Ray Tullis: Dedication and Commitment

Account Manager Ray Tullis has no problem with being referred to as “Old School.” “My dad was strict; I was raised that way. He always said you couldn’t put food on the table if you weren’t going to work. So, that’s just the way it was,” Tullis said. “Come into work, do your job and go home safely!”

Tullis, who’s worked for MPW for eight years, manages the Metallus (formerly TimkenSteel) account in Canton, Ohio and has perfect attendance; a quality which his superiors appreciate and recognize.

Monte said Ray is a veteran who is very detailed and organized. “He leads by example with extremely high standards for himself and those around him,” Monte said. “Ray’s certainly done a great job for us. It’s people like him who continue to place MPW a cut above the competition.”

“I’m grateful for Ray and all of the leaders like Ray who represent MPW with dedication, commitment and a servant leader mindset,” said IS General Manager Jimmy Peck.

“My biggest pet peeve is people being late for work. I’m firm about people being on time,” Tullis said. “Guys, you’re paid to be at work. Let’s get to work and go!” He tells the younger workers that it doesn’t matter how good a worker is if that person isn’t at work. “The thing with the late stuff is, I tell them to treat this business like it’s your own business.”

Much of Tullis’ work ethic can be traced back to 1986, when he landed his first job in a steel mill. “I was a chipper and grinder for 15 years before I became a boss for the company,” he said. “I worked for them for a total of 29 and a half years.” Using grinders and chipper hammers is brutal work for anyone. “My boss would say, ‘At 6 o’clock I want to see sparks flying over the curtains. There’s no coming into work with your boots untied. Let’s get to it!’”

Despite almost 30 years of nearly perfect attendance at the steel mill, Tullis experienced a lay-off after the plant shut down. He was 53 years old. “So, I was out there looking for a job thinking, who’s going to hire me at 53 years old? I was nervous about it. I got a call from a friend who said MPW could probably use me,” he said.

In 2017, MPW hired Tullis as a technician until a management position became available. Shortly afterward, TimkenSteel invited Tullis to interview with that company, to whom he applied before joining MPW. That same day, MPW Regional Manager Kevin P. Smith told Tullis that MPW had an account manager position open for—coincidentally—TimkenSteel.

“I said, Kevin I’m going to be honest with you, I got a call today from TimkenSteel, and they wanted me to come to a panel interview over there with them. I’m going to at least go to the interview and see what they have to say because TimkenSteel is a pretty good company to work for,” Tullis said. “Kevin said, ‘Okay.’”

Timken was impressed with Tullis and was ready to make him an offer, but Tullis said the advantages of staying with MPW and being an account manager of Timken ultimately outweighed the advantages of joining Timken directly.

“The steel mill courted him, but he’s a loyal individual. He’s not a job-jumper,” Smith said. “He decided that MPW was treating him right.” Smith said Tullis acts like a subcontractor who can’t eat until everyone is paid for the job. “That’s a good problem to have,” Smith said. “The only time he’s ever missed work, we had to tell him, ‘You need to go home to get over being sick.’”

Smith said Tullis has always has a “sense of urgency,” whether it’s to get the job started, completed, or to collect the invoice. “The sense of urgency is always there,” Smith said. “That’s something that can’t be taught; you either have it or you don’t.”

“A lot of people take their job for granted,” Tullis said. “I’ll work as long as I can and give my job 100%. That’s about all I can do.”

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