New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 15, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
HeraldZ$ltung, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, October 15, 1991 Page 5 *Success Stories !
A LOOK AT SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES IN NEW BRAUNFELS AND COMAL COUNTY
‘Hunter Team’ enjoys work, play
TXI Cement Co.
By OAVIO BULLENS Editor and PuMlshtr
Teamwork I#)the key word ai the TXI Cement Co. Hunter Plant.
“People arc the key,” says Plant Manager J. Lynn Davis, who has been with TXI for 20 yearn.
“We do a good job at working as a team," Davis goes on. “These people work hard together and they play hard together.''
That team spirit began to develop when the Hunter Plant opened in 1980. That opening was not an easy process, he recalls. "We opened in December of 1979 and it was July of 1981 before we staned running the plant instead of it running us.... This type of plant was very different from anything else our company had. But the persistence of our employees paid off. It was a matter of sticking to it and never saying can't."
Most of the plant’s employees are from New Braunfels with the next greatest number hailing from San Marcos and the balance from the area around the two communities. Many are involved in community activities and participation is IOO percent in the annual United Way drives.
Hospitality is another key word at Hunter. The plant is always open for tours and many groups come through during the year.
The plant is located between San Marcos and New Braunfels on Hunter Road. The first thing that strikes a visitor to the plant is that, unlike most industrial settings, its atmosphere is “comfortable."
The guard at the gate greets visitors like he cares.
Inside the plant, people wearing hard hats and jeans smile and say hello to each other and to visitors. A group of workers laugh together as they walk from one part of the facility to another.
All of that is evidence of the plant’s focus on teamwork, maintains Administrative Assistant Frances Norris, a TXI employee for 31 years. Another indication of the effectiveness of the teamwork concept, she says, is the plant’s very low rate of turnover.
“We like to think that, when people get up, they want to come to work," she says. “Often the people who are off will call in and see if they are needed when they hear the kiln is down."
Productivity is high at the plant due to this commitment and a lot of hard work, but its employees play a lot, too. They have made up three bowling teams and a softball team. together they stage a fall picnic called Hunicrfest that sees employees “slaying up half the night cooking the meal and everybody bringing a lot of good stuff to eat," says Norris. Committees organize fall and spring golf and fishing tournaments and an Easter egg hunt in the plant’s park (“J. Lynn gets to be the Easter Bunny," grins Norris.) There’s a catered family picnic in the park in June and a dinner at the T-Bar-M for employees and their spouses at Christmas.
Teaming up to do their jobs in best way possible are TXI Cement Co. employees, from left in photo at left, Joe Vela, repairman welder; Jerry Eastwood, repairman welder; Fred D. Child, maintenance supervisor; and Juan Luna, machinist. Another type of "team" pre-valent at the Hunter plant are committees like the one that oversees participation in the work of United Way of Comal County. Its members include, standing from left, Jerry Aguirre, production; Steve Meurin, mechanical maintenance; James Rivera, distribution; and, seated, Mike Voss, electrical maintenance; and David Sansing, financial manager. (Photos by Annelies Schlickenrieder)
Another area of excellence is the plant's safely record, which has been recognized by state and local
agencies as being outstanding in the industry. The pjann lng Committee for Hunterfest, an annual event for plant employees and their families, includes,
And the plant’s excellence is recognized within its standing from left, Sharia WekJner.Lori Huff, Sam Delgado, William P. Brown, James Ross, Rene Garcia, parent corporation. Larry Carpenter and Kevin Rowcliffe. Seated at front is Karen McDonald.
Its focus on teamwork has made it so successful that corporatc-wide supervisor training sessions are held at the Hunter Plant.
Though the very nature of its product would seem to preclude anything but a stereotypical industrial setting, this is a clean plant. Its great expanses of lawn are green and mowed, and bluebonnets and other wildflowcrs bloom throughout the plant and alongside its roadways. Orcat care has been taken to protect the natural environment and deer and other wildlife can often be seen in the plant.
“People ure proud of the plant and they take good care of it — not just the grounds, but the equipment as well," Norris says.
That pride feeds on itself, earning the plant a place — in full color — on the cover of the world trade publication "Cement Review," as well as letters from international visitors who remark that it is the best plant they've seen. Such recognition can only build the pride that earned it in the first place.
“We generally open with a dinner and people from the plant make every effort to make the visitors feel at home. There’s a lot of kidding around,” says Davis. "The next day,” he continues, “those visitors arc amazed that people who play so well together can also work so effectively together — which is evident when they lour the plant and sec how well it is maintained and operated."
And, inroughout the training period, employees of the Hunter Plant sec to it that the visitors are comfortable, determining their personal interests and then spending their own evenings going tubing or scuba diving with them or taking them to San Antonio’s River Walk.
The plant’s employees have come to be known throughout TXI as The Hunter Team, a name of which they arc very proud.
“Everything we do, we try to emphasize teamwork,” Norris says. “We know dial it can never be a policy or a code of rules. It can only be an idea or a way of looking at the world, so to speak. We take pride not only in what we have achieved here, but pride in knowing we have achieved it together. Our motto is Excellence Through Teamwork.”
It’s a motto to which the Hunter Team’s members pay far more than lip service.
The New Projects Committee — always on the lookout for ways to boost the involvement of the “Hunter Team"— are. standing from left, Rick Morris, Glenn Hudson, Harlow Hardwick, Jeffrey Meurin and. seated, George Gonzales, David Adams and Joe Perez.EDITOR’S NOTE:
Success Stories It an “advertorial" feature; stories about successful businesses which are sponsored in part by the businesses themselves. Success Stories will appssr in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung through Tuesday, Oct. 8. Successful New Braunfels and arse businesses which will be featured In the series include:BECKER MOTOR COMPANY
547 South Seguin • New Braunfels • 625-3463CENTURY 21 NORRIS REALTY, INC.
604 S. Seguin • New Braunfels • 625-8061DON MAXWELL CHEVROLET
386 W. San Antonio St. • New Braunfels • 625-3451HOFFMANN AGENCIES
447 S. Seguin Ave. • New Braunfels • 625-7502KRAFT MOBILETEL
679 S. Seguin St. • New Braunfels • 629-7466KRUEGER MAZDA
South IH-35 • New Braunfels *620-1186 I
Snims 6 Weld Roads P.O. Box 311507 • New Braunfels • 625-7338
yTXI CEMENT COMPANY
Rf. 8 Box 109 • New Braunfels • “Excellence brough team work*