Kent Rust - WDL Operations Manager
I married my high school sweetheart Tina Andrus and we have been happily married for over 33 years. Tina has been employed at Western Dairy Transport for 13 years and is currently the Corporate Controller. We have two children; a son Cory and a daughter Kylee. Both live and work in Springfield, MO. We also have an energetic Grand-puppy named Gracee that is a lot of fun.
Years of Service and Jobs Performed:
I started working for Mr. Honeycutt on November 24, 1984. I was hired to wash trucks. I started working for minimum wage, $3.65 per hour.
That led to working on the yard hooking trucks up for outbound trips, shuttling equipment to and from the plant down the street and our shop, and working on the fuel island. I later moved to our tire shop for a couple years until I was given an opportunity to take a job in our dispatch office. At that time we had a van fleet and a milk fleet; I was hired as a milk dispatcher. Since then I have had the opportunity to not only dispatch our dairy fleet but also dispatched vans, refers and food grade. At one time I even worked in our recruiting department and dealt with all the aspects of hiring drivers; from reviewing applications to giving the final road test.
Description of Duties:
Currently I work for our Logistics team. I work and build relationships with our customers and help secure and manage many of the loads we haul on a daily basis as well as dealing with any issues that arise with them. I assist in establishing rates for customers, making sure loads are billed correctly and help make sure we get paid for what we do. Another duty I have is working closely with our Rabbi to maintain the Kosher status on our tanks.
By dealing directly with the customers we serve I also get the opportunity to hear many of them tell me that we are the best in the business at what we do. Hearing the people we work for give such a compliment gives me a great sense of pride knowing I am part of a team that does such an amazing job.
Favorite Thing about Working in the Logistics/Dairy Industry:
Every day is a new challenge and the people I work with are like family. I still learn new things on a daily basis and when you spend as much time together with co-workers there really is a bond just like with family. We see each other’s good days as well as bad and help each other out when someone hits a rough patch.
I joke with my family when I have to work a holiday or a time when most people are off work by saying “I have to go to work so all the little kids will have their milk to drink at school tomorrow” but there is also a lot of truth to that. What we do really is an important part of the world we live in.
Whether it is working out, doing a project, traveling or just relaxing; hanging out with Tina is what I love to do the most. We have a small farm that has been in my family for about 75 years and run a few head of cattle on it. I enjoy spending time there and it helps me unwind and one day we hope to build a house on it. We are also blessed to have our kids nearby so we enjoy spending time with them and get to see them often. And although I don’t take time to do it as much as I’d like to, I love making BBQ and cooking for others.
I love BBQ but my number one guilty pleasure is a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and a slice of coconut cream pie for dessert. That’s the perfect country boy meal!
Other Facts About You:
*First and most important to me is that I am a Christian. That doesn’t make me any better than anyone around me. It doesn’t mean I don’t mess up and have issues or bad days. I feel like I need to mention it because God has helped me through some really tough times and I feel like He deserves the credit where it’s due. He is the main one I have to answer to. I’m just glad He looks for progress and not perfection because a lot of days I’m still a mess.
*Call me old fashioned but I think please, thank you, I’m sorry, yes sir and yes ma’am still go a long way and aren’t used enough.
*I hope people see me as humble, honest and hard-working. I’ll take that over cocky and arrogant any day.
*I truly appreciate my co-workers more than they will probably ever know.
*If I’m pushing you it’s only because I want to make you and our company better.
*Trust me when I say this, I’m way harder on myself than anyone I work with.