Josh Craven

Director of IT and Operations

Starting Off

“When I first came to MDI, my plan was to be a short-term employee while I decided on what to do next career-wise. I started off as a selector in produce at the MDI warehouse in 2004. My family has worked in the grocery industry and has a lot of respect for the company and the job they do. My dad saw that I needed more responsibility and pointed me to MDI. He knew about the company’s opportunities more than I did.

“While I worked as a selector, I also got to do some clerical work in the office. It was at that time that I was able to see there were opportunities in IT, which is where my background is. I went over to Alex Lee not long after that and started kind of as an endpoint specialist. My role then evolved to infrastructure engineering, senior engineering, and security. Now I’m the director of IT Infrastructure and Operations.  

Current Role

As the Director of IT and Operations, I’m currently trying to guide the path to improving our service desk and making it stronger. One of IT’s jobs is to make sure we have the underlying infrastructure that company needs as it grows – it has to be at the same scale. And we always have to make sure we’re not taking undo risk in areas of IT security.

I love being able to help the company. I’ve seen how it takes care of people and how it makes decisions for the good of the company as a whole. I make sure that we model that at the IT level. In my current role, I’ve been able to help the company in ways I hadn’t been able to before. For example, we’re implementing a modern answering system to 80 Lowes Foods stores. This will help our e-commerce and free up employees since they won’t be chained to the phones all the time. It’s all about giving the company solutions that will help them grow.”

Mentors

“There was definitely been mentors along the way. At Alex Lee, David Todd was my first manager. He not only shared his own knowledge, but encouraged me to learn everything I can. Randy Miller showed me how to stay calm and collected. This job can be really stressful; you have to make sure you’re on the right “mood elevator.” My current mentor is Anita Harris. I’m relatively new to this role, and she continues to mentor me today. Mentorship is critical – you’re not judged for what you don’t know.”

For me, the biggest catalyst to growth was being willing to do whatever was needed of me. I had to trust Alex Lee, trust in what I was doing, knowing that I was doing the best I could. The company will reward you with bigger and better challenges, and opportunities to advance your career.