MEET ROSS LEE
Starting full-time with Schad in 2008, Ross Lee, became Schad’s fifth President in the company’s 77-year history in January of 2016. Prior to becoming President, he had served as a fabrication shop worker, field laborer, project manager, and safety director.
As a leader, he believes that the most valuable asset Schad has is its people and has focused his efforts on recruiting and developing talented personnel throughout the organization while maintaining and spreading the company’s hard earned reputation for safety, service, and quality.
1. How long have you worked with Schad?
I started in the summer of 2002 when dad dropped me off in the fabrication shop and told Jim Lezotte, “Don’t let him get hurt.” I have been with Schad full-time since 2008.
2. How did you get started in the refractory industry?
Family. How else does anybody get started in this?!
3. What is the biggest or most challenging project you have managed?
The largest project(s) I have directly managed were the installation of the refractory materials associated with Marathon Petroleum’s DHOUP project in Detroit. This included the new coker furnaces and associated ductwork as well as new sulfur recovery systems back in 2011-2012. It was challenging because there were large crews, ambitious schedules and several parties working in one area which created a lot of daily coordination.
4. What is your favorite part about your job?
The most rewarding part is providing hard working people with an opportunity and watching them run with it. There are a lot of opportunities within our organization for people to develop skills, add responsibilities, and build a rewarding/fulfilling life for themselves and their families.
5. What is your fondest memory of working at Schad?
The opportunity to work with my dad for several years prior to his retirement.
6. What are you currently working on?
I’m working on fulfilling this company’s vision to be a growing industry leader that its customers love and its employees love working for.
7. What are your biggest professional challenges?
People. My dad told me early on that you will never make everybody happy, but if you treat them fairly and with respect, they will typically do the same.
8. What is your motto or personal mantra?
“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” – Warren Miller
9. When you’re not at Schad what are you most likely doing?
I like to be outdoors running or otherwise being active with my wife Catherine and our Weimaraner, Alta, or inside reading a book or watching football.
10. What in the next year are you most looking forward to?
Watching Schad and the people within it grow personally and professionally.