If there is one person who is the backbone of LionHeart, look no further than the leader of the shop, Andrea Schultz.
Andrea’s work ethic is second to none, bringing experience from working long and hard hours at the farm right to LionHeart. The warehouse and shop area are always perfectly organized, clean and in tip top shape. There is not a mystery as to who is the one leading the charge to keep it together.
If a task needs to be complete, Andrea will get it done. She takes responsibility for her work and thrives on getting things done. Not just accomplished but done perfectly. Andrea’s hard work and high standards show not only in her efforts at LionHeart’s headquarters, but when she is needed in the field.
So, pull up a chair and read along as we talk to this 2019 LionHeart HERO award winner.
What kind of work did you do before LionHeart?
I worked at my uncle Mike’s farm called the Book Family Farm in Harvard, Illinois. I started working there when I was 11 years old picking rocks. As I got older, I fed animals, cleaned pens, performed field work, drove tractors, and eventually serviced heavy equipment. One of the hardest jobs was unloading hay. I really enjoyed working in the farm shop with the equipment.
How did you develop such a strong work ethic?
Farm work is hard work. When I learned the ropes, working hard is just something that gets ingrained in you. My uncle Mike and his brother Ken are hard workers. Animals must be fed, so you must show up on time every day. Being late is not an option. There were 1,000 cattle when I was there, so there was always something to do. You do whatever is necessary to get the job done.
How did you get started with LionHeart?
My ex-husband was working here. Don Ritter needed someone to help with odds and ends and I think my name came up. The first week I worked at Lionheart I worked myself out of a job because I did things too fast. Don said he would call me back if he needed me. A couple months later he called and said I was needed full-time. I have been here for thirteen years now.
What do you like about going in the field?
It is something different and a challenge. I get to apply my knowledge. I typically get called out when it is a big oil job or very long cable run. You get the payoff of seeing a big job completed. I have done some very long cable runs in Chicago when needed. We have it down to a science. When you have the same people going to the same job every year it does help.
What is it like being a woman in a predominately male work environment?
To me it is really nothing. I have always been in this world. On the farm it was the same thing. Only time you think about it is when an inspector or building engineer shows up and says something like “how’s it working with her?” Like I have been doing this for a couple months as opposed to thirteen years. The FSE will typically get snippy and say, “I’d rather have her than most guys” or “she’ll outwork you” and they back off the comment. Our guys always have my back. They should because I can outwork most of them.
How has LionHeart changed over the past 13 years?
Everything seems bigger than when I started. More co-workers, more clients, more jobs. When I started there were tons of printouts and paper. Each technician seemed to get 15 pages of printouts for jobs they would go on. I would go through the stacks of paper to get jobs prepared and make sure everything was correct. Now everything is on our software. I do need printouts for certain things, but nothing like before.
Here’s what the LionHeart team is saying about Andrea:
Andrea has been a great mentor and teacher since I started. She has very high standards and works extremely hard. She can look at a job and recall the exact site, parts and what is needed to get the job done. Her attention to detail is second to none.Bryan Eichholz, Specialist
Andrea has such dedication and determination to make sure she always does everything right and to the best of her ability. She is one of the hardest workers in this company and earned the 2019 HERO award and her spot as Field Service Team Lead.Andy Kolls, Technical Solutions Manager
What did it mean for you to win the LionHeart HERO award in 2019? What do you like about LionHeart?
I think everyone appreciates what I do. It is almost like quality control in a way. Sometimes I am the very last person to catch something before it goes out. Technology is great and helps speed things up, but some things can get overlooked. One number typed in wrong can lead to problems. I want to be able to get everything done perfect and I like being recognized for that. Bryan is trying to learn certain things and has been a big help. Every day there is a different challenge at Lionheart. It is not your normal routine. You never know what the day will bring. I really like the people here.
Andrea is not only a hard worker here at LionHeart, but she also has a farm with many animals she takes care of. This includes four pigs, one sow and three show pigs and according to Andrea, these pigs are picky eaters. She has three dogs, one just had nine puppies and it doesn’t stop there. Her goal is to add cattle to the mix at some point.