Strack and Van Til has many great people in their employ. Joshua Piech is a store director for the Strack and Van Til on US Highway 30 in Valparaiso, and since his arrival into his position at the company he has jumped head first into local community involvement.
Raised in Hammond, IN, Piech attended Morton High School and went on to tackle a triple major a Purdue Calumet – Marketing, HR, and Management Information Systems.
“I got my work ethic from my parents. They have always been very supportive of me and they taught me the value of hard work,” Piech said. “I’ve got a great social structure within my family and friends and then from people I worked with as well.”
Before coming to Strack and Van Til, Piech gained 16 years of experience with Walgreens under his belt. He had many mentors there who encouraged him as he worked full-time and went to school full-time. Walgreens was his first place of employment and he started working there in high school.
“I wanted to have a job from a young age,” Piech said. “I wanted to make money, be independent, and have fun.”
Strack and Van Til saw the great work ethic that Piech exuded and reached out to him for an introductory meeting.
“I love it here. I really do. I love that Strack and Van Til supports getting involved in the community and they allow me to branch out and try things with different companies and different charities,” Piech said. “I like to help as many local nonprofits as possible.”
And in the year that Piech has been with Strack and Van Til he has created quite the list of nonprofits that the company supports. Piech, through the generosity of Strack and Van Til, has helped:
- Crop for Kent
- Kent’s Run
- Porter County Substance Abuse Council
- Memorial Opera House Foundation
- Opportunity Enterprises
- Valpo Parks Department
- Valparaiso Events
- Dayspring Counseling Center
- Taltree Arboretum & Gardens
- Porter Township Schools PTO
- Wheeler High School
- Hayes Leonard Elementary School
- Memorial Elementary School
- Porter County Special Olympics
- Toys for Tots
- Northwest Indiana Soapbox Derby
- Shriners Hospital Chicago
- Valpo Swim club
- Positive Approach to Teen Health
- Valparaiso Fop Lodge 76
- Hilltop Neighborhood House
- Chasing Dreams, Inc.
- Valparaiso Fire Department
- Greater Valparaiso Relay for Life
- Faith Evangelical Bible Church Pumpkin Launch
(There are more nonprofits that Piech has supported through Stracks, but this article has a limited word count, and I have other things to tell you about him.)
Piech does most of the community involvement on his own time, this means that after a long day at work or on his days off he is out and about making his free moments count within his community. So why does he do it?
“If you can do that little bit extra and make other people feel good, then you’re going to feel good, too,” Piech said. “I want to be a good example for my two-year-old son and I want to make sure he knows that helping people is good.”
Piech manages a staff of 120 at the Strack and Van Til store on Highway 30. He believes that if you set the standards high, treat employees and manage them well, then they will rise to meet those standards. When he came to the store one of the first things that he tackled was the customer service score, which was on the lower side. With his guidance the store now scores in the top five throughout the entire company.
“We try to create an atmosphere and culture of fun and customer service,” Piech said. “If your employees come to work and have fun, then they are going to provide good service. That service is going to bring in sales. My team knows what the expectations are and they want to meet those expectations.”
Outside of work Piech can be found hanging out with his son or working on rebuilding his 1963 Oldsmobile.