ClarkDietrich is proud to honor this year’s recipient of the Foundation Award, Fred Bennett, for his endless dedication to ClarkDietrich and its employees. The award is the company’s highest honor and recognizes people who truly exemplify the company values and make the workplace a better experience for all. Fred is an amazing team member and so much more.
Fred has been a part of the ClarkDietrich team for over 22 years, dating back to May 1st, 1996. He started his career in the Dallas plant (it was still Delta Metals at the time). Fred spent the early part of his career helping out in quite a few areas covering AP, AR, Inventory, Scheduling, and Sales order entry. He joked that, back then in order to do an inventory of the products, you needed a micrometer and a machete to cut down the grass/weeds in the yard to get to all the skids and that we’ve certainly come a long way since then.
He learned the AS400 and Novell early on and also found himself trying to resolve any issues that came up with the system or the hardware. He would find and/or buy random parts and try to keep the hardware running. After ClarkWestern came into the picture in 1999, he was told to “Quit fixing things, Fred!” as the equipment really needed to be replaced. Fred came to work full time in IT in 2009 when he made the move to Ohio and began working at the Monroe plant.
Throughout his whole tenure, Fred has been steadfast in his dedication to the company, his desire to learn new things, and in his compassion for fellow employees. He is always willing to help and will do so in a very friendly and respectful manner. The plants enjoy working with him because they know “Fred will fix it”! He will stick with something until he can figure it out or will pull in another resource until he gets to a resolution, regardless of the time of day or day of week. Fred recently told me “I like helping our people solve a problem. I get satisfaction out of it every day.” Fred is very good, and very patient at explaining things so his audience understands. This approach leaves the other party feeling appreciated, listened to and in a better position to tackle the next challenge that comes up. Even when Fred’s having a tough day, you won’t know it. He will still be positive and go out of his way to make time to help others without complaint or a second thought.
Fred’s time with the company and knowledge of the business also make him invaluable when looking for new technology and processes to support our internal customers. He is creative in researching, testing and offering ideas to help the IT Team help the company. He gives 110 plus percent in everything he does and we rely on him tremendously as a part of IT.
Outside of work, Fred is a dedicated husband and father of 2 girls. He recently made an unexpected cross-country journey, just to take care of his family. While attending an IT Conference in Florida, he got a call from family in Texas. His daughters were visiting their Grandparents there for a few weeks during summer vacation and one of them came down with chicken pox. He flew from FL to TX that Friday, and then drove them all back to Ohio over the weekend because his daughter wasn’t allowed to fly. He took it in stride, like he does everything, and was ready to get back at it when the work week started again.
This is just a small representation of how amazing Fred Bennett is as an employee, as a teammate and as a person. Fred is the best and we’re very fortunate to have him at ClarkDietrich!