HOISINGTON — Brent Rensch, retired plant manager of Superior Essex, is known for his love of people and for this reason, was named Hoisington Labor Day Grand Marshal.
"He was always community minded as well as employee minded," said Stacey Bressler, executive director of the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce. He will preside over the annual Labor Day parade on Monday.
Rensch is thoroughly enjoying his time in retirement, but truly misses the people he met while at SE. "I developed a lot of good relationships over the years," he said.
Actions speak louder than words, and Rensch was known for becoming a friend to his employees, treating them fairly and with respect as well as taking a genuine interest in them. He attributes this reason for the low turnover at the plant.
One former employee recently told Brent how much they missed seeing him out on the plant floor each day. Rensch would take the time to stop and visit with them about what was going on in their lives.
Rensch is now spend his days doing a lot of hunting, fishing, working in his yard and traveling, as well as spending time with family and dog Fritzi. They have travelled to Branson, Oklahoma, Vegas and Wichita in the last few months. They still plan to do a lot of travelling.
Superior Essex manufactures voice and data cable for Local Area Networks as well as outdoor cables. Rensch is proud of his longevity and accomplishments while he was at the plant He began his career at Essex in 1974 in production control and worked his way up the corporate ladder, managing various departments. He has set the record for number of years as plant manager. Working at Essex has primarily been his only job.
One thing Rensch does not miss is the stress. Marilyn, his wife, jokes about how his hair was dark brown when he started at Essex and how his hair is now white. "I had a lot of fun," said Rensch. "I was very devoted and committed, but the stress was getting to me."
He repeated a comment a former employee made. ‘"Brent had a way to go into his office and be reprimanded and walk out feeling good about,’" he said.
At one point during the 1990s, the Essex plant in Hoisington was under consideration for closing. Rensch fought to keep the plant open. Superior bought the plant because of its excellence and flexibility and the plant has never again been under consideration for closing.
One of the key pieces for Rensch, was keeping the plant flexible to produce different kind of cable, depending on the market.
The plant manager’s loyalty extends to his personal life as well. He is from Elkhart and met his wife, Marilyn, in kindergarten when they were both in the Halloween parade in the same costume. They have two daughters Amber and Megan and two grandchildren Madison and Caden.