TJ Ellis, Operations Manager for Infra-Metals New Boston, began working as a Maintenance Supervisor at our company in 2014.
Career Growth at Infra-Metals
TJ, like many employees at Infra-Metals, has held several roles throughout his time with us. The New Boston facility was recently opened and was in need of bringing several CNC machines online for production. This became TJ’s number one priority. Several months in he was approached to take over the burn department to manage tooling, scheduling, and operational procedures. With the successful implementation in New Boston, TJ had the opportunity to lend his experience to our Tampa, FL location where he reduced our processing backlogs and shortened lead times.
TJ notes that his transition between previous and current roles has been very seamless given the fact that he worked with many seasoned mentors within the organization. Working in our current team environment enables people to continuously drive, improve and curate new ideas all while making our warehouse safer and more productive for everyone.
Current Day-to-Day of Operations Manager
In his current role as Operations Manager, TJ strives to build a team dedicated to safety and drive the concept of continuous improvement while exceeding our customer’s expectations. He enjoys setting goals and reaching them. TJ has been part of a greater initiative to create a safer work environment. His role has allowed him to work on programs that facilitate employees reaching their personal and professional potential.
Looking to the future, TJ strives to move up and contribute at different levels of the organization.
“The key to success is to focus on the goals, and not the obstacles.”
Ryan Nelle is currently the Traffic Manager at Infra-Metals in Marseilles, IL. Ryan’s journey with Infra-Metals began as a CDL A Driver and now he is a Traffic Manager. Here is a little about his story with us.
Ryan is a self-taught CDL driver that took the initiative to study the Illinois CDL study guide on his own. He had experience driving semis helping farmers but not flatbed trailers. He applied with Infra-Metals Marseilles and was offered a Class A CDL job on a Friday. He took the CDL test on Saturday and began his employment as a Class A CDL driver in 2009 after passing his test with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
He began his training with experienced flatbed drivers with our company hauling steel beams. Our experience drivers taught Ryan the importance of safety, the business, and our customers. He was in training for about 3 months before he started driving on his own. Ryan continued to drive a flatbed and after gaining experience, became a trainer for new drivers starting with our company. He likes to see the experienced employees help the new.
Career Growth at Infra-Metals
After a few years of driving for Infra-Metals, an office position for the traffic department became available; Traffic Coordinator. Ryan applied for this position. His great attitude, knowledge and experience being a driver for our company was a great fit and he was selected. His new role as a Traffic Coordinator involved helping schedule drivers with their loads and routes to customers. As a Traffic Coordinator he worked all shifts and saw how each shift had different experiences and responsibilities. While working as a Traffic Coordinator Ryan saw that the warehouse needed help, at times, moving the flatbed trailers within company property. He suggested his help and trained to help drive a Spotter Truck. When the warehouse needed help, Ryan went out to move trailers to help the team.
Current Day-to-Day as Traffic Manager
In 2018 there was another climb for Ryan into the new role of Traffic Manager. As a Traffic Manger he is responsible for company drivers, traffic coordinators, outside carriers, and the fleet. He has an intricate part in coordinating with warehouse, sales & customers to schedule sale orders for delivery & receiving for our company. He not only helps his department but goes out to the warehouse to help explain why and how loads need to be loaded a certain way. He jumps in to help anyone at Infra-Metals without being asked.
Ryan enjoys keeping busy and likes to see the steel go out. He enjoys the changes that his new role has brought. He wants to learn, grow, and become more versatile as be climbs within the company. He believes everyone’s goals should be to get to the next level and/or take the next step.
Robert Jamison has worked at Infra-Metals for 21 years and started out as a Crane Operator. Over his long career with us he has held numerous positions including Saw Operator, Assistant Shift Supervisor and finally Processing Manager and Safety Coordinator.
When he started with Infra-Metals he worked at the Maryland location and now he is living in Virginia, working at the Petersburg, Virginia warehouse.
In the beginning of my career, training was rushed and only the basics were taught to get associates up to speed and working daily, on their own. As the years have passed, training has become a top priority for Infra-Metals. This is the at the forefront of the overall changes, increased safety, and training! Creating a better safety culture remains the primary focus of the Infra leadership teams.
