On Thursday, July 15, 2021
Q&As with Kody Kottke
You’ve been at AHT since 2003. Tell us about your journey through the years and how that benefits our customers.
I started as a general laborer, advanced to operator, heat treat tech, lead, senior heat treat tech, supervisor, and now assistant operations manager. My experience has helped significantly with trouble shooting equipment and training new employees to the process. The start-to-finish knowledge of nitriding, along with input from the customers, helps AHT to exceed customer expectations with UltraGlowing results.
Kody, you were recently promoted to Assistant Operations Manager. (Congrats!) How has your role changed going from supervisor to assistant operations manager?
In my previous position, I was the main point of contact for a small number of customers, but now, as assistant operations manager, I enjoy communicating with many more customers - discussing lead time, status, etc. The email and call volumes have both increased, but I am really looking forward to some face-to-face interaction post-pandemic.
I also handle scheduling. At the MidPort facility alone, we have over 20 nitriding units of various sizes and capabilities. Our customers' parts have differing materials, specifications, part sizes and configurations, so there are a lot of variables to consider when scheduling and then communicating that plan with my teammates.
You have a handful of family members that also work at AHT. Who are those people?
Both of my sons are current AHT employees. Cade has been with the company since 2019 and Quinn started in May of this year. Both started as part-time sandblast operators, running the same machine that my father operated, after getting bored with retirement. I also met my fiancée at AHT. Working with family is a unique opportunity that most don’t get to enjoy.
What makes AHT a great place to work?
We are family! While there may be ups and downs, we will always pull together to accomplish our goals. I can count on each and every one of my coworkers for assistance, if needed. We are a tight-knit group that enjoys what we do.
AHT’s mission is to “exceed customer expectations with UltraGlowing results.” Describe an example where AHT went above & beyond for a customer.
Meeting deadlines isn’t always easy. Several times parts have been dropped off “on our way home”. This may include taking parts to FedEx after hours, delivering directly to the customer, or even to the end user.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your free time?
True crime: TV, movies, documentaries, etc. Camping. Anything with a motor, I’m a little bit of a gear head. Or just cruising around, preferably on a road I have never seen. We have a 3 year old daughter that keeps us busy.
What’s one professional or personal accomplishment you are proud of?
I was a volunteer fire fighter for 15+ years. Not every job needs a paycheck. The opportunity to serve my hometown was an honor and privilege.
What is one thing people may not know about Kody Kottke?
I will spend hours looking for a good deal. I’ll search the internet, thrift stores, yard sales, and auctions looking for that one thing I think I need. Then I usually talk myself out of buying it.
What is one thing our customers may not know about AHT?
We have experts on staff from top to bottom. If a customer has a question, it will be answered by an expert. Our Sales, Metallurgy, Quality, Operations, and Administration teams are all experts in their fields.
What exciting things are happening at MidPort right now?
Automation is coming! We hope to decrease our already short lead times while improving quality.
In your opinion, why should our customers send their parts to AHT versus a competitor?
We truly care about our customer’s parts. One of our core values is passion, and we have a true passion for nitriding.
Now, a series of quick random questions:
- Favorite Musical Artist: Justin Bieber- don’t laugh, he’s good!
- First Concert: Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, The Jets
- First Job: Working at a cheese factory
- First Musical Album: Night Ranger – Sister Christian on vinyl 45
- Favorite Food: Pizza
- Least Favorite Food: Seafood
- Sports Team: Tennessee Titans
- Favorite Sport: Football
- Pets? 1 dog, 3 cats
- Kids? 2 sons-Cade and Quinn and 1 daughter-Parker
- If Money Wasn’t an Issue, Where Would You Go on Vacation: Europe
- If You Could Have a Superpower, what would it be: Regeneration. Like Wolverine.
- Favorite Quote: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Have a question for Kody Kottke? Call him at 319-232-5221.
- meet midport
- meet the team