Celebrating Nearly 30 Years of Dedication: A Tribute to Ramiro Montes


After nearly three decades of dedicated service, Ramiro Montes is retiring from ITC Manufacturing. As one of the longest-tenured employees, Ramiro has left an indelible mark on the company. In this tribute, we reflect on his remarkable journey, contributions, and the legacy he leaves behind.

Background and Early Beginnings

Born in Mexico, Ramiro’s journey to ITC Manufacturing began in 1995 after moving to the U.S.. After losing his job in California, a friend helped him secure a position at National Display in Arizona, which led to his eventual employment at ITC Manufacturing. Reflecting on his early days, Ramiro recalls starting at ITC’s first location, a small powder coating shop, working on powder coating furniture, chairs, fences, and more.

Early Days at ITC Manufacturing

When Ramiro joined ITC, the company was vastly different from today. He fondly remembers the bond he formed with the owner, Johnnie Caldwell. Johnnie would bring in food and drinks for everyone, telling them to stop working and join in. This happened twice a month, creating a sense of camaraderie and family among the team. Ramiro would jokingly call Johnnie “homeboy,” showcasing their close relationship.

Evolution of Roles and Contributions

Over the years, Ramiro’s role evolved significantly. He started as a Supervisor and held this title for 30 years constantly expanding his knowledge and capabilities. One memorable story was when Ramiro told Johnnie he didn’t have a car to come to work, and Johnnie handed him the keys and title to his spare car, showcasing ITC’s commitment to helping its employees succeed goes above and beyond. 

Changes at ITC Manufacturing

The company has grown and evolved since Ramiro started. Initially focusing solely on powder coating others’ products, ITC Manufacturing ventured into the world of manufacturing and into wire mesh. Ramiro’s experience and efficiency have played a crucial role in this transformation, ensuring the company adapted and thrived through the years.

Work Culture and Challenges

Ramiro thrived in ITC’s collaborative and challenging environment. He is known for his ability to identify inefficiencies in the facility and streamline operations. Ramiro attributes his success to making the correct decisions based on company needs.

Personal Insights and Reflections

What kept Ramiro motivated for nearly 30 years? “I love my job and am left to complete my tasks. As I approach retirement, I enjoy preparing things for ITC’s future,” he said. Even his family asked why he stayed so long, and he responded, “I don’t know, but Johnnie gave me something valuable when he hired me.”

Family Insights

Ramiro’s family includes his wife, his youngest daughter, who is 37, and his son, who is 42. He also has six grandchildren, ranging in age from 5 to 21, all of whom live in Phoenix. Ramiro humorously recounted, “A few years ago, [co-CEO] AriAnne asked if I had more Montes to work here, and I joked, ‘How many do you want?'”

Advice to Newcomers

To those just starting their careers at ITC Manufacturing, Ramiro advises, “First, see if you like the job. I love what I do, which has kept me driven and motivated for almost 30 years.”

Retirement Thoughts

Looking forward to retirement, Ramiro plans to travel. “I want to go to Mexico for 1-2 months, and in September, I plan to visit Costa Rica. After that, we’ll see,” he said. Despite his son’s suggestion that he does not work, Ramiro’s hard-working nature shines through.

Reflections on Career

Reflecting on his career, Ramiro is most thankful for Johnnie Caldwell and Joy Zavaleta-Caldwell and the opportunities they provided. “My connection with them has kept me dedicated,” he said. Despite his modesty, his coworkers already miss him, saying, “You haven’t even left yet, and I miss you already.”

Legacy and Farewell

Ramiro hopes to be remembered well at ITC. “It’s part of my life,” he joked, adding, “I might miss it too much and see if I can come back in 6 months to a year.” He assured his colleagues, “Even in retirement, I’m still here [for ITC Manufacturing] whenever anybody needs anything.”


Ramiro’s nearly 30-year journey with ITC Manufacturing is a testament to his dedication, hard work, and the positive impact he had on the company. We wish him all the best in his retirement and thank him for his incredible contributions.

Thank you, Ramiro!