John Hanson has been working since January as the Maintenance Manager at the Ringneck Energy ethanol plant.
Hanson says he’s made a career of plant maintenance. “I’ve been in maintenance field for 40 years.”
The Fort Dodge, IA native got his start with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as a Facilities Maintenance Manager in 1990, said Hanson. “That’s where I got a lot of my experience with CMMS [computerized maintenance management system] program development. With a pharmaceutical company, you have to have very meaningful des-criptive preventative maintenance procedures in place because you deal with so many government agencies.”
In 2005, Hanson made the leap to the ethanol industry because, “I was looking for a new challenge.” At that time, “ethanol was starting to take off,” and he began working for VeraSun Energy in Fort Dodge.
He was with VeraSun for seven years, but has since worked in a number of ethanol plants helping reorganize maintenance departments and doing contract maintenance. “Most of the plants I’ve been at were looking to re-organize the way their maintenance was organized and managed,” said Hanson.
Among the plant areas Hanson organizes are preventive and predictive maintenance procedures, cost savings, inventory control and shut down organization.
As a new company, Ringneck was looking for someone with ethanol maintenance experience to help set up and organize their preventative maintenance, mechanical integrity, planning and scheduling.
He has spent time doing things like critiquing schedules, working with the maintenance staff to identify and sort out spare parts for inventory control, ensuring we have the right critical spares and developing work scope for the spring plant shut down.
The maintenance staff is exceptional to work with and there is a wealth of knowledge with many different skill sets in the department.
Hanson says he was informed by a colleague that the Ringneck Energy was looking for a Maintenance Manager so I reached out to Mike Stanley and asked Mike if he were looking for a Maintenance Manager and Mike indicated that they were, so I applied and met Mike for an interview early December and later was offered the Maintenance Manager position. My first day was January 6, 2020.
He appreciates working with the Plant Manager, Mike Stanley who has a wealth of maintenance experience himself.
Hanson has been married for 43 years and has five grown children and seven grandchildren. He continues to make his home in Fort Dodge and tries to “go home once a month and make a long weekend out of it.”
Saying that, he doesn’t “like to live too far from work,” Hanson is renting one of the apartments in the Wheatland Inn, but says that he’d like to get into a house so that his family has a place to stay when they come visit during the summer.
“Our grandkids are at the age that they like to explore different areas, maybe make a trip to the Black Hills or Yellowstone this summer.” said Hanson.
“We like to take trips during the summer, and my grandson, myself and my youngest son go deer hunting in fall. I like to fish and hunt every chance I get. Enjoy being in the outdoors.
“We like to get away every chance we can during the summer,” said Hanson explaining that getting away means going to a cabin and fishing or just camping out. Our family is very close knit and enjoy doing things together.
“I enjoy what I’m doing. Working with people is enjoyable and challenging. I have been very blessed to do what I have done for so many years,” said Hanson, adding, “I almost retired before I came here.”
“This is my last stop. After this, I’ll retire, travel, and enjoy the grandkids.”