As a former star football player of Northern Illinois University and coach at Arrowhead High School, Jared Volk knows the value of leading a team. This commitment to teamwork and leadership makes Jared a natural fit as a project engineering manager at Sentry Equipment. In his two years with the company, he’s learned to value the importance Sentry leaders place on their employee-owners.
“Sentry Equipment is focused on process and company improvement, and they believe that their employees are strong part of this improvement. Here you are provided the opportunity to grow and employee-owners feel they’re contributing to the company and their careers,” he says.
Sentry Equipment is a proud employee-owned company where our employee-owners share in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which means we share in the benefits of our hard work, positive results and continual improvement and innovation. Sentry Equipment is completely employee owned because we believe that employee ownership makes a difference.
“You can tell that employees truly care about the customers and the business. When Sentry Equipment is successful, we’re all successful,” Jared continues. “Diverse, hardworking and knowledgeable employee-owners work here. They’re focused on our customers and our culture to improve our company and the businesses we impact. At the heart of this is our employee-ownership.”
He describes learning at Sentry Equipment as a “two-way street,” where employees are offered opportunities to learn about the business and how to make an impact on it. Simultaneously, the company listens to employee-owners about customer needs and how to improve the way teams work to make employee-owners successful in their positions.
“Leadership doesn’t treat individuals as a number. They are invested in the improvement of their employees,” he explains.
Project Engineering Manager
Three things he’d take on a deserted island: “A machete, a phone to call Uber Eats to drop off food, and a boat to get off the island whenever I wanted.”
What does he do when he’s not working? “My wife and I enjoy being outdoors, golfing, paddle boarding, and spending lake days on one of Oconomowoc’s many lakes during the summer. I also enjoy hiking and taking our Bernidoodle to parks any time.”
If you could be or do anything else, what would it be? “I would love the opportunity to coach football for a living.”
Bringing 100 percent, every day
Each day, Jared manages a variety of projects with his team and on his own. He leads a process improvement team and his project management team. Daily, he has to answer project and team questions to help others work through issues on top of his regular workload. Although he often feels there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, he knows his and his team’s efforts lead to improved time management and organization skills.
His efforts work toward reducing risks to in-process projects, developing unique responses to customer needs, and contributing to company-wide process improvements and big-picture ideas. These larger strategic investments of his time motivate him to be the best version of himself every day. “I enjoy going above and beyond for others both at work and at home, and Sentry Equipment supports me in being able to execute this,” he says.
His biggest role is to listen to his team and his customers. “As a project manager, I’m involved with many different departments with tons of expertise. By listening to others, both internally and externally, I’m growing myself and my knowledge for the customer.”
These communication skills became more important than ever during unexpected challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and new work-from-home situations for him and his team. That meant continuing to put the customer first and identifying creative ideas to solve new challenges.
“The pandemic required out-of-the-box thinking for both employee-owners and for our customers. Rolling with these changes and focusing on the customer was the core of working through this,” Jared says.
Beyond the pandemic, he anticipates that his focus on process improvement projects within the project management department and across the company will pay long-term dividends. It’s all part of his lifelong focus on teamwork and leadership. “Sentry Equipment as a whole is striving to improve and pivot, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
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.