July Employee Recognition: Ricardo Castaneda

employee headshot

July Employee Spotlight:

Ricardo Castaneda
Tool Room Foreperson

Joined Natech: April 19, 2010

Ricardo is hardworking, has a great attitude, is always willing to help, and deserves to be the employee spotlight!

Joshua Romero

Q: What do you do at Natech?

I set up machines and do maintenance. The good thing about working here is that I learn everything and receive training for everything, so I can work in many different areas.

Q: What’s your favorite part about working at Natech?

Producing medical parts. And I like working with people, with the team. When QC says to fix a part because something doesn’t work or is wrong, it’s our responsibility to do the right thing to fix the part, because they are important parts. Last year, I felt proud making the COVID tests because I felt like I was helping that situation. I feel proud for what I do. We work Sunday to Sunday to make production run and to help make a difference.

Q: How did you start your career in manufacturing?

My brother-in-law used to work for a molding company in Huntington. I worked there and learned more about the mold setup, maintenance, and plastic processes. In 2010, I came to Natech. Every day, I try to learn more about the mixed materials, packing, and process. Working here now, I have confidence to do everything.

Q: What is something that most people might not know about you?

I love animals. I work with animals like dogs and cats in animal shelters.

I also used to ride a motorcycle, but my motorcycle got stolen. A month after it was stolen, the police told me that I had to go to court to prove that it was my motorcycle. After winning the case, they showed me the motorcycle and it was all destroyed…so I told them to keep it.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

I like camping. My wife and I like to go upstate and walk through the mountains, go fishing, and see the waterfalls and lakes. One of our last trips was to Niagara Falls. And at least once a year, we try to go to my country, Columbia, to visit my mother and sister.

Q: What’s one thing that you can’t live without?

My family is very important to me. Family is the most important part for a person. I live with my wife and a small, spoiled cat – he’s a rescue cat named Hercules. My wife and I do everything and we go everywhere together. Even when I work on weekends, she comes with me. We like to go shopping and go out to nice restaurants.

Q: What motivates you?

The part that motivates me is that every day, I get to learn something different. I know I can grow in the company and work in different areas.

Ricardo is a very open minded co-worker. His dedication, support and commitment to new projects are a big help to the continual growth of the company. He understands the big picture issues and the commitments that are required to accomplish them. His work ethic encourages the rest of the team to do the same. I love the humanity he shows when he brings up concerns that relates to the physical and emotional health of his co-workers.

Domingo Hernandez

Q: What are your favorite Natech memories?

Going to the Mets game because everyone gets to enjoy with their family and we get to spend time together.

Q: What are three traits that define you?

1. Happy, I always try to be happy. 2. Respectful to everyone, no matter if it’s the floorperson or owner of the company. 2. Goal-oriented. It’s important to have goals and a vision in life. You can live by day-by-day to pass the time, but every day, I think you should try to do something good for somebody else and yourself.

Q: What are three traits that define Natech?

1. Family. It’s a family company. 2. Support. The company supports you, like if you need training or time off, you feel the support. 3. Helpful.

Q: What is your proudest achievement while working here?

When you do what you do with love and passion, you have satisfaction when everything works well. That’s what makes me happy everyday when I come back to work.

I like to explain to the operators the reason we use gloves, hair nets, and masks. We’re making medical parts – whether it’s for a baby or a woman or for surgery. Understanding that these important parts are in your hands can impact people and make them feel proud about what they do.

Click here to watch Ricardo work on one of his continual improvement projects.

Natech’s Employee Spotlights are meant to celebrate and highlight employees at Natech who go above and beyond each day. These employees are nominated by their team members.