Troy has been a draftsman and engineer at Imperial Systems for more than eleven years. When not at work, he dedicates most of this time to Trail Life USA where he is a Trail Master and mentor. While he doesn’t have time for many other hobbies, he does make a great brisket. He firmly believes in the power of a good meal to bring people together as a team, a tradition the engineering department here at Imperial Systems continue to share.
How long have you been here?
Since August 2007. Eleven and a half years.
Did you start here as an engineer?
I responded to an ad for a draftsman. It was while they were still at the building in Grove City, and I saw it and didn’t think much of it. Then a little while later one of my friends showed me a big two‑page spread in the Sharon Herald about the new building in Jackson Center. So when they were hiring again, I jumped on it.
How did you get your start as an engineer?
I worked as an electrical draftsman in Sharpsville at first, and I was working on getting my degree. It took a while. By the time I graduated, I would have been sitting at commencement next to the guy that was going to marry my daughter. I took an AUTOCAD course and I basically helped teach the course because I knew so much about it. I got back into 3D drawing and got the 3D bug again.
So when did you officially become an engineer here?
Well, one day I got business cards that said “design engineer” on them, so I figured it was official.
Outside of work, you dedicate a lot of time to the Boy Scouts, right?
It’s actually Trail Life. We started out as Boy Scout troops, and I started working with them around 2001. Around 2014 some of us started to see some changes with the Boy Scouts, and some more changes coming down the pipe, that we didn’t feel like they were in line with our goals.
How did Trail Life get started? What makes it special?
It was formed at a conference in Nashville in 2014. I was really excited about the idea. I sat at my computer and clicked the button until registration opened. We were the first troop to register. It’s a faith-based organization that raises boys to be good Christian men and lead their families and churches. It’s all about men teaching boys how to be men.
What made you so excited about the idea of Trail Life?
I saw a real need for boys to have men to look up to. We need boys that can grow up to be leaders and be active in their community and their church. They need to be able to set a good example for their own kids. I still have respect for the Boy Scouts. My son was a Boy Scout until he got distracted by the fumes… you know, perfume and exhaust fumes.
Does your family have a history with scouting?
My father was an assistant Scout Master and committee member. He started as a Boy Scout from 1944 until the Korean War. He says the Boy Scouts saved his life many times while he was in Korea, using the skills he learned there. This has always been something I’ve been really involved in, and it’s important to me.
What age group do you work with?
I work mostly with boys in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. I’m the Trail Master for that group. I’m involved with all the groups. When we have the awards banquets, I make brisket for everyone. In February I’m going to be bringing the boys in to talk to everyone who works here, marketing, sales, engineering, fabrication… we have vocational badges where the boys have to learn about the job and find out more about it. It’s important for them to learn what a job is really like so they’ll know if they’re going to like it.
What else do you do when you’re not working with Trail Life?
I don’t really have a lot of time for much else, with the 800 hours I spend away and the few hundred more hours I spend preparing. One trip we wanted to give the boys a chance to shoot guns, so I went and got my NRA instructor and my Range Safety Officer qualifications. My nephews played sports for Lakeview and at Edinboro, so if I couldn’t go to the games I listened to them on the radio. My wife took all the Lakeview sports photos until just recently.
You said you love your job working here.
One thing I really like, we started when I worked at Packard Electric. I had a gas grill and one of the other guys had one too, and we worked afternoons, so we all got together and cooked for everyone. It really bonded us like family. The afternoon crew went from worst productivity to best.
And you guys still do that here.
We get together and grill or smoke food once a week. We even have our own smoker now. It really helps a group bond, work together better. You get to talk about problems and come up with solutions. It brings us together as a team.
It’s great to hear someone say they love their job.
That’s why the vocational badges are important to me for the boys. I want them to know the details about a job so when they do go out and get jobs, they can do something they love too.