Employee Profile: Kendrick Ford, Gate Shop Mechanic

Worked at Louisville Water since 2007

Just a few months into his new role as Gate Shop Mechanic, Kendrick Ford is finding his groove. He doesn’t sit still for long. Step inside the shop and you’ll likely find him plugging away at fixing whatever his fellow crew members need or organizing the equipment. It’s a change of pace for Ford who has spent most of his 16 and a half years at Louisville Water in the field.

“As you’re doing stuff in the gate shop, people are coming in with stuff that needs to be repaired or fixed or need this part or that. You want to be able to help your crews because obviously you were one of those guys coming in here, asking for parts and things.”

Kendrick Ford

While he’s learning some new skills along the way, Ford has the advantage of knowing the importance of having the right equipment when you need it and working properly.

“Saws and pumps are pretty big items that are always getting used. (They’re) broke and trying to fix them, get ‘em serviced, get ‘em back to the guys as quick as possible.”

Ford has done a little bit of everything at Louisville Water. He’s worked in metering, as a plumber leader’s assistant, a plumber leader, a heavy equipment operator, a repair crew leader, as well as installing small and large water services for customers.

If Ford is given a new task or a new challenge, you can bet he will take it on with everything he’s got. It’s that attitude that has pushed him across the finish line in countless races. At the end of April, Ford will be one of the thousands of runners hydrating with Louisville Pure Tap® at water stops along the route of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s mini/MARATHON.

Kendrick and his dad“This will be my ninth year. My sister and dad did it before me and they kind of like challenged me to join them. My wife got into it, and I finally gave in, and said ‘alright, if you all can do it, I can do it too’.”

What started as a fitness journey to lose a few pounds and get healthier has evolved into a passion.

“I’ve got some good friends that do it along with me. You know, wake up at four in the morning, go to the gym or ride my bike around the neighborhood, run the treadmill, bike in the basement; kind of make it a habit. Now it’s easy just to make myself do it.”

The city comes alive for the annual foot race with spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners just as loudly as they do the horses at Churchill Downs on Derby day.

“They really enjoy the mini here in Louisville. You see other people out there, smiling, waving. That’s what makes it enjoyable. The race day atmosphere is what keeps me coming back.”

Kendricks medalsFord has stepped up his game, running in trail races, 200-mile team relays, Ragnar races, Spartan races, even triathlons. This fall, he’ll compete in IRONMAN Louisville.

“The half-ironman is a mile swim, 50-mile bike ride, and a 13.1 (mile) run.”

Ford will put one foot in front of the other to get it done and grab another medal. Just like the races have flown by, so have the years, when Ford thinks about his career.

“It’s gone by very quick. You come to work, you make some friends obviously, you enjoy cutting up with the guys, the work; it does kind of feel like you make a difference when you’re out,” Ford said. “I have a sense of pride in just doing a good job, trying to do it right the first time.”

When he’s not working or running, Ford enjoys spending time with his wife and their two small children.