Chris Lee has one goal: to leave things better than he found them.
Meet Chris Lee, a retired military veteran of the United States Air Force and Warehouse Manager for Superior Industrial Supply. Not only does he keep product moving in and out of the warehouse efficiently, he is constantly improving on processes to deliver the very best customer experience.
Tell us about your experience prior to working at Superior Industrial Supply?
I had a logistics background early on in my career, so I was familiar with the warehouse and parts replenishing side of things. Halfway through my military career I retrained in another field and actually finished my career in meteorology and weather forecasting. I was an accredited meteorologist and provided weather forecasts and briefings to aircrews. Soon after retiring from the Air Force I became the Superintendent of Weather Operations at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. It was there that I became very focused on process improvements.
How did you transition to a civilian role?
Retiring from the military after 26 years left me with some time on my hands and I grew bored. I put my resume together and, one day, out of the blue, Gregg Pepper gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in a position at Superior. I went in to interview, met the folks there, toured the facility and have been there ever since the start of 2016. I really enjoy it and think very highly of the owners, Gary Wack and Paul Kratz, who empower you to do your job well.
Is there a specific skill set you bring that is beneficial to Superior?
My military competitiveness. I like the challenge of improving upon things. I always set a standard for myself as I moved from base to base during my career that I would leave a place better than when I got there. I try to put my footprint on it for whoever comes after me to try to make it easier for them to transition in and then put their own stamp on it. For my team, the skill that is most important is that they’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zone. If they’re not making hoses, they’ll pull orders, manage inventories, or help customers with a machine that went down. One team, one fight is how I like to do it.
What’s something that many people don’t know about you?
I’m a pretty sociable guy, so people probably know more about me than they want to know. But seriously, I have a wonderful wife, one daughter, a son-in-law and three grandkids. And most people know how much I love my little Pomeranian, Coco. I’m always bragging about her and have even brought her in to work. People may not know that one of the biggest highlights of my military career was that I got to take an incentive flight in an F-15 fighter jet. That was cool.
How do you feel about your Superior team?
They are family and mean a lot to me. They care about you and what’s going on in your life. That’s what makes people work harder and want to do good and help the company succeed.