Meet Our Family – Tommy K.

Let’s Meet Tom, or Tommy as most of us at Sturbridge call him. He recently completed 30 years of employment, wow!

Could you explain your role at SYW? I am a receiver, which means I am in charge of receiving product as it comes into our warehouse.

What are you doing on a daily basis at Sturbridge? Receiving is a big part of what we do at Sturbridge. When the first shipment arrives in the morning, I open the boxes and check items for accurateness; if it is the right color, size etc. Next, each item has an item number, specific information about where it is located and the date it was received. It is my job to place a label on the product so that both us at Sturbridge and the customer can clearly see what it is. After the labeling is finished, I help to stock primary items. Primary means that it is most likely being shipped out either that day or the next. The “bulk” or extra product, will be organized in our warehouse under a secondary location. Then after receiving an order form, I assist my co-workers in preparing the orders for shipment. This involves a lot of attention to detail. As the day goes on, more shipments arrive and we continue to receive, check and store.

How is the work dynamic in the warehouse? It’s a team. The people I work with are all friends and it makes it an enjoyable work environment.

What is the most important factor when preparing a product to ship to a customer? That it’s correct! It is extremely important to double and triple check  the size, color and that the exact amount of items are going into the right box.

Do you have Sturbridge Yankee Workshop items in your home? Of course I have collected many over the years, mostly the different cabinets. Probably the one I like best in my home is the Mission Media Storage Cabinet for my DVD’s.

After working here for 30 years, what is it that motivates you? That’s simple. The people! I truly enjoy coming into work, not only because I enjoy what I do, but everyone here is a real team player and fun to work with. In addition to that, I love living in Maine. I have lived here my entire life and in regards to the change of seasons, like they say “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute!”

What did you do before your time with SYW? I worked in the grocery store business for about 13 years and I also was an Industrial Arts Teacher at both Sanford and Gorham High School.

Oh interesting! So you must have some other skills up your sleeve? Yes, for a long time I did a lot of woodworking; constructing various things.  I even built my own garage about 20 years back!

So when your not here at work, what are you doing in your spare time? I used to spend much of my time fishing, but these days it’s mostly gardening and doing things around the house. In the garden this year, I had some great grapes; red and green seedless! My 7 year old German Shepherd, Abby, keeps me pretty busy too. Oh, and I also am a member of Knights of Columbus. I do a lot of volunteer work with them.

What type of volunteering do you do?  Sometimes it’s collecting items for the soup kitchen or other times we are raising money for various charities or the church itself. Last year, when many people in Maine were having a difficult time with the increase in oil prices, I was able to help raise money for a donation to that cause too.

You must have seen some changes over the years here in the company? Oh of course, there have been many. Most significantly though is probably the size. Before there were no walls separating different areas of the building and it was a bit more compact. The computer no question, has also been a huge help. When I started we didn’t have them obviously and had to do everything by hand! It has made working in the warehouse more efficient and more organized. It makes my job easier and allows customers to get their orders quicker.

One word to describe how you feel when you think of Sturbridge? Glad :)

We couldn’t do it with out you Tommy, thanks for the interview!

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