Jennifer Langford Reaches One-Year Milestone
Anyone changing jobs goes through an adjustment period. Then after a few weeks or a couple months, as the clichés go, one tends to “settle in” and “find a groove.”
For Tri-Tec Industries, LLC office manager Jennifer Langford, who will celebrate her one-year anniversary with the company on Aug. 12, that adjustment period could have been considerably longer, yet she is excelling in her role because of her natural capacity to adapt.
“She has a unique ability to acclimate to any situation,” explained Compass Precision CEO Gary Holcomb. “And since we never recognized Jennifer’s hiring publically the way we did with the two office managers that joined us more recently, it is fitting to announce a celebration of her one-year milestone.”
In addition to learning a new industry, Jennifer’s first 12 months at Tri-Tec has included Main Street Capital buying the company and reforming Tri-Tec under Compass Precision, LLC and the worst world health crisis in a century. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Tri-Tec has not closed, and instead has been forced to adjust to the new world reality.
Jennifer, who previously managed law firms, has been at the forefront of Tri-Tec’s strong adaptability through a difficult five months in not only the CNC machining industry but the entire United States economy.
“It’s been full of change,” Jennifer said when describing her first year at Tri-Tec. “Two months after I began working here, they sold to Compass Precision. With any sale comes change — new ownership, new policies, new functions.
“You just have to adapt. That’s part of being in a leadership role. That’s part of being in a management role — making sure everything is running smoothly,” she said. “You have to be able to move with the flow.”
With Tri-Tec evolving in how it performs its business in 2020, Jennifer has performed additional admin responsibilities. On a weekly, if not daily, basis, she manages the company’s accounting information and reports, processes payments, orders materials and helps maintain the inventory. Jennifer also handles human resource issues, which have been particularly unique lately with unprecedented situations presented from coronavirus.
“Tri-Tec has dealt with lots of challenges before, but nothing like COVID-19,” said Rick Loyd, President of Tri-Tec. “Without extra effort from Jennifer, Brad (Howard, Tri-Tec Lead CNC Machinist), and Dennis (Jenkins, Production Coordinator), my life would have been much more difficult.”
Furthermore, Jennifer, who has a BA in Finance and Masters in Operations Management, has helped train the other two office managers who have started at Tri-Tec’s sister companies, Advanced Machining & Tooling, LLC and Quality Products & Machine, LLC, over the past year.
Given her family background, it can’t be very surprising Jennifer shines at responding to challenging changes. Her father, Donnie, suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident before Jennifer was born. He received reconstructive surgery and spent a year recovering after initially being paralyzed from the accident. He remains an incomplete paraplegic, and Jennifer has witnessed her father answer to that adversity every day of her life.
After the accident, Donnie began playing wheelchair basketball and became a nationally renowned player, representing the United States in the World Tour League and winning three National Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
In 2008, Jennifer and her father founded The Carolina Tarwheels, which is a non-profit adaptive rehabilitation program that organizes sports for individuals with lower limb disabilities such as paraplegics, amputees and other spinal cord injuries. The Carolina Tarwheels is the only program of its kind in Cabarrus County.
“(Disabled people) need to be around other people that are going through what they are going through because even their closest loved ones have no idea what they’re going through,” Jennifer said. “So (disabled people) have that arena to be themselves and not feel different.
“It’s a form of rehabilitation.”
Because of Tri-Tec’s unique four-day work schedule, Jennifer has longer weekends to help serve the non-profit. Then during the work week, Tri-Tec possesses in its office manager role all the adaptability and leadership traits Jennifer has to offer.
In her freetime, she likes to relax with her farm animals. Jennifer is allergic to cats and dogs, so she always planned to adopt a pig. Seven years ago, she rescued Piggy Sue, a potbelly pig, from the Humane Society, and since then, Jennifer also began raising multiple chickens and guineas.
Jennifer nurtures Piggy Sue, who has grown to be almost 240 pounds, like a dog, including taking her for walks in her harness.
“I might be considered the crazy pig lady by my neighbors,” she joked. “I’m not sure.”