They say that “experience is the best teacher”. Never has this been more obvious at Kovacs than with the arrival of Jody Pehrson, his industry and educational experience helping him quickly step up to a wide range of responsibilities in an important role.
If, as Aristotle said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” then Jody Pehrson both knows and teaches. Our Hard Materials Production Manager has a truly prodigious amount of knowledge and wherewithal to draw from.
His journey to our doorstep has helped provide this steady accrual of insight and expertise. After starting his apprenticeship he spent six years in timber joinery, six years at an outdoor furniture manufacturer and two years in a commercial furniture manufacturer.
From there he spent 12 years teaching the craft and science of cabinetmaking, joinery and wood machining, first in Queensland and then in New South Wales. Then he travelled to Christchurch, where another four years teaching at Ara followed.
At the start of 2022, Jody arrived at Kovacs, attracted to the variety of work and “the well-respected industry name.” He says that his time since has been “fantastic”, the change “challenging but rewarding”.
“There has been a massive learning curve with understanding the product and processes and, at the same time, helping install new equipment,” he says. “Having had a diverse range of roles in the timber and manufactured board industry I have experience with many ways of doing things.”
The role is a broad one, with work focused on making sure the machining shop is outputting the components to meet dispatch requirements and training of new staff and apprentices. He has also been involved in safety process auditing, a key responsibility in his previous instructional roles.
Stepping from education back into the private sector could have been a culture shock, but Jody has also found the move to Kovacs that much easier due to the experience of the team here.
“There are some highly skilled tradespeople that have been doing this for a long time here,” he says. “Their wealth of knowledge is invaluable within the everyday work.”
He also appreciates the change in working hours here, and the opportunities this provides for the occasional long weekend away. Be it surfing and lifesaving on the coast, or travelling further inland exploring and camping, the accessibility to adventures is a big plus. Time spent with family is of the greatest worth too.
With this mindset he is obviously a great fit at Kovacs. As a proud family business, we know the importance of helping the next generation as they gain their footing and stride ahead. Jody’s personal qualities and professional acumen makes him ideal for the role and the wider company environment. Indeed, he’s a class act.