Skiing, Teamwork, and Community: Koch Modular Employees Hit the Slopes

Skiing, Teamwork, and Community: Koch Modular Employees Hit the Slopes

Category:Company Culture

Join Chris, a project manager at Koch Modular, as he discusses the company's culture through the lens of a recent ski trip.

In this Q&A session, we delve into the world of Koch Modular with Chris Loftus, a seasoned project manager deeply involved in the company's initiatives. Chris sheds light on the recent ski trip he organized for Koch Modular employees, offering valuable insights into its significance for cultivating an engaging company culture in a remote world. From personal skiing anecdotes to inclusive event planning strategies, Chris provides a glimpse into the ethos driving Koch Modular's dynamic workplace environment.

Q: Chris, can you tell us a little about yourself and your current role at Koch Modular?

A: Certainly. Over the past 15 years, I've been with Koch Modular, primarily working within the project management group. My recent focus has been leading significant projects for Developing Technology Companies (DTC). Currently, I'm managing the completion of the PureCycle Ironton project along with the PureCycle Augusta Project.

Q: What was the inspiration behind organizing the recent ski trip for Koch Modular employees? How does such an initiative contribute to the company culture?

A: Finding a work–life balance has always been an important value of mine, and it’s been great working in an environment that supports this value as well. Koch Modular has an activities committee responsible for organizing company events to build that strong community you want in a workplace. We’ve had many employee outings throughout the history of Koch Modular, and because I’m a skier, the ski trips are one of my favorites. Koch Modular recognizes the importance of community in the workplace, and holding events outside of the office is great for facilitating employee bonding. Having that sense of community is especially important now, considering that a lot of the work that we do now is remote. It's nice to spend time outside interacting with my colleagues, many of whom I don’t get the chance to see very often.

Q: You mentioned that skiing is a passion of yours. Could you tell us a bit about your personal history with the sport and how it has influenced your career?

A:  Skiing has always been a big part of my life. I am a Clarkson University ChemE graduate where I also competed on the Alpine Ski Team for all four years, including qualifying for the USCSA National Championships in 1993 at Squaw Valley California. During the weekends, I am coaching ski racing at Mt. Peter where my two girls also train. I'm passionate about sharing my love for the sport with people of all skill levels, and turning to skiing as a guide for practicing teamwork and trust, overcoming challenges, and remembering to have fun along the way!

Q: As the coordinator of the ski trip, what measures did you take to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all employees, regardless of their skiing ability or experience level?

A: We made sure to organize an event that encouraged people of all skiing abilities and experience levels to participate and have fun. In fact, about half of the people who came on this ski trip were either brand new skiers, or they had very little skiing experience. We provided rental skis and lessons for our new skiers to learn the basics of skiing before they were off and running down the slopes. We grouped people together according to their experience level, but we stayed close with one another throughout the afternoon, and reconvened in the evening for drinks and dinner.

Q: Could you share a memorable moment from the recent ski trip?

A: We had a lot of new skiers on this trip, and as a ski coach, it brings me a lot of joy to share my love for skiing with my colleagues. One of the highlights of this trip was observing all the progress everyone made. By the end of the day, everyone was up on the lift, and our more advanced skiers advanced to the top summit. And no one got hurt! As a member of the Koch Modular team, it’s great to be a part of this tradition, and I love hearing people tell me they had a great time and are looking forward to going on the trip again next year.

Q: Koch Modular has seen exponential growth in the last couple of years. How have company events evolved and what are you most looking forward to seeing in future events? 

A: In the pre-COVID era, there was a large group of us who would get outside at lunch to run, bike, rollerblade or walk. While I miss that opportunity to interact with my peers, I am grateful for the opportunity to have similar levels of interaction, via these outings. I believe it is a critical component for our future success as a remote company, and I am so happy to see the support these activities get from our management. As for future events, I hope to see a bunch of my fellow employees at the 5k Run this spring! The weather is starting to warm, so now is a great time to start training.

Chat with Chris

With a diverse background spanning compound semiconductors, plastics, and biotech, Chris Loftus brings a wealth of experience to the field of chemical engineering. His expertise is primarily focused on project management, specializing in shepherding innovative processes from conceptualization to commercialization. Chris holds a B.S.Ch.E from Clarkson University.