Employee Spotlight – RYAN MUSSETT
Ryan Mussett began working for the company when he was in high school. He spent time in the warehouse for a couple of summers and then, moved into repair the summer of his senior year. Mussett is the son of Gini Baxter and the stepson of Kyle Rhodes, the company’s president, and CEO.
“I’ve known Kyle since I was 4 years old,” Ryan said, adding his parents “held me to a high standard.”
They expected him to work, and he did at the company for about 5 summers and then he went to New Mexico State University to study civil engineering.
“I first thought I should get an engineering degree because of this business and the family history. My dad and stepdad are both engineers. My grandpa was an engineer, the other was a geologist,” Mussett said. “There’ a lot of mechanical engineers. I wanted to do something different. I like buildings and bridges, so I chose civil engineering.”
He started working full-time at PESCO on September 1, 2006. “A lot of his adult years have been spent here,” said Linda Rodgers,” Chief Financial Officer at PESCO.
“I’ve been here so long, I see all the changes,” Mussett said. “I’m like an old person, who says don’t change it.”
As the project manager Mussett sees projects from the beginning to the end. “We will take a project and basically run through drafting and design, and then, we will run it through the shop from start to finish,” he explained.
One project he was proud to be part of happened in 2008. That year, PESCO decided to set up its own internal sandblast and paint operations, instead of subbing out this side of the internal work.
“Dwight Smith and I went to a training in Pittsburgh to become more familiar with the QC side of painting our manufactured units, how to check film thickness, environmental conditions,” he said, adding they had to make sure they had the right equipment. “That was one of the major things I was part of and that felt good to learn about. To think about where we were to where we are now, we have an entire building dedicated to painting.”
Mussett said being a civil engineer is a bit different for his position at PESCO, because the company typically hires other types of engineers. “The top three would be mechanical, chemical, and industrial – because of the factory setting,” Mussett said. “Civil is a bonus. What I like the most is working with drafting, coming up with how these drawings are going to look; helping solve problems that come up during the design process.”
As a civil engineer, he is able to look at drawings and read the prints no matter what is being constructed, and Mussett enjoys spending time on the shop floor watching the manufacturing of the design. “You see it on paper, it doesn’t do it justice until you see it,” he said.
PESCO is able to take a set design from a company and construct it, but the engineering staff also can design a product and manufacture it from the concept to the completed product.
“Ryan has always had the gift of seeing how things are put together,” Kyle fondly recalls. “I remember him helping me put together a baby crib for his baby sister when he was around 9 years old. He could see how that crib was supposed to go together – even better than me! Adding his fun and calm mindset to that ability to see the manufacturing process makes him a great asset to PESCO.”
Mussett has an infatuation with sharks, which could be tied to the animal’s sleek appearance, moving through the water like a perfectly designed machine.
“I loved them when I was a kid growing up. They’re very streamlined,” he said, adding he would have enjoyed being a marine biologist. “I’m scuba certified and would like to cage dive with great white sharks.”
That could be a personal challenge, however, Mussett shared a challenge he faces each day at work – supply chain issues. This is something all companies have faced in a post-covid world. Accessing materials “is an ongoing nightmare,” he said. “Things are so screwed up right now trying to get materials.”
For some projects it has taken two years for the materials to arrive at PESCO. Despite supply chain issues, PESCO continues to thrive and grow. “I try not to stress out too much, because at the end of the day there’s always going to be a solution. It might not be the best solution, but as long as you can come to the table with some options, usually it all works out in the end,” Mussett said, adding it has to do with “having the correct leadership in place is highly important to having a successful organization.”
Rodgers added, it’s about hiring people who are “well suited to the position.”
PESCO also encourages employees to be community minded, and that is not different for Mussett, who coached the Piedra Vista High School Junior Varsity Girls Soccer team from 2007 to 2013, and the tennis team from 2011 to 2017. He is a Piedra Vista High School graduate, having been in the second class out of the high school. “I went there when it was a fresh car smell,” he said.
Mussett is the father to three children. He has a daughter, 13 and two sons, ages 2 and 4. As a family they camp in the summer and ski in the winter. “We like to go on little trips,” he said, adding the family stays active with sports, especially soccer and volleyball.
“I remember Kyle telling me that his dad Eddie never missed a high school game of his, so I’m going to try and do that with my kids,” Mussett said.
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