When Jeff Schrock came to work for ADEC in 1985, he “wasn’t looking to change the world or anything,” as he puts it. He just wanted a better job and a better way to provide for his growing family. His daughter was born the first year he worked here.
For 27 years, he worked as the fleet mechanic in ADEC’s transportation department. Up until three years ago, ADEC maintained all of its vans on site rather than sending them out for repairs. Jeff enjoyed having the responsibility of maintaining the vans since he then knew the vans inside and out.
Over the years, maintenance responsibilities had crept onto Jeff’s plate as well, giving him a solid knowledge of the facilities. Three years ago, after departures in transportation, ADEC leadership approached Jeff about the Transportation and Maintenance Director position.
“Most days I like it,” Jeff said. “I’m working towards it, and it’s getting better. The transition from doing [work with my hands] to sitting and directing has been difficult. But there’s variety – different people. I’m not much of a people person, but I’m growing into it . . . It’s good to be responsible for something.”
Over the years, Ride-A-Bike has become a fixture in Jeff’s work cycle. He started out riding every year, but he’s been overseeing the maintenance portion for the past 15-20 years now. Each year, he works with Mission Advancement to load and haul supplies to the home base, set up SAG stops and assist with signage.
When asked what his favorite memories have been, Jeff said it is the little things, but a recent conversation really hit home for him. Transportation always puts in extra effort during Ride-A-Bike as well. In addition to take-back driver responsibility, two bus drivers pick up and drop off kids from Hawthorne Elementary. These kids rarely have the opportunity to go out and ride their bikes in the open road since they live in a crowded metro area. For Jeff, this has always been another thing complicating an already busy Ride-A-Bike day.
At the Ride-A-Bike Awards Lunch in June, Jeff happened to sit next to the teacher from Hawthorne.
“She just went on and on about what a big deal it is for the kids,” Jeff remembered. “She just went on forever. For me, it always was kind of a pain – all of the people and everything. But now it’s a new bright spot for Ride-A-Bike. It’s going to be a new focus for me with Ride-A-Bike.”
After 30 years on the job, Jeff is still learning and growing. As he sifted through the memories, he said the work here is not for everyone, but “looking back now, I can see God put me here for a reason – and I don’t know what that is yet.”
Article by Whitney Craig | Communications Specialist
Photo by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist