Burris Blog

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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Team Member Success Story – Michael White From Burris Atlanta


Meet Michael White. Ever since starting as a Lumper in our Burris Atlanta warehouse in the fall of 2010, he has made it his mission to grow his career with Burris. He has worked in almost every position in the warehouse and recently received a very well deserved promotion to Receiving Supervisor! Here is his story.

Michael White Burris Atlanta

When were you hired and what was your first position with Burris?

I was hired on October 10th, 2010 as a Lumper.

Why or how did you come to join the Burris team?

I saw a flyer and looked up Burris Logistics, and applied for a job.

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 have been an office clerk, a scanner, and a lift operator. After doing some research I felt that Burris would be a great company to work for.

What did you learn that helped you to grow? Was there anyone who was a mentor to you?

Always learn as much as you can and do your best. Herman Littleton III, always pushed me to the limit and wouldn’t allow me to make any excuses. Eduardo Quinones made sure that I knew everything that I needed to be successful, and Kevin Magby saw something special in me. The Burris family gave me a chance and I will be forever grateful.

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

Don’t ever think that the work you’ve done goes unnoticed, it is seen and appreciated and can speak louder than any words you can say. Your dedication and good work ethics will take you to the next level.

What do you like about the positions you’ve held at Burris?

All of them have challenged me in different ways and has helped me to become a leader.

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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!


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


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


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!



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


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.

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