Practicing what he preaches, Scheffers said he has benefited time and time again from others' wisdom. "I think I've got answers for a lot of business people," he said, "but to say I'm an ace, that I do everything right, no way. Still, I've seen a lot of people go bankrupt that didn't have to, had they had the support of others. Most of us, in business, are simply too afraid to bare our souls to people when we are in trouble. But if we don't, how can we get the help we need?"
OIK manufactured the 60-foot steeple atop of the First Congregational Church downtown Kalamazoo. Scheffers frequently marvels at the towering structure. He views the tall steeple as a constant reminder of the limitless possibilities he believes life offers everyone - possibilities that may not seem apparent during times of conflict. In 1980, with a shop full of new equipment, interest rates at 22 percent and a drop off in business due to a stagnant economy, Scheffer's business was in jeopardy.
"I was scared, I didn't know what to do. But I was determined to continue, because I'm a survivor. It was one of the toughest times of my life." Scheffers said that the adverse times taught him to reach out beyond himself and to seek the help he now offers to others in return. "Tough times are good for people because they make you think differently. And they keep you humble." "I could easily lost my business, but I didn't, " Scheffers said. "And part of the reason is I knew to ask for help. I also had the fortitude to keep pressing on."
Scheffers retired in 1996 passing the business on to three of his four sons, Dennis, Dave, and Tim. "We're very close, " he said, "and it's been a lot of fun. Each has a specific strength, and they've learned how to work as a team. A team that will, I believe, take this business even further than their father did."