As seen in the Tried & True Spring 2021 issue
Since 1987, Willie Parish has been part of the Fratco family. Recently promoted to Manufacturing Superintendent, Willie began where so many start their careers at the four-generation strong business. “What did I do previously?” he laughs, recalling all the stops along the way, “A little bit of everything.”
Parish knows the ins and outs of what goes into a day’s work within the manufacturing giant, from running the line to maintaining safety plant-wide. He understands the ingenuity and technology behind every inch of pipe produced and appreciates the hands that craft it. Now, he takes that experience with him traveling between Fratco’s plants, logging a lot of miles since taking this new position in January 2021.
When asked about what’s most interesting about his work, Parish passionately details the way Fratco hums on the production line. Installing innovative equipment, testing the latest product and seeing it all come together is what he loves most. “When new lines launch and we get them up to speed…that’s a definite joy of my job,” he beams.
Hard work, determination and growth are kindred themes for both Fratco and Parish. When he stepped into the Francesville plant as a new employee nearly thirty-five years ago, there was one production facility. Four now dot the Midwest: the flagship Indiana location, one in Illinois and two in Iowa. As the company has grown, so has Parish. “Before, I saw my job as more day-to-day. Now, I look at the big picture for the company, where we’ve come since the early days and the road ahead.”
Whether it’s one plant or four, CEO Chris Overmyer and the leaders before him have always worked to ensure employees feel like family. Parish cherished this atmosphere from the very beginning. He is also quick to applaud Fratco for supporting education and job advancement as an extension of their investment in people. “If you work hard, show up and take the initiative, Fratco wants to see you succeed,” he heartily affirms.
Parish sees superior product and quality pipe as two reasons customers continue choosing Fratco. As he drives along the countryside—even during hunting season on his day off—he’ll stop when he sees pipe going into the ground. He can’t help himself. He knows customers trust Fratco and wants to connect with contractors every chance he gets. That customer service aspect is what it all comes down to for Parish. He’s grateful for the loyalty, commitment and trust customers have built with the company through the years, especially this last one. “I want to thank our customers for their patience this year. Between the pandemic and the current resin issues, I want them to know we’re going to continue doing everything we can to bring them the pipe they rely on us to provide.” Because for Parish and Fratco, only the best will do—always.