“My godfather worked for Bennett & Bennett,” shares Joe Rivera/Operations Lead for GAR Bennett Selma. “He came to my Sanger High School graduation and told me ‘It’s time to get a job.’” The job was field installations for Bennett & Bennett and it was hard work. “We didn’t have the equipment like we do now. No dozers, just shovels.”
That shovel motivated Joe to work harder and in a short time he advanced from field installations to cement work, and in 1988 was promoted to a supervisor/salesman for the company. Joe explains his 48 years of success wasn’t achieved alone, “Gary Bennett and Scott Britten taught me everything in this business. Gary was the best; he was like a big brother to me. He would give you the shirt off his back. Scott taught me so much from the irrigation side of things.”
The brotherly love between Joe, Gary and Scott was apparent in 1974 when Joe joined the Army, “I served my country for two years and when I came home, they had saved my job.” A job he has always loved doing (even when he was working with a shovel). “I was able to travel the state, see different places and experience new things. Like today for instance: I started in Modesto delivering blueprints, stopped for lunch in Atwater, and when I’m finished, I’ll drive to Visalia to check on a crew.”
In chatting with Joe, you not only hear the love he has for his job but also the joy it brings him. “I’ve always loved working. In my spare time, my hobby is checking on job sites for fun. I don’t think I’ll ever retire.” We’re unsure if his wife Yolanda, their four children and seven grandchildren will agree on retirement, but as far as we’re concerned Joe can work at GB for as long as he wants it.
Happy 48th anniversary to Joe Rivera!