Burris Blog

Meet Steve Palmer, Harrington Receiving Supervisor

steve-palmerSteve joined the Burris Team as a Order Selector in 2002 and has roughly 12 years of service – owing to a three year break in 2008. He’s worked at our conventional Federalsburg location briefly but ultimately returned home to the Hi-Rise environment at Harrington. Upon his return he began to pay more attention to the career opportunities available at Burris. He learned to run the sorter, how to load trucks, and how to palletize.

Steve has a quick smile and his favorite part of the job, talking to all the team members. He enjoys puzzles, fishing and video games. One unexpected thing Steve shared with me is that he’d like to one day is run with the bulls. That’s pretty exciting!  He’s no stranger to travel and culture, he was a Soldier in the U.S. Army from 1992 to 2000. He’s lived in Korea and loved it because of the openness of the people and Arizona where he wasn’t really crazy about the weather.

Though born in North Carolina, Steve grew up locally and now resides in Little Heaven, Delaware. I asked him if he had an interesting New Year’s resolution and loved his reply: “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because you shouldn’t have to wait until a new year to do what you want to do. Start today!”

Steve’s motto is one from which we can all benefit, it’s MISSION FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS.

When it was time to close out our interview and get back to work Steve had a few parting words, he wanted to thank everyone at Burris Harrington for the opportunity to grow professionally and be part of the “family.” He said, “If you are willing to put in the work here, you can turn a job into a career.”

Nicely said Steve! Congratulations on your promotion.

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Do you have Team Member news you’d like to see on Burris Avenue or Social Media? No matter the distance, I’m just an email message (tmetts@burrislogistics.com) away!

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Burris Logistics Breaks Ice with Announcement of New Customer Account Sales Manager, John Enger

Further strengthening its leadership team to tackle steady growth, Burris Logistics promotes seven-year Burris veteran

burris-blog-john-engerOrlando, Fla.
 – Burris Logistics, a leading cold-chain solution provider, recently announced the promotion of John Enger to Customer Account Sales Manager for Burris Freight Management (BFM). Mr. Enger will be responsible for supporting the sales efforts of BFM Customer Account Managers in both their Orlando and Jacksonville locations.

“John’s knowledge of Burris operations and culture prepared him to quickly identify our vendors’ transportation needs and provide them solutions,” said Anthony Megale, VP Transportation Business Development at BFM. “We’re excited to recognize his achievements and abilities by promoting him to this new role.”

Enger joined the company in 2009 as a Warehouse Supervisor in Orlando and transferred to the BFM division in June 2014 as a Customer Account Manager. During his seven years with the company, he has demonstrated leadership skills, an uncanny ability to train new members, and willingness to mentor and help others – things he’ll continue to do in his role as Customer Account Sales Manager.

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Burris Logistics Featured Cold Chain Partner

Food Logistics Magazine cover

A new special edition of Food Logistics Magazine, featuring Burris Logistics, examines industry changes and trends, the future of cold chain, supply chain partnerships, and more.  The cover story, by Lara L. Sowinski, Editorial Director contemplates consumer trends, product shifts, and the associated supply changes challenges and opportunities.  Insights on supply chain talent management are provided by industry experts Rick Blasgen of CSCMP, Brian Gibson of Auburn University, and Steve Tracey of Penn State in an article titled Supply Chain is a People Business.

Download the Food Logistics Magazine PDF here

Emerging trends are addressed by Burris Logistics CEO, Donnie Burris and other Burris leaders offer a unique perspective on the state of the industry and company’s expanding role as a service provider.   Specific thoughts, questions, and recommendations on managing the demands and complexities of today’s cold chains are included in: What to look for when evaluating a supply chain partner.

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Burris Rocky Hill Recognizes Their “Frozen Heroes”!

We’ve been running a fun new feature on our social media channel’s this year called “Frozen Heroes”. At all of our facilities we have countless team members that work day in and day out in conditions that most would never want to spend more than a few seconds in.  This week our Rocky Hill team shared a quick insight into their Frozen Heroes and what it takes to keep the ice cream rolling to the stores and into your freezers! Thank you to the Rocky Hill leadership team for sharing this great write up!

“The Rocky Hill team has many Frozen Heroes. Our building operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is always some kind of activity going on in the freezer; from our night shift selection team to our day shift receiving team and the countless others that support the them.

In the first picture are our AM Frozen Receiving Team (left to right) of: John Taylor, Steve Wilkins, Ivor Giles, Jose Avilles, Isaac Alamo, Juan Ovalle, Miguel Agosto and Gabe Ramos.  Missing from this picture are: Matt Boullie, Bryan Goral, Miguel Madera and Antonio Almeida.

