You think you know, but you have no idea

You think you know, but you have no idea

By Mallory Combs, Marketing Intern

We recently sat down with the members of our Executive Team to learn a little bit more about what makes them tick.  Here are some fun facts to help you get to know the Executive Team.

Hagen Harker, President
Hagen decided to go into the work he does now because he loves seeing people grow and achieving what they want out of life.  He also likes being a coach to his teammates and being part of the learning process.  He also likes that he can learn from others.  Hagen enjoys the challenge of trying to grow a business.  One artist Hagen likes, but rarely admits to liking, is the Beastie Boys.  Hagen enjoys swimming, walking dog, golfing, being outdoors, ice skating, and hockey.  Some hobbies you may not know Hagen enjoys include fishing, going to concerts, and that he used to collect beer cans because he thought the designs on them looked cool.  Hagen hopes his last words will be: “I love you guys.”  I don’t know about you, but that is the sweetest thing I’ve heard all week.  Finally, Hagen’s spirit animal is either a dolphin or a cheetah, because they are fast and smart.

Charles Harker, Chairman
Charles does the work he does now because he loves what his dad did.  He enjoyed talking about it during family dinners, and knew he had a passion for it.  Charles absolutely loves listening to jazz.  Something he will never do again though, is go on a roller coaster, especially after his experience with one at Disneyland.  A hobby of Charles’ that most people don’t know is that he enjoys meditating with his wife twice a day.  His other hobbies include golf and getting to spend time with his wife.  Charles number one goal is to protect his health and self-confidence with good habits.  He does this through avoiding negative people, getting eight hours of sleep, eating right, and spending time daily with his wife Prudy and his son Hagen.  His goal is to live to 120 because he believes if you think you’ll live longer, you’ll be able to enjoy the little moments, instead of worrying about not having enough time.  Charles always tries to stay optimistic, and always thinks about where growth can occur in his life, others lives, and the company, and likes to focus on self-improvement.  He says he is blessed to have worked with Charles V. Harker and Hagen, and to be able to have worked at Mid-States right out of college.  Charles has a sense of humor, and sometimes has to be told his sarcasm is too much!  His other qualities include being patient, listening to others instead of being a talker, being loyal, being dependable, and being honest.  Finally, Charles’ spirit animal is a lion, because of their strength, patience and quietness.

Jeremy Olivotti, Vice President of Preconstruction
Jeremy came to Mid-States because he and his wife wanted to start a family, and he needed a steady job.  He decided to continue his work here because he was blessed to do work that impacts other people, and he finds a lot of joy in that.  A genre he likes, but rarely admits to liking, is country music.  Something Jeremy will never do again is skateboarding, because he is way too old to hurt that much anymore.  A time Jeremy has tricked someone was when he got his younger brother to eat a beef bouillon cube, telling him it was chocolate.  A hobby that he has, but very few know he does, is woodworking.  His other hobbies include watching the Cubs, hanging out with his family, spending time with his wife, stand-up paddle boarding, and boating.  We hope Jeremy won’t have his last words for a long time, but he would want them to be: “I love you,” because he hopes he will be with someone he loves.  Finally, Jeremy’s spirit animal is a dog, because they’re loyal, fierce, protective, playful, and sometimes they just want their belly rubbed.

Jaron Combs, Vice President of Construction
Jaron decided to do the work he does now because of the opportunities it provided for his family, and because of the people you get to work with internally and externally.  He also enjoys seeing the company and people grow.  An artist he likes, but rarely admits to liking, is Drake.  Jaron enjoys going to state parks with his family, Spartan races, golfing, racquetball, watching his kids’ activities, family movie night, and helping his wife, a special education teacher, with her students.  Jaron completed the Spartan Trifecta in 2015 and enjoys staying active.  He is also a diehard Bronco fan.  He has shown his commitment to hard work by finishing his basement almost completely on his own.  We hope that Jaron’s last words will be far off in the future, but he wants them to be: “what a blessed life.”  Finally, Jaron couldn’t come up with a spirit animal, so he’s taking suggestions.

