After working in the oil field and road construction, Terry Fortner II wanted a career with stability, longevity, and the opportunity to grow. Six years ago, he found exactly what he was looking for when he started his career at Koch Fertilizer in Enid, Oklahoma.
“I have always looked to work for a place like Koch,” Terry said. “I was really excited to start my new career, but I was also nervous. I had never worked for a company this big before and I didn’t know what to expect.”
It didn’t take Terry long to realize he was where he was meant to be. He finds his role gratifying and enjoys troubleshooting problems and solving challenges.
As a loading and storage operator, Terry is responsible for loading trucks and railcars with product and monitoring storage levels. However, that is just a small portion of his responsibilities. You will also find Terry writing work permits, inspecting railcars, training new operators, and, when needed, stepping up as shift manager for his team.
In fact, two of his most rewarding accomplishments are occasionally serving as shift manager and training new operators.
“It’s challenging but also rewarding to be able to step up for my shift manager is his absence,” Terry said. “You have to keep up with your everyday tasks, attend the proper meetings and ensure your team is aware of what’s going on. Communication is key to a successful day.”
When training new operators, Terry reflects on what he’s learned from his mentors. He credits his current shift manager with helping him become a good operator, learn management skills and grow continually. Another mentor he said helped him become an overall better employee and taught him to focus on next step in where he wants to be, instead of only focusing on what is right in front of him.
“My advice is to come in everyday with an open mind, be willing to learn more than just your area, and take responsibility for your actions,” Terry said. “Asking questions and continuing to learn can help you grow in your role and can open doors to new opportunities and responsibilities.”
Through the years, Terry’s role and responsibilities have evolved. Along with being a step up shift manager and training new operators, he’s also had the opportunity to help with turnaround projects. He’s excited about the future and how he can continue to grow his career with Koch Fertilizer.
When Terry is away from the plant, you will find him spending time with his wife and kids, helping with dinner or attending his kids’ events. Terry is involved in car shows and is a Jeep fan. He’s currently helping his son restore his 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ.