Stephen Lee's official title is Template Production Manager, but at Engrave-A-Crete we've dubbed him the Template Master. Often found in a darkened office pouring over a computerized design, Stephen puts his magical touch to work to produce stunning templates for Engrave-A-Crete customers.
Stephen came to Engrave-A-Crete from the sheet metal industry, and he believes his initial lack of experience in the decorative concrete field is an advantage.
“I don't have a background in decorative concrete of any fashion other than my time here, so I get to look at things from the customer's point of view,” Stephen says. “Like a homeowner would without necessarily knowing all the inside details of decorative concrete. Of course as time goes on that gets less and less, because I get more knowledgeable in the field.”
He uses what he's learned when talking with a customer, whether it's a homeowner, a business owner or a contractor. When asked for advice about a template design and its practicality, Stephen is quite honest. Customers appreciate that.
“Sometimes a customer asks if we can do a certain design, and I'll let them know that yes, we can do it, but it's going to be a ton of work to put it in,” Stephen says. “Contractors often ask how to bid a job, and we usually base that on the size of the job and the number of stain colors. But I also try to let them know other things to consider. I may tell them there's going to be a lot of Wasp work they'll have to do on the particular design they're using, and not to expect to just use the Shark and be done in ten minutes. That helps them know better how to bid the job.”
Stephen takes his job seriously, but maintains a philosophy of enjoying life. His easy laugh and quick wit are evidence of that.
“To me, life's a game and I have to remind myself every once in a while to not take it too seriously. Of course you have to do the practical things like eat, breathe and have a roof over your head, but I want to enjoy life and learn from the experience,” Stephen says. “Probably the biggest influence on the way I look at life was when my youngest son got really sick and almost died. That made me realize that working 300 hours a week doesn't really matter, because there are more important things and they can be taken from you at any moment.”
Stephen holds an Associates degree in Business Management that combines with various experiences to give him a well-rounded look at industry and his job at Engrave-A-Crete.
“I was in the Army for three years and served in Germany and in Desert Storm,” he says. “After that I did odd jobs, then got into my formal sheet metal apprenticeship. I went to work in the sheet metal industry as a line employee, moved to layout and design, and worked my way up to foreman. I was able to use my experience in layout and design to transfer over to what we do here.”
When not at Engrave-A-Crete, Steve enjoys spending time with his family on their rural property.
“I'm a member of the Well Fed Neighbor Alliance that promotes gardening and local food sustainability,” Stephen says, “so I enjoy my gardens. I also like my chickens and ducks. I have a good time shooting my guns, and I like movies and video games. Just average stuff I guess.”
Stephen can be reached through the company email, phone or FAX. He also mentions that he responds to smoke signals.