“Harry has just been a model team member.” These words, expressed by Team 1 Plastics’ Co-Owners and Engineering Manager, speak volumes of the kind of worker that Engineering Specialist Harry Martin has been while with the company for the past nine years. “He has done everything we ask him to do, works well with others, and has been a huge asset to us,” describes Team 1 Co-Owner and President Craig Carrel. “He will be missed.” Additionally, Engineering Manager Dave Seedorf explains, “I never had to worry about what he was doing or whether he was working or not. He was low maintenance, reliable, and dependable. Harry brings a lot of things to our team’s attention. He is great with detail and has been particular about things that have helped us a lot.” For example, there was an instance some years ago when Harry noticed multiple mistakes made by a customer’s draftsman on a blueprint. He was asked to join a meeting with the customer to help them work through these mistakes. In the end, the customer was grateful for Harry’s attention to detail and thanked him for the corrections.
Before hiring in as an Engineering Specialist at Team 1 Plastics nine years ago, Harry had quite the journey; 27 years at the Hayes-Albion Foundry, ultrasound testing, construction work, and even attending the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 2013, a friend from his church was working at Team 1 and helped to open the door for his hiring.
From the beginning, Harry had a good feeling about Team 1 Plastics. He recounts the day of his interview, “I knew if I got the job, I would enjoy it because the interviewers were very nice.” One of those interviewers was Co-Owner and Vice President Gary Grigowski. Harry could sense the positive environment that was fostered by Grigowski during the interview. Additionally, he remembers meeting Co-Owner and President Craig Carrel for the first time, assuring “I knew he was a good guy, and I knew it was going to be a good place.” After his hiring, Harry was surprised to see another familiar face from church; his direct supervisor Dave Seedorf. Naturally, having multiple familiar faces at work helped his transition to the company easier.
Harry has truly enjoyed his time at Team 1 and assures, “This place has created an environment that is here to help. You don’t hear ‘that isn’t my job.’ I credit Craig and Gary for developing that environment here. It is no wonder they keep getting the Best Places to Work awards because they work hard at creating a positive environment.”
Last week, Team 1 Plastics held a luncheon in the break room of their production facility in Albion, Michigan. Many Team Members were in attendance to honor Harry’s time at Team 1 and bid him farewell before his last scheduled day; Friday, May 13. In addition to a meal and his favorite Hungry Howie’s chocolate chip cookies, Harry was presented with a nine-year plaque for his service to the company and a Customized Electric Branding Iron Gift Set by Rockler. This branding tool for woodworking includes a voucher that can be redeemed to create a personalized logo, allowing Harry to “sign” the bottom of all his finished pieces.
Click on the gallery below to view photos from the luncheon.
When asked what his plans are for retirement, Harry replied “traveling and chasing grandkids.” Having three grandchildren, that is a task that will be sure to keep him busy. As for traveling, Harry and his wife have big plans for seeing the world. “We would love to visit Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.” Additionally, their son-in-law and daughter lead annual trips to their church-sponsored school in South Africa. Harry and his wife would love to attend at least one of those trips in the future. As Team 1 sends Harry off to travel the world, they have one final message:
Thank you for your years of service to this company, Harry.
May you enjoy your travels and find success wherever your retirement may take you!