I have had the genuine pleasure of knowing, working, and collaborating with Paul Hornick since 2012. Paul and I became acquainted during our mutual service as new officers in the Army Reserve.
It was barely a moment before Paul and I began working on projects together. As is common, people of like minds begin associating and exchanging ideas, thoughts, and insight. In short order, Paul and I became good friends – talking about cars, discussing thoughts on places we have been, and certainly sharing on how we can make things in life better than how we find them.
In such discussions, one can get to know a person; their attributes, strengths, and qualities. Paul maintains a unique quality that I have seldom found in people. Paul actively engages with people in a genuine, interested way vs. merely exchanging pleasantries.
While talking with others is not unique, Paul cares enough to listen and ask questions in a sincere, compassionate, caring way. Any time he asks how somebody is, the answer he receives is never dismissed; Paul is the sort who takes what was said to him and welcomes it with the intention of making a friend’s life a little better.
For example, my company was in the process of moving its primary headquarters from one location to another in a relatively short amount of time. In one of Paul’s acts of interest and subsequent kindness, he had asked me during one of our frequent conversations about how my company’s move was going. I confessed that there was a new lease which I needed to review, and I really was not confident if I knew where all the “gotchas” and hidden implications might be within the 15+ pages!
I admitted to Paul that, while I figured myself to be an intuitive person, there were parts of the lease that were simply not as clear to me as I would have hoped. Without a batting an eye, Paul asked if I could share the lease with him.
A day later, Paul had drafted some questions for me to relay to the organization who had generated the lease, as well as a series of recommendations that we should request. I asked Paul how he found time to do such a job so fast with such accuracy. Paul said that insight belongs to everybody and not merely the privileged few who can pass the bar. Paul refused any payment, we secured a great lease, and I never forgot that act of kindness from someone who offered to help – simply because it was the right thing to do.
Paul has also been the sort of person who has achieved so much in life – and yet still has the remarkable personality attribute of being able to set aside ego and internal opinions and welcome others’ thoughts and views in combination with his own. In many situations, Paul has a well formed “been there, done that” resume that tends to show how Paul knows the way forward. However, Paul also knows that the better choice, even if a bit slower, has always been inclusion of others.
For example, I witnessed Paul placed in charge of Army plans and products, including formulating a training regimen, implementing safety controls, and responsibly managing a budget. While Paul certainly has the credentials to be a single authority over an entire operation, Paul has always included others in every situation. Why do so, when he alone could do all of the steps himself?
Paraphrased, Paul’s viewpoint has been clear: people care more about something that they feel they can influence. That sentiment has always been a part of the Paul I have known and his hope to make lives safer and better.
I know Paul as a colleague and as a friend. He dedicates himself completely to any cause he undertakes – and he truly means what he says. Paul has spoken with me quite passionately about the great people in Madera County and the fantastic spirit of community that is harder to find in a fast-paced world.
Paul is the neighbor you hope to have, the friend you want to have, and frankly, the public servant you need to have. He has proven himself in the eyes of many, and I am extremely proud and honored to see Paul making strides to make others’ lives better as he has done for my family and for me.
Michael S. Montgomery Jr.