As a Sales and Application Engineer, Kim Lobert is tasked with fielding requests for product information and quotes from customers, regional sales managers, website leads and more. But her real skill lies in reading between the lines to decipher the true need – and turning it into a successful order.
Kim Lobert is not new to Sentry Equipment. She worked at Sentry Equipment from 2014-2018. Initially, she was attracted to Sentry Equipment due to our expansive product line that lined up strongly with her experience in fluid handling and working with control valves and instrumentation.
In 2018, she left for a brief stint at another company before returning to Sentry in September 2019. She was drawn back due to the company’s focus on growth and employee-owner culture – something she truly missed most.
As a proud employee-owned company, Sentry’s 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.
“People who work at Sentry Equipment are very invested in the success of customers and the company. They always go above and beyond,” she says.
She appreciates the collaboration and openness that comes from this drive for success. She feels that she can talk to anyone in any department at any level to get the answer she needs. “I really enjoy my co-workers and the care they put into their jobs, serving the customers and making the company better,” Kim says. “I also enjoy the challenge our product line provides me, as there is often no ‘one size fits all’ solution.”
sales and application engineer
What would be her dream job? “I love to travel, and I go on trips a few times a year. I’d want to be a travel writer because it would allow me to use my skills and travel more, maybe to my favorite places – Hawaii or Italy.”
Three things she’d take on a deserted island: “Bug spray (I hate getting bit!), a cot or a mattress (I need to be comfortable to sleep), and a music player of some sort."
Did she know how to pronounce Oconomowoc before she started at Sentry? “I grew up 20 minutes east of Sentry’s Oconomowoc headquarters, so yes – I’m very well versed in the Oconomowoc area.”
from astronaut to engineer
Growing up in Pewaukee, WI, about 20 minutes east of Sentry’s Oconomowoc headquarters, Kim wanted to be an astronaut. Now, as a Sales and Application Engineer, she’s still involved in math and science, plus all the challenges of answering application questions for coworkers and customers alike.
Her day consists of receiving requests for product information or quote requests from a variety of sources – including customers, regional sales managers and website leads – and deciphering the true need to be filled. Ultimately turning it into a successful order. She says there’s a lot of ambiguity and double- and triple-checking that needs to be done before an order is completed.
“My biggest hurdles are the day-to-day challenges of clearly communicating with all stakeholders,” she says. “It often takes asking the right questions in the right way to get an answer. Deciphering those needs and communicating internally and externally provides a unique challenge.”
Since she’s returned to the company, she’s noticed that processes have improved and new personnel additions to Sentry’s employee-owners have made positive impacts on the company. It’s these people that make her proud to come to work every day.
“I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built with people. From internal to external stakeholders, these positive relationships keep me going and excited to be involved with the projects I handle,” she says.
But beyond relationship building, she has solid advice for anyone entering a role like hers. “Be sure to ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to lean on your peers when you need help. It’s always better to ask than assume and get it wrong.”
ready for what's next
Outside of work, her 12-year-old twin boys keep her busy between their soccer and cross-country running schedules. But when she has time, she loves to travel, bee-keep with her husband and go wilderness camping with the family.
But no matter what comes next for Kim, she’s ready for it. “I’m an in the moment kind of person. I enjoy what I do now, and I’m excited to see what the role has to offer me again. But I like to remain open to opportunities and learning new skills. You never know what life can bring you!”
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.