The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

December 18, 2013

Gomez made the world taste better

(Continued)

"I learned a long time ago," he said, "you can't teach pride."

He likes putting out a quality product and doing it efficiently.

His job has been, in a sense, to overcome obstacles. There could be a shortage of cans, a broken machine, a storm in Kentucky that keeps the cardboard from making it to Ottumwa. During a tour of the plant, Gomez said customers don't want to know why their favorite pop isn't on the shelf. There are no good excuses for disappointing customers, he said.

"He handles stress very well. He can step back and analyze [a problem] without getting emotional," explained Murray. "He's a rock."

Bob Gomez is the type of man who would win the lottery and still come to work, ready to work, until they found a replacement, Murray said.

"That's loyalty," the boss said, adding that before retiring, Gomez "gave me one year's notice. Who else does that? He's an amazing guy."

Gomez is an Iowa farm boy from way back, he said. When the local bottling plant near Des Moines needed workers in the early 1960s, a friend of his dad called.

"Someone knew I was one of 19 children, so they must have figured, 'There's a pretty good labor pool.' I worked eight years as a union production employee."

He worked, but coming straight from an Iowa farm, he said, he had something of an advantage. He was told it'd be tough to toss the 20-pound wooden cases of soda around, but compared to throwing hay bales, that was nothing.

After eight years on the line, Gomez moved into management. He's been managing for 41 years. He likes what he does, he said, which is the only way someone can stick around so long. During his first 34 years, he helped produce more than 10 million cases of soda per year. For the last 15 years in Ottumwa, that number was above 30 million cases per year. The math says that's just over 820 million cases of pop. Murray said he feels comfortable saying Gomez has passed the point where he's assisted with the production of one billion cases of soda. That, Murray agreed, is a lot of pop.

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National