CSI - Coker Service Inc.
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Congratulations to Mark Upchurch on 25 years of service with Coker Service Inc.!

Coker Service Inc. partners with Vet2Tech and hires one of their first vet graduates of Ignitor Labs technical training program in the Chicago area.

Coker Service Inc. was recently quoted in a Daily Herald article " Nonprofit connects veterans to industry where 'jobs are plentiful' " w ritten by Marie Wilson. www.dailyherald.com/article/20140526/news/140528700/

CSI has always supported and hired veterans, with five currently on staff.

"Technicians who complete the Ignitor Labs program aren't done learning. Many will go through at least a year of paid on-the-job training, receiving wages that start about $15 - $17 an hour. The (Ignitor Labs) online course gives students enough basic understanding to prepare for more hands-on steps in the process of becoming a technician. Learning on that platform is something that comes natural to the generation that's coming out of the service. "The program is a very basic introduction to our industry," said TJ Coker, operations manager for Coker Service Inc.".

"Although new employees are not yet flocking to food service equipment repair companies in large numbers through Vet2Tech, Coker states. "We are willing to continue supporting the program. Anything that helps veterans get from the battlefield to the job site is a good thing, we've always been supportive of that." 

Celebrating 25 years of service!

Celebrating 25 years of service!

Congratulations to Jim Baker on 25 years of service with Coker Service Inc.!

A man of few words.
Humble and kind are two words I would use to describe Jim. He works hard and has little time for chatter. He believes in the motto: "No such word as can't". Which is something his father taught him at a young age. Jim continuously puts that motto into practice. He'll bet you that he can pick up a nickel off the floor with a forklift. Which is a bet that one of his co-workers lost.

     Jim grew up on a farm in Manhattan, IL. A graduate of Peotone High School Class of '71, where ironically, they had 71 kids in their graduating class. He enjoyed playing baseball, left field, football wasn't an option at that time. Jim worked alongside his dad, brother and three sisters; they farmed 1200 acres and had 150 cattle. He continued his education at Joliet Jr. College where he graduated with his Associates degree in Farming. He farmed for several more years. After his father sold the farm; Jim became a truck driver, were he hauled cattle, steel, combines and tankers. He enjoyed doing this, but it wasn't a future for a man ready to settle down. He was approached by a former CSI employee that knew he was at this stage in his life, married and ready to start a family. 

     Jim started out as a tech, and was certified through CFESA. With the company growing quickly, he moved to scheduling and then Service Manager. He has streamlined the procedure for installing food service equipment. He takes great pride in assessing ways to minimize a workload. Work smarter, not harder is what he believes and how he lives his life.

     I asked Jim what he liked to do in his spare time and a smile crossed his face. He has been counting down the days until he goes to Wisconsin to hunt deer (with bow and arrow) and fish. This is an annual trip for Jim and something he looks forward to. He didn't share any stories with bragging rights, but I could tell by his glow it is a passion of his.

     A proud father of two daughters, a son, one grandson and a granddaughter on the way. He admits that his greatest accomplishment in life are his kids and grandkids. Jim and his wife Mary, have just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Which is quite an accomplishment and we wish them many more!

     A Start that came about by chance. Just over twenty-five years ago, Mark was asked by an old employee of CSI to help with an oven move. He then joined the company, where he quickly became a Certified Master Technician through CFESA and as the company grew, so did Mark's position. Streamlining the Preventative Maintenance Program and taking on the ever growing parts department, Mark is now the Manager of the Parts Division with staff under his supervision.
     Mark has a great sense of humor and could be, from what I gathered, a good prankster too. Laughing as he tries to finish telling his favorite memory of working at CSI: "Mike was fixing a sink at the old office on Ridge and he had just taken off the [sink's] trap. Still sitting under the sink, he asks someone to empty the bucket of water that had been drained from it. They pick up the bucket and poured it into the sink... that Mike was under... all the water went right onto him!"
     Growing up on the North side of Chicago, with his two brothers Bob and Scott; Mark went to Steinmetz High School. He has always looked up to General Chuck Yeager as his hero; but grew up wanting to be a truck driver like his father. He was always "fascinated by the big machines" and some of his favorite childhood memories include riding with his dad. Mark has two sons of his own, Mark 35 and Eric 20; as well as an 8 year old grandson, also named Mark. He was very close with his grandmother, whom he spent most weekends and school breaks with as a child. Among other things, this is where his passion for the University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish started. A Cubs fan until 2003, the year we all thought was "THE YEAR," he is now a diehard Sox fan. He loves to to games (both Notre Dame and Sox); ride his new Diamondback bike and occasionally go bowling. Rumor has it that he can also "cut a rug" with the best of them! He looks forward to returning to his favorite vacation spot, Las Vegas, soon.
     When asked, his co-workers described Mark in the following ways... "He can tell a great joke and has a dry sense of humor.", He's awesome with numbers and can recite part numbers by memory.",  "A TV savant;" and "He can carry a tune very well.". When talking with Mark, he said his motto is... "Believe half of what you hear and all of what you see!" 
Congratulations Mark, we look forward to another 25 years!!


MIDDLEBURY, Ind. August 9, 2014 -- It's a world record to make your stomach growl!

With the help of CSI-Coker Service, Inc. and their Middleby WOW conveyor oven, employees at Rullis Italian American Restaurant in Middlebury rolled up their sleeves and got elbow deep in flour and dough, hoping to break the record for world's largest calzone.

The current record belongs to another Hoosier restaurant - The Loveshack in West Lafayette has held the title since 2003.

Rulli's attempted to break it with a calzone weighing more than 140 pounds.

That includes 80 pounds of pizza dough, five gallons of pizza sauce, 25 pounds of pepperoni and 30 pounds of cheese.

Did they succeed?

We're still waiting on official word from Guinness World Records.

But no matter the outcome, the event was for a good cause.

Rulli's charged $5 for a slice of the giant calzone. Proceeds go to the Middlebury Boys and Girls Club.

The previous record was held by West Lafayette, IN restaurant Loveshack in 2003 and weighed in at 69.3 lbs / 9 ft. 4 in. Today Rullis record breaker weighed in at 212 lbs and 23ft-7in long. They blew it out of the water AND raised $1100.00 and counting for the Boys and Girls Club of Middlebury, IN!

Michiana restaurant attempts largest calzone world record

CSI Celebrating 30 years of service!