As I think back on 2023, one of the real highlights was honoring Jim Brown, a welder in our factory, as we held a joint celebration of his 50th anniversary with the company and his retirement. It got me to thinking about the incredible number of people who have devoted so much of their adult life to our company and how we recognize that loyalty.
A number of years ago, we created a plaque which hangs with pride in the company’s lobby. It recognizes those who have achieved 25 years of continuous service with our company. To date, we have 108 people who have reached that milestone in our company’s 95 year history. These range from our founder, Max Haas in 1953 to our latest addition, Wendy Schmidt who leads our HR department. The plaque always generates comments by the people who visit us.
We honor our 50 year employees with personalized plaques in our cafeteria
For 50 years, we knew we wanted to do something even more notable. We also recognized that many of our employees no longer enter the building through our lobby so we wanted to create a significant remembrance where all employees would see it but often guests as well. In guiding us, we though about the phrases we often use for long term employees such as “your legacy will always live on here” or “your accomplishments will never be forgotten.” We decided to rename our cafeteria (which is used by all employees) as the Half Century Club Cafeteria and then we developed individual plaques for each person who accomplished that milestone citing key highlights of their career and including an etched photo.
While we currently have 3 members of the “club”, (Alvin “Bud” Haas, who led the company from 1957 through the mid 1990’s, Blair Haas, our current CEO, in addition to Jim Brown), there are more waiting in the wings. We currently have 2 employees who will join the club in 2024, 1 who celebrated 45 years in 2023 and 5 at 44. The wealth of experience and knowledge represented by these long-term team members has truly been a driving factor in our being able to thrive in an ever-changing business climate and tech industry for 95 years. We look forward to adding ever more plaques to our Half Century Club.