Biz Buzz, Oct. 13, 2013
■ A mechanical engineer who moved to Grand Junction from Detroit 16 years ago has launched a cloud service for business documents and is asking local firms to participate in a pilot program that tests it.
Rick Houtris, principal in 2H Mechanical, a local mechanical engineering firm, created DocSavy in 2007 to help companies organize the huge amount of documents that they usually store in a filing cabinet, often forget and never use to their full potential, spokeswoman Katie Botock said.
Houtris claims DocSavy will streamline the processes of managing a business through the cloud, meaning company information is available everywhere and that there is no need to back up data or host a database, Botock said.
DocSavy provides document management, project accounting, purchasing, relationship management and asset management, she said.
Houtris was a plumber in England before he earned an engineering degree and emigrated to the United States. An entrepreneur at heart, Houtris moved to Grand Junction with his wife and two children to start his mechanical engineering firm. He chose Grand Junction because of its strong educational infrastructure and beautiful surroundings, Bock said.
■ After exactly 35 years, six months and 20 days, veteran auto mechanic Damian Katzer officially retired Sept. 27 from his job at Bear Automotive and RV Service, 1315 Pitkin Ave.
Co-workers, customers, friends and family — nearly 100 of them — threw Katzer a going-away party at Stocker Stadium about a week ago, but that has not stopped telephone calls to his house from former customers as far away as Florida who want to know what they should do to fix their recreational vehicles, Katzer said.
A mechanic for 44 years, Katzer said that he moved his family to Grand Junction from Kansas in 1978 after “a few tornadoes (touched down) a block from the house.”
He grew up on a farm where he learned from his father and two uncles how to repair motors.
After he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War, he volunteered to serve in the infantry, but an aptitude test showed he “had gears in (his) head” and was destined for duty as a mechanic.
He graduated at or near the top of his class from two different mechanic training centers and was assigned to a combat construction engineer battalion, where he thrived.
Katzer said he spent 17 months 18 hours and 42 minutes in Vietnam, keeping heavy equipment operational while crews constructed a 60-mile section of a highway that stretches from Saigon to the Cambodian border. Working sometimes at night and under fire, Katzer repaired bulldozers, earth movers and other heavy equipment as the Army plowed its way through the jungles and rice paddies.
The work prepared him for the ever-changing world of automotive mechanics and a 44-year career Katzer said he loved.
For his road trip after retiring, Katzer plans to take his wife and their fifth-wheel trailer to Virginia, to visit their son, DJ, an Air Force Academy graduate, who serves as a lieutenant colonel at an Air Force base.
■ Jeff Gentry, owner of Palisade Funeral Home and Fruita Funeral Home, recently expanded his operations into Grand Junction with a large new facility at 1022 Grand Ave., formerly the site of a Unitarian Church. Gentry’s new operation, Grand Junction Funeral Home, boasts a chapel capable of seating 348 people and is offering, for a limited time, significantly discounted prices on funeral services, spokeswoman Paula Holder said.
Grand Junction Funeral Home hosts its grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 12 with a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m.