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issue: June 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Steve Church of George Koch Sons, LLC

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Whether it is on the soccer field or in the boardroom, Evansville, IN, U.S.-based George Koch Sons, LLC President Steve Church believes a team approach is the most effective way to operate—both personally and professionally.

“The whole team idea is something from my personal standpoint that has really come into play in my professional career,” Mr. Church notes. Having grown up playing soccer, and then playing it in college for the highly ranked University of Evansville in Evansville, IN, U.S., he learned early on the benefits of teamwork. Although every team has its superstars, he says, the team still needed every player in order to succeed. “I was by no means one of them [the superstars], but it took all 11 members of the team,” Mr. Church points out. “We worked together and got to know each others’ skills and personalities—and you knew where to pass the ball.”

This has spilled over into how he manages in the workplace. “It’s about realizing that not everyone needs to be the superstar, but everyone needs to work together as an integrated unit to really accomplish something. I really learned a lot more than how to play soccer. I learned life lessons.”

Now that Mr. Church is president of finishing system manufacturer George Koch Sons, he is one of the superstars, but he still lauds the team approach. However, the job of being the team leader is not always easy.

Having served in this position for less than a year now, Mr. Church says the job is both rewarding and challenging. Prior to his promotion in October 2003, Mr. Church served George Koch Sons as director of Purchasing of Information Technology for 2 years and as Purchasing Manager for the 2 years prior to that. He has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Evansville, with an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, IN, U.S., and a juris doctor degree from the Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis.

“The biggest unexpected challenges always seem to involve communication and human relations with customers, suppliers, partners, or employees,” Mr. Church notes. It is for this reason Mr. Church believes that listening is an integral part of leading a team. “You need to listen to concerns…and be receptive to people’s needs,” he offers. “If you’re trying to get them to accomplish a goal, you try to get people actively involved so they feel like part of the team. You have to make sure everyone is working in the same direction, and you try to give him or her a sense of belonging.”

Professionally, Mr. Church says his most pressing objective is to grow George Koch Sons. Beyond his professional career, Mr. Church says his most important goal is being a good husband to his wife, Stacey, and father to his three daughters—Claire, 9, Ellen, 7, and Molly, 4.

When he is not working, on the soccer field, or spending time with his family, Mr. Church enjoys golfing, coaching his daughters’ soccer teams, and serving as president of his church’s parish council.
George Koch Sons, LLC


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