Mark Woodson is celebrating his 15th year work anniversary at H.J. Holtz & Son Painting and Wallpapering this month. But for a slight detour, it could be a 20-year anniversary.
Fifteen years ago, Woodson was presented with a job opportunity that appeared to be even better than the position he had at the time. So he left Holtz & Son. Four years later, he was back. “I thought [the other job] was a better opportunity, but it wasn’t,” he says now. “I knew that I’d left a good company, and I knew what I could come back to: plenty of work, good-hearted people, a good family.”
Woodson first came to the painting company at the recommendation of his brother, who was already at Holtz & Son. He started as a helper, prepping paint projects. He trained to become a painter and is now one of the company’s foremen, responsible for managing painting jobs on-site. Woodson says he enjoys the camaraderie among Holtz staff. “We’re here to do whatever it takes to get [the job] done as a team,” he says.
Recently, one of the other painters moved into a different role in the Holtz front office. Though his former fellow painter is now, technically, his supervisor, Woodson says it’s been an easy transition. “He took the initiative to take that challenge on,” he says. “But it’s been great so far. We’re still friends.”
When another Holtz employee left the firm nearly a decade ago, Woodson stepped into the job of spray-painting cabinets, an in-house position that is crucial to ensuing that projects stay on schedule. He made the shift, he says, “because if it’s going to benefit the company, it’s going to benefit me.”
About 18 months ago, Woodson left the spray room to return to on-site projects. “It’s a little freer than when you’re in the shop,” he says, noting the variety of tasks and challenges that come with specific jobs. “I can do the job to the best of my ability with no one looking over my shoulder.”
Company president Rick Holtz says Woodson has a fun-loving personality that makes work easier. “He’s serious about what he does – and he’s really good at it – but he also wants to have a good time, and he wants the guys working with him to have fun, too,” Holtz says.
Woodson says he enjoys the atmosphere that the company has fostered. “It’s a family-oriented business,” he says. “It’s all about quality, trust and understanding. [Management] doesn’t separate itself from the employees. You don’t find that very often.”