600 Employees Buckle Up in 2018
The 38th annual R&S Belt Buckle Tour concluded in December 2018 with 600 full-time field and office team members across all regions receiving a commemorative R&S bronze belt buckle and a personal thank you and handshake from CEO Martin Sisemore and the executive team.The buckle design--selected through a companywide competition--was created by Blake Nielson, Field Engineer at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The 2018 buckle theme honors Ken Sletten, R&S’ esteemed co-founder who passed away in 2017. The buckle features a likeness of Ken wearing a hard hat, Ken’s name, the years of his life and the words “Mentor Innovator & Friend.”
Inaugurated in 1980, the Belt Buckle Tour is a highly anticipated R&S tradition that embodies aspects of R&S’ culture and history that fill employees with pride: our unwavering commitment to keeping our people safe, our equally strong commitment to quality and innovation, our founding values of integrity and honesty, our role in building some of California’s best recognized buildings and our standing as one of the most successful construction companies in the U.S.
To Scott Baxter, Superintendent, San Carlos, and a 40-year R&S employee who owns every R&S buckle ever created, the tour sends a powerful message that our company’s owners care about the individual and not just about the bottom line. “Historically, just before Christmas, the owners would visit the job site and personally shake everybody’s hand,” he says.
“I appreciate that current management continues these traditions and makes the same effort,” adds Scott. “All the senior staff are there. Some of these guys come from around the state to do this. They’ve made the effort to be there to shake your hand and say thank you for all your hard work, and they seem enthusiastic about it. That means a lot. I believe it’s important to them.”
The buckles have become collectors’ items. Walk through any R&S office or job site, and you’re bound to see individual collections of buckles displayed on desks, shelves or in shadowboxes on walls.
“Over the years, a lot of the messages on the buckles have been safety-related, which is a good reminder,” says Scott. “I see it as the company taking care of us.”
Team members at a jobsite in Silicon Valley gather for the belt buckle tour this past December.
Photography credit: Desmond Rodgers