How Bill Zink Came to christopher and Why He Stayed for 30 Years
Thirty years ago, Bill Zink was a farm boy from Wisconsin with long hair and a pierced ear.
Our EVP Bill Goldsmith interviewed and hired him. Bill started work the day after President’s Day, 1987, in a time when the DC region and the business world looked a lot different than they do today.
The going rate for an entry level engineer at that time was nine dollars an hour, five dollars and hour less than his job after college processing soybeans in Decatur, Illinois.
If you ask Bill, he will say he changed jobs because he wanted to ride in a real elevator to get to work every day instead of a grain elevator to the top of a 200-foot-high silo.
It was a good fit – and he has stayed for 30 years.
Bill reflects, “I still remember my first significant client meeting. The meeting was in a large conference room with a big table and 30 people sitting around it – just like the movie Wall Street which had just come out. I bought a suit and got a haircut just for that meeting. You should have heard me telling that story to my mother. That day I felt valued and I felt empowered to step out of my comfort zone. The memory has stuck with me for decades.”
From the day he joined the company as an entry level engineer, to today as president of the company, the values and beliefs that are the basis of the company have not changed. christopher has always hired motivated and passionate people, and then made sure they are engaged, valued, and empowered.
Bill says, “everything that we do is about people. I hope that everyone on our staff feels that they are engaged, valued, and empowered every day, and that those values are passed on to our business partners as well. That’s what makes people stick around for the long haul.”
He adds, “it’s about the relationships.”