Soep Hall Of Fame: Howard Soep
There is no specific formula to becoming a Soep Hall of Famer; why do you think you were inducted? I was the second generation to lead the business and was successful in growing it. We started the specialty insulation and industrial divisions based on what we saw as growing demands that also fit our skill sets.
I also became a trustee with the IUPAT and helped to create strong relationships that still exist today.
What motivated you throughout your career? I always loved negotiating jobs and then seeing them through from start to finish. I pride myself on being faced with difficult situations or tasks and them turning them into a positive. As such “Problem Solving” is one of our current Core Values that we preach day-in and day-out.
What has changed about Soep since your early days? What has stayed the same? The biggest change for me was the rise of technology. With the internet, email and texting I’m still amazed at how fast information is sent and received. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to use it our advantage.
Do you remember a moment when you first realized that Soep was the right spot for you? I knew I wanted to be a part of the family business as early as high school. My father started me out cleaning the yard and driving the trucks and I immediately felt a sense of pride.
What was the most rewarded aspect of your time at Soep? The most rewarding thing over the years was that I was able to take over the business that my father began and run it successfully. There was a lot of pride involved every step of the way.
What was the most memorable time or project of your career? Did that project shape the rest of your career in any way? The Deer Island project gave me many sleepless nights but ultimately changed the company dramatically. As our first big Industrial job we spent a year planning before we kicked off the work. The job was ultimately success, helped to launch our Industrial business and we are still doing work at Deer Island today.
What advice would you give to your younger self if you could? There are a lot of things I would tell my younger self… • Get yourself organized • Keep detailed records • Always understand the risks and rewards • Read the entire specifications for each job • Make sure you understand the contract you’re signing • Be creative
What advice would you give to anyone starting a career in the trades? Get yourself into an apprenticeship program and find a mentor where you have a mutual trust. Put care into the job and for the company you work for. It will come back around to you. Learn every aspect of the trade and impress your foreman along the way. Eventually you’ll be recognized, rewarded, promoted and will enjoy a long career.