Employee Highlight – Tia Albers

Our employees are what truly make Craig Industries a great company. We are so appreciative of their dedication and hard work. This month we’re highlighting a long-time employee, Regional Sales Manager, Tia Albers, who has been with the company for 8 years! 

Meet Tia Albers!

How did you get your start at Craig Industries?

I’ve been here for almost 9 years. I interviewed for a sales support position and then was hired for the inside sales position.

What is your current role at Craig industries and what other positions have you held in the past?

Regional Sales Manager. I’ve worked in marketing, recruiting, and sales in the past.

What do you like most about your current role?

Always something different.

What kept you working with Craig Industries? And how has the company changed since you started?

Nice people to work for and I have a 7 minute commute. The company has definitely grown in the time that I have been here and wow have there been a lot of new faces all the time.

What has been your favorite project at Craig Industries?

Not sure I have a specific favorite. Steve Reckers would probably say it is one that has a ton of different angles that he doesn’t want to do.

What is your motto or personal mantra? Glory be to God!

What three traits define you?

Faithful, Persistent, and Impatient (most times)

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

Anything outdoors when it is warm. I love sunshine and summer.

Tell us about your family. Any exciting developments?

I have one son (Jacob) and three stepchildren (Douglas, Jake and Chloe). I am almost an empty nester. 🙂

Employee Highlight – James Prewitt

Our employees are what truly make Craig Industries a great company. We are so appreciative of their dedication and hard work. This month we’re highlighting a long-time employee, Production Supervisor, James Prewitt, who has been with the company for 10 years! 

Meet James Prewitt!

How did you get your start at Craig Industries?

I started after high school, working in the Finish Department.

What is your current role at Craig industries and what other positions have you held in the past?

I’m currently a 1st Shift Production Supervisor for the FIP/Finish, Foam, Setup/Enviro and Shipping departments. I’ve worked almost every department in the plant. I started in Finish before moving to Setup. I eventually took over the Foam department for 2 years before becoming the lead in FIP. I eventually moved on to do a year in Refrigeration, helping complete refrigeration units.

What do you like most about your current role?

I enjoy being in a position of leadership, overseeing multiple departments and increasing production numbers. I really enjoy working with the people in my departments and helping them grow and achieve their potential.

What kept you working with Craig Industries? And how has the company changed since you started?

We have become much more efficient as a company. I continue to work here because I love my job and I look forward to coming to work every day.

What has been your favorite project at Craig Industries?

I really enjoyed working in Drafting and also working in the field solving problems.

What three traits define you?

I am hard working, innovative and passionate about what I believe in.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

I enjoy bowling, working on my truck, and being a husband and father. I’m a big Chicago Cubs fan.

Tell us about your family. Any exciting developments?

I have the most beautiful 8 month old daughter. My wife Kayla and I have been married almost 5 wonderful years. My younger brother Kenny also lives with us.

Employee Highlight – Steve Reckers

Our employees are what truly make Craig Industries a great company. We are so appreciative of their dedication and hard work. This month we’re highlighting a long-time employee, Lead Draftsman, Steve Reckers, who has been with the company for 26 years! 

Meet Steve Reckers!

How did you get your start at Craig Industries?

I was hired directly through U.S. Cooler where I have been working the past 26 years.

What is your current role at Craig industries and what other positions have you held in the past?

I am the Lead Draftsman.  Initially, I worked in the setup department for about 6 months.  Then, I moved to the metal line for about a year.  At that time, I became supervisor in setup for roughly a year and a half.  Then, I was the metal line supervisor for 7 years.  At that point, I moved to the drafting department and have been there ever since.

What do you like most about your current role?

I feel like drafting is a very good fit for my skill sets.

What kept you working with Craig Industries? And how has the company changed since you started?

I like the people I work with and I can be myself.  Obviously, technology has advanced a great deal since I started.  It is a more relaxed environment than it was 26 years ago.

What has been your favorite project at Craig Industries?

I like working with the guys from Joe’s Refrigeration.

What three traits define you?

Easy going, patient and aging.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

I like to watch sport:  Bulls, Cubs, and Bears.  I have bowled league for decades.

Tell us about your family. Any exciting developments?

I am married and have three children:  two boys (22 and 16) and a girl (14).  We have a 90 pound mutt named Jack and a recent addition to our family; Diane the cat.

U.S. Cooler Donates to Hurricane Relief Efforts

We would like to thank all our customers for purchasing from U.S. Cooler. Because of you, U.S. Cooler was able to donate over $20,000 to Hurricane Relief efforts through Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse, or if you would like to donate directly, please visit the Samaritan’s Purse website: www.samaritanspurse.org/

U.S. Cooler is Now on AutoQuotes

Quincy, IL, August 21, 2018 – U.S. Cooler is excited to announce that our walk-in coolers and freezers will now be listed on AutoQuotes. Our new product line, Fastcooler, featuring standard nominal sizes of quick ship, in-stock models, will be available to quote through the AutoQuotes program immediately.

AutoQuotes is an application providing foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) professionals the ability to search a digital catalog with all categories of foodservice equipment online in one program. Professionals can design, configure and quote an entire kitchen design within AutoQuotes. This platform will make purchasing U.S. Cooler walk-in units easier than ever before. Our foodservice dealers have wanted to see U.S. Cooler on AutoQuotes for quite some time – we believe having the ability to quote our units on demand will be a great asset to our already stellar customer service program.

Fastcooler will cater to customers needing a quicker turnaround, with most in-stock models shipping within 3-5 days. Fastcooler models are made with the same precision and high-quality materials our customers have come to expect with U.S. Cooler, but are designed to provide a quick delivery at a low cost.

If you are a food equipment dealer using AutoQuotes, please contact us to find out how to begin quoting our products. For additional information on U.S. Cooler is Now on AutoQuotes, contact Kaitie Herbranson, Marketing and Communications Specialist, or visit www.uscooler.com.

ABOUT:

U.S. Cooler, a product of Craig Industries, Inc., manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers supported with a complete line of engineered refrigeration systems, glass doors, parts and accessories.

Quincy, IL, July, 23, 2018 – Michael Kendrick has been named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Mid-East Territory, which includes the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Kendrick is from Cincinnati, OH and brings with him many years of sales experience, most recently in the building industry. This experience, along with his energy and professionalism, will lend itself well toward serving U.S. Cooler’s customer base.

Our goal is to provide you with the best customer service possible and we believe Michael with help facilitate a great experience working with U.S. Cooler.

For additional information on Kendrick Named Mid-East Regional Sales Manager, contact Kaitie Herbranson or visit www.uscooler.com.

An Increase in Manufacturing Efficiency Reduces Production Lead Time

Year after year our manufacturing production has been challenged with the demand to keep up with the increase in sales. Last year was particularly “challenging” with no true slow-down in the demand for custom walk-in coolers and freezers.

U.S. Cooler has a continuous goal of improving efficiency and reducing waste; making us as lean as we can possibly be. Several positive impacts in the past year have taken place in our facilities to make U.S. Cooler even more efficient. Our manufacturing facility has recently added over 16% more production capability. By automating more processes, adding new equipment and adding managers to focus on efficiency, U.S. Cooler has been able to decrease our production lead time on custom orders to approximately three to four weeks. Naturally, our lead time can fluctuate depending on the market but we are hopeful that U.S. Cooler will be able to sustain this lead time on custom orders.