Happy Retirement, Leonard!
Jul 15, 2015 | by Lisa Schaefer
Long Painting Company has had the pleasure of working with Leonard Dolan for the past 34 years. The time has come for Leonard to leave us for retirement–something he very much deserves. Mike Cassidy, Long Painting’s former owner, President, and currently Chairman of the Board, wrote up a few good words about a great man. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Mike!
Wow, the day has arrived. 34 historic, wonderful, growing, and memorable years have passed. Leonard, one of the primary faces of Long Painting, is retiring. From the day he started, he has not stopped being the “gold stripe” on our finish.
Leonard and I have shared many, many hours together, whether we were plotting manpower needs, customer issues, how to do whatever on whatever job, or simply swapping stories while road bound. Leonard always emphasized how important it was for him to retire on his own terms. Mission accomplished, champ. Well, kind of. What are you supposed to do when we won’t let you leave? Clearly, it is a testament to your years of dedicated service.
Paula, you have played no small part in these 34 years. I am sure there were many months we had Leonard for more hours than you did. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, as well as everyone at Long Painting. For those unfortunate souls who have not met this lady, let me say she has always been my anticipated highlight at the Christmas Party. (She scared me the first time.) If you looked up “unbridled excitement” in the dictionary, you’d likely see a picture of Paula winning a raffle ticket drawing–priceless dancing and excitement. Had the advance of YouTube been present in these years gone by, I predict her reactions would have been viral in mere moments.
Leonard, as a retired husband, you just became Paula’s full-time job. God be with you both.
It is often said that if Leonard were cut, he would bleed Long Painting blue. He has been mission-bound since he came on board as a journeyman painter in January of 1982. As I walked down memory lane these last several months–contemplating Long Painting without Leonard, reflecting on his accomplishments–I kept uncovering a common theme about him. One that is obvious, yet rarely mentioned is he was one of the best at fostering a team spirit. Leonard always worked toward the betterment of the group as a whole–no matter what.
Oh, he would complain now and then–”now” was generally early morning and “then” was around late afternoon or early evening
Leonard was always fair, firm, and consistent with anyone that ever worked for him. You always knew where he stood. He has been integral in our grown and continued development from 1982 until now. Nothing is more constant than change; an earned mantra here at Long Painting. Leonard has seen change, reacted to change, created change, and has been changed.
Our boom times were from 1988 to 2007. The sales department, and therefore the production department, lived in a year over year growth and development mode with a peak year in which Leonard managed field crews north of 300 painters. From ships, to plant chips, cheese plants, and assembly halls, low rises to high rises and a rather quaint 58,000 San Francisco residential dwelling–Leonard has done it all. It took him and Mike seven years and nearly $12,000,000 to paint a house, really, and we are still working there today.
Leonard should be proud of what he has accomplished, as well as what he is leaving behind. Leonard has cultivated the next generation of Long Painting. It is often said one of the qualities of leadership is heart. Leonard has that in spades–almost to a fault, if there is such a thing. Leonard’s selfishness has always been absent. Yes, he has always been dutifully selfish in the best interest of the Long Painting team. He has mentored too many to name. Some of our finest have passed through his hands–from Gary to Chris, just to name a few. I could go on, but know that Long Painting is forever in debt to him for those he has developed into production management positions during his years of genuine leadership and service.
In the wild, the lead goose flies at the head of the V, honking to ensure formation remains tight. In Leonard’s case, he has always been the lead goose. If you were not performing to the standards set, Leonard would let you know. You would undoubtedly hear some clear and unmistakable honking.
Leonard, we cannot thank you enough for more than 30 years of dedication, heart, and loyalty. We will miss you, though you will always be a part of our team.