I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Kenny Ebright recently. In November he will have been with our company for 22 years! I wanted to hear what he had to say about his time here at H.J. Holtz & Son.
Kenny was born in Allentown, PA but moved to Richmond when he was four, so you could say he is a Richmonder. He went to Thomas Dale High School and when he graduated he worked jobs all around the area. The earliest paint experience he has was when he was 22 and spraying cigarette machines at Philip Morris. He was also commuting around the area, doing commercial work in the Shipyard in Norfolk.
A friend that worked for H.J. Holtz & Son in 1995 told Kenny he should get out of commercial work and to apply. At the time Rick was just out of college and running the field. His father Dick was the president. Kenny was the first employee Rick ever hired.
Kenny started as a painter and has worked his way through the ranks to become a foreman. He oversees the jobs he is on and manages 2-5 craftsmen at a time. Kenny loves his customers and wants to make them happy. Over the years, in addition to painting, he has had access to alarm codes, walked customers’ dogs, taken out their trash, collected the paper and even changed diapers!
At the shop, Kenny has been one of our primary new employee trainers over the years, including some who have gone on to become leaders in our organization, like Jeff Ragland, Shane Legano and Travis Gibson. He also holds classes to teach his peers how to apply the Fine Paints of Europe line because it is so challenging to get a smooth finish. The high gloss can be unforgiving. His work was even featured on the cover of House Beautiful last fall.
Kenny takes his career seriously and still remembers Rick’s grandfather, Herman, telling him, “Don’t let your time catch your feet.” Meaning stay ahead of your work and don’t get behind. To this day, Kenny is one of the fastest, most efficient painters on the team.
When asked Kenny why he has stayed at H.J. Holtz & Son for so long he said it was because he loves working here. “I love Rick and his family. They treat you so well and are wonderful people. Rick would give the shirt off his back for you. He never tells you no and will help you.” Well, we are so grateful and lucky to have you, Kenny, as part of the Holtz family! Thank you, Kenny!