Ken Schnor | All in on CITY
“It’s just amazing how many people come up and say, I got this problem,” Ken said. “I say that’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity, a challenge and a chance to make things better.”
The story began 22 years ago when Ken started his career at CITY as a Route Service Apprentice. Early on in his career, he got the chance to train under Route Service Representatives and District Managers who had been with CITY for decades. To this day, he describes his early days as an apprentice and later on as a Route Service Representative [RSR] as some of the most formative years of his career, truly making him understand what it means to provide great service.
“I got to see all the good things that they do,” Ken said. “You learn how to deal with problems and you learn how to solve them. I think one of the biggest opportunities I’ve had was starting at the ground level.”
For 12 years, Ken serviced CITY’s route 19 from New Hampton to Cresco into the Protivin area. He is still in touch with many of his original customers and enjoys checking in with them. After 12 years, Ken’s desire to look for new challenges was met by an opportunity to become a District Manager at CITY’s Oelwein plant. He managed the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City area taking on a new side of the job he hadn’t seen.
“Problems aren’t problems, they are opportunities,” Ken said. “It’s also about constantly learning new things and making yourself better. I don’t own the company, but I feel ownership in the company and in a management role that’s really important.”
Ken continued his rise through the ranks at CITY, taking the position of Service Manager and shortly after becoming the Director of Operations for the plant. His time in operations allowed Ken to immerse himself even further into the world of laundry and understand the intricacies of everyday procedures inside the plant. While he says the switch to the plant floor was the right move, it was also a very challenging job.
“The plant perspective was the toughest,” Ken said. Working in operations made me think a lot about what we are doing as a service team and how important it is that we cooperate. I think you are just at such an advantage if you start at the bottom and you learn the basics and have a good solid foundation.”
Today, Ken once again heads CITY’s service department as Director of Service. Ken’s CITY story is one of change but also consistency because of his constant commitment to do right by CITY’s customers and the company.
“I’m all in on CITY,” Ken said. “I want CITY to be successful. There’s just something within me, where I just want us to win. I am part of CITY’s growth and it makes me proud. I want to make sure that everything’s right when I leave here.”