Matt Naillieux was born in Valparaiso in 1956 and has been working for Overhead Door doing service and install for a large portion of his life. This dedication to the job didn’t start with him, as his father started working for the company the year Naillieux was born. At that point, the Merrillville distributorship was located in Portage.
“In 1971, I started going over and helping him unload trucks, paint doors and put tracks together,” said Naillieux of his early days with the company and growing up around the job.
Naillieux would go on to work full-time for Overhead Door in 1977, at the age of 21. He even worked for the company in Minneapolis/St. Paul for a time before returning to Indiana 11 years ago. As for what brought Naillieux back to Northwest Indiana, it was a combination of factors, but he is glad to be back.
“My whole family is here, and I wanted to be back by family. My dad was here, and I had seven sisters. Unfortunately, one of them and my father have passed. I also have 14 nieces and nephews and a whole bunch of great-nieces and nephews, and it was just time to come home,” said Naillieux.
As for what he likes about the job, there is more to it than just the work itself. Overhead Door is a very family-friendly environment that fosters helpfulness, lightheartedness and cooperation among its employees.
“This is a great place to work; it really is. I’ve taken basically the entire crew under my wings, and we’ve got very good comradery here. If somebody’s having a problem, we have no problem helping. Whoever it is will get two or three suggestions or ideas on how to solve the problems. We’re very interactive here. If someone has a question or they’re not sure about something, no one is afraid to say, ‘I don’t know,’” said Naillieux proudly.
This attitude is what makes sure problems get solved, and employees know what they need to do to get the job done properly, without fear of asking too many questions. Naillieux attests to the complexity of the job and why this attitude of honesty is so important to mastering the many details required.
“When you say you’re a door guy, it encompasses a lot more than just putting a door up. I’ve been around long enough where we go from just your basic electrical components of transformers and a relay. Now, we vary the speed of them using a variable frequency drive. Everything today is all programmable logic controller (PLC), which is nothing more than a micro-computer,” said Naillieux on the continued complexity of the job.
Indeed, the work can encompass a lot of things including: electronics work, electrical work, welding, burning and manufacturing. At times, it can also involve getting to a location where there actually is no hole for the door, and the service techs have to simply cut a new one.
Outside of work, Naillieux enjoys the community of Northwest Indiana and likes riding his Harly, volunteering and ballroom dancing.
“After you learn, dancing is a blast. It’s one of the few places you get to be in control. It’s a lot of fun,” said Naillieux on getting into the hobby.
As for volunteering, Naillieux splits his time between the Caring Place, Moraine House and the Visiting Nurse Association, who he recently cooked for at their Lorie’s Lakeside Century event. Whether it’s on the job or out in the community, Naillieux enjoys interacting and helping people out.
“I’ve been doing this coming on 45 years now, and I still enjoy coming to work. I still enjoy the interaction with a lot of people. Very seldom are you in the same place for more than a couple days; it’s a great job,” said Naillieux.