By Kathy Jonas –
Brian Schuh can build or repair any post-frame building that comes his way. “But he is also a builder of people,” according to Greg Lehman, director of construction services at FBi Buildings, Inc., in Remington, Indiana. Lehman nominated Schuh for Crew Foreman of the Month because of his high level of skill, his commitment to the industry and to his company and his ability to teach and serve others.
“He is a walking, talking problem solver for post-frame buildings,” explained Lehman. For the past six years, Brian has led a crew that focuses primarily on complex repairs to all kinds of post-frame projects that need special attention for either remodeling or storm repairs.
For example, Lehman said FBi recently worked on a large poultry building that suffered a truss failure due to extremely heavy snow loads. The building contained 400,000 birds, but Schuh figured out how to safely jack up the structure, lift off the old roof and replace the new one without disturbing the birds inside.
“Brian’s kind, easygoing manner makes him approachable, and no unpleasant working condition seems to shake his optimistic attitude. His innovative methods produce cost-effective and high-quality solutions,” said Lehman. He added that this type of personality is not only rare but also invaluable when the challenge at hand is to solve problems and help customers recover from something unexpected.
Ryan Westfall, now a project manager, worked on Schuh’s crew many years ago and came to appreciate his patience and willingness to work with others to make them better at their jobs. “He was just a really good teacher. He took the time, no matter how busy the job site, to explain how to do things the right way,” said Westfall. “He is not just about work; he really cares about people and is somebody you want on your side.”
Schuh said he didn’t know anything about post-frame construction when he left the family’s dairy farm and eventually landed at FBi at the age of 24. But he always was the kid who loved taking things apart and trying to put them back together. He jokes that he is successful a lot more now than as a child.
A typical morning might find him repairing a sliding door that had been rammed by a tractor or fixing a leaking window. The post-frame version of Sherlock Holmes, Schuh said he enjoys the challenges of the service side of the industry. “Because of my age and experience, I think most people feel comfortable that I know what I’m talking about.”
His aptitude as a teacher comes from a genuine respect for people. “I’ve always tried to help every guy I’ve worked with, to help him with personal things in life. Some have gone through some disasters with their house, such as a fire or storm damage, and I’ve helped take care of that,” he added.
As for life outside of work, Schuh and Teresa, his wife of 28 years, tend to goats, chickens and other animals on part of the acreage of the dairy farm where he was raised. He has two children and five grandchildren.
Lehman says that Schuh combines the qualities most valued by NFBA and FBi Buildings and deserves to be recognized for his dedication, attention to detail and willingness to share his knowledge with others.