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The Top Ten with Jerry Garza—Shop Foreman. Basketball dad. Weekend DJ.

Jerry Garza, Shop Foreman at APP Jerry has ten years’ experience in the refining industry and is a husband and a dad to two boys, 8 and 11. Family trips and regular basketball games are a big part of life for this self-described “proud geek”.

Recently, Jerry answered our Top Ten questions about life (and life at APP). Jerry, currently Shop Foreman at APP, has been with the company for almost four years. His ten years’ experience in the refining industry gave him in-depth experience with metal fabrication, insulation, scaffolding, pipe fitting, and welding, making him a perfect fit for his role at APP. He’s also a husband and a dad to two boys, 8 and 11—family trips and regular basketball games are a big part of life for this self-described “proud geek”. He (and his four hard drives of select tracks) can also be found DJ’ing events on the weekend. He talked to us about childhood dreams, embracing bears, and what it’s like to attend a two-day rave on a cruise ship.

QUESTION 1: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was around ten, I took a liking to computers. My dad bought me my first one, and I’d had it for about a year before I took it apart. Then I put it back together. I kept doing that and it led to my thinking I wanted to be a computer technician. Taking things apart and putting them back together, fixing things, and working with my hands—and showing other people how to do that—that’s what I really like.

QUESTION 2: What’s something not a lot of people at work know about you?

A lot of people don’t know that I’m shy! I don’t show it at all—I keep it to myself. It’s important to me that people see that I know what I’m doing. It’s important to project confidence.

QUESTION 3: If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it—without quitting your job?

Real estate! Properties. Houses. I’ve redone most of my own home over the last two years. I think I did pretty well on it—my wife loves it. I think I’d do well in that—buying properties for resale. An investment, but hands-on. It’s still working with my hands. And I have lots of tools, ha.

QUESTION 4: Has APP helped you achieve personal goals?

Because I do like working with my hands, I decided I wanted to learn more about the composite industry. Two of my personal goals for 2017 were to attend two different trainings, which I did. I participated in Mold and Fusion trainings in Orlando and Nashville. This year, I’m going to complete a Composite Technician advance course. It’s all about making a better product.

QUESTION 5: Pick one APP value: Embrace the Bear. Be Badass Bubbly. Ignite Imagination.

I would say Embrace the Bear. I like challenges—when someone tells me “We’ve never done that” or asks “Can we do that?” I’m not going to be the one to say “Yeah, probably not…” I’m going to look into it. I’m going to figure something out. I’m going to solve problems. That’s embracing the bear to me.

QUESTION 6: What’s an aspect of APP’s values and behaviors you’ve taken to heart in your personal life?

I have to say say, this is probably one of the first companies I’ve ever worked for that cares about their people. I feel valued, day in and day out. It actually has made me a better person at home to my wife and kids because it’s brought me to the realization that not all companies are the same.

QUESTION 7: What does APP’s purpose “Liberating what can be” mean to you?

People come to us with problems that they’re having at facilities and refineries. They have the problem; we have the solution. But with a problem comes failures, and we have to welcome that to eventually succeed. It’s all a part of it.

QUESTION 8: What is the single thing you’d tell people who are considering working with APP?

There’s no other place like it. They’re not going to find a place that’s family-oriented in the way this one is, understanding that you prioritize your time with your family. Or that cares what you think—and lets you speak your mind. From letting us transfer PTO to coworkers who need it to all the support they gave during Harvey—it’s really a family.

QUESTION 9: A surprise question just for you, Jerry—what is a Rave Cruise?

Ah! It’s called “The Holy Ship”—it’s a yearly massive EDM concert, it just goes all day and all night, 7AM-7AM. It’s a constant party—on a boat. It took off from Orlando and went to the Bahamas. This year I went with a coworker. We saw Steam Pilot, Deadmau5, REZZ— Deadmau5 was one of the best shows, he did some of his old stuff. I won’t do it again, though, it was too much for me!

QUESTION 10: Play us out, Jerry. What song do you feel best expresses your life at APP?

“It’s A Beautiful Morning” by the Rascals.