Burris Blog

End of 2015 Recap! So many accomplishments to celebrate.

We’ve been busy at Burris! So busy in fact that we haven’t blogged since, July! Shame on us 🙂 We’ve made a little New Years Resolution to not let it go that long next time. Before we jump into 2016, lets take a quick look at a few highlights from August – December 2015 at Burris Logistics!

August

Burris Jacksonville Receives The First Ever “Bob Burris Culture” Award

Congratulations to Burris Jacksonville! Earlier this year they received the “Bob Burris Culture Award”. Our CEO, Donnie Burris, was on hand to present the team with the award.

This is the first ever Bob Burris Culture Award.  Burris Jacksonville has improved their engagement score over the past 4 years – a total of 32 points!! They were the highest scoring facility in Burris….. beating everyone else by 10 points.

The annual award is a recognition of the team’s achievements in working as a family, supporting each other, and making it happen every day for their customers! Facilities can win the award by making significant progress in building team member engagement.  Donnie is challenging everyone to get our engagement scores to 70% overall next year!

Burris Jacksonville Receives the Bob Burris Culture Award

September

Burris Trucks Participate In Two Local Area Truck Convoy’s For A Good Cause!

Burris Harrington participated in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy to support Special Olympics of Delaware (SODE).  Sidney Jefferson, with 30 years of service to Burris, has participated in this event for many years.  His rig looked awesome heading down the highway!

2015 Worlds Largest Truck Convoy Burris LogisticsOur Rocky Hill team participated in Foodshare’s Convoy for Caring for the 5th year in a row.  Convoy for Caring has been a 13 year tradition with Foodshare.  It is a visual reminder to the challenges that 137,000 Connecticut residents who go hungry struggle with every day.  Dozens of trucks hit the road on September 29th, to take part in a 21 mile drive to Foodshare’s distribution center in Bloomfield, CT, to demonstrate their commitment to fighting hunger in the Greater Hartford area.

Since 2000, food industry companies have donated the equivalent of more than 108 million meals.  Officials from Foodshare said that 73% of the food it distributes comes directly from the companies’ in-kind donations, so every dollar donated, results in three meals.

One of our Professional Drivers, Wayne Albert, does this Convoy year after year, and brings the Driver of the Year with him.  This year Wayne was accompanied by our Driver of the Year Scott Pray, along with two of our Transportation Supervisors, Mike Clark and Josh Smith.

Convoy for caring Burris logistics

October

Recognizing One Of Our Drivers – Carlos Estrada from our Honor Foods Team!

At an October team meeting, Driver, Carlos Estrada was recognized by his manager, Mark Hunter for his teamwork, excellent customer service skills, and his love for what he does. He has been with Honor Foods since 2001.

On September 4, 2015, while already prepared to take out his assigned route, transportation received a call out from a driver. Quickly the transportation department had to make changes in their dispatching plans. As Carlos was preparing to leave; he was instructed of the change. Carlos did not complain, nor did he refuse the change, he accepted it with open arms. That day Carlos’s new tour of duty was also a more difficult route to complete, which made his day even longer, but he did not hesitate.  He also had a new Honor driver that he was training that day.

What a way to lead by example. In addition to the above acknowledgement, Mark had the pleasure of experiencing Carlos and his positive and solid work ethic; it was while Mark was on his 2nd week at Honor.  Mark did a ride along with Carlos and immediately noticed the refreshing and comforting relationships that Carlos has with every customer. He shows respect and professionalism at every stop. While Mark was out with Carlos, He asked Carlos, what makes you happy? Carlos responded, “Knowing that my customers are happy is what makes me happy.”

Weeks later, Carlos was recognized for his safe driving practices by Ryder’s Safety and Loss Prevention Department.
Of course, WE know how great our team members are, but it sure is nice to get outside recognition!

"Driver

November

TWO Of Our Very Own Refrigiwear Warehousemen of the Year 2015!

