Today, I'm pleased to highlight a super important person at the factory and one of my biggest role models, John. What a cool ass guy. Where to start?
John is the production manager at our factory. He first worked at the old Bender Shoe Company in Somerset fresh out of high school and has worked his way up ever since. He is one of the few folks at the factory who can run every machine. He runs the factory with an iron-fist, yet he is so damn genuine that he commands the respect of those who work with him. He is in charge of taking the assembled manufacturing tickets and deciding when the boots will start production and be cut. Beyond actually keeping everyone in line, he also spends a lot of time in the Second-Making Department, where he first and second scours every single pair of boots that run through the factory. In layman's terms, he takes the boot once the heel has been nailed on and with lightning speed, he sands the heels and welt down until they are perfectly shaped and smooth as a baby's bottom. It is honestly one of the most fascinating things to watch, so I also try to show visitors this process. Another important relationship that I have with John is his suggestions in design - the man has a way of knowing which leathers will work well with different silhouettes before they are run, and several times, his better judgement has saved me a lot of frustration.
In his spare time, John loves doing woodwork and each weekend he also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity where he enjoys helping folks in need by building them houses. John is also a deacon at his church. In closing, John is one of my closest mentors and friends, and Mark Albert would never be where it is today without his wisdom and help.