Human Resources Generalist, MDI
I started at MDI in 1978 as a selector in the warehouse. From there I became a lift operator, checker, receiver, worked in inventory control, supervisor, customer service manager, and now, a human resource generalist. I also worked for a time as a front-end manager at Lowes Foods, from 1995-96. I got married in 1985 to my wife, Sherry. She helped me turn my life around and get back on track. I was working full time at the time, but I went back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in business. I also had the encouragement from the company – they want people to make themselves more valuable, so they can have more opportunities in their careers. There are always opportunities to succeed within the company.
This year, I’ll have family members who have worked for MDI for a combined total of 376 years. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and my wife, who has worked as a customer service representative for 12 years. The company is very family-oriented and personable. I can remember when Boyd George would bring Brian into the cafeteria when he was young. I remember Lee George walking through the warehouse – it was like he was saying, “This is my company, and I’m going to be here.” That’s how I feel, too. I need a rocking chair in the corner of the cafeteria, where I can sit and tell stories [laughs]. It’s very encouraging that it’s still family-owned and that the family is still so involved. That personal touch means something to me and to others.
MDI is my family, the employees are members of my family. It’s a part of you. We want the company to succeed, so we strive toward that. Like last year, we really had to pull together. That’s also why my job appeals to me. I work with employees in the warehouse, transportation, and office. It’s nice when someone comes to you and says, “I want to do more.” I can help them get there, guide them like a family member. I like seeing their eyes light up when we talk about their future. Hopefully, I’ve made a difference in a few lives …
I’ve had mentors, too, along the way. My No. 1 person is Jim Messer, who’s still with the company. I’ve always loved his work ethic: Take care of your family. Take care of your company. That’s the work ethic I grew up under. Do your best. Work hard. And things will work out.