Meet Team Kadant – Ken Lahrke, Technical Services Manager

ken lahrkeTechnical Services Manager
Worked at Kadant Johnson Since: 1996

Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant.
I started at Kadant Johnson as a college co-op, working in manufacturing. I began full-time in 1998 in the engineering department as part of the drafting and design group. From engineering, I transitioned into R&D, working on the new product development team. After ten years in the technical group, I moved into sales. First, gaining valuable inside experience in applications and customer service before relocating to Northern Colorado to cover a sales district. After six years in direct sales, I am back in Three Rivers, managing the technical services department.

Were there any challenges in moving from sales to field service?
Losing the frequent face-to-face interaction with customers has been the biggest challenge and I look forward to site visits when the opportunities arise.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Being part of the solution to challenges is very rewarding.

What do you think is the most important quality for success?
Teamwork! In my experience, companies that have the healthiest interpersonal relationships are likely to be the most successful and enjoyable companies to work for and with. I appreciate the team we have at Kadant Johnson and I believe that by working well together we stand the best chance of achieving our expectations for success. I am confident in our team to respond quickly and appropriately to exceed the needs of our customers.

Tell me about your family.
My wife Terra and I met at Kadant Johnson and have been married for fourteen years. We have been blessed with three above average children; Lauren, 12, enjoys softball, volleyball and is starting to learn piano. Natalie, 10, enjoys gymnastics, hunting with me and is also starting to play the piano. Cole, 4, enjoys wrestling in the living room and hanging out with us in the woods. He enjoys setting on the piano bench and ruining his sister’s practice sessions, so maybe piano is in his future as well.

What do you like to do in your free time and why?
I enjoy being outside, working around the house with my family. I look forward to the different activities that the change of seasons brings. We have a few animals that the kids enjoy taking care of and this time of year we spend a lot of time keeping the fallen trees cut up, and split. We all enjoy the occasional (frequent) hayride around our rural, farming neighborhood. We also enjoy road trip vacations, recently traveling back to our “hometown” in Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our favorite destinations.