DULUTH, Minn. – Paul Heckman only wanted the cool T-shirt.
Well, he got the shirt and much, much more, including most recently a video (see video below) made especially in his honor.
Heckman, the maintenance manager at the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, was named one of three “Real Men of Maintenance” in December by the industrial lubricant and paint companies Sprayon and Krylon. For the honor, he received a trophy, a $2,500 gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops, and the News Tribune received a year’s worth of Sprayon and Krylon products to boot.
And now recently, the company released a video staring Heckman on its Facebook page.
But, ironically, all this attention started with Heckman’s fascination with the T-shirt that came with the honor. It states, “If it ain’t broke. You’re welcome.”
Oh, how he wanted that shirt. … And now he can proudly sport it.
The contest required an essay and then votes from friends, family and co-workers. Because Heckman is an online gamer with more than 3,000 Facebook friends, he easily gathered the most votes in the contest.
Heckman’s essay was about solving a conveyor line problem five years ago. Newspapers were getting torn as they came off the press and into the mailroom. The fix was set to cost the company up to $35,000 but Heckman used his own ingenuity and just $1,100 to fix the problem.
Heckman’s wife, Shirley, wrote about her hardworking and creative husband at the end of the essay. She asked readers to forgive Paul’s misspellings since he had sent the essay in quickly, before she could proofread it.
“He wanted to make sure his entry was early enough to get the great T-shirt,” she wrote.
“It was really all about the T-shirt,” Heckman said.
The Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune is a Forum Communications Co. newspaper. Forum Communications Co. is a multimedia information company based in Fargo, N.D. Forum Communications owns dozens of newspapers, websites and television and radio stations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.