Lipi Hurtado likes a challenge. After steadily climbing the ranks to head of operations over nearly eight years at an oil and gas commodity company, she felt stalled because the company didn’t offer further opportunities for growth or promotion.
So when a former colleague told her there was an operations manager position open at the new Process Monitoring Tech Center (PMTC) in Houston, she didn’t hesitate to make the switch.
“I really identified with the employee-owned atmosphere. The main thing is that Sentry cares. We have this culture that really cares about people – and you see that in the products we develop. And you can see it in the way Sentry treats their own employees. They care about the employees and want to make sure their employees are happy, that they're productive. They also promote from within. They're really looking at everybody's skills and trying to fit them where they're best applied.”
The PMTC was established in 2016 to support hydrocarbon processing customers locally and around the world. Lipi appreciates the opportunity to leverage her previous experience while challenging herself to manage a relatively new facility. Since she joined Sentry in January 2018, she’s enjoyed working with her fellow employee-owners to develop their skills, while honing her own skills.
“I have a lot of respect for everyone that works here,” she says. “Everyone is very hard-working and intelligent. I have gotten nothing but helpful, educated people who are willing to help with all kinds of things along the way.”
Three things he’d take on a deserted island: “As long as my husband Aaron and son Ariyan were already there, I’d take my cell phone, hot sauce – I love spicy food – and a razor.”
Dream job: “I’m an animal lover, and I do a lot of work adopting out and fostering dogs. So I’d probably want to own a business in the animal industry.”
Did she know how to pronounce Oconomowoc before working at Sentry Equipment? “I looked it up for my interview so I would know how to pronounce it. I said, ‘Alright, I'm not going to butcher this.’”
Living the american Dream
Lipi’s work ethic was instilled in her by her father, who immigrated to the United States from India in the 1960s. Shortly after arriving in the U.S. without much money and plenty of ambition but few job prospects, her dad picked up a phone book and randomly dialed a number to ask for help. That call eventually led to a successful career as an engineer and business owner. “He’s a huge inspiration to me. He became very successful in life, and he set us all up in our lives to be successful. I really look up to him.”
Lipi grew up all around Texas, with a four-year stint in India, then landed back in Houston. Now she and her husband Aaron are raising their 3-year-old son Ariyan, plus a Great Dane puppy and a lab mix.
Her typical day at the PMTC starts with a large cup of coffee while she runs a production meeting to review the upcoming month’s production schedule and head off any potential issues. She tours the shop daily to ensure all technical processes are running smoothly, then she handles shipping reports to ensure customers are getting their equipment in a timely manner. She also manages all day-to-day tasks, such as managing office supplies and processing time sheets.
Lipi credits the company with allowing her to create a structure at the PMTC that has empowered employee-owners to do their best work. “I see that their confidence level and their happiness has increased dramatically. They're willing to take on more and do more because they know that somebody's supporting them.”
Although Lipi is relatively new to Sentry and the employee-owner business model, she was recently nominated to be the employee-owner representative from the PMTC on the SOCC (Sentry Ownership Communication Council) committee that advocates for employee ownership. “It means that I have stake in the company, and therefore every action that I take will actually affect the company in some way or another,” she says.
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.