Always On Time
● Published by Robert Frey
By Patrice Doucet | Photos by Fusion Photography
The first thing to know when you’re going to meet with Korey Kimball is that you don’t want to arrive on time. That’s considered late in his book. “Fifteen minutes early is on time and on time is late” is a catch phrase often used by this young professional with his own benchmarks for punctuality, worth ethic and giving back to a community.
The second thing to know is that he, admittedly, believes in using the fewest amount of words possible to convey a message – unless he’s talking about ideas for New Iberia and its development.
A native of New Iberia, but raised in Texas, Kimball graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont with a degree in finance, attended grad school in eastern Illinois and moved back to New Iberia in 2006.
He’s been employed, since 2013, at The Bayou Companies, Inc. in New Iberia, a company providing pipe coating, concrete weight coating and insulation services for some of the world’s largest pipeline projects on and offshore. As senior project commercial manager, he has overseen major jobs like the over $150 million Shell Appomattox project, involving 1 million linear feet of pipe insulation and fabrication stretching some 87 miles south of New Orleans.
A member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, Kimball is Chairman of the Exhibits Committee, which hosts one of the seven largest conferences in the country.
This would be a good time to mention another of Kimball’s pet peeve: laziness. “I can’t stand it when people don’t contribute” he says, “and, I get bored so easy.” Projects that others might scoff at, he takes on as a challenge.
“We had a project in Stoller, Texas, just outside of Fort Worth, in August of 2007, and it was miserably hot. There were 3,800 pipes, each 80 feet long, that we had to crawl inside of to record a handwritten ID number. There were just two of us; it took five days, but we did it,” he remembers with pride more than aversion.
Good for Iberia Parish, that Kimball puts as much energy into being community minded. He’s been a member of the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce since 2010, serving as its chairman in 2015.
Kimball is a founder and board member of “Iberia On Tap,” a social club with a community conscience - a phrase he coined. “It’s a group of emerging young professionals who are eager to offer other young professionals networking and training in a wide variety of areas to improve and expand their skills,” he says.
It was his experience with Leadership Iberia, through the Chamber, that inspired him to be on the board of a junior leadership program called Fire Starters, aimed at helping high school students in Iberia Parish develop skills needed to become future leaders of their community. Firestarter is sponsored through a partnership with the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce and Iberia Parish Schools and underwritten by “Iberia On Tap” with other contributions from various local businesses and individuals. “The goal is to make students realize what Iberia Parish has to offer, encouraging them to stay or come back to the city when they get out of high school or college,” says Kimball.
In making New Iberia enticing to its youths, and residents, Kimball has helped purchase the equipment for “Movies in the Park” at Bouligny Plaza, something families look forward to once a month from March through June. Through fundraisers like the Gumbo Cookoff, the annual Dragon Boat Races and the Roux Run, Kimball has helped purchase playground equipment for New Iberia’s City Park. One upcoming project that has him particularly excited is the building of the George Rodrigue Park on the Teche.
As a member of the ad hoc committee, Kimball recently completed a three- month-long project rewriting the parish’s charter, “getting it more in line with state law.” “It might sound corny,” something Kimball says often to clarify that he’s anything but corny, “but I’m a firm believer in doing what’s right. What we’re doing with the charter will allow it to be relevant 100 years from now, doing what’s best for the community.”
If it’s true that the most important career decision you make is who you marry, then Kimball made a trump of a deal in following his instincts of looking for someone with the same work ethic and values. It just took a while, six years, to find his now wife Suzanne deMahy. At the time, deMahy was attending law school in New Orleans and Kimball had experienced “about 28 first dates and a handful of second dates with no prospects.” On a whim one weekend he got onto Match.com; friends had convinced deMahy to do the same. He laughs, “I think one of my first posts on my Match profile was ‘Looking for a partner, not a dependent.’” When deMahy realized she and Kimball had a lot of mutual friends, both being from New Iberia, and he wasn’t “some weirdo” they went quickly from emailing to dating. Six months later she was offered a job and moved back to Lafayette. Four years after that first date they married in 2013. Kimball got exactly what he wanted: a partner in deMahy.
“She has one of the strongest work ethics of anyone I know,” Kimball boasts. “She’s very methodical and intent on what she does; it all has a purpose. And, she’s one of the fairest people I know.” (A reference to her new position as much as to her character.) deMahy was elected Judge of the 16th Judicial District, Section B of which she takes seat next January, replacing her father who retired.
Since marrying, Kimball has added traveling to his list of past times, saying that he never took a vacation before then, not even when growing up. The couple has journeyed to Mexico, Canada, St. Lucia, Kentucky, the Dominican Republic, toured the Mediterranean for 14 days on their honeymoon and most recently Barbados.
Kimball, who always has at least one project in the works, finds it relaxing tinkering with something on a cool day, working on his Jeep or mowing the yard while listening to some singer-songwriter music- his favorite. When it comes to hunting, he refers to himself as an “ambush predator.” “I like to sit in a box, smoke a cigar and shoot at something if it comes around,” he chuckles. “Mostly, I like to spend time with my dad when I’m hunting.”
A self-taught woodworker, he’s nearly finished converting an old armoire into a cigar humidor to go into the cigar room in the upstairs loft at his home where there is already one humidor housing boxes of nearly 1,000 cigars. The loft is the epitome of a cigar room with leather furniture, a 15-point red stag mounted on the wall, a couple of autographed LSU football helmets - one signed by Odell Beckham. It’s this cigar aficionado’s sanctuary for smoking a “fat one” with friends and talking sports, politics and future projects for New Iberia. “I like past-times that bring people together,” he says.
For Kimball, nothing goes better with a good conversation and a cigar than a fine bourbon in hand. The mini bar in his living room holds about 40 bottles of bourbon that he’s collected over the years – he’s been on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail twice. For bourbon lovers: His favorite “go to” is Makers Mark 46. When asked about his most cherished bourbons, he holds out a bottle, like a waiter in a fine restaurant would, of a 10-year-old Pappy Van Winkle and a bottle of Makers Mark signed by two of the original Samuels family members.
At the rate he’s going, there will be opportunities for Kimball to break out “the good stuff” and toast his accomplishments. There are no political aspirations. “I tend to say what I’m thinking,” he says with a big grin. For now, his life is full at home, at work and in his involvement with the community promoting New Iberia.