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Mark Van Herpen, CFO

Mark Van Herpen

Mark Van Herpen, Ledwell’s Chief Financial Officer, has been at Ledwell for 11 years.

“My favorite thing about Ledwell is that you never know what’s going to happen next,” he said. “I love being here, and I feel honored that I’ve had the privilege to come to work here.”

Mark Van Herpen

Before working at Ledwell, Mark served as CFO for a real estate management company that owned malls across the country. Transitioning to the manufacturing industry presented a steep learning curve.

“I didn’t know anything about manufacturing,” he said. “I just listened and learned. The most important thing I’ve learned here is that, as a company, we solve all problems.”

Mark said he loves college and professional sports, especially the L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Rams, and L.A. Lakers. Though he was raised in Arkansas, he was born in L.A., and his dad’s favorite teams rubbed off on him. He kicked off his career in finance by earning a degree in accounting from Arkansas Tech University.

Mark’s passion lies in charity work, and he supports many nonprofit organizations.

“I’m most passionate about the Alzheimer’s Alliance, which presents the Twice as Fine Texarkana Wine Festival each year,” he said. “I’ve seen how Alzheimer’s disease affects families. Proceeds from the festival benefit our local respite center, which gives families of Alzheimer’s patients a much-needed break.”

Along with his wife Cathy, Mark serves on the Alzheimer’s Alliance board. Cathy and Mark have served as chairs of the wine festival since it began six years ago.

Fred Gomez

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for December 2020

A good forklift driver knows what each bay needs next, depending on where they are in the building process.

“Like a puzzle,” said Fred Gomez, forklift operator for the Trailer Shop. “I was the first dedicated forklift driver, and now four shops each have their own.”

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for December 2020 Fred, who has worked at Ledwell for almost a decade, said he has learned many skills since he started at Ledwell in 2011.

“You have to be able to work as a team,” he said.

“As a forklift driver, there are times when an object is too bulky for just one of us to lift. It takes a team to move it properly.”

Fred said sticking to a routine is vital for keeping a shop running successfully and efficiently.

“When your team is set up for success, they will be happier, which makes the day go smoothly,” he said.

Fred and his wife Sandy have two daughters and one grandson. When he isn’t at work, he spends most of his time with his family and watching football. 

“Watching the Cowboys lose is a great day,” he said.

Family, Fred said, is what inspires him.

“Keeping everyone full and safe—that’s what’s important to me,” he said.

Jim Greger, Information Technology Director

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for October 2020

When Jim Greger started as Ledwell’s Information Technology Director 15 years ago, the company had just one server supporting its IT infrastructure.

“Now, we have over 25 servers,” Jim said. “Ledwell has grown. It just multiplies.”

Jim Greger

Jim didn’t choose a career in IT—IT chose him. After high school, he earned an associate degree in engineering from Texarkana College, where he also pitched for the TC Bulldogs baseball team. Then, he went to work in engineering—in fact, he worked for Ledwell’s engineering department with Bob Nolte early in his career. Jim worked for several prominent corporations, including the Lone Star Army Ammunition plant and Rockwood International. He made the jump to IT while working for Smith-Blair.

“I started trying to automate processes that helped in rolling, bending, and cutting steel,” Jim said. “Once I got it to work, what normally took about four hours could be done in five minutes. After I started automating processes there, they wanted me to move into IT, and from that point, I stayed.”

Over 30 years later, Jim said he still enjoys IT work. And when he got the chance to return to Ledwell, he jumped on it.

“I love working here,” he said. “This is a family-oriented business. Working for corporations, they knew you by an employee number. Steve and Lesley know everybody, and they take the time to take an interest in their employees. That’s something you don’t get everywhere.”

Today, Jim has a team of four employees. When he started 15 years ago, he was the entire IT department. As for his typical workday? There isn’t one, he said. Workdays at Ledwell aren’t typical.

“I spend a lot of time managing the issues that come up on a daily basis, deciding which projects are a priority, coordinating with vendors, maintaining servers and network and phone system,” he said.

Jim has a son, daughter, and three grandsons. For the past ten years, he has pastored two non-denominational churches: one in Avery, Texas, and one in Dallas. Between Ledwell and pastoring, he doesn’t have much free time. When he does, Jim said he loves having the opportunity to travel with his wife, who has her own travel business.

For those who are starting their career at Ledwell, Jim has a few words of advice.

“One of the major things here is opportunity,” Jim said. “If somebody really wants to work hard and do their best, there are tremendous rewards. The heart of this company is the employees and their families. You can work here and just draw a salary if you wish, but we all have the opportunity to share in something bigger than just ourselves.”

Jacob Sanchez

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for August 2020

Jacob Sanchez started his career at Ledwell 14 years ago, when he began working in the Trailer Shop. After gaining years of experience installing wood floors and connecting wiring in Ledwell’s HydraTail Trailers, Jacob moved to the Feedbody Shop. Now, he works on lighting and wiring installation for Feed Trailers.

Jacob said he values learning the best practice for each application.

“I try to learn something new each day to become more knowledgeable about feed operations,” he said.

Jacob’s foreman said he is a hard worker.

“He’s dependable, and I don’t have to worry about one thing with Jacob,” he said. “He’s the ideal employee.”

Jacob is happily married to his wife, MaAurora, for 37 years. In his spare time, Jacob said he enjoys spending quality time with his family and playing a soccer game or two.

Jacob said he never stops learning and growing with Ledwell and that the company has helped him reach his potential.

“I enjoy coming to work every day,” he said. “I hope to stay with Ledwell for many years to come!”