Current Day-to-Day as Processing Manager
My role as the Processing Manager is to schedule all of the processing orders to all of the equipment and the Safety Coordinator aspect of the position requires training all of the team members on all safety procedures of our company to ensure that everyone remains safe.
What I like the most about processing is the challenge of trying to get as much of the work done as I can out of each machine each day. I also like the safety aspect of the job; it is a new responsibility and I enjoy learning new things. Both parts of my role allow me to interact with the team members and since recently moving to Virginia it has help me to meet the rest of the team and build relationships.
The greatest change I have seen in the company over the last 21 years is the safety focus and safety culture and how the company cares about the employees first!
My future goal is to learn everything that I can possibly learn to move up within the company as far as I can in the company. If I had to pick a pick a position, I would say I would aspire to be the Operations Manager.
PJ Rase, General Manager for Infra-Metals New Boston, began working as a Sales Representative at our company in 2013. PJ earned two degrees, a Bachelor degree in Accounting and a Bachelor degree in Business Management from the University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio.
Career Growth at Infra-Metals
Rase, has held several roles throughout his time with Infra-Metals. PJ brought his previous retail sales experience and applied to this new career opportunity. He started with Infra-Metals by working in the sales department as one the first sales representatives trained before the New Boston, OH facility went live. He learned through his travels to and from the Wallingford, CT facility how the steel business worked and where Infra-Metals participated. At that he was mentored and worked very closely with the then general manager of the new Ohio facility, Oak Williams.
PJ quickly embraced the new company culture and earned his way to the Sales Manager position. His new responsibilities included nurturing and motivating a staff of six sales personnel. When asked what he likes about working for Infra-Metals his response was: “Exciting. Fun. Never Monotonous. I work with all types of people.”
In 2018 PJ moved into the role of General Manager for New Boston, OH.
Current Day-to-Day of General Manager
In his current role as General Manager, PJ oversees the New Boston, OH facility and all its employees.
“I am offered the opportunity to have an impact on the lives of the people I work with every day and can see myself retiring from this place. It’s a great company to work for.”
Starting from the ground up, the New Boston location has enjoyed watching it’s employees grow personally and professionally. PJ has witnessed this location grow and become successful due to the hard work and dedication of a lot of people.
“There are many stories like mine throughout the organization and that is special to have an employer that takes an interest in your personal success.”
Updated 6/1/2022 – At the time of this story, PJ was the General Manager of the Ohio facility and as of the beginning of June 2022 he will oversee the Atlanta, GA location. Congratulations on your continued success PJ!
Meredith Whitties, Traffic Manager for Infra-Metals Petersburg, began his career with us in 2003 as a CDL Truck Driver. Meredith’s hands-on experience as a driver provided him with the knowledge necessary to be successful in his current role.
Career Growth at Infra-Metals
Meredith’s 17-year journey at Infra-Metals has been one of hard work and dedication. In 2011 he was promoted to the Assistant Traffic Manager, primarily performing many administrative task to support the Traffic Manager. Meredith demonstrated himself as a self-motivated and very observant employee, which eventually lead to his promotion in 2018 to the Traffic Manager.
“I enjoy interacting with the drivers on a daily basis because it shows them what is achievable with a career at Infra-Metals”.
Meredith’s promotions illustrate the journey many have taken within the company. The company leadership acknowledge and reward hard work and dedication through achievement letters and awards. Meredith reflects on these awards with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Current Day-to-Day of Traffic Manager
Infra has grown over the years and with the leadership in place, it will continue to do so. The traffic department is one of our most dynamic areas of the business. Everything that occurs flows through there and in many ways, is the pulse of operation. Meredith and his team are responsible for managing inbound and outbound traffic. Building loads and scheduling deliveries are their primary responsibilities as well as managing the fleet of tractor trailers and drivers.
Meredith will continue to deliver excellence by looking to the future through continuing education. “I aspire to further educate myself on the ever-changing technology in the industry.”
