York County Animal Control's new supervisor has just what the county was hoping for: decades of management experience, officials say.
Former textile plant manager Steve Stuber of Lancaster reported Monday for his first day of work at the York County Animal Shelter.
On Tuesday, the sound of barking dogs penetrated his office at the shelter, located just one door away from the kennels.
Across from his office is a glass window framing another kennel. Inside are cats. On the glass is a sign that reads, "Our time is running out."
Despite the inherent challenges of running an animal shelter, Stuber said he's looking forward to doing "something worthwhile" at his knew job.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," he said.
And he's ready to face the challenges, he said. The most crucial one is reducing euthanasia rates.
"I'm still finding out exactly where we are," said Stuber on his second day of work, but he'd like to work on spreading the message to the public about the animals at the shelter in need of adoption.
He also hopes to "take a look at current practices and work together with staff to reduce some costs," he said.
Born and raised on a farm, Stuber has some experience working with farm animals, doing everything except what requires a veterinarian, he said.
But his professional experience, three decades' worth, is in the textile industry.
Stuber spent the greater part of that time at Springs Global, managing several plants, including the former Grace Finishing plant in Lancaster and the Rock Hill Printing & Finishing plant.
For Springs Global, Stuber characterized himself as a "troubleshooter." He moved between plants and departments to improve operations. He's done industrial engineering, overseen screen printing operations, and managed shipping and inspection - wherever he was needed, he went, he said.
"He's a good, straightforward honest guy," said Bill Hood, a friend and former co-worker. "He's a very good manager and a delightful person to work with and very confident."
Stuber's career in textiles ended in 2007 when Grace Finishing shut down his department. After a brief stint starting a landscaping business with his oldest son, Stuber decided to look for something else.
Now he's looking forward to working with a staff of fewer than 20 workers - a far cry from the staff of more than 200 employees he managed in the past. He's also looking forward to getting involved in the day-to-day operations of the shelter.
"I'm looking forward to being a hands-on guy," he said.
Stuber's experience overseeing large operations with many employees and extensive budgets made him stand out, said Jerry Wilson, assistant director of public works for York County.
"Past managers have managed maybe six or eight people" before running the shelter, Wilson said.
In March, former supervisor Chris Peninger left Animal Control, a division of public works, for personal reasons after serving about two years in the post. The position has been vacant since. At the time, officials said they would evaluate the department before beginning their supervisor search.
"We've got an excellent staff. With their experience, they know animal control. And Steve has that management experience to direct them in a way they haven't had in the past," Wilson said.
In addition to reducing euthanasia rates, increasing volunteers, community outreach and collaboration with local rescue shelters are also goals the county hopes to achieve for the shelter.
"To be able to interact with people, direct employees and carry out specific duties" are qualities the county was looking for, Wilson said.
"His leadership skills combined with the experience of the staff will provide a better service," he said.
Stuber lives with his wife, Tina Stuber, and his terrier puppy Einstein in Lancaster. They have a son and two daughters.