This spring, we initiated a memorial fund raiser in honor of four deceased employees who made significant contributions to our company’s growth and direction: The Trailblaze Challenge, a 26.3-mile one-day hike to benefit Make-a-Wish Alabama. It culminated in May with our 6-person team successfully completing the hike on two separate weekends, three people each day.
But we wanted to create a more permanent memorial to these four individuals. So we dedicated a slice of real estate on the grounds of our Birmingham campus to a meditation bench and the planting of four Japanese maples, one for each person.
In my many years with Revere, I had the honor and pleasure of working with each of these individuals.
John Long came to us through the acquisition of Southern Engineering and Equipment Company (SEECO), which he founded, and became our VP of industrial sales. John’s middle name was Whit, and it certainly fit him. He was know by all as having a great sense of humor, and he frequently emceed company parties. He mentored many of our industrial engineers and established our industrial business unit as a key part of our company’s structure.
Sean Gucken was hired to establish a presence for us in the large and active Florida municipal water/wastewater market, and he accomplished that in spades. Affable in attitude and extremely knowledgeable of the automation and controls industry, Sean built strong relationships with customers, consulting engineers, and contractors by always conducting himself with integrity and assuring that projects satisfied all stakeholders.
Arthur Thomas, known by all as AT, was a shop technician when I first started working for Revere. His commitment to implementing improvements in our shop operations led to a rapid rise to take charge of management of all facility, fleet, and shop operations, overseeing growth to the point where we are producing more than 4,000 panels a year. He was the driving force behind acquisition of our CNC panel workstation that produced a 40 percent labor savings, as well as creating a team-based shop structure that maintains about a 99% on-time panel delivery. He also grew our build-to-print operation into a multi-million dollar contributor to our business.
Al Poston was our first full-time dedicated HR director, bringing with him many years of HR experience in the retail sector. He professionalized our HR operations, assuring that we had policies and benefits that helped recruit and keep quality employees. He was instrumental in developing and implementing what has proven to be a very successful co-op engineering program to help assure a pipeline of talented engineers on which our future is built.
The four Japanese maples will serve as a lasting monument to these exemplary individuals in testimony to the lasting contributions they made to our company. We hope visitors to our Birmingham facility will pay a brief visit to the memorial and share our sense of gratitude to these four.