The following uncredited article was featured in the News section on the Restek Corporation website on August 7, 2017.
On July 24, South Hills alum and Restek Corporation International Customer Service Supervisor, Mike Shuey, invited nearly 30 Business Administration-Management & Marketing (BAMM) and Information Technology (IT) students of South Hills School of Business & Technology for a tour of the Restek facilities to give them a lesson on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). It was a unique opportunity for the students to see an ESOP in action at Restek.
Shuey kicked off the day with a tour of the state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and testing labs. He then introduced Kevin McPhillips, executive director at Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership, a statewide nonprofit that educates business owners and employees about the benefits of ESOP—of which Restek is a founding member.
McPhillips described a “silver tsunami” approaching the economy as many baby-boomer business owners retire and make decisions about what to do with their businesses. McPhillips explained the benefits of setting up an employee ownership plan as part of that succession. “Restek is a poster child for turning your company into an ESOP and how great for business that can be,” he said.
South Hills students Katey Hall and Jessi Hall, who are sisters-in-law, particularly enjoyed the ESOP presentation. “We want to start a social media firm in the area and we think creating an ESOP would be a nice thing for our future employees,” Katey said.
Following a lively question and answer session, senior R&D manager, Chris English, took the students on a tour of the applications laboratory where Restek chemists develop solutions to tough analytical problems. Next, Scott Grossman, a content development specialist, gave a presentation titled “Restek in the Wild: Examples of Our Products in Use,” about the involvement of the company’s products in testing water quality following a chemical spill in the Elk River near Charleston, WV.
Michael Gates, BAMM Program Coordinator at South Hills, said it was the fourth time he brought his students to Restek since Shuey first invited them in 2003. “I enjoy bringing students to Restek because they are introduced to a little bit of everything—from manufacturing, to customer service, to marketing. This company does it all,” he said.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.