Burris Blog

Burris Team Member Success Story: Chris Lindgren

Burris Logistics is always looking for our talented team members to step forward and take advantage of promotional opportunities. As we continue to grow, we will be placing more emphasis on developing team members so we can promote from within. We will be doing a monthly feature on team members who are growing through the company.

Christopher Lindgren started at Burris Elkton as a Shipping Selector and has taken advantage of opportunities for career advancement. We asked Christopher to tell his success story and congratulate him on his recent promotion to Jr. Buyer!

1. What was your first position with Burris?

 AM Shipping Selector

2. Why did you join the Burris team?

I had two friends that said it was a great company to work for. Rick had been with Burris for 5 years and Brian for 2 at the time. They had nothing but good things to say about the company.

3. How did you learn about and become interested in taking the step to supervisor?

 My initial goal was to move up in the company but I understood I had to put time in and learn more about the business. When the supervisor posting went up I asked my current supervisors about their job and responsibilities and how they liked the job. I had developed a good relationship with my supervisors in the past months and we were able to speak very candidly about the job.

4. What did you learn that helped you to grow?

 One of the biggest things I learned is about dock flow and how to keep my team motivated in a warehouse environment. As a selector I saw areas of improvement that I would have made if I were a supervisor and used that to fuel my ideas on how to improve processes and performance.

5. How did your experience on the hiring team help your development?

 From my first interview by the hiring team, I was thoroughly impressed on the idea of having high performing associates make the decision on whether I joined the team. When I was performing interviews with the hiring team it was nice to get a different take on the team members opinions on what was important to them. Instead of just reading from a script of questions we chose the questions that were most relevant to us as individuals and it helped make solid hiring decisions for new members of Burris.

6. How did you learn about and become interested in taking the step to Jr. Buyer?

 I saw the posting in the break room and inquired more about the position to our HR department. Our HR department at Elkton consists of a team of ladies that are willing to go the extra mile for their people in every situation I have encountered. We spoke about what it is the buyers do and how they effect the company. I searched about buying in general on the web and learned more about the position and what exactly I would be doing. I relentlessly prepared for my interview thinking of what questions would be asked from my past experiences as a manager and supervisor. At my previous position as an Inventory and Merchandising manager for Wawa I performed all of the tasks of ordering (buying) and inventory control. I had a really solid understanding of item movements, spoilage control, and awareness for high and low selling items that helped me a lot.

7. What advise do you have for fellow Burris team members on career opportunities?

 From my initial days as a selector I knew I wanted to be a “go to guy”. If a problem arose or help was needed in any way I wanted to be one of the people that was called on to help. I learned as much as I could as often as possible. If my supervisor asked me to help do a separate function than selecting for the day such as hauling pallets, lumping a floor load, stripping a truck, or wrapping pallets I was always willing to help. I inquired about the safety committee and once I was eligible to join it I signed up so that I could have a better understanding of our safety as a warehouse. I inquired about joining the hiring team because I wanted to be one of the people bringing new team members to our company. My biggest advice would be to get involved in the company as much as possible for your own benefit and the companies. You can never learn enough about the company you work for and being able to help out in any way will make you a more valuable team member and will open doors in the future.

Thank you Chris for being a vital part of our “make it happen” Team!

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Burris Logistics Celebrates 25 Years of Giving with United Way of Delaware

Burris Logistics’ partnership with the United Way is a tradition that started in 1988 by then President and Owner, Jack Burris. Jack and his wife Lillian became instrumental in creating the Sussex County United Way.  While serving on the Board of Directors, Jack played a critical role in merging the county organization with its northern partner, United Way of Delaware, making it one of only two statewide organizations in the nation.

It was only natural that Jack would find a way to join his devotion to United Way with his true passion, his company, Burris Logistics (then Burris Foods).  He understood the importance of businesses and employees giving back to their communities.

In 1988, Jack decided to start the United Way Campaign at Burris.  He encouraged Team Members to contribute to the organization by agreeing to match, dollar for dollar, any amount that they raised. Encouraged by the charitable spirit of their leader, Burris Team Members happily pitched in to make the company’s first United Way Campaign a success. Together they raised $10,437.80! As promised, Burris Logistics matched the sum for a total contribution of $20,875.

Over the last two and a half decades, Burris has continued the tradition started by Jack Burris. This year, Burris Logistics raised over $53,000 and with the Burris Corporate Match program, they were able to donate a total $106,000 to the United Way.

And it doesn’t end there! Burris has already kicked off the 2013 United Way Campaign, marking 25 years of partnership!  In the words of Burris Team Member, Barbara Smith, “We have such a strong history of generosity in our office. Whether it be raising funds for United Way, donating to a special cause, or volunteering time at a local agency, Burris rises to the occasion!”

There is no doubt that Burris Team Members will continue to make community support a high priority in the coming year…it’s the Burris way!


