Member Spotlight - May 2018: Greg Ruechel

Each month, SEWI-ATD turns the spotlight on an active member who has been visible in the chapter by attending events and participating in other ATD functions. We are proud to acknowledge the important work of our members, provide additional career exposure within the Talent Development community, and help you to get to know a colleague just a little bit better! If you are interested in nominating another member for the spotlight, contact Lovina Akowuah at Lovina.Akowuah@gmail.com  or Meica Hatters at meicahatters@gmail.com

Greg Ruechel
Manufacturing Training Specialist
Sargento Foods


This month, we are pleased to feature

Greg Ruechel

Tell us a little about yourself. Include something that many people don't know, or that would surprise us.

I’m a Manufacturing Training Specialist for Sargento Foods at their Kiel, WI facility. In this role, I manage training programs and develop training materials for our employees working on the production lines. But getting here has been a very convoluted route. My degree is in Biology with a Chemistry minor and I started my professional life as an Environmental Chemist. Along the way, I’ve managed environmental projects, taught Chemistry at the Technical College level (where I discovered my passion for training and education), did after school and summer science programs for K – 3rd graders, and was a Production Supervisor at a chemical plant. At Sargento, I finally had the opportunity to get back into training field. I’ve been working on a Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and will complete it this December.

What are the 3 traits that describe or define you?

Analytical, even outside of work. Before we make any kind of a big purchase I’ll create a spreadsheet to compare models, features, prices, etc. I’m such a geek that way.

Inquisitive. There’s no shortage of things I’d like to learn or try. I’ve taken sailing lessons, attempted to learn Spanish and German, started a family genealogy project, went mountain climbing last year, and I’m still threatening to learn to play an instrument.

Staying Still. I have a hard time staying still. I always think I can do more than I’m doing, or do something better than I have previously. It’s satisfying to reach a new personal goal, but sometimes I find I bite off more that I can chew and have to take a step back.

What was your favorite Job? Why? (It doesn't have to be talent development related.)

Doing the science programs for kids was a blast! I did a series of four classes over four weeks with a different topic each week. I would demonstrate a concept and then guide the kids through activities or little take home projects to promote learning of the concept, but having fun while doing it was a priority. I felt like a cross between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Mr. Rogers.

How do you define success?

Success is being happy with who you are. If you like where you’re at in life and where you’re going, you’re in a good place. 

Why do you  enjoy being a member of SEWI-ATD?

That’s easy. The opportunity to get to know and learn from other L&D professionals. Being part of SEWI-ATD broadens my horizons beyond my immediate work environment. I get to step outside of the world of cheese production and see how L&D is practiced in other settings, and build professional relationships outside of Sargento. 

If you could witness a historical event what would you want to see?

Not so much a particular event, but a time in history I would want to see is the golden age ancient Greece. The art and architecture, the great philosophers, the start of democracy, theater, the Olympic games; all these things that are part of our current civilization began in that time. I think it would be fascinating to experience what it was really like at that time and place.

What's a question I didn't ask that you wished I had?

Q: What’s a piece of life advice you’ve found worth passing on?

A: There’s an adage that says “find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve been on both sides of that equation over my working life and found it to be true. It’s an idea I’ve tried to instill in my children as they’ve gone through college into the start of their careers.


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