Burris Blog

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!

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.


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.


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


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.


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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What’s New At Burris Logistics This Fall

With so many great events happening, we have had a hard time keeping up with them on our blog! Here are handful of our most recent news stories.  Enjoy!

Penn State Career Fair!

Members of our team were trilled to once again be at the Smeal College of Business Supply Chain Career Fair. This semester’s fair was held on September ​9 & 10 and there were over 500 students in attendance from sophomore year through MBA. There were four Burris team members there: Tim Peifley, General Manager of Burris Logistics in Elkton, MD; Lisa Pearson, Talent Acquisition Specialist; Heather Grubbe, Training & Development Specialist; and Megan Howard, Team Member Relations Specialist. We had the chance to talk to many students and conducted interviews with possible candidates during our time there. We received feedback from several students who had mentioned that their professors had recommended Burris based on the positive experiences they have heard from our past interns. Congratulations to Penn State’s Supply Chain undergraduate education program which was recently ranked No. 1 by Gartner, Inc!

PSU Career Fair 2

The Ride Along Experience – A Fresh Perspective From a Burris Team Member!

When the Burris ride-along experience started, I was quite eager to sign up. As a kid I always wanted to take a ride in a tractor trailer, so getting a chance to do that was more than enough reason to add my name to the list. More importantly, I finally had a chance to see one of our customers stores. After spending two years with Burris, I thought it was about time to see our customer up-close and personal, the same way they saw our facility two weeks prior to my ride.

It was an early start for me on Saturday the 13th , as I had to meet up with Adam Banks to depart New Castle by 5am. Our destination was one of our customer’s stores located in Glen Mills, MD, about twenty miles up RT202. Before we could head out, Adam needed to put together the paperwork required for the trip, as well as inspecting both the truck and our trailer. After everything checked out, we were free to hit the open road! Driving up I95 and RT202 had been nothing new to me, but sitting five feet higher and hauling a 40+ foot trailer certainly was. For the duration of the trip, Adam and I discussed the ins-and outs of being a driver and his own adventures throughout his driving career.

As we arrived at our destination, Adam skillfully backed the trailer into an open door (first try, of course) and reviewed his paperwork before we exited the truck. Seeing as how we showed up a little early, we weren’t expecting anyone to answer the door right away. But luck seemed to be on our side as not a moment went by before someone let us in.

Immediately after walking inside I noticed how small the store’s dock was, and I thought about how careful and meticulous our customers employees have to be in order to correctly and safely break down the pallets we deliver, all while swiftly getting product to their shelves.

Adam and I worked together pulling each pallet off the trailer and safely avoiding any product already sitting on the dock floor. I even had the honor of pulling some pallets off (all heavier than Adam’s) and dropping them in the necessary areas. Once the manager checked each pallet for any concerning issues, he signed our paperwork, wished us well and sent us on our way.

The whole process went as smooth as we had hoped! I came back with a lot of knowledge on the responsibilities a driver has, from the safe driving on their route to ensuring the right product is delivered to our customer, on time and undamaged. It was a very interesting and eye-opening experience to see and be a part of the last step in our shipping process. I absolutely encourage anyone and everyone to sign up for the ride-along program while it lasts, because knowing the ins-and-outs of the Burris operation is what puts us above the rest!

– Curtis Williamson, Inventory Control, Burris Logistics New Castle

Leroy “Mike” Graham Retires After 40 Years With Burris Harrington

September 12, 2014
Harrington is at once delighted and disheartened to announce the retirement of long time Burris team member, Leroy “Mike” Graham. This month marks 40 years Mike has dedicated to the company, beginning his career in September 1974 alongside many fellow 40 year Burris veterans.

Whether he had a joke, book or just a smile to share, Mike brought much joy to the workplace. Mike has worn many hats throughout his tenure here, spending the last several years in our damage control department. We are indebted to Mike’s contributions and willingness to take on any task. He takes with him 40 years of valuable knowledge and experience.

We honored his devotion not only as a team member, but as a friend, Friday, September 12, 2014 in a luncheon filled with good food, company, memories, laughs and bittersweet tears. Mike’s wife Louise, longtime co-workers and friends Gary Walstead, Ed Melvin, Horace Dudley and Bill Adkins stopped in along with several Harrington team members to bid Mike farewell.

I leave you with a quote from Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, written by James Patterson, one of Mike’s favorite authors:
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

Burris Logistics Attends Global Conference for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

Burris attended the Global Conference for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) this past week, September 21-24. Burris is a corporate member of CSCMP. This year the conference was held in San Antonio, Texas and over 3,000 supply chain professionals were in attendance. Representing Burris was John Haggerty, Brian Haley, John Texeira, Mike Bargmann, Heather Grubbe, and Megan Howard.

From the keynote speakers to professionals leading the break-out sessions, there were so many opportunities to learn and connect with others. Heather and Megan participated in the Student Recruitment Day meeting many of our future supply chain leaders! We made some great connections with students as well as educators.

Our last key note speaker was a comedian, Judy Carter, who encouraged us all to create “the message of you.” Rather than letting our situations get us down, we can use it to create our message and serve out our life purpose. She also felt that supply chain is an industry that doesn’t get enough appreciation so she wrote us our own rap song. One of the lines of her rap was “I say this without hesitation, treat us with appreciation. We’re the supply chain association!” Thank you to all our team members who Make It Happen on a daily basis!

Burris Elkton Reaches Their Safety Milestone!

On September 17th, the Burris Elkton warehouse reached 90 days accident free! They are very excited about their accomplishment and enjoyed a luncheon and two cruise drawings to celebrate.

This is Elkton’s first time being able to meet the eligibility requirements to be eligible for the cruise drawing! They are so proud of their team and they hope to be eligible within the next 86 days for another drawing.

Pictured on the left is Constance Johns, Safety Manager, middle is Vicki Alexander (Quality Assurance Lead and winner!), Frank Ahern, and Tim Peifley. Vicki began her Burris Elkton career in May of 2006 as a member of our Quality Assurance Checking Team. She was promoted in 2012 to a Lead Checker.

Pictured on the right is Damon Portlock, the winner of the second cruise.  Damon has been with us since starting as a PM Receiving Team Member in June of 2010.



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