Raul Islas, Yard Coordinator at the RDO Equipment Co. store in Imperial, CA, retired in August after more than eight years with RDO and almost 40 in the industry.
Raul began his career with a CAT dealer in the Imperial Valley, working mostly in service, along with several years in sales. After just shy of three decades, he took a year off, and it was then that he was contacted by James Garcia, Manager of the RDO store in Imperial, who was looking to build RDO’s presence in the local construction market.
Inspired by a new opportunity to apply his years of experience and make a difference, Raul joined the RDO team. He spent three years as a Field Service Technician, working strictly with a 5,200-acre solar energy project in the Valley. Upon completion of that project, he moved into the shop before shifting into the Yard Coordinator role.
He cherishes the chance he had to be part of the development of RDO’s construction presence in the Valley, leveraging his experience and relationships with customers in the region to do so.
“I was born and raised in the Valley; I understood customers’ needs. And I knew some of those customers, too. I never left a customer on a bad note. They always knew they could rely on and trust in me.”
While the RDO Core Value Partner with Employees is the one Raul found to be most important to success, the Core Value he most embodies is, without a doubt, Create Opportunities.
The chance to make a difference is what drew Raul to RDO in the first place, but it is what he has valued most in every role he has held. Further, finding opportunity and making the most of it in every situation has been part of his mindset all along.
“The dedication I put into my career was satisfying,” he said. “That and seeing change when I was asked to help. I have accomplished what has always been requested of me, and I feel proud that I was able to come through each time and do that.”
He finished his career in the Yard Coordinator role where, once again, he saw the chance to make a difference and did his best to make it a reality. In every change he has made, Raul has looked ahead, seen the purpose and value in his efforts, and made it his personal goal to be impactful.
“I never took a single step back in my career,” he said. “Every move I made I saw as a step forward to help where I was needed.”
Even in retirement, that remains true. Raul is as needed as much as ever in his newest full-time role: grandpa.
“I can’t wait to spend more time with my family,” he said. “I’ve seen my grandchildren growing and growing and I’m not going to miss any more of it.”
And in his extra time, Raul plans to chip away at his handicap on the golf course, an old hobby he is ready to welcome back.