The Man of Steel

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Posted Thu, Oct 25, 2012

SUPER-MAN: Hap Travis takes a second to smile for the camera. [Photo by Scott Corbridge]

DENVER — Being able to work in the same field for over 40 years is an accomplishment that many believe to be difficult and quite incredible. Yet John Hap Travis managed to do just that and continues to contribute to the very company that he has worked so passionately for.

Hap has been the plant manager of Eaton Metal Products in Denver for 41 years, where he has continued to enhance and develop a stronger company that has benefited Colorado since 1880. Eaton Metal specializes in steel fabrication, while Eaton Sales and Service focuses on oil equipment. The one thing that Hap hopes to accomplish when his time is through is for a new facility to be built somewhere close to Denver over the next five-10 years.

Over the 41 years that he has been with Eaton, there have been many things that Hap believes he can be proud of, yet what makes him a true employer is the accomplishments and success of his employees.

“Keeping employees long term,” Travis says, “because most of our employees are five years to 35 years.” Not only does Hap believe in keeping his employees for the long haul, but also he wants them well knowledgeable with what they are doing. “Training. Good training.” Something simple but will ultimately make every person better at what they do. “Room to learn and grow.” A mentor. According to Hap, that’s what he wishes that he would come to be known as with the employees that work for him.

Hap has worked with a variety of people at the company that where he has created a sense that other employees at Eaton know just the kind of guy that he is. Debbie Bennett, the manager of the engineering department has been with the company for 28 years and has come to know Hap over her time with Eaton.

“He is a very good person to have around, to keep things not too serious,” Bennett says. Hints that it doesn’t just have to be work, work, work, but instead let loose once in a while. Like it’s been said before, “all work and no play make Hap a dull boy. From a job standpoint, I’d say he has a unique way of getting stuff done but not always keeping you in the loop about getting it done, I’ve known him for so many years that I know that he’s gonna get something done.”

Years and experience is what he has on his side according to Bennett. “When he tells me something, I kind of read into it what I need to know.” Travis knows how to get the job done, it doesn’t matter how he gets it done he just does. “I trust in that.” “He is one of the best all-time story tellers…if you ever have him around you, you can count on a lot of good laughs from his story telling.” A way to end on a high note I believe.

A company like Eaton requires a lot of time, dedication and trust in order for it to continue to serve all its customers; and if the employees can become a family, it makes it that much better. That’s the feeling that Hap gives.

“Very dedicated to the company. Takes a lot of pride in his work,” says Ryan Fauilliaux, the purchasing manager and general manager of the Denver plant. “Communication lacks sometimes, likes to hold onto things not share a lot, but gets things done when it has to be. And knows how to deal with the guys in the shop to get the things done in a timely fashion.”

Ryan, who was hired by Hap 23-years ago hopes he opens up his shell and teaches somebody else what he knows before he retires. One can tell a lot about someone by the way that they communicate and deliver credible work in order to create an environment that everyone wants to be a part of. That’s what Hap does and we should all be so lucky.

From the time that he started working 41-years ago to today, Hap Travis has provided enthusiasm and commitment to create a work environment that most hope they could work in.

“He has a very distinct way with his thought process,” says Joanie Travis the office manager of Eaton. “We fall in step very well together.”

Over the course of 41 years that Hap has been with Eaton Metal Products, he has developed a personality that contains a key aspect to become any good leader, mentor or colleague: passion. Seeing how many view him as someone who will get the job done and making sure that others come before him proves that if you put in the time and perseverance to do all that you can, you can make a difference in a very big way. Hap Travis isn’t just an employee; he’s a man of steel with a heart of gold.

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About Scott Corbridge

Hey, my names Scott and I'm a big sports fan and an avid Broncos and Nuggets guy. I love the outdoors and writing on my own time. I hope that after college, I can become a sports journalist covering certain teams or sports; I want to write mainly like Woody Page, Mike Kliz, or Rick Riely.

View all posts by Scott Corbridge

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