Burris Logistics Rocky Hil AM Receiving

The freezer selection team works at night here in Rocky Hill.  They work seven days a week to provide BJs with quality product, ensuring their customers can feed their families. Our volume has increased and it makes sense, with everyone being so busy and making good healthy choices in frozen food, people are buying more frozen. We sure are happy about this and you can see the excitement in the TMs faces and the smiles tell the story.  “Next time you cook up that meal in the microwave or oven remember the smiling face that got it to your freezer!!”

Mike BergeronOne of those smiling faces is Night Shift Selector, Michael Bergeron who has been with Burris for 5 years.  Michael is a valued member of the team as he often volunteers to come in on his day off to help out the operation.  Michael excels in many areas of his job. His performance is consistently above the expectation of 100%. His quality meets the expectations for Burris and his team work is outstanding. Michael has become more and more of a voice for safety in the warehouse as well; he can be found in the aisle of the freezer sharing valuable information with the trainees. With his assistance, we have seen new team members start to pick with more confidence.  Michael has built strong relationships with his team members and the members of leadership team. Thank you Michael for giving Burris your best every time you enter the building.

Koby2Another team member on the night shift we would like to recognize is Koby Gehl.  Koby has been with Burris since October 10, 2011 as a Selector.  Since he has started, and even after his training period, he has been well above the company standard of 100% for productivity.  On a consistent basis, Koby has met and exceeded the expectations for quality.  He has been recognized for having the most cases with very little errors in the building.   Within the last 2 years, he has taken a more active role in the business, by cross training in receiving as a Hauler and Lumper.  Koby helps out in checking if there is a need and he also is in the process of learning how to load. After that, he is interested in learning the Hi-Lo.  Koby shows interest in learning all the functions of the warehouse. He has come in on extra days for receiving and shipping too. Since his first day here, Koby hasn’t had any incidents in regards to safety.  Koby has been a good example to team members, his self-motivation has improved other selectors to step up their production.  He is a team member that represents what we call The Burris Culture.

How do we keep this place cold day in and day out you ask?  Our Plant Engineer, Ludek Sebak and Ammonia Operator, Demiche Freeman work together as a team to keep the refrigeration system running efficiently at very low temperatures.


Keeping the freezer cool during all times of the year is a task these two take on with pride.  The hours spent making the rounds, doing PMs and dialing the system in, allow these two Frozen Heroes to do what they do best, Keep the warehouse cold.  The commitment of Ludek and Demiche is truly a blessing, Rocky Hill is cold and strong because of the refrigeration work these two provide for the entire operation.


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How A Warehousing and Transportation Company Tackled The 4th Worst Winter Storm in Northeast History

When you run a business comprised of large warehouses with an emphasis on transporting food to grocery stores, a historic snowstorm like Jonas is a “Big Deal”. How do you keep operations moving, trucks on the road, and much needed food on the shelves of your customer while ensuring the safety of your team? It takes careful planning, dedication, communication, smart thinking, and team work.

Read on to see how our Lyndhurst, VA and New Castle, DE locations pulled together to “Make It Happen” for our customers despite the 4th worst winter storm in Northeast history.

This is what dedication to customer and company look like!

Burris Lyndhurst

Written and submitted by the proud General Manager of our Lyndhurst Location, Mike Piscitelli

Friday, January 22, 2016 ‘Snow-ageddon 2016’ descended upon Lyndhurst Virginia. I would just like to start out with special ‘thank you’ to the entire Lyndhurst Team for all of their efforts during this recent storm that closed our warehouse for 2 days… and express my appreciation for everyone’s efforts. All of the teams had made prior arrangements for additional warehouse team members, reached out to customers, contacted carriers for ETAs, planned for maintenance coverage, and prepped for snow removal with the impending Storm.

These types of events impact our business but, they impact our Team Members, their families, and households as well. This balancing act can be very difficult and I truly recognize your efforts to manage work and home under these types of conditions. We had 98% attendance across all departments on Monday. I am proud to say that I am a part of your Lyndhurst team.

The surrounding area received 5” to 9” of snow on Friday, January 22 depicted in the map below. With continual snow fall beginning on Friday morning and ending late night on Saturday, January 23, 2016


Saturday’s snow fall was 16” to 30” depending on where you land on the map, shown below


The majority of the area received approximately 24” inches of snow and as of today the ‘official numbers’ of snow fall have not been published.

Snow removal crews began placing equipment in the Lyndhurst yard on Thursday in preparation for Friday’s storm. Snow removal crews arrived on site and began moving snow Friday through to Sunday morning. After a short break they were back at it mid-morning Sunday. Eventually they wrapped up on Monday, freeing trailers from the snow banks and making them available to load.

The behind the scene Team, our Maintenance Crew… this team had members in the plant on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also has the laborious job of removing snow from the roof of the facility. They handled this with the aid of one snow blower, a half dozen shovels, and hard work. They had the thankless and the hardest job of all. A huge Thank You goes out to Joe Morris, Jimmy Bell and our Maintenance Team, David Seaman, Eugene Brown, Tony Evans, David Sorrels and Jason Taylor for all of their efforts.


