One of the highlights of walking the halls of the Blentech office is hearing the boisterous laugh of DuWayne Geigle, Blentech’s Shop Foreman. DuWayne, or as he is affectionately called by the Blentech team, Geigle, has been with Blentech as one of the original team members when Blentech was founded in 1986. This week we are celebrating his time with Blentech and his recent retirement on July 15th, 2022 after an amazing 36 years of service.
Duwayne started as a welder in 1978 at Custom Stainless and eventually moved into the Welder Foreman and later, Shop Foreman roles. Then in 1981, Custom Stainless became CSE. In 1986, Darrell Horn (current Chairman and Owner) started Blentech and DuWayne was one of the employees who stayed on. Back in 1986 when there were approximately 15 Blentech employees, with most being in the factory. Now we have grown to over six times that with DuWayne overseeing the factory production for the past three and a half decades.
It is no shock that DuWayne is such a longstanding and hardworking employee. A wonderful storyteller, he shared recently about his experiences growing up. “Mom taught us the value of hard work. As a kid, every Saturday before we’d go out and play we’d line up at 8 am and pick chores out of a hat. If we had to clean the floors we’d get on our hands and knees with a rag, no mop!” And that dedication certainly showed in his work – he is thorough, detailed, and also ensures the job is done right. He also encourages and inspires others to work hard and do their best too.
Over the last few weeks as we’ve shared stories of how DuWayne has motivated, inspired and encouraged us. Those who have worked with him for many years shared some great quotes and anecdotes with us. Doug Duncan, Service Technician, shared with us the story about when he was first hired by DuWayne to work in the Blentech factory over 15 years ago. DuWayne ensured Doug that he could start with Blentech right after being hired so he wouldn’t be long between jobs. “Duwayne is a great guy. He has always led with compassion and concern for his workers. His care for people’s personal lives has always been present. He has always gone the extra mile to accommodate the issues we all have in our lives. Duwayne cares about the individuals that have worked for him. He will always be appreciated for what he has done for me.”
Whether it was him formally chatting in his office on a project, being called over to someone’s desk for a quick question, or just over a lunch, game of cards or break time interaction, DuWayne was always willing to answer questions about any and every project. It was no shock to anyone when he stopped on his way out the door on his last day to answer questions about a project from 34 years ago!
The impact that DuWayne Geigle has had on Blentech in both his work in production, as well as his positive impact on the entire Blentech team as a warm, caring leader who listened, joked, laughed and mentored brings so much joy to all who worked with him. Thank you DuWayne for your dedication to Blentech and congratulations on your retirement!