No one has worked longer for HPM than Ross Yamashita, and during the 43 years he’s been on the company’s payroll, he’s seen a lot of changes.
First off, there’s the computers.
“Didn’t always have them, y’know,” Ross says as he sits in his new digs at the recently renovated Kailua-Kona store. “We used to do lumber quotes by hand, on paper, with pencils. And it took days!”
Ross came to HPM on the advice of his father who was working at the Captain Cook Building Supply warehouse. HPM owned the company at the time and was still operating it under its familiar name, while Ross had just returned from a four-year stint in the Navy. He interviewed on a Thursday, came to work the next Monday, and never left.
From the warehouse Ross progressed to light office work, and from there he went to the tool department where he made sales and helped with repairs. Eventually he ended up in the ProService department. . . a job he obviously enjoys. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people,” he says when asked the secret to his staying power.
Ross’ bright eyes, youthful appearance and sunny disposition invite jokes about how, with four decades on the job, he must have started when he was 10. Make the joke and his eyes sparkle even more. Could it be working at HPM makes you younger?