Category Archive: Career Climbers
Bob Kester is the General Manager for San Antonio, TX.
Bob’s career with Delta Steel spans six decades and eight U.S. Presidents. Bob has held many positions, all at the San Antonio facility. Starting in 1979 , Bob took a summer job with Delta Steel as a loader for a summer job and he forgot to leave. To say he has seen it all would be an understatement. Back in those days the location was known as MetalSales, which was owned by Delta Steel – Houston. At the time there were already 2 Roberts employed so his supervisor nicknamed him Bob, which has endured as long as his summer job – 44 years. Steel runs in the family with his father working for a fabricator and his mother as HR Manager for what is now known as CMC Steel Seguin.
As Bob was looking to head back to college at the end of summer of 1979, the general manager made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. In 1980, he moved into the office performing inventory duties, trucking and some purchasing, Bob was promoted to Sales Representative where he would stay for the next 16 years. Orders in the 80’s were sent via fax or over the phone, handwritten and hard copies for work orders sent to the shop. In 1996, Bob was promoted to assistant general manager. Bob’s new role made him responsible for watching the inventory, proofing all the sales orders before they went to the shop, overseeing invoicing and even purchasing office supplies. Eventually he also began forecasting and purchasing inventory.
Current Day-to-day as General Manager
Being the general manager gives Bob the ability to contribute to the overall team goals. He likes working with the folks in San Antonio that are career employees, meaning those that truly enjoy the business. His focus has been evaluating his team and ensuring that he has the right people in the right positions to ensure success. Bob and his operations manager have been on the same team for most of their careers. “I’ll walk away satisfied that I did my best.”
Delta Steel has gone through many changes over the years. From new computer systems and automation, to employees, safety programs, capital investments and even ownership, he still enjoys the art of the sale and continues to manage some key accounts. His career has allowed him to meet and work with some outstanding folks in the industry and build life-long friendships, “I’m truly blessed!”
“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” – Winston Churchill
Bob enjoys deer hunting and saltwater wade fishing. Just ask to see his office… “I give a Big Shoutout to my wife of almost 38 years for putting up with the long hours and the many days and nights I was away from home working.”
Thank you Bob for a long and storied career with Delta Steel!
Tony Rodriguez is the Assistant Operations Manager for Fort Worth, TX.
Tony arrived at Delta Steel – Forth Worth soon after High School graduation in 2007. Having been with us for 15 years now, he has accumulated a lot of experience and is the right hand man for the Operations Manager. Tony’s career with the company began in the warehouse when he worked as a parts cleaner for the processing department. Soon after in 2008 Tony began running the cranes on second shift.
Career Growth at Delta Steel
In 2008 Tony began running the plasma and oxy fuel burning machines on first shift. Learning the new machinery required him to spend nights with another operator and then ultimately moved to training with a supervisor on first shift. Eventually he mastered the job and stayed in the processing department for the next ten years, also adding leadman to his resume. Leadman added the responsibility of doing the majority of the burning for his shift and worked close with the following shift. Additionally he was required to train other operators and ensure that the shift’s processing goals were on task for the day. In 2018 he became the burn supervisor for Fort Worth where Tony would turn his eye to more quality control efforts after processing was completed. He would inspect work and finalize loads to ensure the highest level of workmanship by his department.
Current Day-to-day as Assistant Operations Manager
Tony handles many of the same task as ops manager and many times leads the safety toolbox talk, an all important step in preserving the culture which has made our Delta Steel facilities so successful in their safety program. Additionally he takes on the responsibilities for the shop personnel, including hiring, house cleaning initiatives and communication with shift supervisors. He works hard to engage the shift supervisors and staff to participate in the discussions by asking them to bring topics to talk about.
“The safety of my people is priority number one. I don’t ever want to have to make a phone call to someone’s family.”
The mission for the operations of the facility is to foster an environment of trust where the employees feel safe to talk openly about safety issues and create an atmosphere where they want to come to work and work safely. The safety talks conducted are also meant to bring up the near misses so all the shifts can learn from them.
Tony enjoys 12″ slow-pitch softball and old cars. He is currently restoring a 78′ C10 pickup by doing all the engine and brakes himself. His goal is to create something he can drive on Sundays. He also loves spending time with his four children, 2 boys and 2 girls. Tony eyes the future with Delta Steel and one day would like to become Operations Manager.
Congratulations Tony! We look forward to a long and storied career with you!
Ray Hayward is the Operations Manager for Cedar Hill, TX.
Ray is no stranger to steel, having worked for another Reliance Family Company for several years prior to coming over to Delta. His experience also spans into the flat rolled side of the business driving yard trucks, operating overhead cranes, running saws and fulfilling orders. Ray was looking for something more stable and that could offer him piece of mind and longevity as a career choice. Ray began his career with Delta Steel in September of 2019 as a Lead man on 3rd shift which quickly turned into Shift Supervisor only a month later.
Career Growth at Delta Steel
Delta Steel – Cedar Hill and Ray have grown side-by-side over the last few years. The facility has enjoyed a new office renovation and new equipment additions. “Cedar Hill has the newest and most advanced cutting laser out of all of the Delta locations and our maintenance crew has done and outstanding job keeping us running smoothly” The safety program at Delta has enjoyed a lot of success as well. With daily meetings with the shift supervisors and other department managers, Cedar Hill is safe environment for everyone that walks through our doors.
“I want to be as safe as possible and you to go home the same way you showed up for work that day!”
Current Day-to-day as Operations Manager
When asked what his aspirations and goals are Ray responds that he wants “us to be more profitable and do it safely.” Ray is invested in the success of not only Cedar Hill but also the people that work for him at the facility. He looks to cultivate a professional workplace where he can facilitate the advancement of his staff. Ray wants an environment that creates an open and collaborative dialog between all departments for the betterment of everyone in Cedar Hill. “I want to be the guy that makes Cedar Hill the place that people want to work at.”
He notes that being the Operations Manager allows him to think creatively, be tempered, calculate his moves and accomplish his goals. He has learned how to work in a collaborative environment that isn’t stagnant and always offers challenges. “Everyday is different and I like that!”
Ray is a movie fan and enjoys watching the Marvel and DC Comic flicks with his family in his spare time. He also loves being able to put extra time into his home and schedule trips with his family.
“Communication is Key”
Congratulations Ray! We look forward to all the amazing things you will do in your role and look forward to a future with you at Delta Steel, Inc!