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done rather quickly, he has the option of taking his engineer with him to visit the site, and can provide a turnkey solution. He admits to wearing too many hats, and he prefers spending time in the fi eld, rather than in the offi ce. He doesn’t think of himself as micromanaging, but he likes to achieve high levels of accomplishment. He encourages employees to speak up if they see a better solution in a situation. “There’s a saying around here: ‘There’s the right way, the wrong way, and Pete’s way’. Some people working a job have never been challenged to think, so I encourage people to think, share their skills and network their experience. To me, it’s not what you know, but how you apply it. You may feel you know enough, but it’s far more important how you think about a situation, and how you apply your knowledge to solve it. To quote a very important person, ‘there is no sense of accomplishment unless it starts out impossible.’” Once his new facility is complete, Pleskie will solicit more fabrication, manufacturing and other complimentary work that is a good fi t because a lot of the trade skills and equipment are similar. Constantly pursuing diversifi cation and providing value complements the company’s people and equipment he says. “It creates opportunities for them to learn and gain new experience and in turn expand their skills and our market share in different sectors of the industry, instead of having to lay them off. Sharing your bottom line with results based compensation with your employees can be very profi table.” 60 Businessexcellence October 07 CerProEnergyServices “I try to pay more than the industry standard, and I’ve found that people will give it back with their skills and service in the long run”

October 07 Businessexcellence 61 Smith-Midland Corp. started with a single innovative idea and now manufactures, sells and licenses its precast concrete products around the world, with a licensing model that leverages global partnerships, as Keith Regan learns from president and CEO Rodney Smith Smith-MidlandCorp. Concreteideas Smith-Midland Corp. got its start by creating an innovative solution to a vexing problem for ranchers and farmers: how to keep livestock from wandering off the property without having to open and shut a gate all day. The result was the Smith Cattleguard, a precast concrete grid that vehicles can drive over but cows will not walk across. The product is still sold today, with some 20,000 of them installed in 40 states. The family business—current president and CEO Rodney Smith worked with his father on the fi rst cattleguards in 1960 and took Smith-