Richard has been welding at Imperial Systems for twelve years, and in various other jobs for eighteen years before that. He is a graduate of Jamestown High School. Outside of work he enjoys relaxing with his wife and spending time with his three kids and eight grandkids.
Q: What date did you start working at Imperial Systems?
A: September 17, 2006
You said it was only that first bay?
A: Yeah. It was probably ten or so guys working. The road crew was there.
Q: That would be pretty tight.
A: Yeah it was for everything we build, like us with the big BRFs. You see how much room the fourteen footers take up here. It was tight, but we did it.
Q: How long have you been welding?
A: Oh jeez. Twenty-five or thirty years. I had thirteen years in at Trinity Industries, twelve here, and five at Tri‑County. I was welding dumpsters and stuff, rebuilding them. Then I worked a couple other places. There was a rail division down in New Castle. I didn’t work there very long because it was too far of a drive from my house. It was an hour and a half each way.
Q: Did you go to trade school?
A: No. When Trinity shut down we did get to go to school. You could keep your unemployment because they moved out of the country and went to Mexico. So they put up a school and you could draw your unemployment while you were in school. Even when I started at Trinity they put me through weld school at Mercer Vo-Tech. It wasn’t a long class, thirty days or something like that. It was heavier. Rail cars. It was big.
Q: How many kids do you have?
A: Three. Two girls and a boy. I’ve got eight grandkids. Two are twin boys.
Q: Do you like any sports?
A: I watch a lot of football. I’m a big Steelers fan.
Q: You got that question correct.
A: I’m a little unhappy with them right now.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: We usually sit down back. We built a big pavilion and we usually sit down there, me and the wife, drink beer and listen to the radio, build a fire.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: Country. Willie 95. They’ve changed country so much. Its more getting into pop or something.
Q: Do you ever go to concerts?
A: Nah. Once I went up to Crawford County and George Jones was there. It was a pretty good concert. Loretta Lynn was there too that night, but she wasn’t feeling good. She had laryngitis and was having trouble singing.
Q: Do you have any projects at home that you do?
A: All the time. It seems like the wife always has something for me to do!
Q: You ever go to any football games or anything?
A: No, I always wanted to, but usually I say “Why would I want to go watch that live when I could sit at home and watch it with no crowd?” And usually its too cold, too. I don’t want to be out there in the freezing weather. Then, when you drink like I do you can’t afford to go there with the price of their beer, jeez.
Q: You’re just a good country guy, huh?
A: That’s pretty much it. I don’t bother no one, no one bothers me. That’s what I like. We have a lot of parties though. We have a big Fourth of July party every year. We’ve been doing that for about twenty years now. We invite a bunch of people and get fireworks. Seems like it keeps getting bigger every year. More and more people come, and more fireworks we have to buy. But its fun. We have a lot of fun. We’re out in the country enough that no one bothers you either, thats whats nice.
Q: What do you think about being in the magazine?
A: It’s good. It gets it out.
Q: We’re showing off our employees. We’re proud of you guys. We want you to be known for the work you’ve done. It’s because of you guys that this place…
A: It goes! And that’s good. We need it to keep going for a long time, hopefully.
Q: Do you have anything else you want to say?
A: I do appreciate having the opportunity to work here. I appreciate that. And Jeremiah’s real fair about everything, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a good guy, and good to his people too. There ain’t too many places where on holidays you leave early and they pay you for the rest of the day and stuff like that. I’ve never heard of any companies doing that, not that I worked for.
Imperial Systems Newsletter Issue 5 is the first issue of the year. Make sure to check out all of the articles and interview. If you would like a Printed Hard Copy of this issue of our newsletter please contact your Imperial Sales Rep.
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Imperial Systems has been a family business from the very beginning. Over time, though, our family has grown a lot. We have new employees as well as reps from all across the country who’ve joined our family because they believe in us and our products. Our National Sales Meeting in March showed us just how much our family has grown, and it gave everyone a chance to learn more about our products, while taking a peek behind the curtain to see what we do here and how everything works.
In this issue, you’ll meet some of our new extended family of reps from all over the country, but you’ll also meet Andy, who has been with the company almost since it began and is a long-time member of our close-knit family. As the Sales Manager, a major part of my job is helping our company grow, and it’s been really exciting to have all of these new reps and OEM’s sign on to represent Imperial Systems. Many of them left our competitors and came to work with us, not just because of the quality of our product, but because of who we are.
I’d like to invite anyone who is interested to visit us and see our new facility, get a look at all the great work getting done here, and meet some of the amazing people that make up our Imperial Systems’ family.
Q: You’ve been here at Imperial Systems pretty much since the beginning, right?
A: I started when we were still over in Grove City. Me, Russ, and Steve are the three still left from that original crew. I’ve been here twelve years. I started off doing welding and then did fabrication, and did a little bit of everything. In the past year I’ve been doing a lot of field work and traveling.
Q: How has the company grown since you started?
A: It’s grown like crazy. When I was in Grove City and we were moving to the Jackson Center place, I’d work ten-hour days all week and then go with Russ to Jackson Center and work on the new place. And it didn’t take long before we started to outgrow that.
Q: What do you think about the new building?
A: It was totally necessary for us to be able to grow. We’re already just about full. Since we moved in back in January things are starting to get settled in and they’re running a lot smoother.
Q: How much more do you see us growing?
A: The way things are growing I could see us outgrowing this building someday. We keep getting more and more orders for equipment.
Q: What are your favorite things to do here, since you do some of everything?
A: I like running the plasma table, and I like doing fitting and welding. I run the forklift, and now I do a lot of field work so I’m off traveling around a lot. You get to see some interesting things out there.
Q: What would you tell people about working here?
A: We have a lot of fun working here. Maybe a little too much sometimes. It’s a really good bunch of guys.
Q: And you’re still happy working here after twelve years?
A: Absolutely. It hasn’t been perfectly smooth sailing for the entire twelve years and we’ve had our ups and downs, but it’s a great place to work.
Q: And when you’re not here, you’re at your farm.
A: That’s right. My dad’s the third generation and I’m the fourth generation on that farm. I’ve worked there since I was a kid. We didn’t have sitters… we just went to the farm. If I’m not at work, that’s where I am.
Q: And you’ve got a lot going on there right now with all the baby goats, right?
A: We had triplets the other day. We’re bottle feeding one of them. We had eleven babies out of the five goats I bought on my last trip.
Q: What are you going to do with all these goats?
A: They’re meat goats, Boer goats. They originated in Africa. They can get up to 200 pounds. There’s a big demand for goat meat in some places.
Q: How many goats do you plan on having?
A: My dad and I are still talking about that one. A lot, I know that. My oldest kid, my nine-year-old, is starting 4H this year. He’s got two goats. The younger ones will start here pretty soon.
Q: So you’ve got ducks, chickens, horses, cows, goats, pigs…
A: And my dog, Molly. She’s a chocolate lab. She’s my farm dog. She minds me and no one else, and I love it.
Q: And you’ve got your tractors.
A: I’m into the Mercer County Antique Power Association, antique farm equipment, antique tractor pulls. I have a tattoo of my first tractor. Took a picture of it and took it in to them.
Q: So you’re passing on the farming tradition to the fifth generation?
A: Of course I am!