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Jon McCall’s career with Schneider started in 2012 when he became a driver leader after transitioning from active duty to the reserves. He had spent the 10 years prior serving in the U.S. Army as a maintenance operations manager.
Jon had about a month left in his service and was stationed overseas when he first came across Schneider’s driver leader role.
“I needed something to fall on once I transitioned out because I have a family,” Jon said. “I applied, I interviewed and I was offered a role at Schneider even with the duration of time I had left.”
After returning to the U.S., Jon and his family moved from Florida to Texas, and he started his journey with Schneider.
The beginning of his career at Schneider
Having held a CDL for several years, Jon understood what it was like to work behind the wheel. Now, he had the chance to see things from a different perspective as a driver leader. During this time, Jon also joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a senior mechanic and platoon sergeant.
A little over a year into his career at Schneider, Jon leveraged his military maintenance experience to move into a shop manager role at Schneider’s facility in Reserve, La.
He served three years in this role before leaving the company to move closer to his family in Florida, where he pursued a career in criminal justice.
In 2020, Jon noticed his old shop manager role in Reserve was open and decided it was time to return to Schneider.
Hurricane Ida hits the Reserve facility
Jon was only back at Schneider for three weeks before receiving military orders to mobilize to Texas for a year. Jon returned from his mobilization in August 2021 and was back home for a few weeks before Hurricane Ida hit.
Braving the storm
As Hurricane Ida rolled into the South, Jon’s priority was making sure his diesel technicians’ families and home lives were taken care of. At the shop, they secured the heavy equipment and hoped for the best.
When Ida passed by, the eye of the storm fell about 5 miles from the Reserve facility. Jon returned with some of the Schneider crew about two days after the storm.
“All the bay doors minus one had gotten blown off,” Jon said. “We had filters from the preventive maintenance bay that got blown over, roof damage that caused water to come down from the top, the wind had blown stuff from the outside inside.”
The most significant of the damage was the flooding. Only about 4 inches of water remained, but the water-stained drywall showed areas where the flooding had once reached about 10 feet.
The return to normal
After the storm, the team got to work repairing the damage to the shop.
“Every day we would come in and do what we could and make sure that the associates were able to take care of stuff at home as well,” Jon said.
Slowly but surely, things began to return to normal. The debris was cleared, bay doors were replaced and trucks began rolling into the shop once again.
Transitioning to his new role as a director of operations
Shortly after things returned to normal following Hurricane Ida, a director of operations role opened in Reserve.
Jon had a vision of where he wanted to take the shop and worried that stepping into a new role would mean giving up on that vision and losing contact with his team. His colleagues helped him view the opportunity from a broader lens.
“I talked to several associates who put it all into perspective for me,” Jon said. “I'd still be here in Reserve, so I would still have some input as to the direction that the total facility goes and not just the shop.”
When he got word that he was selected for the role, he was honored.
“I've led large numbers of soldiers in the military and continue to do that to this day, but to lead and be at this level with organization is something I never thought that I would do,” Jon said. “If I could have jumped up and done one of those Rocky dances, I probably would have.”
Creating a rewarding environment for his associates
After transitioning to his new role, Jon started looking for ways he could make a positive impact on his associates.
“I try to learn something different each day,” Jon said. “I try to make myself seen, be involved and make the work environment one that anybody who comes in feels like, ‘All right, I'm welcome in here.’”