Judy Gonzales is retiring this month after 37 years of service with Therma. She began her career in November 1981 in the accounting department, balancing the bank statements and managing the books. Her role quickly expanded. When Therma added its service department, Judy was tasked with record keeping and managing our technicians’ service tags. She eventually took on word processing for Therma, a very exciting time because the typewriters were so advanced. Therma’s adoption of cutting edge technology has always extended well beyond the fab shop walls.
Later in Judy’s career when Therma’s cafeteria opened at the Ringwood office, she helped out by working as a cashier during lunch. Sometimes, Judy chipped in by serving food, which she recalls was some of the busiest and challenging work she’s done at Therma. She also added working in payroll to her host of other responsibilities. At the time, Therma used paper time cards with perforated sections for tracking labor hours that needed to be billed to separate job numbers. During her first week in payroll, she was told not to worry about keeping any of the timecard tabs so she threw them all away as she logged the information. She soon found out how important those sections were for record keeping, and she never made that mistake again!
When computers were first introduced in the office, Judy remembers how hard Therma’s original programs were to use and the struggle that comes with going digital for the first time. Software doesn’t quite behave like a real sheet of paper.
Judy has been a part of almost every department over the last 37 years, and if you hang around her office it’s obvious. Every few minutes someone else pops in to ask about someone or something they need help with, and Judy happily offers her assistance.
On top of all that, she assisted the auto shop with tracking the sales and status of all of Therma’s vehicles which now total over 350. Don DeRego, Therma’s former auto shop manager, remembers that “Judy always made me look very good by keeping everything in order. When asked how we kept up with all of the registrations, I was very quick to point out who really did all the work. Judy has nothing but kind words for everyone. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a kind and caring person. I wish Judy the very best in her retirement and future. I’m glad I had this opportunity to pay tribute to such a wonderful individual.”
Judy’s favorite part of working at Therma has been seeing so many people start and finish their careers here. Judy says one of the things that makes Therma so special is how often people step up to take on work outside their normal job description. Therma has and always will feel like family. “Over the years Judy has become a good and loyal friend. I’ve enjoyed working with her and am always impressed with her kindness and patience. Judy’s impeccable record keeping and understanding of Therma’s operations have made her an invaluable resource to everyone in the company,” gushed Kathy Parrette, Director of Client Services.
Just because Judy’s retiring doesn’t mean she’s slowing down! She’s going to be spending most of her time with her young granddaughters who she watches daily and who do a great job of keeping her on her toes. Judy also plans to travel often including visits to her son in North Carolina and her extended family in Washington State.
Being the active person that she is, Judy has no plans of sleeping in or being idle. She’s looking forward to having the option to sleep an hour later if she wants to, but she likes getting up early to greet the day.
Sharon Smith, who has worked alongside Judy for years, said, “From the moment I met Judy I knew we were going to be lifelong friends. Her caring and compassion for her family and friends is extraordinary. She has great knowledge and humor and is a great sounding board if you have a problem. She listens and is always willing to help you in any way she can. She is very thorough in her work and ‘Judy’s way’ assures everything is fully documented. She has a heart of gold and we will truly miss her.”