Cement Worker of the Month: Michael Detzi, Buzzi Unicem, Stockertown
Mr. Michael Detzi was reared in Wind Gap, graduating from Pius X High School in 1968 where he starred in football and basketball. He recalls, "Our school had a small-town atmosphere. My class consisted of 48 spirited graduates."
The young graduate continued his education at Steubenville College in Ohio. The draft called him to duty in 1971 with training at Fort Dix and Fort Jackson, S.C. He was assigned to the 193rd Infantry Brigade.
"We were sent to Vietnam landing at Da Nang," Mike says. "Our unit conducted 'seek and destroy' missions. There was combat, friends were lost and the war and the cost is a forever memory"
After the young soldier returned home the slow job market convinced him to re-enlist. It was back to Fort Knox, Ky., and then to Berlin.
"We were there, all now part of history – The Wall, Checkpoint Charlie," he says. "We were allowed into a small area in East Berlin, a weird feeling. There were attempted escapes, thank God the wall is gone. Freedom has returned to Berlin."
While in Berlin, his unit was inspected by Gen. Alexander Haig, Commander of NATO and later President Reagan's secretary of state. At the rank of staff sergeant, Detzi ended his seven years of service at Fort Sill, Okla.
In 1978 he spent some time working at Detzi's Tavern in Wind Gap. His parents, Reno and Mary, founded the popular restaurant.
"My parents instilled values in me and my triplet brothers, John, Joseph and Jeff, who continue to operate the business which has been part of the community for over 50 years," he says.
"Looking for work, I stopped at the Hercules Cement Company (now Buzzi Unicem) in 1978. I was hired and have held a variety of positions starting in labor, working in the quarry, in the mill and as a production supervisor. Old-timers gave me valuable advice on how to work in a safe manner."
Today, Mr. Detzi is a maintenance supervisor. He credits Mike Mahorsky for guidance in helping him master the position.
"I work with 16 millwrights who have hundreds of years of experience," he says. Without them and their cooperation I wouldn't be anything. They are a group of good men, who keep the plant operating safely and efficiently.
"I have always attempted to be a people person and enjoy working with my coworkers. Our team works closely each day with our supervisor, Craig Lawrence."
Michael is proud of his daughter Kim, son Christopher, and grandchildren Alyssa, Brooke and "Jimbo." In his spare time you can find him gardening, cooking, golfing or up at Detzi's.
Mr. Michael Detzi will soon be retiring. Each day he brings a hearty laugh and a friendly personality to the plant. The Atlas Cement Museum salutes him for his service to our nation and his dedication to the cement industry. He resides in the old family homestead in Wind Gap.
We wish Michael a healthy and long retirement. He earned it! I also hope all my friends at Buzzi Unicem will see an improving economy so local cement can again help rebuild America.