Q&A with Jason Huck, Mississippi Lime’s new Director of Information Technology

In December 2017, Mississippi Lime, one of HBM’s portfolio companies, welcomed Jason Huck as the new Director of Information Technology. Jason will report to Michael Chill, HBM’s VP of Information Technology.

About Mississippi Lime: For over a century, Mississippi Lime Company (MLC) has been providing the nation with high-calcium lime products, utilizing one of the highest purity limestone reserves available.

CC: Please introduce yourself and walk us through some of your career highlights. What intrigued you about the IT field?

JH: Throughout my career, I’ve found the most personal satisfaction doing work that makes things better. That’s why I love the technology space — it provides so many opportunities to use my passion for problem-solving. I’ve really enjoyed that during my nearly 15 years of IT experience within manufacturing.

After graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, I worked for a medium-sized manufacturing company called Highland Supply Corp. One of my positions there was Director of Information Systems, where I worked with the executive team to create new cost-saving opportunities across all business units.

Most recently, I worked at World Wide Technology, a global IT systems integrator. My role there included building a strategy for delivery of value and outcomes from IT, and alignment of IT and business partners for all IT deliverables across business units. That wide range of responsibilities highlights something else I love about my technology career: It allows me to see across all aspects of an organization. That gives IT a unique opportunity to provide value and outcomes throughout a company.

CC: What will be your role at MLC? What excited you about the opportunity?

JH: I will work closely with the HBM IT operations team and third parties to maintain, improve, and monitor performance of core infrastructure to enable applications and business outcomes. In this role, I will focus on business relationship management, application management, assisting with manufacturing processes and back office automation. In addition, I will serve as an advisor to my business partners across finance, human resources, engineering, operations and commercial to deliver IT services that meet their business priorities.

What really excited me about this role was the culture I saw at MLC and HBM. The interview process was one of the most impressive I have participated in. When I met the officer teams at both companies, I saw these leaders live by the organization’s core values. They have a deep understanding of the businesses they run. Based on what I’ve seen, HBM seems to have endless opportunities across its portfolio companies.

CC: What will your objectives be during your first few months?

JH: Initially I will be working closely with stakeholders to understand their business capabilities and help prioritize their demand. I am eager to learn as much as I can about the MLC business. When I meet new people at the company, I joke that I’m drinking from a fire hose — drinking in as much knowledge as I can.

I’m also eager to bring best practices from my prior roles and act as a strategic advisor to drive innovation and continuous improvement within IT and MLC in general.

CC: Do you foresee collaborating on projects with Mike Chill at HBM or their portfolio companies?

JH: Absolutely. I am excited to work with Mike Chill, HBM, and the other portfolio companies to find best practices and strategies we can use throughout the entire HBM organization. This is where IT provides significant value because it’s so well-positioned to observe all aspects of an organization. As we find opportunities at MLC, we will look to scale that across the other portfolio companies. Likewise, I am excited to be working with my peers at these companies to bring their insights and expertise back to MLC. This wealth and breadth of knowledge across the portfolio can be a real game changer for all these companies.

 CC: What is your opinion of IT playing a larger role in a company’s strategy? How will you work with MLC’s leadership to define objectives?

JH: As Mike Chill has noted, IT has earned a seat at the leadership table through automation and streamlining of the back office. It’s really become the lifeblood of many organizations today. We are seeing companies come and go based on their inability to keep up with their competitors’ technology.

Sometimes IT struggles to find time for strategic thinking because ongoing technology support can demand so much attention. But when IT can respond and correct issues faster, that allows more time to create competitive advantages.

As I devote more time to understanding the business itself — and the changes and pressures we face — I can help create competitive advantages more quickly for MLC with innovative technology solutions.

Jason joined Mississippi Lime on December 17th.