Goodbye Richard, thank you and good luck
As Richard Havice becomes the first to retire from ICW, his absence will be felt but the impact he made will remain.
By Warren Blenkush
It’s been quite the ride at ICW for Richard Havice, but after 13 years “it’s quittin’ time,” says the purchasing manager who will retire at the beginning of March.
“Watching this company go from 20 people to about 75; it’s grown a lot,” says Havice, who is the first employee to retire from ICW.
Havice grew up in Central Point and has lived in the area most of his life but his family’s roots date back much further in Southern Oregon. He’s the fifth generation of a pioneer family – Peyton Bridge in the Prospect area overseeing Lost Creek Lake is named after his great grandfather.
In early adulthood, Havice knew he wanted to make his impact on the world by protecting our country and joined the Air Force. When he was at about the 10-year mark in the service, a family tragedy brought him back home to Southern Oregon.
Since then, Havice has worked in mills, construction, private investigation and he ran his own company before making his final stop here at ICW.
After interviewing with Shawn Grady in 2005, Havice landed the job as an assembly worker, which satisfied his urge to stay active and get his hands dirty. But as roles changed and with all the moving parts of an expanding company, a spot for purchasing manager opened up and Grady was first to tap Havice on the shoulder.
“I didn’t want anymore management jobs. No more corporate. None of that. I didn’t want to get involved. But then Grady talked me into it,” says Havice.
“It was more of a gut feeling than anything,” says Grady on choosing Havice for the position. “It was his ethics, his reliability, his honesty, his loyalty, not only to me but to the company. He has all the good traits.”
Grady’s decision proved to be a good one because as a manager, Havice was instrumental to ICW’s Kanban system, changing how the company handles its inventory and was a big contributor in setting up the company’s safety committee.
“He was always good about getting the best prices and we have a unique relationship with our vendors,” Grady adds. “That’s because we’re good to them. He’s the one that laid all that out. He’s a good guy and I’m going to miss him.”
Fortunately for ICW, Havice says the position he will leave behind will be left in the accomplished hands of fellow purchasing agent Bobby Wilson.
“It’s not an easy job and Bobby has bitten off a lot, but he’s handled it very well,” says Havice. “All the departments around here are your customers and if you don’t do your job, no one else can do theirs.”
Now that he’s a free man, Havice will spend much of his time relaxing with his wife on their five acres of property. He’ll have all the time in the world to go hunting, fishing, visit his two granddaughters and travel. He and his wife enjoy taking their houseboat or fifth-wheel RV camper out and vacationing locally, as well as around the world. Some of the Havices’ destinations in recent years have included Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Scotland, England, Mexico, Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.
With all the memories he’s collected and relationships he’s built up over his 13-year career at ICW, Havice has too many experiences to recall but some seem to standout in his mind more than others.
“It’s all been pretty good but I think working for Jim and Delphine Hunter has been a real delight. It’s rare that you can find people like that to work for. I think Kelly and Stephanie have been the perfect replacement for them and I wish them all the success in the future.”
Havice’s dedication and hard work, as well as his dry, off-the-cuff sense of humor will be missed but he leaves ICW in better shape than he found it.
A job well done, Richard