2001 - 2003

After leaving Loparex on quick notice I began a job search that allowed me to look at a number of industries including coffee packaging, particle board manufacturing, and even another look at plastics.  After receiving a couple of offers I settled on a job that became more educational to me than I ever dreamed.  I began work as a Project Manager the Monday after Thanksgiving at an integration company in Norcross, Georgia (Atlanta area).  A week before Christmas the majority owner of the company (there were three owners) told me I could have a week off for Christmas which I appreciated very much since I was new with the company.  When I returned he asked that I step up as Engineering Manager for the company which seemed a tremendous honor, but turned out to be a tremendous work load.

The company was in the middle of several major projects with the Army Corps of Engineers in Florida; Fulton County, Georgia; Dekalb County, Georgia; Cobb County, Georgia; University of North Carolina; and the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  We were designing and building control systems for several water and wastewater projects.  We were building controls for huge pumping stations in the Everglades.  The company had a large contract for upgrading power and controls for a large portion of Fulton County's sewer system.  We also looked a many private companies.  Some of which we worked on projects for and others we examined but did not win the bid.  But in the process I learned about how to make stucco, how to build motors for the windows in cars, how to recycle corrugated material, and many other processes.

Some of the challenging portions of this job included my interface with customers and learning about the sales process.  I not only picked up the customer contact once a contract was signed, I went out on sales calls with our sales and even my some individual sales calls.  I learned about managing a company that included a crew of engineers, a crew of field technicians, a couple of shop technicians, and several major subcontracts.  It was  also interesting that a majority of the crew that worked with me I hired.  I am still in contact with many of those people today.

Our crew was enjoying some good success.  We were just completing a good job in Sopchoppy, Florida when the majority owner of the company decided he would return to Australia.  Thus was the beginning of the end.  The banks did not want to extend us a line of credit with the primary owner living overseas.  With that the coffers were being drawn down and the company went up for sale.  It was a sad day I when I shared the news with the crew.  But, before the company folded the assets were purchased.  But most of us had found other jobs or were in the process of finding other jobs.  Today that wonderful crew I worked with at IndTech is spread from California to the East Coast in various jobs.  In fact several landed at another integration company close by.  I landed a job at General Mills which was, for me, an incredible opportunity.  I wanted to return to engineering and General Mills one of the top companies to work for in the United States.

On a sad note I lost a very good electrician while working at IndTech.  He was electrocuted on a customer site.  To this day nobody can say exactly what happened because nobody was watching directly what he was doing.  I can say it was one of the most unexpected events and depressing events of my career.  He was an extremely good electrician with good qualifications.  There was an investigation and I was chosen to perform a detailed investigation based on my background, training, and experience.  This investigation was used by OSHA.  While OSHA did initially assess some charges against IndTech they were all dropped after our investigation found nothing that IndTech could have done to prevent the accident.  There is some litigation continuing as I write this update that involves other parties.  Through this difficult process I was left to manage the entire interface for IndTech and the owners of the company did not get involved.  While that it was an extremely difficult process it was an educational experience that I hope never to use.  It did cause me to add a lot of notes and become more determined in the safety training programs I have developed over the years.

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