Antonio Garcia, Warehouse Supervisor for Infra-Metals Petersburg, first started at the Marseilles, IL location in August 2005 as a crane operator. Although the environment can seem intimidating when you are first learning the job, all of my training was safe and very thorough. After a while, I became a Crane Trainer, training new hires when they started with the company. I worked hard as a Crane Operator, for about 11 years, and I was always willing to help everyone when they needed a hand.
Infra-Metals acquired the Atlanta location, and I was asked if I would be interested in being the Trainer for their team members. This required teaching the Atlanta associates our hand-held scanners and our ERP systems. Once the leadership team saw what I could do, they asked me if an opportunity to move up within the company presented itself, would I be interested in it, if it included relocating to another plant and I replied, “I’m in”.
As I continued training the Atlanta team members, I was also called upon to go to Texas and train the Delta team, our sister company. Shortly after returning from Texas, there were three positions for advancement mentioned to me and I was just waiting for the first one to become available. As soon as the training program ended for the Atlanta team members, a supervisor position came available in Virginia and I took the position.
Current Day-to-Day as Warehouse Supervisor
My current position as a Virginia Warehouse Supervisor is fast-moving and ever-changing. We rotate shifts every three months which allows us to adapt to situations that happen on both; inbound and outbound shifts as well as bond with the associates on the different shifts. Rotating shifts does have its own set of challenges however, approaching work with the right attitude, any challenge can be overcome with the right crew!
Infra-Metals is continuously growing and has been ever since I started here, each plant has gotten better and better over time. Most importantly, is our safety growth. We focus in on our safety record and continuously focusing in on our safety equipment and staying up to date with our equipment. We want this to be everyone’s home away from home and we want every team member to return home to their loved ones the same way they arrived that day, the only way to make that happen is to have the safest work environment possible.
Some of the things I enjoy best about working at Infra-Metals are the people that I work with and work for. The people here appreciate me, and I appreciate them. Working at Infra-Metals means that you work for a company that truly appreciates you, you are not just a number here, everyone knows who you are, who your family is and what your goals are! I enjoy motivating other employees to be better and do better, to see the best in themselves and find a life-long career at Infra-Metals just like I have.
My future goal is to work on day shift permanently and be a part of the management team. A quote I live by is “A thank you goes a long way”.
Eric Rundquist, Processing Coordinator for Infra-Metals New Boston, began working as a Saw Operator at our company in 2014. Eric’s prior experience in the medical field offered him a unique perspective going forward in his new career.
Career Growth at Infra-Metals
Eric, like many employees at Infra-Metals, has held several roles throughout his career. Starting as a Saw Operator, Eric learned the production and logistics side of the business. Being new to the New Boston, Ohio area, Eric was mentored by management, allowing him to grow into his new position at the newly opened facility.
With a new facility comes new challenges. He started working at Infra-Metals only months after the facility was first opened and watched it grow and expand daily.
“It is gratifying to see your fellow colleagues’ flourish.”
Moving from production to traffic coordinator offered yet another challenge in the form of logistics. Creating and managing the inbound deliveries and outbound shipments furthered Eric’s education and offered a new perspective on the inner workings of a steel service center.
Current Day-to-Day of Processing Coordinator
In his current role of processing coordinator, Eric puts together processing schedules for all the machinery on the production floor. Managing machinery in this type of environment requires problem solving and instituting new procedures. Eric has been able to adapt and evolve into his role seamlessly and has become and integral part of our daily operation.
“I really enjoy getting to work with a variety of people in different roles and responsibilities, from sales and management to shop floor and everything in between. It is never mundane or monotonous, rather exciting, high energy and everyday is different with its own challenges.”
Eric’s career goals looking to the future: “My goals and aspirations are centered around continuous improvement. I look to move through the ranks to the highest position I can attain and continue to play a larger role in the success of company.”
UPDATED as of 9/20/2021: At the time of writing this piece Eric was the Processing Coordinator for New Boston. We are pleased to announce that Eric is now the Operations Manager for the Tampa Division. His responsibilities have grown exponentially and we couldn’t be prouder to highlight his rise to success. Congratulations Eric on your new role!