• Chris Hampton

Steel Buildings | WSP | Giving Back

Updated: 7 days ago

I traveled to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York to be there for a few of Ithaca Steel's projects that we're delivering.

I have been working out of our south Florida office and I had to drive north, so why not stop in St. Augustine and catch my favorite band Widespread Panic.

Right Boss?

Very long story short, I first heard Widespread Panic in 1989, introduced to me by a Quarterback I played football with at The University of Louisville who was from Rome, Ga. I saw them a handful of times in dive bars in the early 90's,and I loved and looked forward to when they would come through campus.

I had a lot of friends who traveled and saw the Grateful Dead, I thought it was funny they would follow a band around the country because they loved the music so much.

When they played our stadium at UofL, it was in July and we would be in the middle of 2 a day practices and I invited my friends in the "lot" use the facilities at our football complex.

And we ran into Coach.

So for the next three years when I would do something wrong Coach Howard Schnellenburger after meeting 15 "hippies" roaming our football complex between practices was, "Hampton, are you on acid?", and my reply back was always, "no coach, I'm not on acid."

Coached loved it though, I learned a lot about how to sale and how to treat people from him. Could not have been a group of people more not like him. Coach in a suit and tie, smoking a pipe and a few of my friends were not even wearing shoes. I thought I was in big trouble, but he shook each of their hands, asked their names, did they know about our team and gave them a tour of our complex. (A whole other story).LOL

Then in 1993 WSP played in the back of a Flat Bed Pick Up Truck on campus, in the middle of the day and with no late night dive bar distractions, I fell in love with their music.

If you don't know their music, it's good ol fashioned rock and roll. I love Rock and Roll, I love it loud, I love it fast, I love it interesting. I hate boring, and a hard bass groove with drums, literally, erases all worry for me, and there's not a better bass in music. Period.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and a live Widespread Panic show is the only thing in the world that has ever took it away, it may be brief but it's true.

Fast forward 29 years/100's of shows and my boss knows.

A lot of my vacation days are used to see music and there is only one band I want to hear.

In 2022, post pandemic, I have traveled to New Orleans and Las Vegas to see the band, and I was going to be do some travelling for work, and St. Augustine was right on the way, so I was going to have a mini vacation on my work travels to see the band there.

We sell steel buildings different from most companies, it's way more personal, you literally become part of the Ithaca Steel family and we try to meet a lot of the folks we sell to.

I had a few buildings delivering in the month of April, so I was going to hit the road and be there to help unload a couple of projects, and meet a lot of people who had bought buildings from us.

I told him what I was doing on my way up north and that I had planned on volunteering with Conscious Alliance because I was going alone.

The day before I was leaving he came into my office and handed me a check for $500 to donate to Conscious Alliance. If you don't know about them, they collect food and donations for underserved communities. https://consciousalliance.org/

He fed a lot of people with that $500 and now we are committing even more to their cause. (more to come...)

He does this with everyone in our community, if there is a need, he is giving and he runs his company like that as well. Almost like we in service to our clients. They way it should be, the way you should treat people.

I'm grateful to work for a company like this and although a story that has nothing to do, really, with steel buildings.

It's a story I thought should be told, and that part about Coach Schnellenburger is pretty funny, huh?

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