Coworkers: Illinois South

September 3, 2019
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Ozinga’s ready mix drivers work hard to provide quality service and serve as the front line to our customers and community. In our Illinois South region, Barb Robertson, Inside Sales, and Kevin Bechely, Executive Vice President of Illinois South, make a positive impact on our coworkers by ensuring all drivers feel appreciated, whether they’re just starting or have been with the company for decades.

“Some of our drivers may not see their family first thing in the morning,” said Barb. “They grab their lunch, throw on their clothes and go out the door. To them, they may feel like they’re just a number, but it’s always been my heartbeat to make sure they feel like they’re not ‘just a driver’.”

Barb, Kevin and other members of the Illinois South operation spend time with drivers and get to know those on their team. “It truly changes their mentality when someone says ‘happy birthday’, congratulates them on an anniversary or mentions that their kid hit a three-run homer,” said Barb. “It really nourishes the mind.”

That mentality is also the reason the Illinois South office lunchroom is nicknamed Nourish. Inside the lunchroom, visitors will find a weekly note of encouragement, whether something heard on the radio or a quote found on the internet.

The Illinois South team also makes a positive impact on coworkers through their hospitality. During their second day, new drivers come to the Illinois South office, enjoy breakfast, watch educational driver videos and are paired with a more experienced driver to serve as a mentor. The new drivers also spend quality face time with Kevin. “I spend some time with the new drivers talking about the Ozinga culture and how we’re stewards of this business,” said Kevin. “But I also talk with them about their personal life; this time is all about breaking bread and getting to know them as an individual.”

This hospitality flows into the workday with everyone in the Illinois South operation. “Our drivers regularly check on each other throughout the day because they know their jobs can be stressful,” said Barb. “Sometimes it’s just asking each other how they’re doing, sometimes it’s sharing scripture, but it’s all good to see.”

“The most important thing is caring for your fellow man,” said Kevin. “We all have faults, we all have shortcomings, and if someone makes a mistake, we sit down and talk about it. In the end, we’re all going to be dust, so it’s important to care for everybody every single day.”

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