Everett Stockton

Ledwell Employee Spotlight - July 2020

Since 1999, we have been fortunate to have an amazing craftsman working with us. Everett Stockton was hired to work in our Paint Department. After about four years he transferred to the Truck Shop. His knowledge and skills have been a huge asset in building Water and Dump Trucks – This is why we have chosen him as this month’s Employee Spotlight.

Everett has two sons and two dogs an Australian Shepard and Pit Bull. In his spare time, Everett likes to play golf and fish. If you were to ask one of Everett’s coworkers to describe him in a few words, they would tell you that he’s friendly, hardworking, and dependable. Working together with his team is something he does on a regular basis. One of his favorite Ledwell projects over the last two decades was working on a double pump for a 6,000-gallon Water Tank. “It was challenging but I learned a lot from the experience,” Everett said.

When referring to his job, Everett used the word family several times. He enjoys his job and is thankful for the friendships he has made here at Ledwell over the years and hopes to retire in a few years. Thank you, Everett, for your dedication and service to Ledwell. We appreciate all you do!

Steve Fant

Ledwell June 2020 Employee Spotlight

Our June Employee Spotlight is a devoted employee at Ledwell Machinery, Steve Fant. He has been with Ledwell for almost 9 years as a small engine repairman for our machinery location. Steve is happily married to his wife Angie, and they have 4 children. He has 6 dogs that are considered part of the family. He loves to play pool in his spare time.

Steve can be described as patient, dedicated, and friendly. One of the most challenging obstacles Steve encounters with his day to day job is communication. Although, he has learned a great deal from the different perspectives of his colleagues.

One of Steve’s favorite things about working at Ledwell Machinery is he never gets bored. “There’s always plenty to do.” He takes pride in working with a company that is loyal and puts quality first. Steve has enjoyed being a part of the growth of Ledwell Machinery over the years. Watching everything develop into what it is now has been rewarding. From the customers to the product line – it has been a gift to experience. Thank you, Steve, for your dedication!

Hayden Hall

Employee Spotlight for Ledwell May 2020

Hayden Hall has been an employee at Ledwell for almost seven years. Since starting with Ledwell, Hayden has worked in the Tank Shop, Feedbody Shop, and Break and Shear. His talents in welding landed him a place in our Special Projects Department, building some of our unique products for customers.

After graduating from high school, he joined the United States Army and completed four years of active duty service. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors and building knives.

If asked, a friend might describe Hayden as hard-working, honest, and friendly. The most challenging part of Hayden’s day to day is keeping up with the demand here at Ledwell. He said, “I’ve learned over the years at Ledwell that if you continue to work hard each day, you will see the benefits of your hard labor unfold.”

Hayden is married, and they have two dogs. A pitbull-lab mix and a corgi-beagle mix. One of Hayden’s lifetime goals is to attend the Sigma 3 Survival School. This is an intensive training course to teach you how to survive in the wilderness with minimal tools available.

First and foremost, thank you for your service! We appreciate your hard work and dedication, Hayden.

Jack Kokko

Ledwell Emp Spotlight April 2020

April’s Employee Spotlight is a motivated employee who works in our Maintenance Department and is vital to our operations. Jack Kokko has been a dedicated employee at Ledwell for five years, and we don’t know what we would do without him!

Before working at Ledwell, Jack’s most exciting job was cleaning pizza ovens all over the United States. He enjoys working at Ledwell and describes the company as loyal, personal, and dedicated. Jack appreciates having the resources available so that he can do his job well. “You don’t have that luxury everywhere you work.” Using those resources, he was able to put a new roof on the Feedbody Shop in one day. That’s why he considers it one of his favorite projects over the years.

He is married to Olivia, and they have a son, Samuel. They have two pit bull dogs that are a part of the family. He enjoys coaching sports, fishing with his family, and watching all types of races. Jack’s motto is “send it – don’t hold back!” He enjoys participating in the Dragon Boat Races every year. He is part of the three-time Ledwell champion team, The Bootleggers. Jack loves the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, and Indiana Colts.

Thank you, Jack! We appreciate everything you do around the facility.

Michael Applebaum

Ledwell Employee Spot March 2020

Michael Applebaum has worked at Ledwell for almost nine years. He has been a Torch Operator in the Feed Body Shop since day one, which is unusual for most Ledwell employees.

When Michael thinks of Ledwell, family, dedicated and reliable are what come to mind. He feels as though the most challenging part of his day to day is making sure material is cut at a good pace in order to provide parts quickly to other shops. Friendly is how he would describe himself in a single word, which is probably why his favorite thing about working at Ledwell are the people. Michael says, “Everyone is easy going and they make it an enjoyable environment to work in”.

Michael is married to Faith and they have three children. Two girls and a boy. In his spare time, he enjoys watching any sporting event and spending quality time with his family and dogs. Michael stated, “If I get up in the morning and go to work at Ledwell to do my very best, I know that my family will be okay”.
Thank you, Michael for all your hard work!

Mica Morse

Ledwell Employee Spotlight January 2020

For almost a decade, Mica Morse has been a part of the Ledwell Sales Team. He has covered several regions across the United States and Canada over the years and currently supports many national accounts. He delivers solutions to opportunities customers present daily. Mica says the most important lessons he’s learned from working at Ledwell are providing good customer service and working with a sense of urgency. Every call he receives is important to him, and he implements a process to get requests done quickly.

His main goal is to help customers make money. Mica has been able to achieve that time and time again. “Watching and helping several of my customers start small and grow into sizable companies has been amazing,” he said. His responsiveness and loyalty have really helped him, and his customers achieve their goals over the last nine years.

When Mica isn’t helping customers, he is teaching his family the joys of hunting, fishing and playing sports. He and his wife have three children, two girls and a boy. Thank you, Mica for your dedication and support to Ledwell!