Burris Blog

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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Burris Locations Cool Off With The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

When there is an opportunity to help others while having fun, our team is there! A handful of our locations have decided to join in on this summer’s newest trend – the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Our teams have added their own twists to the challenge but the purpose is still the same – to raise money and donate to charitable causes while having a little fun cooling off in the hot summer heat.

Interesting Facts about ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge:

According to the New York Times, “ALS affects about 30,000 Americans. It is a disease which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis. The exact cause is not understood and there is no cure or treatment that stops or reverses the disease. The ALS Association said that it had received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 until Aug. 21.  In addition, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness of the disease, which the A.L.S. Association said only half of Americans were aware of about a month ago.”

Enjoy the photos and videos!

Burris Elkton

A few of our management team at Burris Elkton accepted the challenge from our friends at BJ’s. Here are a few fun pictures of team accepting the challenge!

Other members of our Elkton team wanted to get in on the fun and raise money too so they did the challenge a few more times.

Burris New Castle

Our New Castle location celebrated their second year as a Custom Facility on 8/20/2014 with a BBQ.  Along with the celebration, the team decided to raise money for their favorite charity, The Ronald McDonald House, by doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Each team member paid $5.00 to have the opportunity to challenge someone.  If the person they challenged declined, that person had to pay $5.00. However, our managers decided that some of their team members work in an environment that really is not conducive to being wet and therefore, for each $5.00 a team member donated, they could challenge a member of the management team and then would be able to dump the tub of ice water on them!  Needless to say this went over exceptionally well.

A very special “thank you” to our entire management team for being good sports in the name of charity. These individuals were challenged from 3 tubs to 6 tubs at a time. We conducted the ice bucket challenge at three different times throughout the course of the day,  9:45 AM, 12:00 PM, and 6:00 PM. This meant that each manager stood there and had however many tubs dumped on them individually.

The best part was that they raised $600 for their charity!

Here are a list of managers and the number of tubs they had dumped on them throughout the course of the day…

Kelly Blackburn – 3+ times
Brian Kiliany (BK) – 6+ times
Chris Robbins – 6+ times
Kevin Powers – 3+ times
John Goetze – 6+ times
Jim Bertuola – 3+ times

Also, they would like to acknowledge and send a special “thank you” to a few team members:

  • Megan Tarpley, Shipping Clerk for New Castle was challenged 4+times, and accepted. GREAT JOB!
  • John Syva, John Goetze, Kevin Powers, Chris Robbins, and Brian Kiliany for their help cooking
  • Kelly Blackburn, Anna May Ottinger for prepping
  • Billy Williams, Randy Marvel for filling up water bottles, and gathering ice bags during the challenges
  • Keya Al-Amin for putting the video collages to together so we could share them with everyone

Everyone of the New Castle team members participated in one way or another and they were proud to celebrated their second anniversary raising money and bonding as a team!

Burris Orlando

Our Orlando team decided to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to the next level with a pool of ice water!

In addition to enjoying the water time, they also made a donation to Team Gleason (www.teamgleason.org) to support those fighting ALS.

Burris Atlanta

Last week, you may remember that Burris New Castle challenged their sister warehouse, Burris Atlanta to follow in their lead of doing the popular ice bucket challenge.  Burris Atlanta happily accepted on Monday and they made sure to have a video camera on hand to capture all the action! I think Onnie Robinson wins the award for slowest pour!

The team had a great time raising money for a good cause 🙂


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Well Deserved Recognition For An Awesome Burris Driver!

Yolanda Banks Burris LogisticsLast week, our Atlanta team received some wonderful feedback about one of our Atlanta based drivers, Yolanda Banks.   Jasmine, HR manager for Burris Atlanta shares,

“Today, I received a call from a gentlemen regarding our driver Yolanda.  He volunteers for Mission House, Inc. and picks up expired food from our customer. During his trips to our customers stores, he often runs into Yolanda.  He wanted to let us know how great of a team member she is for Burris Logistics.  He said Yolanda is always smiling, very professional, and hard at work taking care of her customer.  He concluded by saying that in all of his years working for a Fortune 500 company and traveling the world, he has never met a team member as amazing as Yolanda.”

Yolanda started with Burris Logistics as a driver in December of 2013.  You can typically find her on the road between our Atlanta warehouse and our customers stores in Jacksonville, Florida. She has held a CDL for a little over 7 years and has driven over 300,000 miles.  Yolanda also holds an Associates of Art in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.

One other little interesting fact about Yolanda:  From 2011 until 2013, Yolanda worked as a volunteer teacher for a local organization.

