|Chris Stallings, fleet manager for ECU's automotive services, encourages teamwork both at work and in his leisure activities. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
Teamwork Gets the Job Done for Stallings
By Judy Currin
Chris Stallings appreciates the hum of a well-tuned engine.
As fleet manager for ECU’s automotive services, he maintains the 400+ vehicles and 375 pieces of equipment utilized by the ECU community, supported by three automotive and two equipment technicians. The fleet travels more than 1.2 million miles a year.
On the job for 27 years, Stallings began as a technician on the shop floor. Now he’s ASE certified (Auto Service Excellence) and in charge of the fleet.
“I really enjoy what I do,” Stallings said. The Edenton native attributes the department’s success to a staff of skilled individuals who follow his lead and work ethic. “I know it’s a cliché,” Stallings said, “but there really is no ‘I’ in team.”
Stallings also serves on the advisory board for the Department of Automotive Technology at Pitt Community College. The department prepares students for work as automotive service technicians, he said.
In his leisure time, Stallings cranks up an apparatus of a different sort; he motivates a team of boys on the baseball field. In six years of volunteering, Stallings has served as assistant coach, field and equipment manager, concession vendor, fan and proud parent at the Chicod Recreational Baseball field, a division of the Southern Pitt Baseball Association.
Team activities apparently run in the Stallings family. Stallings’ son Cory is a successful pitcher and alternate shortstop. He is 12 and in his final year of eligibility with the Chicod league. Wife Sherry and daughter Lori, 19, help with concession sales.
Seasons typically run from March through July, requiring twice weekly practices and weeknight match-ups. Championship seasons run through late July. Stallings discovered this in 2009, when he served as the assistant coach for the Chicod 11-and-under All-Start Team, who batted their way to the Southern Pitt District 5 Championship.
Cory also plays on the Greenville Gators travel team. “That season can easily run from March through December,” Stallings said.
“Coaching my son’s baseball teams has been a wonderful father/son bonding experience,” Stallings said. “But also a rewarding way for me to serve the community by helping other children participate in a fun activity that improves their athletic ability, teaches team building skills and boosts their self-esteem.”
Just like in the automobile shop, teamwork is the key for Stallings to keep things running smoothly.
“Success in the classroom, workplace and on the baseball field is gained through the collective efforts of the participants and dedicated leadership,” he said. “It’s good to add a little fun to the mix as well.”