Mike Wolff, Vice President of Safety and Plant Operations
Mike does the work he does now because he loves Mid-States, as well as the team here, and he has always had a passion for quality and safety.  Something you may not know is that Mike has a degree in Police Science and was going to be a copy, until he decided he didn’t want to work every weekend and wanted to enjoy holidays off.  An artist he likes, but rarely admits to liking, is John Denver, who he grew up listening to on 8-track tapes.  Something he will never do again is touch a hot stove, because, for some reason, it hurts!  A time Mike has been tricked was on his first day here at Mid-States, when Dan Rippl tricked him in to running a wheelbarrow for most of the day because Dan told him it was the only way Mike could gain his respect.  Some hobbies of Mike’s that very few know may include that he used to participate in Black Powder Rendezvous, sleeping in teepees, and dressing up in buck skins.  He even once sewed an entire buckskin out fit out of deer hides himself.  His other hobbies include hunting and trapping, spending time with his family grilling out, going to swim meets, going to opening day of hunting season with his family, and riding his Harley with his wife.  We hope that Mike’s last words are far off, but he would want to thank God and his family for a wonderful life and feel like he impacted the world positively.  Finally, Mike’s spirit animal is a hawk, because it has a keen eyesight and can view obstacles and challenges in advance, as well as because it only takes what it needs to survive and doesn’t waste.  Also, it is precise in its calculations when taking game and always puts its young’s survival first.

Michael McNett, Director of Information Technology
Michael decided to go into IT because at 17, he co-owned an ISP (Internet Service Provider) and he had a passion for helping users.  He originally wanted to be a broker, until he realized what they really do: “make people broke.”  Michael enjoys listening to Justin Bieber, but thinks Justin Timberlake is the better Justin, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  Michael enjoys traveling, has stock in the Snapchat market, and is currently on the Tesla waiting list.  One way Michael has proved his commitment to hard work is through his motivation to mix his own concrete and pour his driveway.  Although we hope Michael’s last words will be far off, he hopes they will be: “Weeeeeeeee!”  Finally, Mike’s spirit animal is a dolphin-owl.  Not really sure what that is, but we’ll take it!

Paul Calvagna, Director of Human Resources
Paul does the work he does now because he absolutely loves HR, and he considers himself lucky to have a job doing what he loves.  He enjoys helping people, watching people succeed, watching people be promoted, seeing a problem resolved, and watching people grow in a great company.  He believes when you do what you love, it isn’t a job, which I think many people would agree with.  Some artists he likes, but rarely admits to liking, are Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin because he says people look at him weird because of the ages of those songs and it ages you when you talk about the.  Something he will never do again is jump off a jet ski, because apparently there’s a difference between jumping off one at age 25 and age 55 (when it feels like you’re hitting concrete).  Paul was able to trick his young daughter Becca into believing the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie was a true story that happened in a nearby town… until a few hours later when she realized it took place in Texas, and that it wasn’t a true story.  A hobby that Paul has, that very few know, is that he collected old movies for years – anything in black and white, he would watch immediately.  His other hobbies include going to baseball games, staying active, jet skiing, and working hard around his home because he loves to stay busy.  Finally, Paul’s spirit animal is a monkey because they’re unpredictable, crazy, all over the place, and when you go to see them at the zoo, they’re always having fun.

Rich Bergemann, Director of Engineering
Rich does the work he does now because he likes the organization and working with CAD.  An artist that Rich likes, but rarely admits to liking, is the Village People.  Something he will never do again is work on a hog farm.  A time Rich has tricked someone was when he was able to get West Point graduates to go underneath a tank with hammers checking for “soft spots” in the steel, telling them “it pings different,” which is not true.  A hobby Rich has that very few know is military and toy modeling.  His other hobbies include wine making, gardening, board gaming, and playing rugby.  Although we hope Rich’s last words will be far off, he wants them to be: “hopefully I served well.”  Finally, Rich’s spirit animal is a bear, because they’re strong, do great things if left alone, and if poked, they can get pissed off.

Bob MacDougall, Controller
Bob does the work he does now because he enjoys working with individuals within the organization to maximize performance in their particular area, and he wanted to help coach others.  He was blessed to have a great mentor who knew how important the role of his job was in his life and others and passed down that perspective.  A song he likes, but rarely admits to liking, is Slow Hands by Niall Horan.  A hobby of Bob’s that very few know is that he likes to draw, especially replicating pictures he likes.  His other hobbies include kayaking, golf, four wheeling, and using ATVs.  We hope Bob’s last words are far down the road, but he would like to be able to say to his boys: “always love one another, even though I’m not here with you, I’m still with you.”  Finally, Bob’s spirit animal is a sloth, because they methodically analyze every move they make.