Olympic Steel – Detroit, MI: John Prater

When you’re faced with the unfamiliar, focus on what’s within your control and get the job done.

COVID-19 impacted Detroit tremendously. The Detroit facility was a “hot spot” for infections – tackling the challenges of the pandemic before many of Olympic Steel’s other divisions were faced with customer shutdowns or stringent state and local health and safety requirements.  As key auto-maker accounts temporarily closed and the Detroit facility’s core business shut for nearly two months, John Prater, Operations Manager, led a small team of 6 in keeping all aspects of the operations running to meeting the needs of customers still in operation. John and his team also helped to develop and piloted several of the pandemic health and safety protocols implemented across Olympic Steel. During a truly unprecedented time and with no “playbook” to pull from, John’s quick thinking, creativity and exceptional leadership allowed the Detroit operation to safely serve its customers and implement new building features and protocols to protect the health and well-being of employees as they returned to the facility.

Lesson Learned:

Zig Zigler once said, “Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.” When you’re faced with unfamiliar situations, focus on what’s within your control and get the job done. Sometimes, you can’t wait to be told what to do or for a specific playbook to follow.

See more Success Stories