Meet Our Team: Jack Subel

The Meet Our Team blog series gives you an inside look into our team members’ careers, exciting new projects, history with KFI, and a general introduction to some of our key players! We hope you enjoy this, and many more blogs, that give you a better idea of the people behind the operation here at KFI.

Our third chapter in this series highlights our Vice President of Sales on the Non-Automotive OEM side of the business, Jack Subel. Jack heads up our non-auto OEM sales team and is constantly looking to help clients with unique needs and working on exciting new product development projects.  

Q: What is your job title?

A: I am the Vice President of the Non-Automotive OEM team. 

Q: How long have you been with KFI?

A: I have been with KFI for 6 years. 

Q: What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

A: My daily responsibilities have changed over time.  For several years, I was tasked with growing our Heavy Truck business.  Now, I focus on business development in Heavy Truck, and other industries.  I also look for new opportunities in order to diversify our company’s customers. 

Q: What is your favorite part of working for KFI?

A: KFI has scale.  By that I mean, we are staffed to do big things.  Most of our competitors do not have the Marketing, Engineering, Operations, and Sales reach that we do.  Chasing opportunities that leverage this scale to “move the needle” is challenging and can be fun too!

Q: Can you share a project that your department accomplished that you feel proud of?

A: Prior to Covid, we put together a presentation that for Navistar.  They were looking for a new bunk system for a new design for the interior of their Class-8, over-the-road heavy-duty truck.  We designed it, developed a virtual reality tour of the interior with our parts in it, and presented it to their Engineering team.  I was very proud to represent KFI after that presentation.  I feel, we really showed what we’re capable of if given a “blank page”.

Q: How does your department embody KFI’s values?

A: Each day we look to grow our business and move the needle.

Q: What is your favorite memory from working at KFI?

A: Our resilience during Covid is a great memory.  This time was perhaps one of the most uncertain and challenging times I’ve seen in my 30+ year career.  Our approach to “lean in” and attempts to navigate this time with the emergency and disaster relief bed product was a great memory…although, I’m happy we’re past that difficult time!

Jack’s experience in the industry, wealth of knowledge, and positive attitude makes him an amazing colleague and leader at KFI. We are thrilled to have Jack as a part of the KFI team! Check back soon for more Meet Our Team Blogs! Interested in being a part of our team? Apply today, we can’t wait to meet you!

Meet Our Team: Nate Franck

The Meet Our Team blog series gives you an inside look into our team members’ careers, exciting new projects, history with KFI, and a general introduction to some of our key players! We hope you enjoy this, and many more blogs, that give you a better idea of the people behind the operation here at KFI.

Our second addition to this series is our Vice President of Sales on the TriEnda side of the business, Nate Franck. Nate oversees all of our TriEnda sales teams across the world and has focused on launching new products, expanding our market, and driving new sales opportunities in a multitude of industries.  

Q: What is your job title?

A: I am the Vice President of Sales for TriEnda.

Q: How long have you been with KFI?

A: I have been with KFI a little over 3 years.

Q: What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

A:  Managing a team of sales managers across the world, setting the new product development direction for TriEnda, working on large sales deals, traveling around the world to see customers, and continual training for our sales professionals.

Q: What is your favorite part of working for KFI?

A: We are a very dynamic and agile company so that gives me and my team the freedom to make important decisions quickly that help grow the company.

Q: Can you share a project that your department accomplished that you feel proud of?

A:.I am very proud of the huge advances we have made in the battery packaging and grocery industries. These are two areas of business that have, and will remain, a significant part of growth for KFI.

Q: How does your department embody KFI’s values?

A: My team has been working very hard during the pandemic to move the needle! We have by far the highest backlog of orders in company history, plus we have a sales pipeline that will keep things going strong through the end of 2022!

Q: What is your favorite memory from working at KFI?

A: My favorite memory with KFI has been traveling to Portage nearly every week during my first year at KFI. These trips were fun and enlightening. I loved hearing stories from colleagues, meeting such long tenured employees, and hitting up local spots really made for a fun and eventful year!

It is apparent in speaking with Nate that he has a passion for this industry, TriEnda’s products, his sales team, and KFI. We are so happy to have Nate as a leader on our team! Check back soon for more Meet Our Team Blogs! Interested in being a part of our team? Apply today, we can’t wait to meet you!