Jimmy Bell pictured, starting to clear the roof…

Our Security Team Members are to be recognized for their commitment during Snow-ageddon 2016. This team came and went, quietly in the night, serving as a contact for the drivers that drifted in and kept a watchful eye when most of us were at home. Thank you Brandon Phillips and Todd Phillips for your commitment under some adverse conditions.

With prior arrangements, almost the entire Lyndhurst Team was on site Friday in an effort to beat the storm and service our customers. I am very proud of the entire team and their accomplishment; they met the challenge and completed all of the work that could be completed when trucks stopped rolling.   The team went as far as pulling forward Saturday and Sunday work, in an effort to get them loaded onto ‘dropped trailers’; great job.

We have a short list of Team Members that rode well into the storm to help finish up the pending work, a special thank you goes out to all of them.


Vance Johnson                 Lacy Collawn                      Steve Bentley                    Keith Johnson

James Foster                     Jason Cook                         Lee Sanchez                       Ryan Pickwoad

David Flavin                     Andrea Harris                    Crystal Dickerson             Ronnie Beard

Doug ‘Whitey’ McGrath    Karl Krieger                         Nathan Fisher

Storm Delay Update – With the entire Team working towards the goal to get back on track; it only took through 2nd shift on Tuesday to be back on track. Wednesday morning we were able to communicate to our customers that everything was running on time – ‘making it happen’

Again, thank you to the entire Lyndhurst Team and providing WOW service under adverse conditions.

Hannah Carey, Andrea Harris, Sam Kislek, Sandra Martin, Pamela Morris, Dawn Rogers, Crystal Tibbs, Rosalind ‘Joy’ Cook, Crystal Dickerson, Alfredo Aguirre, Bob Barhorst, Ronny Beard, Steve Bentley, Butch Braun, Chris Campbell, Lacy Collawn, Jason Cook, Jason Davis, Nat Fisher, David Flavin, James Foster, Robert Holtz, James Johnson, John Johnson, Chuck Johnson, Vance Johnson, Karl Krieger, Benjamin Lawson, Tracy Lawson, Marvine Mabie, Mark Mason, Jennifer May, Doug ‘Whitey’ McGrath, Michael Mooneyham, Ryan Pickwoad, Lee Prather, Corbin Redd, Robert Holtz, Lee Sanchez, Kaheen Sandridge, LaToya Taylor, Darryl Via, Eddie Holmes, Ramblin’ Ray Jefferson, Eugene Brown, Tony Evans, David Seaman, David Sorrels, Brandon Taylor, Vernon Fletcher, Lorene Whitley, Brandon Crickenburger, Robert Mooneyham, Brandon Phillips, Michael ‘Todd’ Phillips, Jonathan Boyd, Jeremy Leather, Aaron Meadows, Victor Guanill, Judy Brown, Jimmy Bell, Michael Biery, Shane Chandler, Mike Dameron, Justin Earven, Bill Weeks, Melissa Whitesell, Brandon Whitesell.

Thank You all for making Lyndhurst what it is…

This is just for perspective on the amount of snow received…







Here are some more photos!

Burris New Castle

Written and submitted by proud Human Resources Generalist, Kim Trala-Bowers

As we all know, communication is critical in everyday business. However, when a blizzard by the name of Jonas crossed our path at the Burris Logistics’ New Castle Facility, COMMUNICATION was imperative.

With the help of our self-proclaimed “Resident Meteorologist” Chris Robbins, we received accurate updates on Storm Jonas’ path every hour.

Our GM, Jim Bertuola, and our remarkable team of managers held conference calls with our CUSTOMER and our sister facility in Atlanta approximately three to four times a day leading up to the storm.

Without the impeccable and constant COMMUNICATION and collaboration of EVERYONE on our team, the results from Storm Jonas could have been catastrophic.

Due to our ability to communicate quickly and effectively, we were able to transfer the deliveries for nine different stores from a delivery schedule of Friday and Saturday to an alternate scheduled of Saturday and Sunday.  These changes allowed our drivers to depart in time to escape the brunt storm in the Delaware area and to complete their deliveries after the storm had passed and began moving South.

To ensure our Team Members’ safety, the New Castle Facility was temporarily closed on Saturday and reopened our doors, practicing business as usual, on Sunday at 4:00AM.

Thankfully, most of our Receiving and Shipping departments were able to start at normal time.  As for the Team Members who could not safely get out of their neighborhoods, our Managers Brian Kiliany and Susan Willemsendebock came to the rescue. Driving SUVs with four wheel drive, they graciously picked up team members for their shifts.

As a result of all the HARD WORK and COMMUNICATION our customer was one of the few stores able to reopen their closed stores quickly. Those stores that remained open, were able to increase sales by 20% due to the additional product that they had on their shelves.  

Through this COMMUNICATION and COOPERATION, EVERY one of our TEAM MEMBERS “Made it Happen” for our Customer.

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