Company acquisitions can be stressful transitions. For John Kuykendall, joining Sentry Equipment through an acquisition was a seamless move that accelerated his career trajectory.
Since the acquisition five years ago, he’s found Sentry Equipment to be an excellent company that provides its employee-owners a strong work-life balance, great benefits, and friendly and helpful coworkers. He credits Sentry’s “culture interviews” for this team-based approach in the workplace.
“Sentry Equipment strives to go beyond the resume and take steps to hire great people,” he explains. “When I started here, I was surprised by how easy it was to get along with people. From the top down, everyone is willing to work together.”
Sentry 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.
Three things he’d take on a deserted island: “As an Eagle Scout, I’d immediately think about survival. I’d take a machete, a bow and arrow, and a flint and steel to make fire.”
What does he do when he’s not working? “I spend as much time as I can with my kids. I also recently built a gaming PC and rebuilt multiple guns, including a pistol and hunting rifle. I like home renovation projects and building furniture, too.”
What would be his dream job? “I love to cook, so I’d want to own a restaurant or be a chef. It would allow me to keep my autonomy while doing work I can be proud of.”
GOing above and beyond
John says one of the best things about his job is the flexibility and autonomy, which speaks to the trust Sentry Equipment has in its employee-owners. “I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for,” he says. “Sentry respects their employees and is often willing to go above and beyond for them.”
As a self-described self-starter, John strives to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done – even if it doesn’t fit within a traditional work schedule. “I appreciate that management allows me to meet customer needs in a way that fits my own need for flexibility while growing my knowledge,” he says.
Each day, John manages technicians’ schedules, tracks inventory in our Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, headquarters and Process Monitoring Tech Center (PMTC) in Houston and monitors the weather near his accounts to assess whether or not there might be delays or increased demand in any area. He also manages last-minute maintenance and service contract needs, with a goal of addressing every customer call within 24 hours. In addition, he’s often responsible for managing multiple accounts throughout the entire process, including customer interactions, sales, quoting, quality control and invoicing.
He enjoys the continual opportunities to keep learning new skills, as the market and industry technology are always evolving. “If you don’t pay attention, you’ll end up a step behind and you won’t give customers your best,” he says.
In many of his responsibilities as a service manager, there’s no room for error, as chemicals and malfunctioning systems could cause damage to equipment and personnel. Regardless of these daily challenges, and because of his commitment to excellence, he strives to give all customer accounts the attention they deserve.
“Everyone expects what I do to work, and there are often implications if it’s done wrong. I’m proud of what I do and the feeling when a job is done and done well,” he says. “Sentry Equipment truly has great people doing an important job for our customers.”
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.