“Those bracelets that say WWJD – ‘what would Jesus do’ – make me think of George," P1 Business Development Director Steve Hinshaw said. "As I walk through our fabrication shops, I often find myself asking ‘what would George do?’”
The George Stuller Award, developed by the UA and Pipe Fabrication Institute (PFI), was introduced in 2022 and awarded for the first time in 2023.
The award celebrates two industry professionals.
The first is George himself. To his peers, colleagues, friends, and family, George was a “giant” in the fabrication industry, working for multiple contractors before creating his own consulting business. His passing in 2020 inspired PFI and the UA to create an award in his honor.
The award exemplifies George’s own devotion to efficiency, quality, innovation - and his undeterred pursuit of the very best practices.
“The PFI organization is 110 years old, and this is the first award of its kind," Steve said. "It was a unanimous decision from PFI and the UA to recognize George, the most influential person the two organizations may ever know.”
In April, 2023, P1 Pipe Fabrication Shop Manager Jeremy Price was the first to receive the George Stuller Award at the PFI/UA Annual Meeting in Tucson, AZ.
Pictured, left: Greg Howell, PFI Labor Chairman/President, Dixie Mechanical; Jeremy Price; Chris Haslinger, Administrative Assistant to the General President & Pipe Fabrication Committee Chairman with the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; Pictured, right: family of George Stuller
Jeremy is a 16-year member of UA Local 441. He served his apprenticeship with P1 and has risen from Apprentice to General Foreman, as well as P1 Pipe Shop Production Manager.
He has known and worked with George Stuller since 2015 on renovations and improvements to P1’s pipe fabrication facility.
In fact, one of Jeremy’s early meetings in 2015 with George was a tour of the P1 pipe fabrication shop during which Jeremy recalls George having a lot of detailed questions.
Although he didn't know it, Jeremy was actually being interviewed for the position of pipe shop manager.
“George was so respected, and considered such a great pioneer of pipe fabrication, P1 CEO Smitty Belcher brought him in to conduct the blind interview, and Jeremy was promoted soon after,” Steve said.
Steve also notes that Jeremy has been at the root of P1’s investments in technology as it relates to the fabrication facility, and has an uncanny knack for evaluating efficiency.
“Jeremy just has an eye for efficiency and the manufacturing process,” Steve said. “He evaluates not only the individual tasks being performed, but the sequence of how multiple tasks are being performed, with an un-ceasing drive to improve production, efficiency, and quality.”
“You have to be efficient, or you won’t get work,” Jeremy said. “And you have to have quality, or your customers won’t return.”
Jeremy says these two things in particular are imperative to run a successful fab shop. That means investing in technology that can help mitigate the risks that threaten quality and efficiency.
“I’m lucky enough to work with a top-notch team that takes quality control seriously,” Jeremy said.
“When you have 20-plus people working in a shop on multiple projects, they’re trying to produce a consistently high-quality product, while keeping efficiency above the industry standard.”
“It’s challenging to maintain a balance so that neither one suffers,” Jeremy noted. “All fabrication that leaves the shop needs to go out correctly and complete, while everyone still manages to keep pace and work efficiently.”
Two critical pieces of technology are the shop’s CNC pipe cutting machine and the TigerStop. Both help eliminate human error and ensure more consistent productivity.
“George helped me put together the return-on-investment for those,” Jeremy said. “He helped with the shop layout, and mentored me through the whole transition to using that equipment.”
In addition, Jeremy helped negotiate and establish the Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), which streamlines material procurement and delivery.
Jeremy notes the P1 fabrication shop has a culture you can’t find just anywhere.
“We’re more of a family because everybody has been here a long time,” Jeremy said. “We don’t have much turnover. We have fun but we are always aware that our customers - foremen and PMs - depend on us.”
“We’re a productive shop, continuing to get more productive,” Jeremy noted. “And we have good relationships. We listen to the people on the floor, and work as a team.”
Steve says Jeremy’s work with labor contributes greatly to the overall positive culture as well.
“Jeremy works with labor to make sure we have a crew rate in our shop that keeps us competitive, while not sacrificing quality,” Steve said. “He also works with labor to ensure the quality of education that metal trades and apprentices receive as they work in our facility.”
“Jeremy strives to educate new UA members about all the aspects of the trade and industry,” Steve added. “His passion for quality and efficiency is contagious and he presents himself in a professional manner and as a strong leader every day.”
At the end of the day, Jeremy says the one thing he truly takes pride in is the pride of those who support him.
“The only accomplishment that matters to me is that the people who support me – like George, Steve, P1 leadership, and all the people who helped get me here – are proud of what has been accomplished,” Jeremy said.
Congratulations to Jeremy, and CHEERS to George and his priceless legacy.
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P1 Group works with P1 Service, LLC to provide HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing service, performance solutions, and preventative maintenance. P1 Service, LLC has locations in Lenexa, KS, Wichita, KS, Topeka, KS, St. Joseph, MO, and Ankeny, IA.