Watch out now! We have not one but TWO Burris Logistics winners this year! Congratulations to Greg Garland (Elkton) and Delroy Thompson (Rocky Hill) for receiving this great honor.  There were only 24 winners chosen out of hundreds of nominations from US and Canada.

Warehouseman of the Year Nomination – Glenn Garland:

I have attached a group photo of our Elkton winner for the 2015 Refrigiwear Warehouseman of the Year Award (Glenn Garland).  Glenn (center holding award) is accompanied by GM Tim Peifley, Refrigiwear’s Doug Palmer and Shipping Manager, Chris Lindgren. Glenn was nominated by Shipping Supervisor Steve Cunrod, who wrote the following excerpt for Glenn’s nomination:

“What makes Glenn stand out as an outstanding team member is that he possesses a distinct analytical view on successful stacking techniques which has been a great asset to our shipping warehouse.  Mr. Garland joined Burris in 2010.  He has been a tremendous contributor and a natural leader within our warehouse among his peers.  Glenn serves on numerous business process improvement committees and also takes the lead to train our new selectors.  He is greatly diverse with regard to being able to perform all warehouse job functions.  Glenn leverages all of his experiences to implement positive changes in our work environment.”

Glenn was presented with the award on Thursday, November 19th in front of his entire warehouse team.   Elkton is proud to have Glenn on our team.  Our previous winners were Gil Ayon and Vicki Alexander.

Glenn Garland Refrigiwear Warehouseman of the year

Warehouseman of the Year Nomination – Delroy Thompson

Delroy Thompson is a trusted partner of all team members in the warehouse.  He has worked in the warehousing environment as a Order Selector for 18 years with the last 7 of those being with Burris Logistics.  During that time he has been able to mentor many different people who he has worked alongside.  His ability to build strong relationships with those he is working with has helped him to develop into his role as in informal leader.  He is seen as someone who will always go the extra step to do the right thing even when someone else may not.  He motivates those who may be having a tough day through his soft spoken voice.  When he is on the floor working he is someone you can count on to have a smile on his face, he uses his positive energy to pick up the pace of everyone around him.  When the afternoon lull sets in Delroy is still working full steam ahead, he uses his relationships with the team to get them to pick up the pace so that the entire team can get home to enjoy time with their families.

Delroy is able to select at a good pace everyday, and work injury free.  He has learned through the years just how important it is to pace yourself.  He hits it out of the park almost everyday, but knows when he needs to slow down and take it easy.  Even at the pace of “taking it easy”  he is still able to perform at 100% or greater.  Not only does he know how to pace himself, he also takes the time to make sure that his job is done accurately.  His work comes to the dock in a well built pallet which allows the quality control staff the ability to review it with no challenges.  When there are specialty passes Delroys name comes to mind because he is able to take the instructions and complete the work right on time.

With the years of experience Delory possesses in the role of selector he brings many tricks of the trade with him  He is always willing to share those with the young up and coming selectors.  He was an instrumental part of the team of selectors who took on the challenge of scanning product as it was selected.  He tried many different straps and positions of his equipment until he found the right fit.  Once he decided on the best way to use the scanner Delroy was able to share that information with his fellow team members.  Many of them are still using the additional strap today for their equipment.  Also when it comes to building a pallet Delroy thinks about it in a strategic method, he is able to do build some of the strongest pallets that others use as examples while in training.  He uses the cases in his pass to build a strong base while following all customer requirements and food safety requirements to develop a well crafted pallet.  His pallets are strong and travel well in the trailers down the road to our customer.
Additional Qualities that make him outstanding: Delroys positive nature is not only felt in the workplace, but also within his family, and his community.  He is a proud father and grandfather who takes the time to invest in the young ones.
Delroy Thompson Refrigiwear Warehouseman of the year

December

Strong Together: Burris Works Together To Make It Happen

This Stronger Together post was submitted by Tina Hawkins, Operations Manager in Harrington. It’s short and sweet, but very POWERFUL!  Tina sends a Big THANK YOU to Elkton and Federalsburg who came to the rescue recently when Harrington was experiencing heavy volume heading into Thanksgiving. Knowing this is a hectic time of year for all the facilities, the help is extremely meaningful and she passes along gratitude from the entire Harrington team.
HarrFedElk

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Burris Team Members Are Doing Big Things!

