Team Member Spotlight: Ruth Sprout

JHA Operations Coordinator Ruth Sprout grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania. After high school, she attended Word of Life Bible Institute in New York State for two years, then finished her degree at Baptist Bible College, which is now Clark Summit University.

Ruth’s engineering pedigree started early. Her first job out of college was at an engineering firm in Scranton, PA. She later moved to the Philadelphia area, but during her Philly days she took a trip home that would change everything. While visiting family, her mother asked, “why don’t you just move home?”

Ruth was young, ambitious and adventurous, and would have none of it. “At this point I am 28 years old” she explains, “and I’m like, if I move back home, I’m just going to consider myself a failure!”

But things happen for a reason. During that visit Ruth went to church, and her pastor asked her a seemingly innocent question: “have you met Joe?” Ruth’s response was “who’s Joe?” Her pastor explained that Joe Hunt was a local man who had recently started an engineering company. The pastor wanted Ruth to meet Joe, “in case he needs a secretary.”

Ruth was intrigued, “because my best job out of college was an engineering firm, and I loved working with engineers.” Upon meeting, Joe said he did indeed need a secretary. Ruth was shocked: “in little podunk Harford, PA? Someone is looking for a secretary for an engineering firm?” Ruth went to Joe’s company website and his purpose statement immediately caught her eye. “It was about serving God with our gifts and abilities and doing business that way. And I was like, I want to work for this guy.” A week later Ruth was back in Philly when Joe called from Montrose for a phone interview. “Joe said, I think you would be a good fit for our team. Would you be able to relocate next week? I said, yeah, I think I can do that. And he said all right, I’ll see you Tuesday!” Fourteen years later, Joe and Ruth still work side by side every day.

Ruth has five adult stepchildren, all of whom live on their own. She and her husband John also have two-year-old Mason. “He is just a little ball of energy and fun, and he brings a lot of joy. We have a really fun, warm home, and I just love the place I am at right now.”

Outside family and career, music is a major passion for Ruth, as a listener but also as a singer in her church worship band. “I just love using music to glorify God because of what he has done in my life. It’s a great outlet. The music that we sing recalibrates my brain to be God focused, and not self-focused.”

Working at JHA has taught Ruth a lot about being a professional. The company “does coaching instead of nitpicking–that is so hard to find with a boss.” She also believes that JHA is a great venue to develop as a person, and she loves seeing the positive influence at work on younger JHA team members who are just starting out in their careers.

Key for Ruth is how people interact at JHA, which she describes as fun but professional. “That’s why I stay here. And Joe’s perspective is that we are all created in God’s image. God sees us equally, and that’s how everyone should be treated when they come to JHA.”

And that explains the other reason Ruth stays at JHA: “I know that our clients matter, anybody off the street matters, and I matter too.”

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