Stand Strong America

Posted on April 29, 2020

Your Spirit Shines Brighter than Ever.

Saying “COVID-19” in the first sentence makes me cringe.

Stand Strong AmericaHere’s why. I don’t want to add to the noise and volatility that is beginning to mark this strange time. Hoarding of toilet paper, politicizing, mass shut-ins, and a whole lot of uncertainty­­—it’s a lot to deal with right now.

Instead, I want to aim a spotlight the ingenuity and optimism of the human spirit. This has inspired me to no end recently. I want to give voice to all of the good that I’m seeing as a counterpoint to all of the negative in the news.

From the start, we’ve taken this extremely seriously. Our CEO, Kevin Thompson, takes our corporate citizenship very seriously and his point of view has cascaded through our organization. We see our employees as family; their health and their livelihood are our top priority. Every possible team member that can work remotely has been remote since the first week of March. We put social distancing measures in place at the same time and scaled back production. When we couldn’t find Purell, we found a source who could sell us a 55-gallon drum and bought hair care bottles to distribute it in.

But we’re a concrete pipe manufacturer. Our entire existence has always been face-to-face interaction and teamwork. We’re a company who give pats on the back on the plant floor and sits elbow-to-elbow in the conference room. But boom, overnight, like the rest of you, every one of us learned how to use Zoom successfully. (#OKZoomer) Our Plant Manager, Rudy Sauceda, out of Seguin, TX said it best, “Adversity builds character and we’re doing a dang good job building character.”

Much of our daily communication boils down to relationship. I know our people will do their jobs, but it’s important that we see each other’s faces and share a smile or two. In some instances, some of our staff aren’t usually in weekly meetings, but now all of us make it a point to meet together, so this is strengthening our collaboration. People still come first. Period.

Heck, we’re even still celebrating and laughing together.

Here’s us failing miserably at “singing” Happy Birthday to our CFO.

And that’s exactly what I’m so proud of and so thankful for. Every person is showing up, doing what they can, and uniting to keep moving forward.

I love Texas and I love the U.S. of A. It’s inevitable that we see trying times. But we’ve been through a lot in our communal history and we’ll get through this too. My bet is that we’ll be stronger than ever.

And that’s my message to you. STAND STRONG AMERICA. Choose optimism, choose hope, choose confidence.

Fear is never our friend. There is still blue sky behind the grey clouds.

What you (and I) can do to stand strong and keep fear at bay:

  • Check your source and don’t accidentally share hype instead of truth.
  • Plan and be proactive.
  • Pray and/or meditate.
  • Balance any negative news with positive sources such as podcasts.
  • Limit your exposure to negative communication.
  • Do something kind for someone every day.
  • Do something kind for yourself every day.
  • Embrace gratitude and list the things you’re thankful for every day.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t need.
  • Take deep breathes.
  • Communicate clearly and keep your relationships strong.
  • Stay in the present moment. Planning is good, worrying is not.
  • Be aware that the contagion of fear is real and it’s harmful.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wear a mask when in public.

Oh yeah, and one other thing to be thankful for…for the first time since 1955, our taxes were not due on April 15th. Thanks Uncle Sam.

Stand Strong America!

Rocky Lorenz is Chief Operating Officer at AmeriTex Pipe & Products. He’s proud to work for a company that puts people first, and he prides himself on earning a reputation for completing projects ahead of schedule and under budget.