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Burris Rocky Hill Congratulates Warehouse Team Members

For 13 years, RefrigiWear, Inc. has honored warehouse men from all over the United States for their hard work and accomplishments.   Each year, warehouse men can be nominated by their managers and employees and this year  there were over 333 nominations from 137 different companies! Refriwear, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of insulated industrial work wear, accessories, and personal protective equipment. They said it best when they described why they like to recognize warehouse workers:

“Working long hours in a warehouse where temperatures can range from minus 65 degrees Fahrenheit, to dock areas that can become hot and humid in the summers, these industrial athletes excel at some very demanding tasks. Depending on their jobs, they move product by lifting, picking, sorting, stacking, driving, scanning, wrapping…every single work day. Plus they have to do it fast…very fast – and accurately…extremely accurately. They are measured on it, every day, every week, every month. In a business where margins are tight, efficiency rules!”

Burris Rocky Hill is please to announce our four nominees for the “The Outstanding Warehouseman of the Year” award for RefrigiWear.  From left to right below:  Ray Bent, Issac Alamo, Claudius Wallace and Steve Ceplenski.

Burris Rocky Hill Warehouseman of the Year Nominees

A very special congratulations to Isaac Alamo who was one of 24 winners out of over 333 nominations! Congratulations Issac and thank you for your dedication to Burris! Below is General Manager of Burris Rocky Hill, Rob Hayes, congratulating Issac.

Issac Alamo of Burris Rocky Hill wins the title Warehouseman of the Year!

Burris Logistics is very fortunate to have such an outstanding operations team in Rocky Hill!

Burris Logistics Rocky Hill's Warehouse Operations Team


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Burris Logistics Participates in PMA’s Fresh Summit 2012

Burris Custom Retail Distribution recently participated at PMA’s (Produce Marketing Association) “Fresh Summit 2012” as a first time exhibitor.  The annual event, held October 26-28 in Anaheim, CA, saw record attendance exceeding 21,000.  As Burris has recently increased its produce distribution capabilities it has increased its engagement with PMA.  In addition to its display on the exhibit floor, Burris was featured in PMA’s New Product Show Case.  The company is also a PMA Gold Circle Sponsor.
Future PMA events on the horizon for Burris include:
Fresh Connections – Tampa, November 15, 2012
Fresh Summit 2013 – New Orleans, October 18-20, 2013
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Sussex County Habitat for Humanity announces new partnership with Burris Logistics and Brendon T. Warfel (Milford, DE)

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Build with Burris Logistics and Brendon T. Warfel Companies

From L to R: Donnie Burris, Kevin Gilmore and Brendon Warfel

On October 26, 2012, Kevin Gilmore, Executive Director of Sussex County Habitat for Humanity (SCHFH) announced that Burris Logistics and Brendon T. Warfel Construction  will be joining together in partnership to build a Habitat home next year in the Milford area.    This exciting announcement took place during the annual employee appreciation picnic and provided the perfect opportunity to share the good news with both Burris and Warfel employees.   Gilmore said, “Brendon T. Warfel and Burris Logistics are both successful community minded companies with strong ties to the Milford Community.   They are able and willing to engage their networks in helping a family with housing and building hope and community in the process.”

Kevin Gilmore spoke  to those in attendance about how Habitat partners with others to make the dream of home ownership a possibility.   He said, “Habitat is not a give-away program.  Rather it gives people a hand-up not a hand-out!  Every adult in the family contributes 250 hours of hard work, sweat equity to building on their home and other projects too.”

Tom Protack, Director of Community Engagement for SCHFH, encouraged the employees to think of creative ways they and their family and friends can participate in this partnership.  Protack said, “no doubt, you will be giving the gift of home ownership so that a Milford family will have a decent, safe and affordable place to live and raise their families.  As the walls of their house go up, so many other walls of anxiety, worry and doubt come down.”

The next step for this project is to seek donated land.   Burris, Warfel, and  Sussex County Habitat are reaching out and searching for a donated lot in the Milford area.   The next step in the process will be to advertise for partner family applicants.    At the same time,  homebuyer applications are being accepted. (Please call the Georgetown Habitat Office at 302-855-1153 to learn more.)

Maggie Owens, Marketing Director for Burris Logistics, said, “Burris employees will help raise funds personally and through United Way throughout the project.  They are excited and are anxious to get started.   We will have several build days and special events to keep the momentum going.”  Maggie will plan and coordinate the employee volunteer days, fundraising and special events.

Brendon  Warfel  explained the goal will be to start construction in the Spring of  2013. With Brendon  volunteering as the house construction leader, both he and Burris will invite people and companies in their networks to give their time and materials to reduce the cost to build this house.

The build schedule will include donated services of trades people. If it cannot be donated, Habitat will use funds raised for this build to pay for the work that cannot be reasonably done by volunteers.  The build schedule will include days designated for Burris and Warfel volunteers and partner family participation. Habitat will approve the homebuyer (Partner Family) and provide support and guidance to both partners during the entire build.  If you would like to become a part of this upcoming project or are interested in donating land, please contact Tom Protack at SCHFH 302-855-1153 (ext 210).


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