In the control room of the South Kearny Brine to Bleach facility, Rudi Fernandes sits quietly monitoring the operations of the plant. Born in a small town in Portugal, Rudi moved to the US about 20 years ago, where he finished high school and began working in a supermarket.
Rudi Fernandes and Manny Cunha at a recent Safety Day
Rudi came to work at Kuehne 15 years ago through a connection with Manny Cunha, who was plant manager at the time. According to Manny Correia, current Plant Manager, “he began his career as a young operator with no experience. His demonstration of drive and motivation shadowed the lack of chemical handling knowledge. Rudi quickly learned all the positions within the production department and is one of the emergency response team’s primary members.”
John D’Alterio was instrumental in providing training for Rudi. He says “Rudi is a great worker and a great person to work with. He also participated in the Mississippi State Fire Academy training a few years back and is part of the fiberglass team.” John goes on to say that Rudi is frequently asked to travel to both the New Haven and New Castle plants to assist with plant maintenance and improvements. “He’s always willing to help out with any special project” says John. “He is willing to help with anything – takes the initiative and gets the work done without being asked.”
Dedicated and Brave
Rudi does not complain about working overtime to complete jobs. He cares about the work he does and about his team. Besides being a key member of the fiberglass team, he has also completed at least 40 hours of Hazmat training and has responded to chlorine-related emergencies in the community.
Manny Correia states “I can clearly recall an off-site chlorine railcar emergency early in Rudi’s career that would have easily made some professional emergency response teams run for the hills. Instead of running away from the incident at the rail yard, Rudi and his few team members ran towards it and stopped the leak. All this “action” with less than one year of experience. This one particular incident had all the makings of having a significant impact on the nearby communities.”
Community and Family
Not only does Rudi care about his community and his team members. He also enjoys spending time with his family. His wife, Marta, also works at Kuehne Company, in the accounting department. They have 2 young daughters who love spending time outside with their dad working in the garden, bike-riding, and even sledding in the winter.
Rudi with his wife, Marta, and their two daughters
Rudi holding his daughters on a recent trip to Jamaica
The Kuehne Company facilities manufacture sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and similar chemicals every day of the year, 24 hours of the day, with the exception of a few planned outages to perform maintenance on the equipment. Operators such as Rudi work long shifts, nights, holidays, and overtime when repairs and maintenance is required in the facilities.
Kuehne is extremely fortunate to have a dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring production team that not only keeps the plant running smoothly, but also goes above and beyond to actively engage in nationwide emergency response hazmat training. Without dedicated, self-motivated individuals such as Rudi, essential production facilities such as Kuehne would not be able to provide reliable service and chlorine-related emergency response in our communities.
Thank you, Rudi Fernandes, for all that you do and all that you are! We appreciate you!
News & Announcements
Find out what’s happening at Kuehne.
Kuehne Company’s employee health-promoting program, Wellness Wednesdays, has been recognized with a 2022 Lt. Governor’s Challenge Delaware Health Leader award. “By creating the Wellness Wednesdays program,” said Lt. Governor...
Kuehne celebrated Halloween with an office & workspace decorating contest. In the New Jersey plant, taco treats were served in the fleet maintenance garage as well, giving everyone ample opportunity to...
Over the summer, team members from various departments of the South Kearny Kuehne Company facility gathered on the third floor of the Brine-to-Bleach building for a one-week training in 5S. The training...
We love our people
This month, I am pleased to introduce you to Mr. Clyde Gallagher, who has been a vital part of the Kuehne Company family for 16 years. Working as an A Operator in the Delaware Plant, Mr. Gallagher is...
One of the people who makes Kuehne Company a great place to work is Salesman Ken Carola. In his 34 years with Kuehne, he has played a critical role in enhancing community safety by working with municipalities to educate them...
Kuehne is excited to shine the spotlight this month on Relief Operator Lewis Crosse from our amazing New Haven family! A highly motivated team player, Lewis plays many important roles at Kuehne. Lewis grew up in Norwich,...
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