"Some kids played with Malibu Barbie. I played on a crane parked in my backyard."
That's how Kasey Stephens explains her introduction to "living the crane life," a lifetime love of the crane business, which has culminated in her being named the new general manager of ALL Crane Rental of Louisiana, a member of the ALL Family of Companies.
It's a familiar story when a love of cranes is passed down from one generation to another. That's how it happened for Stephens, whose father was in the business for more than three decades, beginning as an operator before transitioning into sales.
Stephens began her own career 15 years ago, first working for the same southern-based chain of crane rental companies where her dad spent his career.
"I started in an entry-level accounts payable and receivable position and then expanded that experience by touching just about every aspect of the crane rental business," said Stephens, citing her time in human resources and safety training.
In 2012, Stephens joined the ALL branch she now manages, starting out handling contracts, insurance and collections. By 2017, she was working in sales, having gained a well-rounded record of experience in virtually every facet of branch administration.
"I joined ALL because I knew it was a place with no ceiling, where I could grow my career in cranes."
Stephens is excited about the growth opportunities throughout the branch's footprint, which also touches Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas in addition to Louisiana.
"This is the heart of oil country, so refinery work is a significant part of our project mix," said Stephens, adding that industrial plant work and cell tower erection are also key markets.
Crawlers remain in high demand at the branch, along with rough terrain cranes that are out for rent virtually non-stop. Stephens noted the increased customer demand for all terrain cranes.
"More customers are asking us to supply ATs and operators to work at their job sites for extended periods," said Stephens. "It's been a growth business for us."
In this part of the country, weather has major impact on workflow and fleet management (even now, the region is recovering from the recent landfall of Hurricane Ida). This unpredictability is significant because jobs in progress obviously halt in severe weather, but when weather clears and work could theoretically resume, cranes then need to be dispatched for recovery work due to the storm.
"It's something we're used to handling in this region," said Stephens. During those times, the branch can rely on the ALL Family's national fleet to augment its localized offering.
Stephens is ready for any challenges ahead.
"We have a fantastic team here," said Stephens. "Everyone works together for the greater good and truly embraces ALL's ‘family' philosophy. That extends to each other, our customers, and the communities we serve."
Stephens is the first woman to head an ALL branch, and likely one of the few women industry-wide to reach a general manager position.
"It's not something I think about," said Stephens. "But I hope it shows other women that there is definitely a place for them in the crane industry. ALL has women in the field as operators and oilers, working in administration where I got my start, in sales, and elsewhere. It's a place where, if you have the drive and talent, you can go as far as you want to go."
For more information, visit www.allcrane.com.
This story also appears on Crane Equipment Guide.
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