Featured business person: Thomas Fredrickson

10/31/2013 7:09 AM

10/31/2013 2:07 PM

Fredickson says his job is a little like the drivers he’ll hire for Universal.

“The part I enjoy is helping operations in achieving whatever their goal is – making sure they have the right people on the bus in the right seat.”

Fredrickson, 50, started at Universal on Oct. 1 and is in the process of moving from Omaha. He grew up in Nebraska and graduated from Wayne State University with degrees in psychology and sociology. After a stint running group homes for developmentally disabled children, he went into human resources.

He spent 10 years with Roberts Dairy, a division of Hiland Dairy, and five with Consolidated Utility Services. Like Universal, both companies “are pretty labor intensive and have fairly large distribution areas.” Both companies also have operations in Kansas, “so I’ve spent a number of years coming down here,” he said.

Universal employs about 450 people in 16 states. One of his goals is to get managers trained in supervisory skills. Another is to hire – and retain – drivers, which, he said, “is always hard.”

Off the job, Fredrickson described himself as “a pretty typical 50-year-old guy. I like to play golf now and then.”

Joe Stumpe

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