They say time flies when you’re having fun. However, four decades of that idiom is no small feat. Mike Smith, affectionately known as “Snuffy” by his team, has become the reliable leader of the Lehman-Roberts Plant 7, located in Batesville, MS.
John Paul Finerson, vice president of production, shared, “With 40 years of loyal service, Mike is part of the generation for which our core values were officially established. The two core values that stand out with him are relationships and stewardship. He’s instantly a friend to anyone that meets or works with him.” He added, “It only takes a quick glance at his plant to realize that he takes great care of the site that he manages.”
Howard Green, superintendent of asphalt plants, added, “Mike is always going to be there for you. He’s very dependable and an excellent plant operator.”
Blake Kimbrough, who now serves as assistant superintendent of asphalt plants has worked with Mike for 12 years now. He closed with, “Snuffy is so loyal… if you want him there, he’s going to be there. That [asphalt] plant will run from dusk ‘til dark if needed.”
In order to hear how he’s achieved such a successful and long-standing career, we sat down with Mike to hear his wisdom firsthand:
How did you learn about Lehman-Roberts?
He laughed, “I was working at Grenada Sand and Gravel in 1982 when they were purchased by Lehman-Roberts. I was 24 when I started.”
Describe your favorite memory here from the past four decades?
“I guess the best memory I have is when I was working down at the Scobey [plant] and got told that I would be moving to work at the Batesville plant, [which was less of a commute for me] … That was in 1991. So, I was right at home then. Maybe another is getting rid of the old batch plant at [the Batesville Plant] and then getting the new plant in 2004.”
Pick one word to describe your 40 years spent with LRC.
“Just wild, I reckon… That I’ve been here this long. It’s been a great ride.”
Can you list the positions you’ve filled over the years? What plants have you worked at?
He joked, “All of them.” Mike then went on to share that he has served as a loader operator, ground man, plant operator and now a foreman. He added, “As far as plants go, I’ve served at pretty much all of them – Plant 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11.”
What have you enjoyed most about working here?
“Working with good people. They’re just like your brothers. I feel like I’ve been taken care of.”
What would you say your biggest professional accomplishment/proudest moment has been?
As the current longest-standing foreman in our family of companies, it’s no surprise to hear what Snuffy shared as his answer. He remarked, “Becoming a foreman. I became one in 1992, and I’ve been one for a while.”
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
“Paying bills,” he laughed. “I just enjoy getting up and coming to work… I just like this kind of work in construction. Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated with tractors, dozers, loaders… that kind of stuff.”
We celebrate this special milestone with Mike and thank him for a truly remarkable career with our family of companies. It’s been inspiring to witness the level of care he’s operated with for his team and our production division. We wish him a bright future ahead – one just as bright as the past 40 years have been. We appreciate you, Snuffy!