Johnny G’s Success Story – Selector, Supervisor, Lead, Inventory, and now Assistant Operations Manager

Johnny G.
Though my initial hire date with Burris Logistics goes back to July of 2002, my history with Burris starts back in early 2000 when I worked as a freight handler and dock foreman with Leonard & Zarr in the New Castle facility. Throughout my years working with Burris, I have worked as a selector, freight handler, receiving supervisor and lead, inventory control assistant and helped in many more numerous areas as well as help start up the Elkton, Atlanta, Honor Foods and the Rocky Hill facilities. It has been a great pleasure to work and train with new team members at Elkton as well as many other facilities such as Federalsburg when they converted over to V4 system. My advice for those looking to grow within the company would be to never stop learning, the more you know what you are doing the further you can go, knowledge is key!!!  Keep an open mind and look at the overall picture not just what is in front of you. Everything no matter how small can make a difference.

Now I have been given the opportunity to grow in my career as the Assistant Operations Manager down in Harrington, DE.  I am now the new kid on the block after being the go to guy for so many years in Elkton.  Now the fun begins again with the challenges I love of learning and understanding the operations of another building. Not only is this a great opportunity for me career wise, but this allows me more time to be with my family that is located in the area.  I get to spend more time with them by going fishing or going to the park.  Even just the simple things like sitting out front in the sun.

I would have to thank Bob Lewis for helping me get a better understanding of the stuff behind the scenes.  Bob helped me work on my customer service and helped me build my “I am Burris” attitude as well as how to play the constant firefighter and put out the fires as they light up.  Even if you don’t get them all out as long as you get them under control you’re headed in the right direction, don’t burn the building down.

Never settle for the minimum, keep the “Make it Happen” mentality going!!! – Johnny G.

Andrew Bishop’s Success Story –  Shipping Clerk and Truck Driver!

Andrew Bishop
Meet Andrew Bishop from Burris New Castle. Since 2012, Andrew has grown a lot with Burris. As he gained knowledge and experience, his drive (pun intended) to succeed landed him right where he knew he belonged… in the drivers seat of a Burris Truck!

When were you hired and what was your first position with Burris?
I first started with Burris in August 2012 as a shipping clerk.

Why or how did you come to join the Burris team?
I came to Burris because I heard there were great opportunities for growth and that it was an all around great company to work for.

What other jobs have you held here at Burris? How did you learn about and become interested in your career path with the company?
During my time at Burris I have held many positions. I started as a shipping clerk and quickly learned selection, loading and reach truck. And would often do multiple functions to assist where needed. I also learned many functions of inventory before moving to transportation where I became a dispatcher and assisted with backhaul coordinating while waiting to be sent to school to earn my CDL. I now am a truck driver, where I plan to stay for a very long time.

What did you learn that helped you to grow? Was there anyone who was a mentor to you?
When I first came to Burris, I made it my job to learn and excel in any and all functions. I would have been unable to achieve this without the teaching and mentoring of Brian Kiliany my warehouse supervisor and Chris Lindgren who was always been there to assist and mentor me whenever I was struggling.

What advice do you have for fellow Burris team members on career opportunities at Burris?
My advice would be to never stop pushing yourself to learn new things. In this industry there is always something you could learn to help better yourself with Burris whether it be now or down the road in your career. And take what you have learned and teach it to someone else.

What do you like about the positions you’ve held at Burris?
Since my start with Burris I have always been interested in receiving my CDL. I’ve always love driving so I figured it was the best fit for me.

