Tim and his wife Stacy hike through Glacier National Park in Montana.
In the last six years, Tim Tadlock has lived in three very different states: Oklahoma, Montana and Michigan. With the most recent move — to take on the role of environmental manager at our OSB plant in Grayling, Michigan — he says he’s found the perfect fit for advancing his career.
“Being able to live in the mountains was one of the things that first drew me to Weyerhaeuser and the quality control supervisor role at our MDF plant in Columbia Falls, Montana,” he says. “I’m a cancer survivor, and living in the mountains was on my bucket list. The Flathead Valley is beautiful and the people were so open and welcoming, but moving to Grayling allowed me to take my career back into management, which is something I really wanted to do.”
Tim hiking in Montana’s Flathead Valley. The opportunity to live in the mountains, a bucket list item for Tim, is one of the things that drew him to Weyerhaeuser in the first place.
READY FOR NEW CHALLENGES
Tim joined our Columbia Falls team about six years ago, after nearly 23 years working for a small MDF manufacturer in Oklahoma.
“The advantage — and disadvantage — of working for a small company is that you get to do everything,” he says. “My title changed over the years, but I was doing pretty much the same thing.”
The desire to do something new and live in the mountains prompted him to take the quality control supervisor position in Columbia Falls.
“I was coming from a management role, and at first it was a bit uncomfortable to step back to a supervisor position,” Tim says. “I liked the work, but after a while I realized I was limited in my ability to advance my career at Columbia Falls. Both the mill manager and my boss at the time encouraged me to stay with the company and look at other facilities.”
When he saw Grayling’s opening for an environmental manager, Tim thought it would be a perfect fit with his degrees in environmental engineering and industrial hygiene.
“Grayling is one of the company’s most regulated facilities,” Tim says. “We have more monitoring on our stacks than any other plant. I do a lot of reading so that I fully understand the rules and how they’ll impact our facility and others. Then I can determine what changes we’ll have to make to meet each new requirement.”
Our Grayling OSB plant, with steam rising from the stacks.
EVERY DAY IS DIFFERENT NOW
When he was working in quality control at Columbia Falls, Tim spent every day ensuring products met the standards and the qualities that our customers want, which meant a lot of time testing products in a lab. But as an environmental manager, he’s found that every day brings something different — along with a broader impact and more responsibility.
“If a truck comes in leaking diesel at Grayling, I’m the one who deals with it,” he says. “Grayling didn’t have a safety manager for a while, and I got to step in and help there. I’m also able to do a lot more with capital expenditure projects and be involved with the mill on a broader level.”
Tim says he enjoys these expanded responsibilities and the ability to participate in so many different projects — with no shortage of new ones on the horizon.
“We’re looking at doing a major project, replacing a 40-year-old piece of equipment, so I’m getting to be involved in that,” he says. “We’re also going to start figuring out whether we can generate some of our own power here, which is something I’ve never been involved with. It’s fun and exciting to learn about it all.”
One of the things Tim and Stacy have enjoyed about Michigan is the dramatic fall colors.
Though Tim’s very happy with the decision to move, he says it was hard to leave the many friends he’d made while working at Columbia Falls — not to mention the mountains.
”This part of Michigan is incredibly beautiful, though it’s different from Montana,” he says. “Montana had timber; Michigan has trees with beautiful foliage. There’s plenty of hiking and so many natural lakes and rivers. My wife and I are really enjoying the chance to explore.”
He’s also enjoying the career move and new opportunities he’s found at Grayling, including getting to attend the Panel group’s leadership assessment team meeting.
“I learned more about what it takes to be a business leader,” he says. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to eventually move up to a regional environmental manager — or maybe even a mill manager.”
Stacy and Tim recently explored the Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.
ADVICE FROM TIM
- Don’t be afraid to move outside your comfort zone. It’s hard for all of us, but you can succeed at a lot of things you may not have expected.
- Talk to your manager to get input. They can probably tell you about other facilities — and if they can’t, they can connect you with someone who can give you the inside story about a position or a place.
- Be open about a potential move with your family. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the facility. Take your spouse, take your children, and let them see the area.
- When you visit, don’t just go for a day. Give yourself and your family time to really see what the area has to offer.