Burris Team Member Success Story: Nadia Bedasse-Francis of Rocky Hill

Burris Logistics is always looking for our talented team members to step forward and take advantage of promotional opportunities.  As we continue to grow, we will be placing more emphasis on developing team members so we can promote from within.  We want to recognize our team members who are growing through the company by sharing their stories in a a series called Burris Success Stories!

This week’s feature is Nadia Bedasse-Francis, HR Specialist at Burris Rocky Hill.  Nadia started with the company as a temporary worker over 4 years ago and is now an HR Specialist! Congratulations and thank you to Nadia.  We are happy you are part of the Burris Team!

Nadia Bedasse-Francis of Burris Logistics

1.  What was your first position with Burris?

I started working at the Rocky Hill location for our start up in August 2008 as a temporary worker. I was placed here on a 20 day assignment to help the HR team with any administrative responsibilities throughout the startup phase. The management team was impresses with my work ethics and decided to hire me as a full time team member in November 2008 as the HR Coordinator.

2.  Why did you join the Burris team?

During my time as a temporary worker, knowing (or at least thinking) there was not a full time position available, I would say a daily prayer asking for a miracle so I could call Burris home. On my first day at Burris as a Temp, I was blessed to have met Bob Burris.  He asked me my name and gave me a heartfelt welcome like no other I’ve ever experienced. On day two, to my surprise, Bob greeted me as I came in and called me by my name.  This blew me away. I thought,  “How could this gentleman of such importance, who I’m sure knows hundreds of people, how on earth did he remember my name, after all I was just one out of at least 100 new employees starting?”   Bob and the rest of the team made me feel like what I was doing was important, I felt like I was a part of something great.  On my first day as an official Burris team member, words could not express my gratitude for the opportunity to join this great company.

3.  How did you learn about and become interested in following a career path in Human Resources?

I had previously worked in a small benefits organization which gave me some exposure to HR, and I was interested in learning more. As I worked with the HR team in Rocky Hill I became more fascinated. This was where I knew that Human Resources would be my career path, and I aspired to be an HR manager or greater at some point in my life, whether here at Burris or elsewhere.

I enjoy the face to face communication with our team members, dealing with difficult and sometimes heartbreaking circumstances, to celebrating happy milestones in their lives. No day is the same as I am faced with different accomplishments and/or challenges each day, and being able to be a mentor to my team is blessing for me.

4.  What did you learn that helped you to grow?

The basic concept of “Doing What Is Right” both in the eyes of the company and our team members, and understanding when and where a compromise is necessary. I will continue to learn HR skills as I continue to develop in my role, but having the skill to make a team member feel like what he/she does is important and that we care, is the ultimate lesson for me.

5. Was there anyone who was a mentor to you?

Donna Szaban was the HR Manager at Burris when I started, she always told me I would do well in this field. She would call me her “sponge” and would always brag about my “people person skills.”  Donna would give me projects that seemed at the time to be beyond my skill level. There were times I felt intimidated and thought there was no way I could do this. Donna would always remind me of the potential she saw, and she expressed confidence that I could do it. “How could I disappoint someone who believes in me that much?”

Deanna Provanchie at our corporate office was and still is a big influence on my development.  She took me under her wings and would teach me little tricks of the trade, a little more than the day to day payroll data entry. She too expressed confidence that I would do well at Burris and also in the field of HR.

6.  What advice do you have for fellow Burris team members on career opportunities at Burris?

I considered Burris my second home, the genuine family based environment makes it a place you want to be. I have witnessed many promotions where team members who exhibit the willingness to grow, take on more than the “Job Functions”, and continue to keep a positive attitude.  These individuals in most cases started at entry level and moved on to management level.

Burris continues to invest in training and developing their team members. In my four  years of employment at Burris I have been given numerous developmental training opportunities on and off site, many of these are applicable in dealing with life lessons and others that could be used elsewhere as well.

7.  What do you like about the positions you have held at Burris?

Each position was an opportunity to learn something I have not done prior to Burris. Management allowed me to maintain ownership of my functions, giving me flexibility to complete tasks in ways I understood and learned the best.  This flexibility afforded me the responsibility of ensuring that the job was done and done well.

As a temporary worker I learned about the basics of HR, employment forms and the life cycle of one’s employment.  My second role was an HR Coordinator which required payroll and staffing knowledge.  As the HR Coordinator,  payroll was my major function and I got a sense of satisfaction knowing that team members were paid correctly. I also enjoyed the simple tasks such as explaining a garnishment and providing them with information that could help to resolve the issue.

My most recent promotion to HR Specialist was awarded to me in 2010.  In this role I am doing what I like to do the most, employee relations. I have been blessed to have worked on some local and corporate implementation projects that help to make Burris a better place to work administratively and systematically.

I am grateful to have found a job where I look forward to going to work in the morning. A place where I know that the people I work with have genuine interest in my well-being.  Burris has seen my potential even in times when I have not, and they continue to challenge me to be a better employee and a better person. My superiors and teammate make me feel like my contributions are valuable and provide me with positive feedback and recognition.

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