Burris ATL Team Member, Kweku S Marfo-Jnr, Graduates With BS in Business Administration!

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Kweku graduated from Argosy University, the Atlanta GA campus, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. He began working for Burris in September of 2012 as a member of the Sanitation Department.  A year later he transferred to the Inventory Department and the following year he applied for the Burris Tuition Reimbursement Program. After two and a half years, Kweku managed to get his degree while working full time as an Inventory Clerk!

He graduated on March 26, 2015 and is looking forward to the ceremony later this year. Please join us in congratulating, Kweku on this huge accomplishment!

Burris Elkton Team Member, Andrew Evans, Promoted to Transportation Supervisor!

Andrew Evans
Andrew began his career at Burris Elkton in December of 2006 as a CDL A Driver.  In 2009, he decided to pursue his career goals by learning and gaining valuable experience in transportation operations by applying for the internally posted Dispatcher position.  Since then, Andrew has taken on many new initiatives in the department including serving as a Driver Trainer.  He decided to go back to college in 2009 and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Liberty University where he graduated with a GPA of 3.95.

Andrew says he “has enjoyed working for Burris because it is a family owned business that cares about their team members and provides a very generous tuition reimbursement plan to help their team members get the education they want to be successful.”  Andrew would like to continue to advance in the company and one day hopes to achieve a more senior role on our management team.

He has been married for seven years to his lovely wife Rielle and they have one dog named Doodle.  In his spare time, Andrew loves all outdoor activities and roots for his beloved Baltimore Ravens and Orioles.

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Promoting From Within: Two Longtime Team Members Become General Managers!

Our Burris PRW Plus Division is happy to announce TWO promotions of longtime team members to General Manager!

Both Leaders have been through our PGI (Professional Growth Initiative) process along with numerous years of hands on experience in the cold storage industry including several years with Burris.

Please join us in congratulating the promotion of Jim Nestle in Lakeland and James Wells in Haines City to General Manager.

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Jim Nestle, General Manager of Burris Lakeland

Jim Nestle, General Manager of Burris Lakeland
Jim has been in the Cold Storage industry for 43 years, since 1973. He worked his way up through the ranks holding every position in the warehouse including forklift operator, lead, supervisor and Operation Manager for the past 17 years in Lakeland. He has attended WFLO, Burris University, HPWP, and the Leadership Class at UNF. Jim has continually demonstrated the Burris culture and believes that his team and customer service are the keys to success.

Jim has been married for 29 years to his wife Sandi. He has one grown son Garrett. In his spare time Jim likes to spend time with his family and enjoys sports.

JamesWellscompressed

James Wells, General Manager of Burris Haines City

James Wells, General Manager of Burris Haines City
James has been in warehousing for 35 years, the first 22 in the citrus industry. The last 13 years have been with Burris Logistics. He started with Burris in Orlando right after it first opened. There he worked his way up to Inventory Manager. When the opportunity to be the Operations Manager at Haines City opened up, he was selected for the job. Since then he has enjoyed working in Haines City and all the challenges it presents. James has attended WFLO, Burris University, Leadership Class at UNF and HPWP. He has been interim manager in the Haines City operation since Greg Ross transferred to Federalsburg.

James was born in San Diego, California. He has a wonderful girlfriend, Mary, a marriage is in the works but no date has been set yet. He has three grown daughters that he raised by myself. In his spare time you’ll usually find him at a lake fishing for Largemouth Bass, or rooting for one of the San Diego sports teams, Go Padres!

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10 Years, 3 Locations And A Ton Of Burris Success. Here’s Jamel Gore’s Story…

Meet Jamel Gore. What a stand out team member. Thank you for sharing your amazing story with us!

“The nicknames I’ve gone by are all different in every warehouse, but the name on my Burris ID has never changed.  My full name is Jamel Jaquan Gore and I am the Burris Success Story.

