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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Apr 21, 2022 9:00:00 AM

A McElroy Minute with Steve Hunter

Steve Hunter celebrates 43 years with McElroy next month, so we’ve chosen to feature him in our "McElroy Minute" employee spotlight. 

Steve Hunter with grandson and cub shirt

Why he’s never left McElroy: McElroy does a great job of providing education and development opportunities to their employees. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve never left. There are many examples of people who started in entry-level positions and moved into executive leadership.  A lot of companies claim they do that, but at McElroy, it’s not just talk.

What positions have you held? I started at the bottom and worked my way up.  My first job was in the plant as a helper on one of our panel lines.  Then I became a panel line operator and later moved to our shipping area.  As I worked through those various positions, McElroy also gave me some leadership opportunities.  Eventually, I became the Plant Superintendent and, later, the Operations Manager.  

Hunter in Plant Early Days 3

That is Steve on the right in this classic photo!

What’s your current role?  I’m our Corporate Traffic Manager and oversee all of our inbound and outbound freight.  

Do you like your job?  Yes.  I like my job for several reasons.  First, it’s different every day, and I enjoy that.  I also like that it’s still on the Operations side of the business, but I interact with all of our plants instead of just the one that I oversaw when I was an Operations Manager. I’ve also enjoyed meeting a lot of people both inside and outside the company. 

Who has been your biggest mentor at McElroy?  I’ve been lucky to work with many great, talented folks at McElroy, but hands down, my best mentor here has been Mike Scybert.  No matter the topic, I always knew we’d have a straightforward discussion.  He taught me to get our production schedule out of my head and down on paper which helped everyone.  He also encouraged me to share what I could do and then commit to doing it. 

Share something you’ve learned recently.  We completed a bidding process with our dedicated traffic providers a few months ago.  I’ve always felt we were partners with the vendors in the past. But this last time, I felt like we were being held hostage by one of the biggest bidders.  I learned that what’s bigger isn’t necessarily better.  We aren’t the biggest company in our industry, but we treat our customers as partners and with respect.  It was a good reminder that I like our business motto, and I’m glad to work here.

If you could switch jobs with anyone in the company, who would it be?  I think it would be interesting to be involved in our purchasing area.  Most of my experience has been in our business's shipping and production side, so the purchasing side would be a completely different element that intrigues me.  For example, while we don’t buy Russian steel, the current situation in Ukraine impacts our purchasing and material flow because our competitors who previously purchased steel from Russia are now trying to purchase products from our suppliers.  

What advice would you give to a new hire? The grass isn’t always greener, and it’s good to stick with something when you feel like it’s a good fit. We’ve had some long-term employees leave after 25-30 years and then come back because they found out how special it was to work here.  Quite frankly, I give a lot of that credit to the fact that we’re family-owned by really good people.  I still enjoy seeing Tem McElroy and getting his perspective on things.  You just don’t get that connection with ownership everywhere you go.

What kind of music do you like? My wife, Kathy, and I enjoy all types of music and go to several concerts a year.  We’ve recently seen Elton John, Sammy Hagar, and Cher.

Tell us about your ideal weekend.  A perfect weekend for me involves no cell phone and enjoying the family. We like to grill out and just sit outside and relax. 

Steve Hunter and wife

Steve and Kathy

Where’s the best place you’ve traveled to, and why?  McElroy has given me a lot of opportunities.  Sure, I work hard and put in the time, but I’m rewarded by being able to do some pretty cool bucket list things like the trip I just took to Cabo. I loved it.

Name one item you can’t live without.  I can’t imagine life without my 11 grandkids.  They range in age from 2 to18. You think it doesn’t get any better when you're a parent, but it does.  I really liked being a dad, but I love being Grandpa and Papa. 

Steve Hunter with grandkids

Steve with four of his grandkids

Where are you happiest?  When I’m involved with science fiction.  I like it all, but I’m a really big Trekkie.  I enjoy the movies, TV series, and collectibles.  I used to have a whole room in my house dedicated to my collection. I’ve even tried (unsuccessfully) to get Kathy to go to Las Vegas for a Star Trek convention.

Employment at McElroy Metal

McElroy Metal’s success over the years is largely attributed to the talented and dedicated employees across the country. McElroy Metal’s extensive footprint of locations and distinct business units offer employment candidates a wide variety of fulfilling options such as manufacturing, customer service, retail and corporate positions.

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