Painting foreman George Baker is a man of few words and steady demeanor. But a soft smile creases his face when he’s asked what he likes about painting.
“I like to look at my work [when I’ve finished a job] and say, ‘I’ve done that,’” he says. “You can see the results.”
When Baker joined the Holtz team in May 2008, he already had painting experience, including working at the Norfolk shipyard. A friend suggested he apply to H.J. Holtz & Son. When he did, he found a similar ethos.
“At the shipyard, inspectors checked everything,” he says. “They wanted a neat job, a clean job, the right way to do a job. That’s what it’s like here. We want everything to be perfect.”
Roughly a decade ago, Baker was asked to step into a foreman’s role, filling a temporary need.
“At the time, they were short-handed, so I said I’ll go ahead and serve as foreman for a while,” he says. “I’m still doing it,” he adds, smiling wryly.
The foreman role brings added responsibilities: maintaining a project’s schedule, managing unexpected situations, and communicating with the client and office staff. “You have to keep it all running,” he says.
In addition to finding satisfaction in a job well done, Baker enjoys the camaraderie found at H.J. Holtz & Son. “It’s a pretty nice atmosphere … with a variety of people,” he says. “Everybody does different things, and you can learn from everyone.”
Baker fondly remembers working with Dick and Geny Holtz, current company president Rick Holtz’s parents. “I could communicate well with them,” Baker says. “Rick is a pretty good owner; I like the company.”
Congratulations, George, on your 15-year anniversary!