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Applauding 50 years of hard work and a soft heart

Applauding 50 years of hard work and a soft heart

By Sherri Coner

A real surprise

Shock traveled across Greg Schaub’s face as he and Peggy, his wife of 48 years, stepped into the crowded room at Primo Banquet Hall.

Behind a podium, their younger son, Patrick chuckled and said, “Welcome to your 50th anniversary, sir. We got you.”

Actually keeping the surprise a surprise was no easy task, especially when Greg knows everything about everything.

Serious stealth and Ninja skills resulted in genuinely catching him off guard.

Through the years, EM Company has expanded its services and hired more employees to keep up with an ever-growing list of new customers.

Opened in downtown Southport in 1969, Greg went to work there in 1973.

Twelve years later, he was the new CEO and Peggy became corporate secretary/treasurer.

When they started a family, “Paul was on a roof with me when he was 2 years old,” Greg said of his oldest son, now the company president.

As a toddler, Patrick also saw the rooftop view.

Today, Patrick serves as the company VP.

Younger son, Patrick Schaub, Greg, and older son, Paul Schaub. (Photo by Denise Escovino Cassidy)

A lab assistant

Celebrating the quirky, colorful CEO who shows up for work with Suzie, the family lab is easy. Greg loves to laugh; he loves people, and he loves the community.

But according to Terry Hall, Greg’s neighbor for 30 years, the guy has a natural knack for showing up in a person’s life when they need a helping hand.

That skill is evident in the story of Jerry Johnson, the company’s HVAC foreman.

In the midst of Covid-19 closings, Johnson lost his job in Nashville, Tenn.

After unsuccessfully trying to find work, Johnson, his wife, Charla and their children packed what they could and moved back to Indiana, where Johnson is originally from.

Once back to Indianapolis, Johnson happily landed a temporary HVAC job.

Since Johnson hit the ground running as soon as he secured a motel room for his family, temporary work was his first opportunity and he grabbed it.

He was not familiar with EM Company and had not applied for a job there.

But the way the story played out, the application process wasn’t necessary, anyway.

Greg, the guy who knows everything about everything, heard through the grapevine that Jerry Johnson was the real deal – solid work ethic and highly skilled.

Greg Schaub, with this trophy teasing about his “little boy” days at summer camp. (Photo by Denise Escovino

A workplace like family

“He showed up with donuts at my temp worksite to personally introduce himself to me. That was my introduction to Greg,” Johnson said with a broad smile. “It’s hard to find a company with a family atmosphere. But we have that. Every voice counts.”

Along with providing a family work environment for trustworthy, experienced employees, Greg also loves Christmas.

Every December, he is fairly famous for over-the-top Christmas decorations, including a Santa that runs back and forth across the roof of his Southport home.

As the kind of guy who stays organized, Hall gives Greg a hard time about being messy.

While Hall’s garage is always spotless, Greg’s garage is … well … not.

A few years back, a local TV anchor planned to stop by early one morning to see Greg’s elaborate Christmas lights and also show his electrical panel to viewers … an electrical panel located somewhere in the catastrophe.

Of course Greg panicked and immediately knocked on the neat freak’s front door.

“From 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., we were taking all the trash out of his garage and putting it in mine,” Hall said with a laugh.

(Center) A large crowd recently gathered at Primo Banquet Hall to celebrate Greg Schaub’s 50-year anniversary of employment at EM Company. (Photo by Denise Escovino Cassidy

A giving culture

Along with fun moments and memories, the community confidently depends on the EM Company.

When U-Haul Executive Craig Reigelsperger suddenly had no heat on Christmas Eve, “Greg had 13 guys on our roof, getting us heat,” he said. “Those guys are always there when you need them. From a company standpoint, their service is second to none.”

After the guest of honor walked around, hugging employees and their spouses, he made his way back to Peggy, Paul and Patrick, their wives and all nine grandchildren.

“I have so much left to do in my life,” Greg said with a grin. “I want to live until at least 89, that way I can have a legal beer with all of my grandchildren. I just got a lot to do.”

To view an online photo book of Greg Schaub’s recent anniversary party go to


Peggy Schaub’s lists of her husband, Greg’s quirks:

  • He loves ketchup and adds it to nearly everything (even a meal at Ruth’s Chris Steak House).
  • Pondering the thought of becoming a priest, Greg enrolled at the University of St. Louis. (Peggy insists she had nothing to do with his decision to change his life path)
  • Greg loves ZZ Top and Black Sabbath.
  • He has an amazing memory.
  • Every day, the family lab, Suzie, accompanies her doting human to work.
  • One of Greg’s favorite hobbies involves setting up the annual Christmas display in the family’s front yard.
  • While attending college, Greg sported long hair.
  • Greg not only plays the trumpet; he had a band in the 1970s called “After 5 Group.”
Greg Schaub, stunned by the surprise party, and his wife, Peggy. (Photo by Sherri Coner)

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