“Work hard and you will be rewarded”

Meagan Green, Facilities Associate, age 26, joined the company in February of 2013. She started out as the receptionist at the corporate office but soon after accepted a position in the Corporate Facilities department. Her responsibilities include the processing and distribution of the mail at the corporate office as well as a number of other building-related administrative duties.

Tim Matz, Corporate Director of Environmental Affairs, age 54, has been with the company for 23 years. He started at the Lehigh Cement Company corporate office in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and then moved to Dallas, Texas, in 2008 following the acquisition of Hanson, plc, by HeidelbergCement. He currently handles environmental affairs and regulatory compliance matters for the company’s cement manufacturing sites.

Employees USA 01

How did you come to work for Lehigh Hanson?

Matz:
I was working in Philadelphia as an environmental technician at a steel mill. As the steel mill’s business began to wind down, I became interested in moving away from the day-to-day compliance work I was doing at the time. I answered an ad in the newspaper for a job at the Lehigh Cement Company corporate office in Allentown. The stability of the company was attractive; it had been around a long time and was well known in the area. Probably what impressed me the most about the company and made me want to work there was the family atmosphere. Everyone knew each other and seemed to work well together. 

Green:
I heard about the job through a temporary staffing agency, but I was not familiar with Lehigh Hanson or HeidelbergCement or construction materials. I really didn’t know anything about the company so I used Google to search for information and learn about the company. It sounded like a very interesting place to work so I applied for the job.

Matz:
So you found your job using Google and I found mine using the newspaper – what a contrast!

Green:
I started as the receptionist, answering the phones for the corporate office. But soon after I started, I was offered a full-time role as a Facilities Associate in the processing center handling the mail for the corporate office. As I learned more about the company and got to know the people, I really like working here a lot. This is the type of company you want to stay with a long time. As Tim said, it really is a family atmosphere.

Talk a little about your first days on the job, what was it like?

Green:
This was my first corporate job and at first I was intimidated. But when I walked into the office I was impressed by the atmosphere and the fact that all of the managers and executives were very down to earth and took the time to meet me and learn my name. Even though the company is global, it has the feel of a small business. People know each other and you can talk to them.

Matz:
Exactly. During my first few days on the job, my boss at that time took me around the office and introduced me to every single employee. It was amazing the time that everyone took with me to introduce me to the company.

Employees USA 02

Can you describe some of the changes you’ve seen since you started with the company?

Matz:
One of the key changes has been technology. When I started with the company there were no computers. It was all phones, typewriters, and fax machines. I used to dictate my letters into a recorder and then our assistant would type them up on a real typewriter.

Green:
Now it’s all emails, scanned documents, and electronic communications. Everything is becoming paperless.

Matz:
Today there are no more faxes, but still a lot of phone calls. Overall, I’d say the business has become more complex. From an environmental standpoint, the regulations and rules for our business have changed and our stakeholder base has grown. We now have a lot more people interested in what we do and how we do it.

Green:
Even in the short time I have been here, I have seen change and growth in our business. I see more information sharing and the new people that have come on board bring a fresh perspective.

As you both suggest, technology has become very important to our industry and to our world in general. What are your impressions about how the company is adapting to the latest technology trends?

Green:
I think it varies by department and function. Since I am responsible for the mail, I see a lot of paper documents coming into the building. That’s a little surprising. But the majority of our departments are becoming more electronic and automated. I like that …

Matz:
When I started with the company, for the first years, it seemed to me that we were mainly just trying to keep up with our competitors as far as technology goes. But then, as our business grew and our reach and access to knowledge became more global, I started to see the company as a leader in technology, especially in the area of environmental technology. What we do now is tremendous, particularly in regards to pollution abatement and reducing our carbon footprint.

Green:
I agree, I think even the little things we do today set us apart. Technology helps us be more efficient and the more efficient we are as a producer and as a company, the better we are overall.

Employees USA 03

Why do you think that Lehigh Hanson and HeidelbergCement are good companies to work for?

Matz:
What keeps me coming back every day is that there is always something different. Every day brings a new challenge.

Green:
I agree – you just never know what the day will bring. Even though my role is small, I feel it is important to the company and the work I do affects the company. It’s good to feel you are part of the company and your work is valued.

Matz:
Absolutely, you need to feel a sense of worth. That what you do is important and that’s the feeling I get every day. The people here are a huge asset as well.

How would you describe the company in just two or three words?

Matz:
Okay, three words … "global" … "sustainability" …and "leader".

Green:
Yes, "global" comes to mind. Also, I think "enduring" because the company has been around a long time. And also "reputable".

Tim, any words or advice for Meagan as she begins her career with Lehigh Hanson and HeidelbergCement?

Matz:
Yes, I would say to Meagan, work hard and you will be rewarded. And, along the way, have some fun.

Green:
I like that …that’s good advice.

Employees USA 04

Do you have any words for HeidelbergCement on its 140th anniversary of business?

Matz:
I wish HeidelbergCement a long and prosperous future!

Green:
Yes, at least another 140 years!

(The interview was conducted in 2013.)