One of a company’s greatest assets is its people. Kice Industries is very fortunate to have gifted, dedicated, and customer-focused employees. We would like you to learn a little bit more about our people of Kice, both professionally and personally.
Meet Matt Gugle
Manager, Process Group
What was your background prior to joining Kice?
I was a plant superintendent in a wholesale animal feed manufacturing plant. I oversaw production, managed inventory, lead plant personnel, budgeted projects, and generally oversaw day to day production.
What has been your background at Kice?
I’ve been with Kice for 12 years this past August. I started as an associate project manager and am now the group manager of the process group.
Tell me a little bit about your day-to-day job currently?
My role at Kice is to manage and lead the Process Group and projects. I design process systems, create flow sheets, equipment lists, bid engineering for projects, work with other project managers to help determine workload and scheduling for the group. I also troubleshoot and start-up systems. From a customer perspective, it is my job to determine what best suits their needs and budget and how to most effectively execute their project. Sometimes, customers ask me to help them find potential efficiency gains in their plants and/or processes.
Working at Kice
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy creating relationships with customers and finding solutions which best suit their needs as well as Kice’s needs. Sometimes it’s too easy to get too wrapped up in work, money, and things and forget the big picture. Making those little connections with customers helps me see that there is more to life than just work. Ultimately, we are all people with friends, families, dreams, and challenges; sometimes it just takes that one topic of conversation to help us forget about our hardships and remind us of the big picture in life.
Can you share one of the things that are unique about working at Kice?
I think the biggest thing that sets Kice apart from other companies is that no matter the circumstances, Kice will do what is right for the customer. Kice is more about doing what is right versus doing what most benefits Kice.
What have been some of your most rewarding on-the-job experiences?
Every job is rewarding, but the most rewarding are those on which I can’t get the customer to open up and drop their defenses. Then after some other topics of conversation, we find a common ground like a hobby, etc. and start discussing things outside of our jobs. From there, it seems that we are both on the same team and the project goes smoother.
What are three words to describe Kice?
Family, Faithful, Busy.
Personal Side of Matt
Tell us a little bit about your family
I’m originally from Manhattan, KS and have been a K-State fan my entire life. My wife and I have been married for 14 years, 15 in August and we have a 4-year-old daughter, a 22-month-old son, a large English Setter, and an old car. I met my wife in class in college and noticed she went to my church which I thought was odd since the average age of our church was around 72 at the time. She noticed that I must be confident since I wore overalls, a sleeveless shirt, and a do-rag to class but still showed up for 8:30 church Sunday morning with my parents. We enjoy cooking, wine, spending time with friends, and family. My wife is an accountant and works full time, but fortunately, my parents live about 2 miles from us and watch our kids. Since having children, I’ve been getting into watching children’s shows on TV, coloring, and not sleeping much at night. I specifically enjoy the theme song to Team Umizoomi playing through my head 24/7.
What is the best place you have traveled to and why?
Turkey. It has a very dynamic landscape and culture. It has been in flux for the past 8-10 years and can’t decide if it would like to embrace western society and culture or follow more traditional methodologies practiced in middle eastern countries. The people are nice and accommodating but not pushy or intrusive of tourists. The country is rich with history but doesn’t know whether to return to the past or look towards the future. It is a strong industrial nation, filled with craftsman who take pride in their work and innovation. The food is unique, simple, healthy, and delicious.
If you could have dinner and drinks with two famous people, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jesus and Julia Childs. Initially, I was thinking of Miles Davis so that he could provide live music, but we can always listen to Pandora. Jesus because I’ve read and learned a lot about him but would like to know him on a more personal level. And Julia Childs because I feel she was the first “celebrity chef” that got America excited about cooking at home. And I’d love to see Jesus give her a sardine, a bread stick, and a cup of water and we ask her to make a meal for three. We would all have a good laugh over that one.
People would be surprised if they knew (about me)
I love to paint my daughter’s finger nails. I’m not very good at it, but the joy on her face after seeing the subpar job I’ve done leaves me proud. She doesn’t judge me on the quality of work that I did but is just happy that I painted her nails.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
Author but I don’t think I’d accomplish much in only one day, so the bar is set fairly low.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Salad with home grown greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta, balsamic, and oil, fresh ground black pepper, chickpeas, shredded carrots, and a side of hummus and pita or naan with red wine to drink.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Read minds, that ability would be helpful on all fronts of my life.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my family.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
If I have 30 minutes of free time, chances are pretty good that I’m trying to fall asleep or am already sleeping. Sleep is a precious commodity in our house.