Champion Highlight | Richard Kathman
May’s Champion of the month is Richard Kathman! Richard has been on the Mahaney Steel team since the summer of 2018 and enjoys working outside in the nice weather. Richard was born in Colorado Springs but moved to Ulysses Kansas in the 1st grade. The move to Kansas was due to his mom pursuing a nursing career who ended up receiving her Master’s in nursing from Wichita State University.
Richard’s working career started at a young age and was much different than your “average Jr. High kid”. As a teenager, Richard moved to Colorado to live with his dad, and he started learning the carpentry trade. Instead of spending long hours on homework, he spent several hours a day in the car with his dad going back and forth from different framing jobs for homes. Homeschooling started to take a backseat as he found his passion in working with his hands. At the time, he didn’t think school was important and ended up being 1 credit short of receiving his High School Diploma at the age of 17. Richard had a dream of owning his own framing business but realized that even though he was proficient in the labor skill sets he needed more than that.
One of Mahaney’s values is to work creatively. Richard started demonstrating that at a young age as he learned more about wood working. Being creative is something that is important to his role as an Iron Worker.
At the age of 30, Richard decided to make his education a priority and through NexStep Alliance he received his High School Diploma. He didn’t stop there though. Richard then went on to receive his Associates in Welding from WATC, now WSU Tech. Richard is proud of his education achievements and glad that he went back to learn the basics. Math is a big piece of his work now, and it comes easier to him because of his education efforts.
When Richard was asked how he would describe the Mahaney Steel culture to someone, he said it was “friendly and like a family”. He stated that his job at Mahaney Steel undoubtably impacted his life by providing stability. His steady income allowed him to turn his credit around and really be able to take care of his kids.
When Richard is not at work, he is busy taking care of his daughter and son as a single dad. He also enjoys playing a game of billiards and rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs. You can see from the photo that Richard liked the Chiefs so much that he got the logo tattooed on his arm and he says this was “before they were even good”.
Thank you for your hard work and for being a part of the Mahaney family. Congratulations Richard!