*Feature photo: Dave Craft at his Farm Bureau Financial Services location on Main Street in Sheridan. / Pitchengine Communities photo* (Sheridan, Wyo.) — Maybe you know Dave Craft through his work at Craftco Metals Services, Inc
Maybe you know him as the tallest member of the locally-famous "bluegrass
... and then some" Craft Brothers
Maybe you now know him as an insurance and investments agent with Farm
Bureau Financial Services .
However you know him, you probably know that he is innovative, driven and
smart. And that drive is what has gotten him where he is, through three of
Wyoming's vicious boom and bust cycles. That drive is what has led him to
his current job, guiding him on a path of personal diversification and
At age 14, Dave started working for his family's business, Sheridan-based
Craftco Metals Services, Inc., doing anything from janitorial work to odd
jobs. He worked hard until he headed to Laramie to study business
administration and finance, where he met his wife Jennifer before heading
back to northern Wyoming.
In the spring of 2001, he returned to Craftco as the shop manager, and took
on the role of general manager around 2009.
But by May or June of 2015, Craftco's revenue stream had seen a significant
downturn, like many other service companies aligned with the oil, gas, coal
and other energy industries.
"I have seen three of these cycles since 2001, and this one, this 2015 one,
it has been the most impactful," Dave said.
And in what could be described as a noble move—not a word Dave himself
would use—he looked at Craftco's operations budget and realized the easiest
cut would be his own job.
He had employees he trusted, and with his parents as co-owners, Dave
decided to leave the day-to-day operations as a cost-savings mechanism and
pursue a lifelong dream of working in finance.
With his education in business/finance, and a friend and ally in FBFS
agency manager Troy Stone, he decided to change career paths. Now he works
in a downtown office on Main Street, a location he has occupied since
January 1 this year, and essentially comes to work and does the same job he
says he has always done: He helps people.
But he is still a little uncomfortable in his new wardrobe.
"I used to be seen in a hoodie, jeans ... steel toed-boots," he told Dally,
smiling on a recent sunny Wednesday morning at his downtown location,
wearing a collared shirt and slacks.
And now, he says, he is challenged in new and positive ways, both at Farm
Bureau and as a an off-site director of Craftco.
Interestingly, Craftco began as what Dave called a "job shop," when Dave's
parents started the operation in 1981, just one welder and a truck. The
company grew, served bigger and bigger needs, and now has found ways to
branch out manufacturing—while becoming a local job shop again.
"We are really reaching out geographically, especially in our machine
shop," Dave explained. Because of innovative planning, Craftco has grown
where it can in this market, so field services has seen a sharp decline,
but manufacturing has expanded.
And that is what keeps innovators going.
When asked how to face the sometimes bleak Wyoming economy, Dave pauses.
"That is a question I have been asked a lot lately. It is one I have asked
myself," he says. "But our main motivation is to take care of our
employees, who have been taking care of us for years. It is hugely
important to us to take care of them, and to provide them with high-quality
jobs. And in the end, this is going to be a good thing for Craftco."
#wyostrong #dally #news #buckrail #springcity #county17 #county10 #oilcity