We are thrilled to welcome Joey Thomas to the Induron family as our Business Development Manager with the goal of growing our position in the marketplace. Joey not only brings a go-getter, up-for-a-challenge work ethic, but also 19 years of experience in the water storage industry. Learn more about him in this Q&A:
Q: Tell us about your background, experience in the paint/coatings industry and how you came to work for Induron.
After graduating from The University of Kentucky in 2003 with a BS in Biotechnology, I was hired by Pittsburg Tank and Tower as a Project Manager overseeing the rehabilitation of existing water tanks and towers. After four years on the tank maintenance side, I transitioned over to Project Manager of new elevated water towers for Pittsburg Tank and Tower Elevated, which was later acquired by Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors. I continued to manage a variety of new tank projects (mainly Composite Elevated Towers) until early 2016 when I was promoted to Chief Development Officer where I worked with engineers and owners to grow Phoenix’s position in the marketplace. I continued to serve in that role until early 2021 when we achieved our marketing objectives, and I was promoted to Operations Manager of the Structural Concrete Division.
Early in 2022, I decided to make a career move and accepted an offer from Induron to become Business Development Manager and help the sales team grow more in the marketplace. It was an extremely difficult decision to leave an excellent contractor like Phoenix, but the appeal to work for a smaller company with a great reputation, big aspirations, and a true opportunity for growth was too good to pass up. After meeting the team and learning more about the Induron product line and company culture, my decision became much easier. I am excited about bringing 19 plus years of experience in the water storage industry to help Induron grow!
Q: What are your responsibilities in your new role?
A: I will be responsible for assisting the sales team as well as meeting with engineers and owners to promote the value and performance of the Induron product line for applications in water and wastewater projects. I will represent the company nationally at relevant industry settings and provide clients with protective coatings solutions. I intend to expand my industry knowledge while learning and developing new ways to help clients protect their valuable assets for years to come!
Q: Why Induron? What’s your favorite thing about working for Induron so far?
A: So far, I would say the culture. It goes without saying the product line is fantastic, but the approach from ownership and management is very refreshing and supportive. It feels like a great team and environment to continue my growth in this industry.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: Granted I’m still new here, but I would say the marketing aspect of promoting a smaller company against the industry giants that are publicly traded with droves of managers and sales members all over the country is the most challenging part of my job. That being said, that was also the appeal for me to work with a smaller group that feels more like family and doesn’t need a Wall Street ticker symbol to manufacture and deliver high-quality protective coatings.
Q: Tell us about a project you’ve worked on that you’re especially proud of.
A: Starting in 2007, I served as Project Manager for the construction of two – 2,000,000-gallon Composite Elevated Tanks (CET). At the time, Phoenix had not even built one CET of this size, let alone two, and it was the largest single contract in the company’s history with each tank being over 200-feet tall. This was a marketplace they were desperate to tap into, so success was absolutely crucial. To make matters more difficult, it was located at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN under one of the highest security areas on the continent. This made material and equipment deliveries more challenging in addition to simply just getting manpower into the facility to work. The scope was performed under the very watchful eyes of teams of government inspectors and safety people. Needless to say, the challenges were enormous, but our team succeeded and completed the project “on time and under budget” as the owners liked to say, and those two towers proudly serve the facility. It was an enormous 3-year project that I’m proud to say I managed successfully!
Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the coatings industry?
A: There is a continuing trend of 100% solids epoxies becoming more prevalent, but the largest trend coming is everyone’s anticipation of NSF 600, which Induron is well positioned to serve.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: “Keep your head down and work to the end of the row…Then turn around and come back to the next row and do the same thing.”
Growing up as a farm kid, I heard this a few times in the blistering, late-summer Kentucky heat while cutting tobacco. I’ve tried to apply this to my work ethic as I have tackled projects in my career. Work hard, keep going until the job is finished, and then find the next project to do!
Q: If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: My dad. Even though we lost him only 2 short years ago, I still miss him every day. He was such a large influence on me and even though I am blessed with so many best friends and a wonderful family, he was THE best friend for the largest part of my life. He instilled a strong work ethic in me and taught me so many life skills that I wouldn’t be where I am today without. I continually ponder about how he would feel about the world he left 2 years ago, how he feels I am proceeding as a husband and a father, and how he would have persevered through the pandemic we all endured.
Q: What person has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
A: For reasons listed above, it would definitely be my dad from a personal standpoint. But from a business standpoint, it would be Ben Johnston, owner of Pittsburg Tank and Tower Group. After going to work for Ben’s late father Don fresh out of college, I began gravitating toward Ben. I was enamored with his viewpoints, how he managed problems, and how he managed people. I suppose he saw something in me and spent more time than he had to in teaching me almost everything I know about the industry and how to be successful in this marketplace. He has become my mentor, but above all that he has become my friend for life.
Q: Tell us a little about your family, pets and/or hobbies.
A: I am married to my beautiful wife, Amber, who is an assistant principal at Henderson County High School in Kentucky. We have two lovely daughters–Kate (12) and Claire (8) –who love to participate in competitive dance. We have a loving house dog named Daisy, a 2-year-old Schichon, and a beagle named Bella, who I use for rabbit hunting. I’m also an avid hunter of deer, dove, and turkey. I enjoy many sports, primarily cheering on my Alma Mater,the Kentucky Wildcats, and the St. Louis Cardinals.