Ceramic Industry


August 1, 2011
Acme Brick recognized top-performing managers at its annual Plant Manager's Meeting.

Ed Watson, senior vice president of Production (left), presents the 2010 Plant Manager of the Year award to Joe Spence.

Watson presents the A-1 Plant Manager award to Jim Krueger.

Acme Brick held its annual Plant Manager's meeting on April 29. At the meeting, the company recognized Joe Spence, manager of the Ouachita, Ark., plant, as the 2010 Acme Brick Plant Manager of the Year. Spence received the award due to the plant's improvement in several key areas, including profit as a percent of delivered sales, profit growth over the prior year, margin of growth over the past two years, improvement in bat loss, improvement in work hours per mbe, and an exceptional safety record related to incident and lost-time accident frequency rates.

Spence received an associate's degree in ceramic engineering from Hocking Technical College. He began his career with Acme Brick in 1979 as a management trainee at the Perla, Ark., plant. After a short stint at the Baton Rouge plant, Spence was named the OEP plant manager in 1989. As plant manager, he is reportedly always looking for ways to improve the plant's performance and product offering. Spence shares his knowledge and experience with others, and gives accolades to the associates who work with him.

Spence has received the A1 award eight times since 1991, and was named Plant Manager of the Year in 1992 and 1997. In addition, he received the TOP award in 2003 for being among the top performers in 10 out of 12 years.

In addition, Jim Krueger was presented with the 2010 A1 Award. Krueger received the award due to the Elgin (Texas) New Plant's (ENP) improvement in the same key areas.

Krueger received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1985 from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He began his career with Acme in 1985 as a management trainee at the Denton, Texas, plant. He moved to the Garrison, Texas, plant for a few years, then trained under Wally Chrystal in San Felipe, Texas, before transferring to the Elgin plant in 1999.

Krueger helped build the newest Elgin plant and was assistant plant manager at the 2000 startup. He was promoted to plant manager in 2001, and to district production manager in 2009, with the added responsibility for the original Elgin plant.

He was the recipient of the A1 award in 2002 and was named the Plant Manager of the Year in 2008.

For additional details, visit www.brick.com.