Joanna Moak: Thomas Concrete
Joanna Moak had never considered working in the concrete industry; she was simply pursuing an administrative job closer to home after remarrying and moving to Lilburn, GA. She had no previous knowledge of anything concrete. She applied to several companies through “regular old snail mail” and ended up interviewing with John Cook at the Lilburn plant for an administrative assistant position in the Technical Services Department. She was hired by Thomas Concrete in August 1996.
A typical day for Moak involves processing mix designs and submittals for the sales department and supporting her department’s eight employees with any administrative work they need. “Some days are more hectic than others with everybody needing something and some are less hectic where I can do more data entry,” said Moak. The most challenging part of her job is learning new computer programs on top of her heavy workload in order to make her job and that of others more efficient.
According to Moak, Thomas maintains a strong, innovative, dedicated and driven environment that really focuses on team work and dedication to both employees and customers. Her favorite part of her job is the people that she works with, “I could not ask for a better group of people that I would want to see every day. There are so many personalities to deal with and everyone is unique. I feel like this is my second family and I wouldn’t change anything.”
Moak has experienced many ups and downs in the industry, “Thomas has grown and gone through downsizing in rough times and grown again,” she comments. The one constant progression she has noticed has been the technology developed to help streamline the job. She pointed out the switch from the use of pagers to cell phones for better communication, as well as scanning and emailing for a more digital world. “I have seen more safety programs, features, and training administered in the industry as well,” said Moak. Another increase in efficiency was eight years ago when her department was moved from the corporate office to the lab facility, which she feels made them that more productive.
After being involved in the industry, Moak realized that “there is more to concrete than just sand, rock, and water. When I first began at Thomas and heard there was a World of Concrete I thought why, but now I realize there is so much to the industry.” If she could give advice to a new entrant to the concrete industry she would tell them to “take your time and learn as much as you can. Be willing to input new ideas, work hard, have fun, and be safe.”