On Thursday, October 5, 2023
Jason, you’ve been with the company since 2004. How did you end up at AHT initially?
I was working for a computer company that did work inside AHT’s walls. When AHT decided to bring IT in house, it felt like a natural fit.
October is National Cybersecurity Month. AHT takes cybersecurity very seriously. How do you ensure AHT stays diligent?
AHT does a lot of things to protect our environment from physically securing our buildings to training our employees on what to look out for and everything in-between. Cybersecurity has been growing exponentially over the last few years and is on the forefront at AHT.
What are some tips you’d give our readers to ensure they aren’t subject to phishing scams, malware, etc.
The biggest piece of advice I can give a user is “When in doubt, don’t click.” Ask if you don’t know. No question is a dumb question when it comes to security.
We know there’s no typical day when it comes to the life of an IT Manager, but explain some of the tasks/activities you complete regularly.
Being a small department, the day-to-day activities of our employees keep us hopping. We do lots of different things such as installing upgrades of our shop equipment, maintaining our phone systems, administrating and writing reports for our ERP software, onboarding new employees, researching, buying and installing new software to move the company into the future, and training our employees on cyber security protocols and new software.
What changes in technology have you seen at AHT since you first started?
Way back in 2004, I was hired as a computer support tech. AHT needed someone to assist the users with their machines and software. AHT had 5 external facing emails and one very small server that ran that company. We had 3 locations at the time that weren’t connected via the computers. We have grown since then, we have brought all 4 of our facilities online with one another. We currently have 93 external emails and 6 servers. I like to call the network my baby as I have seen it from concept to reality.
Aside from working at AHT, you’re also a youth coach. Tell us about that.
I have been coaching sports since I graduated high school. I spent several years coaching in the optimist baseball program. I then spent the next 21 years coaching for Waterloo West High School as an assistant track coach. Since then, I have moved to the middle school program where I have been coaching both football and track for the last 4 years. It really is my passion to help our youth not only in sports but in life. I love seeing kids graduate high school and return to share how we as coaches made a difference in their lives.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling and seeing the countryside on the motorcycle, playing softball, golfing, or building something. I have inherited 2 awesome grandkids as of late and they are starting to get into activities so we will be following them. I never can say I just relax - I’m always doing something.
What is something people may not know about Jason Essmann?
I still hold two high school and 2 college track and field records in the high jump. They have been in place for over 25 years.
Jason is also an avid firearm enthusiast and is featured in our UltraOx promo video. Check it out by clicking on the image.)
What is something people may not know about Advanced Heat Treat Corp.?
AHT is always here to help. Never be afraid to ask. AHT isn’t just heat treating, it’s about the customer.
What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
I’m very proud of my IT team and where AHT is in terms of IT, where we started and where we are going.
Now some random questions:
- First job: McDonalds
- Favorite food: Smoked baby back ribs
- Least favorite food: Liver and onions
- Pets? 1 dog, Sheldon, who just turned 1
- Married? Yes, Teresa
- Kids? 4, a daughter who also worked at AHT for a short time, two stepdaughters, and a stepson
- Any hidden talents? I like to cook. My wife and maybe a few coworkers would say argue. :)
- Have you ever played an instrument? If so, what? No, I'm not musically inclined.
- Favorite subject when you were in school? Math. When I was in 7th grade I passed out of math and was able to go tutor 2nd graders during my math hour.
- Favorite vacation or roadtrip: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
- Favorite sport: Track & Field
- Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and the LA Lakers
- Favorite movie: original Star Wars trilogy
- Favorite thing about the Fall: Apple orchards
View other "Meet the Team" blogs here.
- meet midport
- meet the team