By: Davies Hood, Induron President
Barry Peters is one of the best “hires” that I have ever made as a manager. For anyone who has ever been responsible for hiring and firing people, that statement says A LOT!
With a heavy heart, from both a personal and professional side, I would like to wish Barry a healthy, happy and long retirement. I first met Barry back in 1987 in the old Indurall Southside Paint Store located on 24th & 7th Avenue South on a Saturday afternoon. He was working by himself back in the warehouse when my father (owner of the company at the time) and I walked in and made ourselves comfortable behind the counter with a couple of cold Coca-Cola’s. Barry walked back into the retail part of the building to see two unknown faces behind the counter — a place they shouldn’t be. He immediately sized us up and, in his most authoritative voice, asked if he could help us. Knowing we were unrecognized as co-workers, we immediately introduced ourselves and effusively apologized. However, that first impression left an indelible image of someone who has always done-the-right-thing when presented with a surprise or a challenge.
Barry has also been a mentor to me personally. Back in the early 2000’s when he worked in a local paint store during a brief, but too long of a hiatus from Induron, I spent a week “shadowing’ Barry. I did this at my Dad’s recommendation because he wanted me to learn from “the best paint man in town.” I use the term “paint man” because of Barry’s unequalled color matching skills, knowledge of products and application techniques. However, I think the real reason I was sent to learn from him has more to do with how Barry treats customers, co-workers and vendors.
A few years after this mentorship, I had the opportunity to bring Barry back into the Induron family. We needed help in our Customer Service Department, which was in a bad place because of some long-term challenges and turnover. As soon as Barry rejoined the team, the entire company culture changed. I can honestly say that he personally turned a department 180 degrees around, and we now consider our Customer Service Department one of the very real strengths at Induron. We measure orders that are shipped correctly (in terms of color, quantity, material & fifo inventory turns) and on-time! Those results are routinely 100 percent for several quarters on end.
We are going to miss him here at Induron. When I say WE, I mean every single member of our sales team that is spread across the country, every single member of the management team, AND every single Induron employee, including many who have retired! I also include many customers, suppliers and distributors who have all worked directly with Barry in this WE. Barry is a truly good guy who embodies the Induron core values of Integrity, Respect, Reliability and Innovation.
I’m proud to share some comments and well wishes from a few members of our team who worked closely with Barry:
“I hope your next chapter in life exceeds your expectations. I will miss your humor, friendship and commitment to coworkers, customers and getting it done right.” -Jeff White, Executive VP and General Manager of Induron and Barry’s manager
“It is hard to describe the impact Barry has had on my success at Induron. I was the first salesperson hired by Induron outside of Alabama and its surrounding states. I was totally dependent on Induron’s inside sales team for any success I might enjoy. Low and behold, ALONG CAME BARRY! He became my right arm and my customers’ go-to contact at Induron. His ability to handle customers’ concerns and demands became legendary in the Northeast. I think they would much rather deal with him than with me and, for some, I became the guy copied in correspondence with Induron. Having an ‘inside salesman’ who also handled shipping is sometimes taken for granted – especially when it is done so flawlessly. BUT IT ALWAYS APPRECIATED. I know I speak for the rest of Induron’s outside sales team when I say, ‘Thank you, Barry, for all you have done to make our jobs, not only easier, but also possible. We are so glad Ricky is lucky enough to have you as his mentor.’ Best of luck in your new life!” -Tex Enoch, a 13+ years out-of-state Induron salesman whose relationship with Barry has almost been exclusively “long-distance”
“Barry I can’t believe you’re really going! Speaking for all of us at ‘corporate headquarters,’ we will miss you!! I’ve enjoyed working with you and appreciate your help, especially with all of my personal paint issues. I’ve always had confidence in your advice! Enjoy long rides on your Harley and peaceful strumming in the Chlorine Room. You’re a good one, and I know deep down under that rough, pessimistic exterior… is an old softy! Keep smiling!” -Donna Poe, Receptionist and Accounts Payable at Induron
“My good friend Barry. Like I’ve told you many times, thank you for everything! Thank you for being there every time that I needed you. I’ve learned a lot from every conversation we have had. When I am in Colombia, so far away from Induron delivering my paint, I always know that when I open the container you are a part of making my delivery process as simple as it can get. This is a result of your efficient and excellent work. Enjoy your retirement my good friend because you deserve it. -Sergio Correa, Induron’s partner/distributor in South America
Obviously, this man means a lot to me personally and to our company. Barry will be missed, but certainly not forgotten! We wish you the best in retirement, Barry!