09 Feb Employee Spotlight: Cherri
Cherri, an Operations Manager in Aldez’s Kentucky location, doesn’t have the typical employee story. Her career history is a great example of the tapestry of talent that is woven into the Aldez team.
Cherri spent the bulk of her career in automotive. In fact, she had worked for 25 years at a major automotive manufacturer when she decided to retire. During her long tenure in automotive she did many different types of work; from painting to inspecting cars. She was proud of her long and distinguished career that included training employees in new plants. But, after 25 years, she felt like it was all that she could do. Her career had been physical and hard on her body. So, as she and her husband had planned, the day after she retired and moved to Florida to begin the next chapter.
Cherri is busy. She had been busy in her career and she is busy in life. She and her husband enjoy all kinds of activities such as scuba diving, camping, biking, and boating. She realized pretty quickly in Florida that she was running out of things to do. “In Florida there wasn’t anything to do but the pool or the beach,” Cherri laughs. “It just wasn’t everything we thought it would be and we learned pretty fast that the retirement lifestyle wasn’t for us. Plus, we missed the seasons and we missed our family.” Within a year, Cherri and her husband decided to move back to Kentucky.
When they moved back, they moved to Lexington. Her husband got a job at the University of Kentucky and they found a pretty old house within a bike ride of the University. Cherri tried her hand at a job in retail and didn’t like it. She missed automotive.
“I was actively looking to find something that was a better fit for me when I came across Aldez. I didn’t know them by name, but when I read the description, it matched the automotive job responsibilities that I missed so much,” shares Cherri. “I thought it was a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor at their location that would be opening shortly.”
When Cherri met with Staci to discuss her experience, Staci thought she was overqualified for the role she had posted for. With 25 years of automotive experience, she wanted to talk to Cherri about the assistant manager role. After several interviews, Cherri was left with a really good impression. “I was excited about the growth of Aldez and spontaneity that would come with the job from being a start up situation.”
Cherri immediately felt like her experience had given her an advantage. “When the coronavirus pandemic hit, it affected our training schedule. When we were able to get back to the facility, we were able to get training done quickly and hit the ground running,” explained Cherri. “Thankfully my 25 years of experience with this manufacturer meant could I feel comfortable contacting the people I had relationships with and I was also familiar with how they handle countermeasures. This helped us make up for lost time due to the pandemic”
When the Operations Manager role became available, Diane and Mike drove down to personally discuss the position with her. “We had a long talk about my expectations and what it would take, and they were extremely supportive of some of the ideas I had,” shares Cherri. “I am so impressed that even the highest level of management at Aldez takes a personal interest in me and my career.” Cherri was offered and accepted the Operations Manager role.
Cherri is proud that her location maintains extremely low attrition rates. She attributes this to the managements team dedication to upholding the Aldez values and applying the in the day to day. Among the most important things to impact attrition, according to Cherri, is:
- Get to know everyone personally
- Go out of your way to make them feel welcome
- Help others – even outside of work. It’s not unusual for this team to help a coworker with a broken-down car.
Cherri is delighted that she made the choice to re-enter the workforce. “Aldez is a wonderful place to work. I am so thankful to be a part of this fantastic team. The people are so team and family-oriented and if you like a challenge this is where you need to be,” exclaims Cherri. “I love working here and I hope to continue to grow with the team. I’m always up for a challenge.” Cherri is not exaggerating; her latest personal adventure is as student pilot. She and her husband decided to learn to fly last summer and have been working towards their pilot’s licenses and recently purchased their very own plane!