Gary Benton had to find a new job.

In 2006, following a surgery for his wife, Benton needed time at home, to care for her and their infant. But his then-employer wanted him on the job. “I was told to show up or I’d be fired, so I called and said, ‘Well, guess I’m fired.’”

A week later, Benton walked into the H.J. Holtz & Son offices and presented himself to president Rick Holtz.

“Rick said ‘When can you start?’” Benton recalls. “It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”

Fifteen years later, Benton is still with Holtz & Son and continues to be impressed with the company’s focus on what’s really important.

“Anytime you’ve got something going on with the family, you let [the office] know, and they let you go,” he says. “Rick’s got a family – he understands, and he calls all of us family.”

Before joining Holtz & Son, Benton had been working as a foreman for both painting and wallpapering jobs, but when he switched jobs, he went back to being part of a crew and focused on painting exclusively. After some time with Holtz & Son, a painting foreman’s job opened. His decision to apply was confirmed when Rick Holtz found him one day and said, “I expect to hear from you.”

“That was him telling me he thought I was ready,” Benton says.

Over the years, Benton has sought exterior painting jobs, happy to avoid the challenges of interior work, where crews have to be mindful of furnishings and décor. “So much can happen inside, anytime” he says. “I like working outside, and you don’t have the headaches of being inside.”

Of course, there are challenges to exterior painting, with complicated house designs hindering access to areas that need attention.

“Years ago, I’d be like, ‘How are we going to get this done?’” he says. “Now, I’ve pretty well done every angle on a house that you can get to. It’s gotten easier, because I know so much.”

Benton says he initially sought employment with H.J. Holtz & Son because he had heard it was the best company in the area to work for. That reputation was bolstered when Benton himself suffered an accident outside of work, resulting in surgery on both wrists. He didn’t lose his job and came back to work after two weeks of recovery, using only one hand.

“This is the best place somebody could want to work,” he says. “They treat you good, there are good benefits, and all the people who work here are great.

Happy 15th anniversary, Gary Benton!