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Dave Kruise Cruises through a Diverse, Challenging Career

Dave’s Jenoptik resume reads like a corporate directory: Purchasing, assembly, shipping, inventory, order entry and invoicing … among others.


Position: Sales, Marketing and Communications for the Light & Production Division
Rochester Hills, Michigan facility
Employed by Jenoptik since:

On any given workday, you can find Dave Kruise planning advertising campaigns, working on promotional videos and creating sales presentations. But you might also find him in the warehouse – driving a forklift to move boxes of tradeshow materials.

“Most people don’t expect a sales and marketing professional to be able to use the Hi-Lo forklift or the 20-ton crane,” he says. “But after more than two decades working at Jenopitk, I’ve picked up a few surprising skills.”

Dave’s Jenoptik resume reads like a corporate directory: Purchasing, assembly, shipping, inventory, order entry and invoicing … among others. Here, he gives us the details of how he transitioned into the marketing field and his thoughts on his varied career.

How did you make the switch to your current position?
The company needed someone to create documentation on our completed automotive systems. I was asked to take over those responsibilities. After a few months developing sales collaterals, I moved into planning tradeshows and overseeing marketing programs.

What is most rewarding about your job?
I get to work with a great group of people every day. My coworkers have become my family away from home.

What did you do before joining Jenoptik?
Wow. That was a long time ago! I worked several different jobs, including shipping and receiving at an auto parts warehouse. I worked in fast food for a bit. I also had a job maintaining a golf course and one as a hotel front desk clerk. During college, I worked up to three jobs at a time to pay the bills.

What has been your favorite project at Jenoptik?
I would say organizing our largest North American tradeshow, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (ITMS). More than 100,000 people attend the show every year. ITMS is a huge risk/reward project, because so much can go wrong. You have to carefully monitor every detail. But in the end, it’s a great feeling to complete an event of this magnitude. And I get to do it every two years!

How has Jenoptik helped your career development?
I took advantage of Jenoptik’s tuition reimbursement program to complete my technical communications degree. Jenoptik has also allowed me to attend educational seminars related to tradeshows.

What advice do you have for prospective Jenoptik candidates?
Take the time to get to know everyone around you. Volunteer to help in other departments, even if it’s not in your job description. Learn as many skills you can today because you never know what opportunities might come your way tomorrow.

What is the biggest career lesson you’ve learned?
Respect your coworkers. You need to be able to work with many different types of people across departments, facilities and business units. After 22 years, I know the importance of being able to work with just about anyone, regardless of our differences. At the end of the day, we’re all working toward the same professional goal.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like working with my hands. I’ve helped build several homes; I’m pretty good at roofing jobs. I also enjoy repairing cars. When I’m not getting dirty, I like to read and play computer games.