Steve Reichert retired from AkzoNobel after a successful career in supply chain with the company. We at Arkieva have worked with Steve since his Witco days in the late 90s and at AkzoNobel since the early 2000’s. This blog post is to celebrate Steve’s career and to wish him the very best as he starts his next phase.
Steve joined AkzoNobel in 1998 in the role of Supply Manager. For the last few years, he has been working as the Demand/Supply Manager in one of the business units of AkzoNobel. Prior to joining AkzoNobel, Steve was with Witco Chemical Company in the same role. Before joining Witco, Steve was with Sherex Chemical Company for about 10 years and Ashland Chemicals before that. So, Steve has been around supply chains and chemical companies for 40 plus years. He has brought this wealth of knowledge and his own brand of passion to all his work.
Most of us at Arkieva know him as one of our more persistent clients. We have joked internally about how he would dial 2 or more of us on different lines and be persistent (and impatient) through it until the matter at hand was resolved to his satisfaction. It would be fair to say it was tough to understand this in the beginning for all of us, especially, when the first call came at 4 pm on a Friday!
At some point in this journey, however, we came to understand this arose from an urgency inside Steve: An urgency to make the model that much better, to do better for AkzoNobel, and in the process probably make himself a better supply chain planner. Once we figured that part out, the journey was much more fun because we could easily tap into his knowledge and learn from it and make ourselves better along the way. Thanks Steve for all that you taught us over the years!
As demanding as Steve was all these years, he was also more than fair. Whenever we asked him for help, he made himself available. He was a friend as well. We have stories of him calling one of us and opening with the line: I forgot my question! And following up with: How are you doing? And having a friendly conversation for the next 15 minutes.
Now as he begins his next phase, surely he will bring the same energy and passion to other interests. I am sure he will continue to be as tough as he was with us, as he will be friendly. And we have no doubt that he will continue to be successful in pursuing his new interests.
We at Arkieva want to congratulate Steve on his excellent career. And wish him the absolute best for his future plans. And we sure hope we will continue to be friends.
Here are some thoughts from Steve’s colleagues:
“I am from New Orleans and we always hug people. It took 5 years for Steve to allow me to hug him. One day he cut his hand on a can of tuna at the office and had to go to the emergency room. I got a little of the blood on my finger so now he is my blood brother. Our picture is below. We almost look like twins.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Steve. He was always a gentle giant. He has a passion for historical architecture and vintage planes, and old ballads rhythm & blues and all types of music that we could hear whenever we entered his office. He will be missed!”
“Hi Steve, I wish I could be here to toast once again your retirement. I enjoyed working with you immensely. I appreciate your untamed passion for excellence as I can sometimes display that passion. It is a bit much for our mangers to handle sometimes….tee hee! I will miss getting you worked up over Mimi, Zemeter, Arkieva or whatever the latest name for your forecasting program is. Oh and there has been a few! You have worked hard. You deserve to retire and enjoy. I expect to see more postings of those adorable puppies and a few great adventures. Oh what the heck, twist my arm, let’s raise a glass in Houston. Here’s to Steve. We will miss you.”
“A man can’t retire his experience. Hope your retirement is better than you ever expected it to be. Congrats!”
“We will miss Steve. We were lucky to have him in our team, not only because of his great supply chain knowledge and experience, but also his persistence to always pursue the best solution and make things right. Wish him all the best.”
“Steve, it has been a pleasure working with you. You were always available to help whenever I needed it and always had a good perspective on solving problems. I will miss the random conversations, even the political ones. Wish you the best in retirement.”
“It was so much fun working with Steve. We all will miss him.”
“Steve made every day at the office enjoyable. Congratulations!”
“I will really miss Steve’s knowledge of our processes and raw materials. Historically, some of the data was not correct in our ERP system. However, I could always count on Steve to provide the right data we actually needed to report.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Steve. A valuable player on the AkzoNobel Team!
Congratulations on your retirement!”
“Steve’s visit to Houston. Does not require much to get the job done…Just a desk and a laptop”
“Steve was my first client when I joined Arkieva in 1999. I worked with him since. I consider it a great honor that there was a time when I was number 1 on his speed dial at work.
My most memorable thing about working with Steve is that even my daughter knows and asks about him. When my daughter was younger, I took Friday afternoons off and would take her to the playground. Steve and I would talk while I pushed her on the swing and so she got to know the name “Steve Reichert” very well. To this day, when I come home from work, she asks, “How was Steve Reichert today? Did you help him with his computer?”
Steve, I will miss working with you. And I’m sure my daughter will miss her “Steve Reichert updates”.”
“Steve, you are one of the more thought-provoking and inquisitive people I’ve met at AkzoNobel. You have a lot of knowledge and experience after many years in the business. However, despite your extreme familiarity with the way things are typically done in the industry, you remain exceptionally creative in identifying unique ideas to help solve issues… whether they are manufacturing, supply, or business related. Congratulations!”
“Congrats Steve. Enjoy your time off. Please take your slippers and robe with you when you clean out your office.”