Ken Kosel Winds Down Career, Talks Retirement with AGRR/glassBYTES.comô
Ken Kosel, senior technical service specialist at 3M is retiring this summer after 40 years in the industry. He sat down for a few minutes with AGRR magazine to discuss what he's seen happen in the industry over the years, what he'll miss most and what he'll be doing come August 1 when he officially retires.
AGRR: How'd you get started in the industry?
KK: The company where I was working at the time was on strike and I was getting married in September. My wife suggested I go get a job and she had a friend who knew of a position open at 3M. At first I worked in the adhesive, coatings and sealant (ACS) department, which sold to different markets, including the automotive aftermarket. In 1989, the head of the automotive aftermarket division took a job on the international scale, and I took his place. Shortly after that, the ACS department was split up and the employees were sent to work for the different markets they were working with inside ACS. One of the product lines I was responsible for was automotive coatings and sealants, so I went to work for 3M automotive aftermarket.
AGRR: What would you say has been the most significant change to the industry during your career?
KK: The consolidation with big companies, and the growth of suppliers-the freedom the shops have to purchase for themselves.
AGRR: What will you miss the most about the industry, after you retire?
KK: The people. I think anything you do, even at 3M, there is stress, but if you're working with good people-and there are a lot at 3M and in this industry, there are a lot of good caring people-it makes it fun to work with them.
AGRR: What made you decide to retire?
KK: It's time. Retirement gives you more time to do what you want, and after working in the chemical labs for 40 years, you look at your health and what you want to do while you still have it. [laughs] Work is interfering with the rest of my life.
AGRR: What's next?
KK: There's a lot to do around the house. And there's gardening. I have five, soon to be six, grandchildren. I coach their sports teams and I have fun with them. I have a part-time winter job to keep me busy and meeting people and I may do some volunteer work. I don't plan on sitting around and becoming a vegetable.
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