Trevor Fawbush is Vice President of Operations for SCHMIDT. He comes to us from Illinois Tool Works (ITW), where he held a variety of positions including Vice President of Operations and Vice President of North American Service. In many cases, he acted as the corporate troubleshooter, jumping in to fix anything that was broken. It was an aspect of his career he enjoyed immensely.
Seeking a new challenge, he met with our President, Chuck Banker, who was looking for additional talent to round out his team. Since both have similar strategic viewpoints developed at ITW, it looked like a win-win. But it wasn’t until Trevor walked the plant floor that he knew he really wanted to be on board.
Passionate and Professional Workers
Trevor saw a shop full of professionals who take a lot of pride in what they do. “They really impressed me with their passion for the job and their eagerness for change,” he said. “It was like they were just waiting for someone to show them how.” Trevor immediately knew he wanted to be that person.
Jumping Right In
“The best way to learn how to streamline the operations in a machine shop is to wade right in and get to work,” he says. Most of Trevor’s day right now is spent on the floor – helping out and learning the culture. One of his first projects will be to implement a “5S” workplace organization program to create a more organized and efficient working environment. 5S stands for Sort, Set in Order, Sweep, Standardize and Sustain.
Trevor is also seeking to tap veteran employees for the incredible amount of knowledge they have about operations. Since most have 25 years or more of service, it is important to learn from them exactly how things are done so they can be streamlined, properly documented and passed on. That way new employees won’t have to discover best practices on their own by trial and error. To bring that next generation of workers into the firm, Trevor is also working with supervisors on job descriptions that are more attractive to millennials.
Happy to be Here
Trevor says he has no doubts about the outcome of these programs and those to come. “I love the enthusiasm of the workforce and the opportunity to work in a smaller environment,” he said. “People here go above and beyond because of the pride they take in their job, not because of who is looking over their shoulder.”
Trevor finds that same level of trust above him as well. “Chuck has been incredibly supportive,” he commented. “We talk the same language and have the same background, so he has realistic expectations as to how quickly things can move.”
Off the Clock
Trevor is married with two daughters and loves spending time with them and following the girls’ athletic pursuits, especially competitive cheerleading. Quite an athlete himself, Trevor played rugby for 10 years and ran triathlons for five. He coached football at the high school level before his family came along and later coached Pop Warner football. Many of the kids he coached are part of the Hoffman Estates team that has been National Champions for 3 years running. Trevor still tries to hit the gym 4-5 times a week.
Having been exposed to fine wines at a restaurant while working his way through school, Trevor has become quite the wine enthusiast and enjoys discovering new vintages to taste.
As far as travel is concerned, it comes as no surprise that Trevor and his family enjoy visiting Disney World each spring for Cheer Worlds and Summit. When he and his wife can get away, they head for the Napa Valley wine region. He also tries to get to his home town of Atlanta at least once a year for a Braves series or a Falcons game.