Bob Flores Celebrates 46 Years at Shea Concrete
October 8, 2013 / News
46-year employee Bob Flores almost never got his start at Shea Concrete Products. He approached company founder Ernie Shea about a job in 1967 and was hired, although Shea didn't think much about his new addition. “I came home after my first day and I was covered in rust, form oil, and concrete,” said Flores, the company’s general manager. “And I said, ‘You know what? I think Ernie might be right, I might not last more than a week.’ And here I am, 46 years later.”
Like many, Flores worked his way up the Shea ladder. He oiled forms and constructed cages for their precast product line. Andy Griffith was still television’s leading program and the world’s first handheld calculator had been released. Shea Concrete was also in its early chapters of precast production.
“I think that the relationship we’ve had with our customers is probably the number one reason we’ve been so successful since that time,” Flores said. “Early on, I remember when we knew every customer by first name and people still talk about that.
The company’s ability for direct relations has changed due to growth and implementation of the sales force, but the same committed qualities are still applied, which is what keeps Flores coming back. He doesn’t consider himself semi-retired just yet, but he does take the winters off and works four days a week.
“I feel as though I’m still wanted and appreciated here and they’re not in any hurry to kick me out the door, which has been great,” Flores joked. “I love working here, I love coming to work everyday.”
The 46-year employee had been a foreman, plant manager, and truck driver before taking over as general manager for the last 20 years. Over that time span, Shea Concrete has taken major steps, with Flores and Ed Shea at the forefront. They worked in the Wilmington location where all manual pouring was done outdoors, rain or shine, which is a far cry from the company’s three production plants in present time. As Shea earned NPCA certification and acquired one precast company after another, quality and innovative products were introduced to keep up with differing economies and customer demand.
“The whole Shea family put everything back into the company to make it grow,” Flores explained. “The relationship that Ed Shea maintained with other precasters was important. When another precaster decided to either sell or go out of business, they would always contact Ed to see if he was interested in purchasing equipment or a customer base.”
What began as small-time precast facility in Ernie Shea’s backyard eventually grew into one of New England’s leading precast concrete corporations. Flores believes there’s still plenty to achieve, but knows the company’s humble roots still have a place.
“We’re always looking for new products, we’re always diversifying,” he said. “Customers can call us and we’ll do everything we can to make it right if there’s an issue or a problem, and I think that’s important to them.”