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A door closing

image Henry Vera shakes hands with Edward Kanning, former president of Dumas Hardware, retired.

SAN ANTONIO - When Henry Vera joined a friend assembling frames on the night shift at Dumas Hardware Company, he thought it would just be a quick way to earn extra pocket money. He had no idea the side gig would turn into a 43-year career at the company.





    Vera, now a senior vice president, is retiring. He has seen many changes since Dumas hired him full-time on July 7, 1975. He has had four different bosses (his first passed away within a week of Vera starting at the company). He has seen co-workers come and go. Technology, he says, has changed the most. Even his role changed; for the past 20 years, he took on an “outside” role and personally called on customers.
    “I’m going to miss the relationships that I’ve built with customers, end users and people that I’ve known; we’ve become friends,” he says. “I’ll also miss employees that have been here forever.”
    There is one thing he won’t mind seeing in the rearview mirror, however.
    “I won’t miss the commute – three hours of my time every day!” he says. “I used to get up at 5 am, but I told my boss when I hit 65 that I couldn’t handle the traffic anymore. I’m now 70 years old, and I need to take some time off for myself and enjoy a little bit of life.”
    To celebrate Vera’s retirement, the company hosted a barbecue Jul. 20 with family, friends and many whom Vera has met through work. Vera was grateful for the chance to say goodbye and to speak with everyone one-on-one.
    As for his retirement years, Vera has it all planned.
    “I have a little 10-acre spread at Pipe Creek and there is a lot of cleanup to do to make it presentable,” he says. “I also belong to a bass club and we fish different lakes every month. I’ll enjoy that more often now that I won’t be back at work tired.”
    He also plans to keep his original phone number just in case there are any questions he can answer.
    “If somebody calls, I’m willing to help any way I can!” he says. “My current boss, Greg Kanning, and his family that I work for are great people. This company has been good to me.”
    Dumas Hardware Company is located in San Antonio. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net