Jamel Gore Burris Logistics
My story takes place about ten years ago in Bear, DE when I bought my first car.  I found a Burris application in my glove box. I was 18 at the time and was ready to leave my current job, but had no clue where to go or what to do.  So one day I filled out the application booklet and turned it in at the Burris New Castle location. I was hired within a week and was off to work at the Elkton, MD location.

In Elkton, I started off as an order selector with no experience on top of having no idea what a pallet jack, hi-lo, cherry picker, or a dockstocker looked like. Fast forward five years, I had become well rounded within Elkton.  As a selector, I could operate a double pallet jack, triple pallet jack, sit-down forklift, hi-lo (reach truck/stand-up forklift), cherry picker (order picker) and a dockstocker. I was also a trainer for the new hires in shipping, part-time receiving and a lumper on Fridays.  The biggest part of my growth within that 5 year time was learning about Burris and how every department was vital to the success of the company.  While in Elkton, I had to grow a lot. On my journey, I had a lot of great mentors -John T., Steve(Stephen) C., Reggie T., Kyle K., John G., and Corey S. just to name a few.

Fast forward 3 years later.  I continued to grow but in a new Burris location.  I transferred to Burris Orlando and worked as a selector for two accounts. I also worked in Sanitation, Inventory, and for the hiring team.  The Orlando Burris family took me in and enhanced my growth and confidence with their support and love while I was 900 miles away from my family.

Today, I am the Sanitation Supervisor and have a new family in Burris Atlanta.  While under the leadership of my now friends, brothers, and mentors Victor Smith Sr. and Dallas Brown, I have 16 certification and a team that supports my vision.For everyone looking to move up in Burris and in life, keep aiming and striving to achieve your goals and never be afraid to fall.  That’s the way to see true growth.”

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Team Member Success Story – Bryant Chouinard, Burris Rocky Hill

Success

We have another awesome Burris Team Member Success Story for you! This month we would like to feature Burris Logistics Rocky Hill Team Member, Bryant Chouinard.

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When were you hired and what was your first position with Burris? I started working for Burris on April 26, 2010 as a frozen checker.

Why or how did you come to join the Burris team? When I graduated from college I was looking for a job to start paying my loans and I came across Burris. I had always worked in a warehouse and thought this would be a good opportunity to learn some new things and apply what I had already learned to the company.

What other jobs have you held here at Burris? How did you learn about and become interested in your career path with the company? I’ve done just about everything here- checker, then selector, then inventory control, then loader, then trainer, then checker lead, and finally my current position as PM receiving supervisor. When I had my initial interview with the company I was asked where I see myself in 5 years and I replied “In management at Burris.” I took basically a path that would help me understand the business as a whole. Working in inventory, shipping, and receiving has allowed me to make better decisions and to also understand why some things happen and what we can do to correct them. 

What did you learn that helped you to grow? Was there anyone who was a mentor to you? One thing I learned that helped me to grow as a leader was when an issue came up rather than trying to attack it and fix it on the spot, I learned to step back and look at the situation as a whole. This allowed me to make better decisions and taught me to be more patient. Chris Costa has been a mentor to be for years. I worked with him for a while and he’s the one who taught me this. Costa has helped me with advice and problems both inside of work, as well as outside of work.

What advice do you have for fellow Burris team members on career opportunities at Burris? As for advice I would tell people just because you start at the bottom doesn’t mean you can’t make it to the top. Constantly challenge yourself and take on additional responsibilities, and when you come out on top of it, it doesn’t go unrecognized here. Job interviews also helped me out a lot. I met a lot of management that I never got to meet before, as well as they got to meet me.

What do you like about the positions you’ve held at Burris?  What I like about the positions I’ve held at Burris is that I’ve gained so much knowledge about how the company works and why they do what they do. Also, I like how there is always something to learn and the fact that there is always room to grow in the company from position to position.

I would like to add that HPWP has also helped me grow as an individual and that it will further help me with my career at Burris.

Thanks for sharing your success story with us Bryant!

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