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Meet Pace Culture Warrior of the Quarter Henry “Hank” Gierlach

Pace Culture Warrior Hank Gierlach
Hank and his destined soulmate and wife (left). Hank and his daughter (upper right).  Hank and his granddaughter (lower right).

A long-time love of travel

Culture Warrior of the Quarter Hank Gierlach loves to travel.  Good thing, too, because although Hank is currently working as a final mile driver and assisting in operations for Pace in Pensacola (representing our Mobile market), he previously performed flatbed runs in the Northeast for seven years and worked as an over-the-road driver for two years.  This enabled Hank to have visited all the “lower 48” states“, Mexico, and Canada from Edmonton to Novia Scotia.  

Hank’s background

Hank joined Pace at the beginning of Peak 2016.  He has trained drivers, “ran anything that needed to be covered,” and for the last year worked in an office setting assisting in Pensacola operations.  

Hank was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. He is a driver at heart and driving is where he’s experienced the most enjoyment in his career.  Hank and his wife Paula have a blended family consisting of two adopted sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.  When he’s not working hard serving our customers and his Pace teammates, Hank enjoys his down time on his motorcycle with his daughter or at home in the pool.  Hank notes that Paula always has a list of jobs, especially planting flowers, waiting for him when he can get to it.

Doing the right thing

The Pace core value in focus for this Culture Warrior of the Quarter is Doing the Right Thing. Hank’s nominator for Culture Warrior of the Quarter said that “Henry is always the first one to speak out if something seems wrong. He does this for both contractors as well as Pace employees. I have never had to coach Henry on doing the right thing because it is just part of his ethics and personality.” 

We had an enjoyable conversation with Hank learning more about what “keeps his wheels turning.”

KP:  Who or what inspires you?

Hank: There are two things that inspire me without having to think about it.  The first is my marriage.   My wife and I have been together for thirteen years and are reunited high school sweethearts. We dated in high school, but with a four-year age difference and me leaving for the military it became difficult to maintain the relationship, so we parted ways. Fast forward twenty-two years – I had been through a few marriages and was traveling the country testing railroad tracks when I got a message on MySpace asking if I remembered a girl named Paula. I surely did. I never forgot the one that got away. Let me just say it has been the best thirteen years of my life with her. Till death wouldn’t be enough time with her.

The other is my boss, Daniel Johnson.  I liked him from the moment I met him. He is well spoken, even-tempered, compassionate, and a true leader. He has taught me much and would be too humble if I told him. 

KP:  This quarter we are celebrating our Core Value – Do the Right Thing.  As Culture Warrior of the Quarter, what does “doing the right thing” mean to you?

Hank:  Doing the right thing doesn’t mean doing what’s easiest – or convenient. It’s doing what we know is right and moral. We touch millions in merchandise every year. Our customers trust us to act with integrity with their products, in their stores, and when speaking to their employees and customers. We are the face of Pace, and I am proud of that.

KP:  What about doing the right thing outside of your work at Pace?

Hank:  Doing the right thing away from Pace means leading by example for my family. It is keeping my cool towards aggressive drivers as I am teaching my daughter how to drive. It is picking up a wallet loaded with cash at the casino and turning it in to security. It is acting as if the world is watching even when we are alone. It is an inner peace knowing…I did the right thing.

KP:  What do you find challenging about your work, and what resources do you draw upon to help you?

Hank:  The thing I find most challenging about my job is computer knowledge. I have done manual labor and transportation work all my life. When we picked up a new major retail customer, it became a real challenge being in my late 50’s and doing a lot of lifting in the Florida sun. Anyhow, learning office procedures and computer skills are my kryptonite. My two biggest resources for help are Daniel Johnson and John Evans. Thanks guys.

KP:  What makes you happy about your work?

Hank:  The thing that makes me happy about work is knowing I’m a small cog in the machine but still an important one. No matter what task is asked of me, completing it keeps the Pace wheels rolling.

KP:  Is there a small anecdote or story you would like to share about your team?

Hank:  Here is my inspiration at work.  The two people I lean on always are Daniel (Johnson, Logistics Manager Pensacola) and John (Evans, Logistics Supervisor Pensacola). When we say our Pace family, it hits home because these guys are more than co-workers. I care about them much more than work-related and feel it is reciprocated. Again, thanks for all the support from day one. And thanks to Pace for providing a culture of equality, respect, and the opportunity to grow with the company.  Let’s keep adapting to change and moving forward.

Congratulations to Pace’s Culture Warrior of the Quarter, Henry “Hank” Gierlach! Hank, thank you for allowing us to celebrate you, your love of family and travel, and your commitment to Doing the Right Thing!

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