their mission, and the overall management and culture within the company sold me on the change that I needed to make. This is when my journey into the world of refractory started.

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

Every project has its own set of unique challenges. The most challenging projects tend to be the ones where the schedule does not match the estimated scope of work. Determining the best course of action and balance between the correct repairs and the time allowed is always a difficult decision to make.

4. What is your favorite part about your job?

The opportunity to take ownership of a customer’s unique process and provide an end result that prolongs their life expectancy, improves production, or increases long term profits, makes this one of the most rewarding jobs in the industry.

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

I am extremely fortunate to have entered into the Schad family as part of a succession plan.  This has given me the opportunity to work directly with some of the most experienced and brilliant minds in the refractory industry.  Although my knowledge is moving forward alongside the ever advancing future technology of refractories, having the ability to tap into the past experiences of refractory experts such as Richard Lee, Jim Choate, and George Kitto is an invaluable opportunity that will stay with me for the rest of my career.

6. What are you currently working on?

There are several smaller maintenance projects that I am working on throughout the state.  Some in our fabrication shop in Detroit as well as the usual on-site repairs. I am also working on the pre-planning of two of the largest projects that I have worked on during my time with Schad scheduled for the fall of this year, along with the regularly scheduled outages that are coming this spring.

7. What are your biggest professional challenges?

My biggest professional challenge is also what I love so much about the switch I made coming to the refractory industry.  I do not get to rely solely on my experience and past outages to guide me through my projects.  I am constantly tapping into the vast knowledge pool that Schad possesses, working with vendors, engineers, and combustion contractors to expand my understanding of the best practices and applications for each situation that I run into.

8. What is your motto or personal mantra?

“Plan the work, and work the plan.”

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

I have two boys under the age of 4 that love everything that they have ever been introduced to.  So, much of my time, outside of work, is spent sharing in the joy they get from new experiences.  Whether it be working on a project around the house, going to soccer practice, swimming class, or visiting one of the many parks and activity centers throughout the state, we always have somewhere to be and something to do.  God bless my wife for her devotion to keeping us all off the couch and living life.

10. What in the next year are you most looking forward to?

Continuing the momentum we have built at Schad in becoming a nationally known full-service refractory contractor that consistently performs at the highest levels in safety, quality, and honesty.


One Response

  1. gary giacomantonio says:

    Good article with Schad, and Dennis Gentile.

    Dennis has been value added to Ford WHQ with our Boilers annual refractory inspection.

    He has been a great contact taking over from Dick Lee who retired, we look forward to working with Schad on some of the recommendations given during the inspection.

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