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 Mike Prue
What was your background prior to joining Kice?
I was a police officer for 15 years in the Greater Wichita area.
How many years and what roles have you had with Kice?
I have been with Kice for over 13 years. When I started with Kice, I was the Fabrication Manager. A short time later, I became the Installation Manager when that division of Kice first began. That sent me on the road to assist our customers with installing new Kice equipment. Almost ten years later, I returned to the role of Fabrication Manager.
Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day job currently?
I like to think of the Fabrication Department as the beginning of the production line. We receive raw materials (metal sheets and plates, tubing and flat bar, etc.) and laser-cut, roll, bend, and hand form the material into parts ready for welding. I work with an amazing pool of talented and dedicated individuals that take pride in their work. My job is to make sure they have what they need to perform their duties most efficiently and safely to meet scheduling needs.
Working at Kice
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Overcoming challenges. Challenges are part of everyday life. Accepting that they exist, recognizing them when they appear, and providing possible solutions in discussions to remedy them is rewarding.
Can you share one of the things that are unique about working at Kice?
Kice has grown significantly in the 13+ years I have been here. Throughout all those years, Kice has continued to foster a culture that allows for open communication and cooperation throughout Kice. Regardless of the situation, I can walk into another manager’s, director’s, or even the CEO’s office and have an open conversation about a particular issue and the other person is always willing to roll up their sleeves and assist me. This same practice holds true when we are serving our customers.
What are three words to describe Kice?
Personal Side of Mike
Tell us a little bit about your family
My wife of 26+ years, Wendy, worked for Kice for seven years before I came aboard. I have a daughter, Gabby, who is 21 and finishing her Masters Degree in Accounting this next year at KU (RCJH!). My son, Nicholas, is 19 years old and is on an Air Force ROTC scholarship to study Psychology and Spanish at Kansas State (EMAW!). I am more than blessed with my family, as they are all extremely smarter than I am.
What was the first job you had growing up?
I lived in northern Maine, and my mother was a bookkeeper for the largest potato farmer in Maine. She was able to secure jobs on the farms for my brothers and me. In the spring, we picked large rocks (some seemed like boulders) that were pushed to the surface in the fields due to the ground frost in winter. We would shovel seed potatoes that would eventually be cut up for seeding during planting season. We would also rake the dead potato tops from the previous harvest and burn them. In the fall, we hand-picked potatoes in the fields and were paid 50 cents per 55-gallon barrel of potatoes picked. Though working on the farm was good money for a 13-year-old, it made for long and exhausting days.
Do you have any traditions in your family, if so, what?
My family attends Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and then we go to IHOP for breakfast. That is the only time I eat at IHOP…
Three things you enjoy are:
Fishing in Canada with great friends
Going out to dinner with my wife
Traveling with my family
Three things you don’t are:
Temperatures over 90 (unless I’m sitting on a beach)
People who yell at workers in stores or restaurants when it is not the employee’s fault. They get loud and insulting just to hear themselves. And yet, no matter how much I know I should resist getting involved, I always seem to exchange words with those types of people. Old habits from my police days, I guess.
What did you want your adult profession to be when you were a kid?
It was certainly not a potato farmer. My father and three brothers were all in the Air Force, but I never had the desire to follow suit. I never actually wanted to be a police officer either, although I’ve never regretted doing that. Oddly enough, I wanted to design houses when I was a kid.
What’s one thing you’re really bad at?
Patience while driving. I learned to drive when I lived in Germany for three years. The Germans know how to drive. Americans, not so much.
What living celebrity would you most like to hang out with for a night?
Mike Rowe. I finished his book, The Way I Heard It, a few months ago and he just seems like an extremely laid-back guy with a lot of common sense when it comes to this current, crazy world.