Archive for the ‘Employee introductions’ Category

Meet our Family: Joey R.

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Time to meet another fabulous employee here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop: Joey R. Joey has worked with us for almost 26 years! Thank you Joey for your dedicated work and commitment over the years!

SYW: Could you describe your position here at SYW?

Joey: Yes, I am the Inventory Buyer. This means that I am in charge of interpreting daily inventory levels in our warehouse, projecting ahead for future purchase orders and reordering products before they go out of stock. I do this by analyzing daily reports and communicating with various vendors to ensure shipments are here on time. I am in constant contact with the customer service department as well, in regards to daily needs of customers. I also assist both the catalog and website buyers, in assessing product availability and discussing items that will/won’t sell well with our customer base.

SYW: Have you always worked as the Inventory Buyer?

Joey: Actually no. I have been in my current role for about the last 15 years. Prior to that I worked in a few different departments. I assisted with drop ship orders (drop ship means items that are shipped directly from our vendors; typically this includes some of our heavier furniture pieces). Then customer service, which I feel gave me plenty of  knowledge and experience for my daily work now. Before that, I actually helped with the mail orders, back when there were a lot of mail orders! (you know, page 28 in the catalog) There would be stacks and stacks that I would help to open and receive, though now we get very few orders that way; mostly through our website ( or phone orders.

SYW: Now what is this I hear about you making gourmet fudge?

Joey: Hah, well yes back in the day we actually sold fudge in our catalog…and the lucky person making that delicious chocolate and peanut butter fudge was me, right here in our staff lounge/kitchen! It was quite successful and I enjoyed the challenge.

SYW: What is it you most enjoy about working at SYW?

Joey: I enjoy a lot about the environment here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop. Firstly though, I enjoy the daily challenge of contacting our very important vendors and developing a relationship with them. It’s very important to have a strong report with the vendors so they understand our needs and will thus better serve the needs of our customers. Secondly, Sturbridge is like a family to me. We are a close group and it has made working here very satisfying.

SYW: Do you enjoy living here in ‘the great state of Maine’?

Joey: I sure do, I have lived here my entire life and wouldn’t change a thing. I am blessed to have the majority of my family here in the area, in addition to my work family of course. :) I love fall here too… my favorite is the crisp air and change of color in the leaves.

SYW: Tell us about your lovely family.

Joey: Well, there’s my husband Bill (married 40 years this August!) and our three children. The oldest Debbie, works as an instrumental music teacher down in New Mexico; the middle child is our second daughter Karrie, who lives here in Maine and works as a special education teacher; and our son Todd, also an instrumental music teacher, lives in Massachusetts.

SYW: Wow, that’s a lot of musically gifted individuals in your family. Where do they get their talent from?

Joey: Well, it’s not from me…I play the radio! They get it from their father’s side as their grandmother played the piano beautifully. Though we always were a musical household. Music is a great way to express how good you feel. I even helped found the band boosters program at Biddeford Middle School. While my children were in school it was great to be apart of the band practices, performances and competitions. We went to every one and supported all the children involved. This was a very rewarding experience.

SYW: What do you do in your spare time/on the weekends?

Joey: I enjoy cooking, especially chowders and soups…perfect for this time of year. As a hobby I enjoy needlepoint work and have given beautiful needlepoint creations to family and friends over the years. Mostly though I like relaxing on the weekends, playing computer games and the company of my grandchildren when they come over to visit.

~Thanks for the interview Joey!

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Meet our Family: Phil G.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Let’s meet Phil G. another fabulous employee at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop!

SYW: Explain what your role is here at Sturbridge.

Phil: I’m a member of the customer service team and I also assist with the web department. (You may have seen Phil’s facebook posts, sharing various customer comments and his “pick of the day.”)

SYW: How long have you worked here?

Phil: I have worked part time since 1997. You name it I’ve done it, over the years I have worked in practically all departments and even have spent time assisting in the warehouse! I enjoy switching up what I’m doing on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m working on data entry and other times I’m speaking with customers; it’s a good mix.

SYW: What is it you most enjoy about working here?

Phil: I love customer service and have worked in the industry over the last 30 years or so. I enjoy helping customers in the selection of their products and hearing their comments, questions or concerns. Sturbridge is just like family, a second home.

SYW: How do you feel about living in Maine?

Phil: I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and came to Maine once for a summer camp. I instantly fell in love with it. I had a job opportunity that led me to the Portland area in the ’80’s and knew I had to make this my home. Even after traveling and working in other areas of the US, this is where I want to be.

SYW: After working here for so many years, you must have collected some great SYW products, what would be your favorite if you had to choose?

Phil: Well, let’s just say if you came to my condo it would be like p.23 from the catalog, for example..haha…but if I were to narrow it down, I love any of the cat prints I own. Another favorite print is the Balloons Print. Oh and of course I can’t forget my Drop Leaf Table and Windsor Chairs in my dining room.

SYW: What makes your home, a “home”?

Phil: Did I mention I love cats? I have two, Addison and Cassy. Addison, a male is named after Addison, TX and Cassy, a female is named after Casco Bay here in Portland.

SYW: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time and on the weekends? Do you have any hobbies?

Phil: Yes, well I enjoy playing the guitar very much. American songwriter, singer and guitarist, the late John Stewart is my inspiration and when I have free time I am usually paying tribute to him through playing and practicing his music. I also go to the gym. Work is also a passion for me, if you enjoy what you do, you don’t really have to “work” anymore.

SYW: Any other interesting facts about yourself you would like to share with our fans today?

Phil: I love Buffalo, NY. I have an older brother there and when I go to visit we always have a great time. I love the wings, the people and the Beef on Weck sandwiches.

Fellow employees say, when speaking of  Phil:  “He’s a real team player.”  “A true people person.”  “Phil is so caring and he’d give you the shirt off his back, he’s just that kind of person.”

~Thank you Phil for your 14 years of employment here at Sturbridge and thanks for the interview!





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Meet Our Family – Tommy K.

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

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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