Mike Ormond never knew what hit him.
When I found the 62-year-old laborer who works for Lamp Inc., an Elgin-based construction company, he was glowing over the goodies he'd just received from OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville.
Tom Roeser, owner of OTTO Engineering, threw a surprise party for Ormond a few weeks ago at the company, recognizing him for providing stand out service during the three-year renovation project Lamp has been doing at OTTO.
Roeser invited the Lamp crew and executives from both companies to delight in Ormond's glory. Ormond received a certificate, a cake with his visage and two $100 gift cards from OTTO -- one to Home Depot and another to a Sycamore restaurant. May 27, the day of the party, was dubbed "Mike Ormond Day."
"Oh gosh, I'm overwhelmed," Ormond said. "I never worked for a company ... that would ever do anything like this."
OTTO has buildings more than 100 years old and the renovations should be finished this summer. OTTO, a family business, makes joysticks, control switches, grips and its own line of communications accessories.
Its 50th anniversary is July 1 and the company will be celebrating with an open house on June 25 and a private dinner with 250 select leadership and customers later on.
Meanwhile, it is Roeser's belief that recognizing employees helps boost morale.
"Everyday, (Ormond) had a positive attitude and worked at the same hard speed from start to finish," Roeser said. "He's a union laborer. There was no stigma of 'slow down, you're working too hard.'"
Ormond, an Elgin resident, is "beyond dependable" and typically starts his shift early and leaves late, said Jerry Skowronski, OTTO's facility manager. Ormond refuses to take all of the credit.
"It's more everybody working together that makes me look good," he said.
• Lenore Adkins covers Carpentersville, Huntley, the Dundees and Hampshire. To reach her, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter and Facebook or call (847) 608-2725.