Career Spotlight Interview


Introducing the New (role): Jon Lear, Director of Internal Logistics

What was the position and role(s) before the promotion? Area Manager of Internal Logistics

How long have you been a team member at AM/NS Calvert? I hired in on March 21, 2011. This March was my 10th work anniversary.

What are three words to describe AM/NS Calvert? Innovative, Strategic, Sustainable.

What are your daily activities?

First and foremost, accountable and responsible for ensuring the safety of all team members involved in Site Logistics Operations and all its support functions. Responsible for all site logistics operations, including material handling, both inbound and outbound, of slabs, coils, and scrap. Manage the river and rail terminal operations for shipping and receiving of slabs, coils, scrap, and all other materials used and produced in the steel-making process. Inventory management of coils and slabs for internal and external shipment, internal warehouse exchange, and further processing. Scrap management, reconciliation, and transportation, both internal and external. All inbound and outbound materials processed by the Front Gate truck scales. Manage in-plant contractors used for site logistics operations. Responsible for packaging, shipping, and warehousing of all coils produced by the HSM, CRM, and HDGL. Ensure the safety, training, and production of team members and resident contractors for Internal Logistics Operations and its support functions.

What is a characteristic, trait, or belief that helps define who you are? 

Honesty, integrity, and respect. These are some of the most important traits a leader can have. No matter how hard a situation, a good leader inspires their principles without compromising them…EVER. Without these traits and values, you don’t have the trust of the team members, and trust is the bedrock of building any good team and organization. Proving to your team that you truly care for them and want to guide them by actually leading them is not given; it is earned like trust and respect is through actions. 

What are your department's main challenges?

Not so much the main challenge, but a big challenge we are actively trying to improve is the need to "fire fight" and react instead of planned. Internal Logistics is an Operational Unit as a whole, but we also support the production mills and other site areas. We have monthly goals and KPI's just like a production line that must be achieved each month to do our part in making the overall monthly plan of the company. As a support to the mills, we sometimes are also at the mercy of their ability to overachieve the forecast or if there are unplanned events that prevent them from meeting their KPIs. This can cause inventory issues in an upstream or downstream unit, depending on the severity and timing. This is not normally a planned function, and we would then have to react and adjust certain priorities for a period of time until inventories could then level out to avoid any production or shipping delays. We are starting to combat that with a new team created in our restructure of Internal Logistics to help us focus on situations like this, Process Management Team. Their role is to support the main operational units (Slab and Coil Handling) within Internal Logistics to better firefight, improve the overall process through improvement initiatives, as well as help us maintain our PFMEA's and Control Plans so that we stay compliant and are doing what we say we do.

What are the main challenges of your leadership and how do you face them?

One of the challenges I face in this role is having the largest team in Calvert and spread across the entire site from the river terminal to the main gate; it is difficult to be everywhere and interact with everyone on my team. Therefore, it is key to have strong Managers and Leaders that report to me and can be more regularly involved day to day as well as their Coordinators and Specialists. We meet every morning to discuss the previous 24hrs and address any issues that may need to be addressed as well as a plan for the next 24hrs. We also have weekly walkthroughs in the areas of operation for Internal Logistics to be able to make sure I can meet with talk to our team. With the shift work rotations and size, it may take some time to see everyone, but it is so important to do so. Without that interaction, it is more challenging to know the needs of our team. This interaction is a vital piece of understanding your teams’ culture and the ways to help improve it.

What does Calvert represent in your career development?

AM/NS Calvert is a key piece of my career development. I have been here for the last ten years, and during this time, it has been a very impactful journey in my growth as a leader and overall career. I was able to prove myself with a strong desire to grow in this company through hard work and a willingness to learn. I have also absorbed a vast cross-functional knowledge of operations, maintenance, and steel making in my different roles to help me to continue to add to the tools I already have. I am looking forward to what comes next. There is always something to be learned if you just listen. I have been able to work with some of the best and strongest leaders in our industry during the last 10 years.

Tip for who wants to become AM/NS Calvert Team Member.

I would say to anyone who wants to join the AM/NS Calvert team to make one of the best decisions in their career. No matter at what point of their career. There is so much opportunity for someone to come in here and immediately contribute to one of the world's most technically advanced steel mills. Innovators of some of the newest and industry-changing steel products in North America. A fast-paced and forward-thinking company in one of the most sustainable industries in the world, steel. There is an opportunity here for almost any field of choice. If you have the drive to learn and the willingness to work hard, you can be as successful as you want here while working with some of the brightest minds in steel and manufacturing in the world. 

A focus of interest in personal life. 

Striving to be the best father and husband I possibly can be. I can’t pick the husband my daughter chooses, but I can show her what a good man is through my actions. Hopefully, she will see what a good man should be and want to pick someone as her father showed her how men should be and act. My family is my world and the reason I work.

I first hired in as an operator at our front gate scales and assisted in the installation of the scales and set up of the process. I then moved into an Exit Store operator role in the ST2 coil warehouse. Soon after that, I was promoted to Shift Coordinator of ST2, and shortly after that, I became the Team Manager of the ST2 warehouse. The next few years, I have moved around into different roles within Internal Logistics as we were growing and the areas needed leadership and development. This was Team Manager of Internal Transportation and Front Gate Scales, then ST3 / ST4 Warehouse Team Manager, and then finally Area Manager of Internal Logistics prior to becoming the Director. I am incredibly grateful to work for a company like AM/NS Calvert. This is a place where there is so much untapped potential. A place where hard work and dedication are valued and rewarded. A place where the culture and values are defined by the people who work here and their never-wavering commitment to safety, quality, and productivity. There is no limit to the growth and development potential here in Calvert, especially now as we strengthen our sustainability and commitment to excellence in steel-making with our new EAF. I am honored to be tasked with the responsibility to help lead our facility and achieve the goals of being the employer of choice and the premier steelmaking facility in North America.

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