Celebrating 100 years of service, Turner Industries’ pipe fabrication facility recently honored a large group of co-workers who each celebrated 20 years of service.
These employees have been with the company since Turner first opened its doors in 1999. Turner Industries does not offer jobs — it offers careers.
Turner Industries is successful because of its employees, and we take great pride in the fact we have so many amazing long-term employees.
Please meet five of our employees who are part of this group:
Leander Butler III
Painting Foreman Leander Butler, known as “Ray” to his co-workers, is originally from Plaquemine, Louisiana. Ray began his career with Turner as a helper.
Throughout the years, Ray also has worked as a blaster and currently holds the position of painting foreman in the coating department. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family and exercising with his son.
Major highlights in his life include the day he married his wife, the births of his children and his daughter’s college graduation.
“As a young man, Turner Industries gave me a chance to find stability, and for that I am forever grateful. I now have the opportunity to watch ambitious young people enter the industry and grow into hard-working successful adults.”
What is the best advice you have ever received? “Give your all in everything that you do and treat people the way you would like to be treated.”
What do you like most about Paris, Texas? “Paris is very similar to my hometown of Plaquemine, Louisiana. It’s felt like home since the day I arrived.”
What makes Turner different from other places you’ve worked? “Turner has a continuous focus on innovation, and the company’s willingness to change with the current times has allowed for their great success over the years.”
Billing Clerk DeAnn Anderson joined Turner as a receptionist. Back then, her children were young, and the hours worked great for her.
DeAnn has since moved on and is now a part of the billing department. Her children are grown, and she has a grandchild. When not at work, DeAnn spends her time enjoying life with her family.
“I love spending time with my husband, Terry, our two children, Alexis and Carson, and our precious granddaughter, Addie.”
What do you find most satisfying about your job? “I love a challenge and learning new things. In my job, things change from day to day, so even after 20 years, I still learn something new every day.”
What advice would you give people who aspire to work at Turner? “Learn as much as you can about every aspect of your chosen field.”
What is your personal motto? “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
What do you like most about Paris? “Paris is home. There is no place I’d rather be.”
Pipe fabricator James Cooper, who everyone calls “Buck,” started out with Turner as a tacker working nights. He eventually moved to days and after a while, his co-workers suggested he apply for a fabrication job.
“I didn’t think I was ready, but my co-workers encouraged me, so I finally did, and I have never looked back,” he said.
One of James’ most memorable jobs was the time he and co-worker Robert Wooten were given the job of shrink-wrapping pipe spools for a job being shipped overseas.
“To protect the spools from saltwater, it had to be shrink-wrapped. It was a big job and we worked 12-hours a day, seven days a week for 15 months. At one time or another, it flooded, it sleeted, it snowed, it was 115 degrees, but we got the job done,” he said. “That’s a job I’ll never forget.”
James is a big family man. He and his wife, Kimberly Cooper, who is his best friend, have four children and 12 grandchildren. They also have full custody of a 6-year old girl.
“I love my family. They are the most important thing to me,” he said.
What is your personal motto? “I like to say that ‘I know what side of the lake the picnic is on.’”
What do you find most satisfying about your job? “I have the opportunity to work with a lot of different materials and learn new skills every day. It also lets me provide a good life for my family.”
Johnny Holt is a pipe puller. His job is to pull pipe from the laydown-yard into the shop for the fabricators to work on. Before coming to work for Turner, Johnny was self-employed.
His job at Turner is mostly outside and that suits Johnny just fine.
“I like working outside. I have worked outside my whole life,” he said.
Three highlights of Johnny’s life are: getting married, having children and grandchildren.
When not at work, Johnny likes to hunt and fish and take care of his cows. He has about 400 acres of pasture land, most of which he owns and some of which he rents. This is where he has 50 head of mixed cattle that he breeds for calves which he sells. This also is where he goes fishing for bass and hunts deer and squirrel.
What do you like most about your job? “The people I work with.”
What is your personal motto? “Get the job done.”
What do you like most about Paris? “I have lived in Lamar County all my life. Paris has so many friendly people. I would not want to live anywhere else.”
Quality control coordinator Valarie Vanderburg started working at Babcock & Wilcox as a high school senior. This also is where her father worked until he retired in 1997. When the plant closed down in 1998, Valarie started working as a dispatcher for the Paris Police Department. But the job was always hectic and stressful.
“It wasn’t what I meant to do,” she said. “When Turner opened the fabrication shop back up in 1999, I jumped at the opportunity to work there. This is where I belong.”
What makes Turner different from other places you’ve worked? “Working at Turner is like working with family. I will never forget when I was going through chemo treatment, a group of fellow employees took up a monetary collection for me every week, so I could just go and buy take-out food and not have to worry about cooking on the days following treatment.”
What advice would you give people who aspire to work at Turner? “Show up and show out. Come to work every day and do the best that you can do.”
What would you like people to know about you? “I am an 11-year breast cancer survivor.”
What would be the title of your autobiography? “‘I Am Awesome.’”
What do you like best about Paris? “In Paris, we care about each other. It’s a small tight-knit community. When someone is in need, we all come together and help out. As a member of Turner’s volunteer organization, TEAM Turner, I am able to do a lot of good and that is important to me.”