Mark Woodson celebrated his 20th anniversary with H.J. Holtz & Son in April. But he’s actually been part of the Holtz painting team a little longer than that.
Woodson came to the company in 1999 upon the recommendation of his brother, who had been at the firm for a couple of years. The brothers were experienced painters, having learned the craft from their father, who taught painting at the Beaumont Learning Center in Goochland.
“I came right in and caught on,” Woodson says.

After about 18 months, Woodson decided to go out on his own. He had steady work … but not in the cold months. “In wintertime, it slows down a lot,” he says. “One of the benefits of [H.J. Holtz & Son] is steady work and a family-oriented business. They took me right back. Rick [Holtz]
said he never took me off the books.”

This time, he stayed. 

Now a painting foreman, Woodson says he is thankful for all he’s learned at the company over his tenure. He credits the Holtz emphasis on training and a collaborative approach that seeks to ensure every person on the team knows the right way to proceed, no matter what the task is at hand. 

“Everybody respects one another,” he says. “If you have a situation where you don’t know what you’re doing, everyone helps you learn how to do it. Nobody is going to tease you; everyone knows there’s nothing wrong with getting help. It’s part of the job. Everybody pitches in.”

Woodson appreciates the emphasis Holtz & Son puts on proper technique. “Prep work is the key to it all, as well as a nice paint job,” he says. “A lot of guys don’t understand the importance of prep work.

“I’m a real detail person,” he adds. “I like trim, all of that. Mostly, I love painting, period. I don’t really consider it a job, because I love doing it. It comes easily to me.”

In 2023, company president Rick Holtz invited Woodson and other longtime employees to a fishing trip originating in Nags Head, North Carolina. The group traveled 30 miles offshore in search of deep-sea denizens. “I had never been out on water like that in my life,” Woodson says.

“It was a trip to remember.”

And one earned, after many years.