Staff Yearbook 2019

By Sarah Christensen, General Manager, Co-op Owner

As adults we spend a lot of our time at work, a third of our day for most of us. Which is why working with people you like to be around can make or break a job. I feel lucky to not only enjoy the company I find myself with at GreenTree, but to feel strengthened and inspired and supported by them too. We have a pretty great team at the Co-op right now! They work hard every day to keep our little Co-op running, focusing on the small details that make a difference for our shoppers while keeping in mind our big picture impacts like food systems, local economics, and the cooperative economy. It takes a mix of interests and talents, strengths and weaknesses, personality quirks and peeves. I’ve been in my job long enough to know not to take team cohesion for granted, so I wanted to take a minute to thank the hard working members of our staff and appreciate what they each bring to our cooperative table.

Laura – Laura’s our longest serving employee after myself. This year she’ll celebrate 13 years at the Co-op. Laura is known for her attention to detail. She’s a wealth of knowledge about natural products—their origins, uses, and functions. She can be counted on to solve problems in any part of the store. Plus she does those great videos – internet famous!

Megan – Megan joined our team in 2013 as a storekeeper. Later she became the Wellness Buyer and now works as our Grocery/Merchandising Manager. She’s responsible for all of our sales programs and merchandising. Megan’s a supervisor’s dream when it comes to task completion. She is usually the first one to complete a project or assignment. She’s the type of employee that makes everyone else step up their game a bit.

Dave – Oh Dave, our beloved and longest serving Produce Buyer. Prior to Dave, this position was notorious for turnover. Produce is cold and wet and varied and in case you didn’t know, it’s incredibly perishable. It takes a unique person to manage all of that. Dave has helped strengthen our local farmer relationships these last few years. Oh and he’s good at fixing stuff and you know, we need that, plus he keeps us all well informed on the latest dietary trends—keto questions? He’s got answers!

Reeva – Reeva’s a task master when it comes to stocking, receiving, cleaning, or basically anything that has to do with the sales floor and she’s our fastest cashier. She’s currently our Storekeeper Team Leader (think front end manager) and Meat, Bulk, and Frozen buyer. She seems to move faster than everyone else around her and knows store functions and processes inside and out.

Chris – I like to call Chris my private google. He is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and he’s a great cook too! He really is the reason for so many of the good things we have in our deli as he’s been with us since its inception. Buckeye Bark? That was Chris! Breakfast Burritos? Also Chris! Curried Chicken, TLTs, Vegan Cheesecakes, Chocolate Chunk cookies, all Chris. And he makes work fun! Yes, he might scare you from time to time while you’re intently working on something, but he’ll make you laugh just as often!

Patricia – Patsy Lou Bob Flanders is currently our longest serving Storekeeper! She joined our team in 2016. She is smart and silly and thoughtful all at once. She’s got a big ‘ole heart, (see also nursing abandoned baby squirrels) and a super nerd level love for books, which could be the reason she can sew or play music or replace a transmission in a car.

Jimmy – If you read Jimmy’s Staff in the Spotlight you’ll know that he built his own house and we like to take advantage of all the skills that his experience brings to the table. He fixes sinks and toilets, paints, and landscapes and a whole lot more. His trade skills are as reliable as his attendance. I really feel like I can always count on Jimmy to get stuff done.

Jamie – Is she not the nicest person you’ve ever met? We’re pretty sure she raises our customer service scores with her always pleasant presence! I feel lucky that she found us so early on in her time at CMU – maybe we can find a way to keep her beyond her educational endeavors.

Mattie – Mattie was just finishing up high school when she was hired at GreenTree a few years ago. It’s been a pleasure to watch her grow from a teenager to a young adult (now betrothed). You’ll find Mattie smiling nearly every time you see her and she’s always willing to help a customer or coworker. She helps make GreenTree a friendly place to work and shop.

Tenley – Typically in food service you get accuracy or enthusiasm, it’s unusual for a person to have both, but that’s what we’ve found in Tenley. She joined the deli team in 2018 and you’d think she’s been here much longer. You’ll often see her personing our live demos or beer and wine samples, because she’s good at that stuff too!

Sara M – Baker extraordinaire? That’s Sara! She’s also known for making delicious soups! One of the things I personally appreciate about Sara is her receptiveness to feedback. She listens and looks for solutions.

Hamilton – Customer Service Superstar – I think so. Nearly every time we have an event or sale or contest Hamilton gets the word out. He consistently signs up new Owners by offering a friendly, easy-to-understand explanation of our cooperative structure. And he’s always ready with a smile when we need pictures for Facebook or Instagram!

Jeniffer – Jeniffer’s been with us a little less than a year, but you wouldn’t know it. She’s a very fast learner and task executor. She’s learned a lot about our products, processes, and producers in a short amount of time. She’s always energetic and always willing to help out.

Hilary – Hilary won Miss Congeniality at our staff party last year and that’s a good summary for her impacts on our team and store service. She is friendly and helpful and she’s always willing to cover a shift or stay late or come in early when we need her!

Tony Helou – I think Tone-ty Bolognty brings balance to the force. He’s calm, steady and consistent. Even if he’s stressed on the inside, you wouldn’t know it from the outside. It must be all of that Grateful Dead music he listens to.

Erin – Erin is our newest employee and after day 3 I thought “she might be as friendly as Hamilton”. She seems to be naturally a people person. She’s a quick learner too. Her very first shift we were short-staffed and she jumped right in with both feet. Welcome to the team Erin!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about our team. I hope you can join me in appreciating the work that they do and the individual strengths they bring. And I know I speak for all of us when I say, we appreciate you too – you quirky bunch of stone cold weirdos.

Yours in cooperation,

Sarah

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