Many people describe Sentry Equipment as a workplace that feels like family, but for Dave Hensler, it’s more than just a feeling. Two years ago, Dave recruited his son Mitch to join the shop as a Workshop Technician.
After eight years at Sentry Equipment, Dave knew the value of working for an employee-owned business, and he wanted his son to experience the same kind of job satisfaction.
“It’s a family feeling at Sentry Equipment, and I think a lot of that has to do with being an ESOP. We're not a big corporation where you lose track of people. Everybody knows everyone’s name and face around here,” he says. “When you have a CEO that walks through the shop and says hi to people by their first name, and spends 10 or 15 minutes talking to you, that means a lot.”
When Dave joined Sentry, he thought it was a short-term solution to getting laid off from his job as an electrician. “They made it hard for me to leave,” he says with a laugh. “It's one of the best companies that I've worked for, and I've worked for a lot of places.”
What he looks for in a Sentry “A” player: “People who can work well with others: communicating and collaborating is key.”
Three things he’d take on a deserted island: “Food and water – a guy's gotta live! And my wife of 34 years, Cathy.”
Did he know how to pronounce Oconomowoc before working at Sentry Equipment? “Oh yeah, definitely. Oconomowoc was always a rival to Watertown.”
"A" Player motivation
Dave started as an Assembler and how he’s a Floor Supervisor, where he supervises workers – like his son – out on the factory floor. He also helps conduct cultural interviews as part of the hiring process to make sure each new hire is a cultural fit for the company and will live up to “A” player expectations.
“Sentry Equipment has a different culture. You're not just punching in and clocking out. You feel like you're actually doing something better,” he says.
He says ownership in the company inspires him to help produce the highest quality sampling equipment in the market. “It’s rewarding to know that I have a big part in a piece of equipment that comes in as just a shell and goes out as a sampling panel,” he says. “I take pride in doing my work well.”
He is also proud of the company’s “promote from within” philosophy. It motivates him and his coworkers. If the company sees an individual stepping forward and doing outstanding work, that drive is encouraged and rewarded. "It’s very inspiring to be recommended for a supervisory position.”
The pride he has for Sentry Equipment carries over into his home life as well. He enjoys seeing Mitch at work every day, then coming home to talk shop with him over the dinner table at night. “It's kind of fun because I have all my direct reports calling me by my first name, while he’s calling me Dad,” he says. “At the end of the day, Sentry Equipment is a good place to work. I truly enjoy it. If you're going to do this for years, you might as well enjoy what you're doing.”
Employee-Owner Profiles is a regular feature that highlights members of our team. As an employee-owned company, Sentry Equipment believes that employee ownership makes a difference. Our employee-owners are dedicated to hard work, positive results and continual improvement and innovation to provide our customers the highest quality products and services.