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June 7, 2023

Employee Spotlight: Meet Jim Tremaine!


Meet Jim Tremaine

He’d be hard to find without a smile on his face, and a seemingly perpetually friendly, easy-going, helpful demeanor. He’s also not one to brag, so not many would know that he’s been with PDC since its assets totaled a pick-up truck,  is semi-retired – but still helps when needed – and is highly involved with the Waukesha chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which builds and delivers bunk beds to children and families in need. Meet Jim, one of the invaluable members of our MRI Shielding team!

To learn more about Jim, here is a quick, illustrative story from PDC President, Jim Maslowski:

“Jim Tremaine joined PDC when the sum total of the company’s assets were a pickup truck and a small cadre of tools that would barely fill the back bed of the truck. He’s worked with PDC for more than a 40-year period in the capacity as carpenter, RF installer, fireman, sheep herder and friend.

Jim belongs to an elite class of genuine people who never say no to family, friends, church or employer. He measures himself by the happiness and solace he brings to his family and those around him. He brings a new meaning to the term “normal guy” and enjoys playing supporting roles in friendly hijinks.

Twenty-five years ago, my neighbor across the street in Wauwatosa had not cut his grass for two weeks. The warm summer and frequent rain was feeding the grass like a Sunday morning all-you-can-eat buffet. His grass was approaching eight inches tall and going to seed.

I called Jim and asked a favor: bring two of your sheep to my house in Wauwatosa at 5:00 am tomorrow morning. Jim asked, ‘Why?’ I told him we were going to sneak them into Rob’s back yard and close the gate across the driveway so they can graze on his unkept grass. Jim said, ‘OK.’

The next morning, Jim and I walked the sheep across the street and into Rob’s backyard. The sheep were delighted at the site and went right to work. Jim and I went back to my house and sat in the living room watching out the front windows across the street.

At 7:30 there was still no sign of life at Rob’s house, so I picked up the phone and called him. The phone rang seven times before a comatose Rob lifted the receiver. I said, ‘Hi Rob, Jim Maslowski, sorry to wake you. I thought you would be up by now.’ Rob replied, ‘Holy shit, Jim, I overslept.’ He was shaking his wife Jill as he replied, ‘I have to go, I’ll call you later.’

We watched the lights flip on and could see the silhouette of bodies traversing back and forth behind the window curtains. Jim, my wife Susy and I went out to sit on the front porch so we could hear what happened when Rob and Jill realized there were sheep in their back yard. We heard their back door slam and a screech of disbelief that rumbled into intense laughter. Rob walked to the driveway, leaned over fence, waved and hollered, ‘Touché, Jim. I’ll cut the grass when I get home tonight.’

Today, Rob is our corporate attorney, and Jim still helps our RF team whenever he’s able. Cheers, Jim, and thank you from Bill, me and the entire team at PDC.”

And below, learn more about Jim from those who work with him most!

“Jim has been an integral part of PDC’s success. Always applying his finest skills to accomplish any task put before him. It has been my pleasure to work with him over the years.” –David Grimm

“My experiences with Jim have always been positive. I would be happy to work with him again.” – Nathan Grimm

“Working with Mr. Jim is honorable and learning knowledge. He is someone that I consider a good role model and someone that will take you to succeed in life.” – Sack

“Jim has always been a great example and mentor to many employees past & present. Always POSITIVE and HELPFUL.” – Bob Pfaffl

“Jim had the perfect personality to be an RF Lead. He would take time to explain every process.” Jared R.

“Jim is a great guy to work with and very helpful when we need him. I think he could work with anyone and teach everyone he works with a little something.” – Dave Henneberry

“Many moon’s ago when I first started working here, I went out of town to learn RF with Jim. He was there for quite a few of the first RF jobs I was on. I learned so many things from Jim about RF and about life. It was like working with your dad, just less arguments. He is always helpful to lend a hand or an ear. Jim also has done so many great things outside of work for people. I couldn’t have asked for a better co-worker and friend.” – Doug Borucki

Now, on to a few more fun facts about Jim!

My guilty pleasure is…

“…watching old westerns and eating chips and dip.”

What’s changed the most over the years at PDC? What has stayed the same?

“From being a General Contractor with 6 to 8 carpenters and 1 office girl and only doing business in the Milwaukee area to doing a variety work worldwide. I don’t even know how many employees and variety of projects they have going. I can’t keep up with the growth they have.”

How do you like to enjoy your time when you’re not out of retirement helping at PDC?

“Between family Birthdays, Holidays and school activities. The grand kids also get involved in after school sports so there are always more games than we can make. With the house, large yard and even larger garden that I enjoy. I also have a shop to build and fix things. I still go on a disaster trip at least once a year for a week, and a few years ago I got involved with [Sleep in Heavenly Peace.] I have a son-in-law that takes me salmon fishing on Lake Michigan.”

I never leave home without…

“…wallet, cell phone and usually some tools.”

What is a favorite or proudest accomplishment?

“Besides my family, it would be going to Beaver, Alaska and building a church. Myself and 3 other men with the help of 2 local men built a 24 x 36 foot church from the railroad tie foundation wood building to finishing the metal roof.”

What do you like to listen to?

“I listen to classic country or bluegrass music.”

When I was little, I wanted to be …

“…a dairy farmer.”

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

“You can do it – just keep working at it.”

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

“I played basketball and baseball in High School.”

My favorite thing about working at PDC is…

“Having met and enjoyed all the different people through the years.”

What is your favorite memory at PDC?

“I am not sure it is a favorite, but back in the 90s, I was working in Montreal on 2 different MRI rooms. I worked from 7 am to 3:30 pm on 1 room and 4:00 to Midnight on the other, and when I finished, I told myself ‘Never Again.'”

What did you like most about your job at PDC?

“The variety of different jobs and locations and the feeling of accomplishment with the work we did.”

What made you choose to work at PDC?

“Work was scarce back in 1980, and I was layed off from working on residential homes, and the fellow I had been working with came to work at Torke–Maslowski for Bill Sr., and JP, and they were looking for another carpenter. He told me it was easy work, so I gave it a try.”

How and why did you get involved with Sleep in Heavenly Peace?

“One of men that also did disaster relief work with me came back from a winter vacation and had heard about SHP. He asked the group of us if we would interested in starting a Waukesha County Chapter. Five of us went to a bed build in Portage and after participating in that 100 bed build, we knew we wanted in. Larry Schroeder and his wife Kaye went to Idaho and we were accepted to join. This is just another way can share the talents GOD gave us.

Thank you for sharing, Jim, for your continued help and for all that you have brought to PDC over these 40+ years!  You will be missed when you fully retire, but we wish you all of the best on your next adventures!

Miss Greg’s Spotlight? See our Project Manager’s Spotlight here, and stay tuned for more Employee Spotlights!


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