A Day in the Life of a Thermoforming Machine Operator

Explore the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator.

There are so many people, machines, and materials that go into the creation of a final product. Today, we explore one part of that process by peaking into the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator at TriEnda.

What does a Machine Operator Do?

We shadowed Shannon Horkan, who has worked as a Thermoforming Machine Operator at TriEnda for 8 years. As an operator, this position is responsible for taking measurements of finished products, loading the thermoforming machine, solving problems that the machine might have, and sometimes filling in as a finisher or helping the production team in other ways. The machine operator is crucial to the final product’s integrity because this position also assists in maintaining excellent quality control. “I make sure everything’s running within specifications even if the other operator checks.” Shannon said, she always double checks and constantly measures the finished products. Overseeing the machines to make sure everything is running smoothly and accurately. She will also adjust the machine if it is not up to par, which assures that our products are created on-time and with the highest level of quality.

What does their schedule look like?

Thermoforming Machine Operators usually follow the 2-2-3 schedule. The 2-2-3 schedule means that the employee would work 7 am – 7 pm for 2 days on, then get 2 days in a row off, and then again 7 am – 7 pm for 3 days. This schedule is often one of the employee’s favorite parts of the work because it allows them to have a significant amount of time off with their family both during the week and one the weekends, because of the rotating schedule.

What are the challenges they face?

There are challenges to every position, Shannon discussed some of her biggest obstacles at work with us, “There is constant change, if there is a problem it’s hard to know what the problem is because of how complex the machines are, there are so many factors that go into solving the problem.” A normal day as a machine operator includes paperwork if there is a new tool, otherwise the main task is making sure that the team is using the right routers and drills.

What do they enjoy most about their job?

Luckily, there are many up-sides to this position as well. Shannon discussed the benefits of having insurance, a 401k, and the stability of her position at TriEnda which make all the hard work worth it. Part of why many employees love working at TriEnda is also the rigorous nature of our production jobs, not only physically but also the mental challenges and problem solving makes the day-to-day duties interesting and engaging. At TriEnda we cultivate an environment that is safe, fun, and enjoyable which Shannon also noted, “My coworkers are my favorite part of my job, I like everybody I work with.”

Every KFI employee is an asset to our complete operation and we are always looking for hard working, positive people to add to our team. If you are interested in working with us, take a look at our careers page.  

Meet Our Team: Sarena Krueger

The Meet Our Team blog series gives you an inside look into our team members’ careers, exciting new projects, history with KFI, and a general introduction to some of our key players! We hope you enjoy this, and many more blogs, that give you a better idea of the people behind the operation here at KFI.

To begin this series, we will speak with our Vice President of Marketing, Sarena Krueger.
Sarena oversees all marketing and communications as well as business development and industrial design teams. Sarena has helped to build KFI’s
marketing and industrial design departments into one of the leaders in the thermoforming industry. Among other projects she has overseen the complete re-launch of all six of KFI’s brand sites.

Q: What is your job title?

A: Vice President of Marketing and Communications, all of our Business Development, Industrial Design and the Marketing teams all report to me.

 

Q: How long have you been with KFI?

A:  I have been with KFI for 18 months.

 

Q: What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

A:  It is different every day.  I work with the sales teams to execute new product launches and campaigns, planning for trade shows, directing our digital marketing tactics, and work on corporate initiatives, such as hiring campaigns and updating the look and feel of our corporate communications.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of working for KFI?

A: The people and the opportunity!  I see a long runway ahead for the company, and I like contributing to our successes and helping to improve our business.

 

Q: Can you share a project that your department accomplished that you feel proud of?

A: I love all of the videos that we have created.  They are such a fun and effective way
to display our products.  The end results are a clear result of
collaboration between engineering, sales, and my teams.

 

Q: How does your department embody KFI’s values?

A:   The key value that the marketing, business development and industrial design teams most embody is Get Things Done. In the year and a half since I have been at KFI, we have updated all of our websites, created countless new pieces of collateral, videos and images.
 

 

Q: What is your favorite memory from working at KFI?

A: Starting my career during a global pandemic and seeing how everyone banded together to come up with a very cool product that helped people in such an unbelievable time in our history.

 

While Sarena is one of our newer leaders, she has definitely embodied KFI’s values and brings
energy, experience, creativity, and drive to the team.
Interested in being a part of our team? Apply today, we can’t wait to meet you!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at TriEnda.