Burris is fortunate to have outstanding customer-focused team members like Yolanda on our team. Thank you for all you do!

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Summer Fun at Burris!

Our locations have been busy this summer and we are only halfway through the season! Here are a few fun photos that our team members have sent in about what they have been up to lately!

Rocky Hill Team Members Starts His Own Business!

On Tuesday, June 24th, Rocky Hill said goodbye and good luck to one of its Supervisors, John Gomez.  John had been with Rocky Hill since the beginning and worked his way up from a Checker to a Supervisor.

Through perseverance and guidance, John was gradually able to buy himself a home and successfully start his own business on the side.  His side business has grown and he has decided to make it a full time career.  While we are very sad to see him go, we are so happy he is able to start a new business of his very own.  It was a bittersweet day that we celebrated with speeches and cake!

Burris Rocky Hill

Burris Federalsburg Supports Local Lions Club!

The Burris Logistics Federalsburg team helped to sponsor the Federalsburg Maryland Lion’s Club 3rd Annual Duck Derby Festival held on June 28th.  Burris Federalsburg was one of many local sponsors for the family fun festival held each year to raise money that the Lion’s Club uses to help the community.  The Duck Derby Festival is a very popular all day event that sells over 5,000 rubber ducks and then races them down the Marshyhope Creek!

Burris Federalsburg Lions Club

Burris Logistics Team Members Love Their Summer Rides!

Here is a quick picture sent in of our Payroll Specialist, Liz Snead! “Mild mannered Payroll Specialist by day…Motorcycle Angel by night!”

Are you a Burris Team Member that likes to ride your bike into work? Snap a good photo and share it with us on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/burrislogistics


New Castle Transportation Team Keeps Their Drivers Hydrated in the Heat!

When it gets over 90* in New Castle the Transportation Department likes to make sure their drivers stay hydrated.

Iced down coolers with bottled water and Gatorade are available for the drivers who are either departing or returning from a long hot day.

Left to Right – Dispatcher Mike Alloway, Driver Brian Young, Dispatcher Rey Robinson, and Driver William Watson, both driver just returning from delivering to The Fresh Market in the Outer Banks NC.  A bag lunch will be sent out on Thursday Night for the drivers to celebrate the 4th of July Holiday.

Thanks for your hard work and dedication fellas . . . . remember, you are the face of Burris when seeing our Customers every day. – Burris New Castle Transportation Team

Burris New Castle Transportation

Making Marketing Meetings Fun!
Our Marketing Department is hard at work developing some great upcoming marketing ideas! Here is a quick photo that our good friend and partner, Maria Miranda of Miranda Creative, snapped with our very own Maggie Owens, head of Marketing for Burris Logistics while they brainstormed ideas earlier this month.

Independence Day Celebrations at Our Locations!
Like many in the Logistics business, many of our Burris team members happily worked over the long holiday weekend to make sure our customers were serviced and stocked.  Just because we have to work on holidays, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and enjoy the day! Many locations held BBQ for the warehouse and office team members.
Here are some photos from Burris Orlando, Elkton, Rocky Hill, and Jacksonville.

Burris Harrington Helps Businesses in Need

Our Harrington team is excited to help the UDairy Creamery again this year, allowing them to store their ice cream in our freezer during the week of the Delaware State Fair. UD travels to the fair in their “Moo Mobile”, but it’s not big enough to store the large amounts of ice cream they sell to the many fair goers.  In appreciation of our hospitality, and the extra effort put in by our team members, UDairy’s Moo Mobile visits our facility each year to allow all of our team members to get a few scoops of their DELICIOUS ice cream. Perfect on these hot summer days!

Burris Logistics Harrington

Burris Harrington to the rescue! In July, we received a distress call from a Sergeant of the Dover Air Force Base. It turns out their refrigerated box truck was having mechanical issues just in time to possibly spoil their “Wings and Things” celebration the next day. Of course we couldn’t let our Airmen miss out on their celebration, so in true Burris fashion, we made it happen! Our driver, Raj Dookran, was heading home from New Jersey so he happily made a pit stop at the base to drop off a trailer for the weekend. Raj was able to snag a photo with the group! It is truly an honor to give back to our servicemen and women.

Burris Logistics helps DAFB

Burris Atlanta Partnered with United Way of Greater Atlanta to Volunteer at Sheltering Arms

On Friday, ten of our outstanding Atlanta team members volunteered at Sheltering Arms, a nonprofit childcare and early education center in Atlanta. They donated books and art supplies, and brought in ice cream for an ice cream party! The Burris team (made up of warehouse, transportation, maintenance, and HR team members) enjoyed their special time with the 30+ kids!


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