EBD’s Zach Shepherd Benefits from Industry Scholarship
Zach Shepherd, operations manager at Engineered Building Design (EBD) in Washington, Iowa, is the newest member of SBCA’s Emerging Leaders Committee.
A recipient of the 2020 SBCA Emerging Leaders Scholarship, Zach says he has been passionate about the truss industry since high school. A great example of where the opportunities available to young people in this industry can take you, Zach has “been involved in every area of our industry from production to design to sales to helping run our company.” He shares that having the opportunity to make an impact on both the day-to-day and the future of EBD is the most rewarding part of his current position.
“To think that a 16-year-old, green, wet-behind-the-ears kid could one day help make serious decisions is mind blowing to me,” Zach says of his origins building trusses in the summer of 1997, which transformed into an office job by the time he graduated from high school. “Even after coming into the office, I would have never imagined having this opportunity presented to me. I love my job even though I am still that ‘green, wet-behind-the-ears kid’ who can’t believe he has been blessed this much.”
The opportunity for a long-term career – “a career that you can make by applying yourself day in and day out” – is the primary thing Zach believes young people should think about when they consider the structural building components industry. “It has been a lot of years of long days and long weeks,” he says, “but my hard work has, and is, paying huge dividends to EBD and my family.”
Zach says he views getting involved in SBCA as an opportunity to give back to the industry that has impacted so many areas of his life. “I am blessed to have learned so many things from Dave and EBD that carry beyond my work here,” he says of his decades working with EBD General Manager David Mitchell. “I believe I can bring some different views to the issues that SBCA helps moderate. SBCA is the happening place in our industry and if I want to further my career for Dave and EBD, I needed to become a part of it. I enjoy being a part of positive change and am looking forward to being a part of growing not only EBD, but our industry as a whole.”
As a young individual, Zach says the Emerging Leaders Committee is the right place to start and appreciates the encouragement he received from other committee members to get involved. “The networking in these committees motivated me to jump in with both feet,” Zach says. “I look forward to continuing to build great relationships through the Emerging Leaders Committee and other committees down the road.”
One thing Zach says he hopes the Emerging Leaders Committee can accomplish over the next three years is to create more opportunities for young people in the industry to network with SBCA’s veteran members at both Open Quarterly Meetings (OQM) and BCMC. “The individuals that have come before us have much to offer to everyone following their footsteps,” he explains. “The worst thing we could do as young leaders is to ignore the wisdom that is contained in the men and women that have come before us. I want to soak up all the knowledge I can and hope the Emerging Leaders Committee can glean as much of their knowledge as possible.”
To find out more about SBCA’s Emerging Leaders Committee, hear about the value the scholarship has had for past recipients, or learn how to apply for a scholarship for 2021, visit the SBCA website. If you are interested in making a donation to the scholarship fund, please contact staff.