Here at TriEnda we pride ourselves in our diversity, inclusion, and friendly atmosphere. It is with that in mind that we want to take the time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Starting on September 15th and ending on October 15th, this month seeks to honor, educate, and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

George E. Brown, a California Congressman, introduced the idea of Hispanic Heritage Week back in June of 1968. Later on, in 1987, U.S. representative Esteban E. Torres proposed extending the heritage week to a month long observance to celebrate the Hispanic culture and achievements. Senator Paul Simon submitted a similar bill in 1988 that passed through Congress and was then signed by Ronal Reagan in August of that same year. President George H.W. Bush was the first president to declare the period of September 15th to October 15th Hispanic Heritage Month.

This celebration begins mid-month because September 15th coincides with the national independence days for man Latin American countries. With the U.S. Hispanic population at over 60 million in 2019, the Hispanic American populations are the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the country.

As an organization we value all of our workers and enjoy celebrating the diverse work environment at all of our locations. With one of our plants located in Lerma, Mexico we know the importance of having bilingual associates, especially in human resources and literature that is available in both Spanish and English.  

Along with bilingual literature and associates, we strive to provide an open, honest, and welcoming environment at every Kruger Family Industries facility. Join us in celebrating this important heritage month and look into working as a member of our diverse team.

Why work at KFI?

Man smiling in an office

Exploring the many things that make KFI a great place to work!

With a multitude of employers out there, sometimes choosing the right organization to work for can be daunting. It is important to keep in mind the culture that an employer fosters, the feel of the work environment, and how the current employees review their time with the company. Luckily, here at Kruger Family Industries we have outstanding employees that would like to share a little bit about their experiences work for KFI with you

"The family atmosphere that KFI has across the organization is unmatched! Truly enjoy coming to work every day and there are always new things that challenge you.”
jacob hacker
Jacob Hacker
Inside Sales Manager, 1.5 years with Trienda
“What has kept me here all these years is really the fact that the people are decent, and the hours are good. The 2, 2, 3 schedule is great and you don’t get burned out.”
Brian Kearns
Extrusion Operator, 37 years with TriEnda
“My favorite thing about working at Penda is the people that I work with. I like showing people things that I learn throughout the day and teaching other people is a lot of fun.”
Wendy Baker
Wendy Baker
Lead Operator/Trainer, 11 years with Penda
“I really like that KFI is a family owned business that cares about their employees. I’ve been with the company for 34 years in the finance department and have gained so much knowledge and experience working here. I love the variety of work, opportunities to keep learning and interaction with great co-workers.”
Sheila McFarlane
Cost Accountant, 34 years with KFI
“My favorite thing about working here is the transparency, the friends, the comradery, and the education that we keep furthering with each other’s knowledge.”
rob fahey
Rob Fahey
Quality Technician, 9 years at TriEnda
“KFI is a great place to work because there is a true spirit of collaboration and cooperation to achieve common goals. The company is willing to invest in its people and in the best available technology, and I believe that combination will ultimately send us to the top in the plastics manufacturing realm.”
Diana Risner
Diana Risner
Project Manager – System Solutions, 4 years with TriEnda
“The family culture at KFI has fostered my personal and professional growth and has allowed me to gain the confidence to bring new ideas and opportunities to the table.”
riley haight
Riley Haight
Inside Sales Representative, 7 months at Penda
“Although I have been working with KFI for a short time, I have liked it because it is a place that inspires me to learn and develop my skills, also all the people here are always willing to guide me and help me.”
daniel reyna
Daniel Reyna
Inside Sales Representative, 2 months with TriEnda (Mexico)
“An Industrial Design career at KFI gives me the opportunity to utilize a wide range of skills: sketching, CAD modeling, 3D rendering, and graphic design, all while applying sustainable thermoforming design principles.”
alex greene
Alex Greene
Industrial Designer, 10 months with KFI
“I really enjoy the work schedule. Having 4 days off is like a mini vacation. I enjoy the family atmosphere, the people you work with become your family.”
Brandon Prew
Finisher, 10 years with Penda

Whether you are looking for a position as a design engineer, an extrusion operator, or a human resources generalist, KFI focuses on building a positive and collaborative work environment in every department. If you are interested in joining the KFI family, take a look at our careers page and apply today! We can’t wait to meet you!