We are fortunate enough to have employees that have stayed with us through it all. To be specific out of our 155 employees, 38 of them have been with us for more than 20 years! That’s almost ¼ of our workforce!
This year, Lee, our HR Administrator and Jane, our Vice President, celebrated their 20th anniversaries with the company! First a little background on both of them: Jane has an accounting degree from Providence College and an MBA from Bryant University. She was found by a company recruiter looking for a Controller for Hodges Badge Company. While she is still the controller, she assumed a Vice President position several years ago. Lee also went to school for accounting at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and has an associate’s degree in psychology as well. She came on board through a temp agency, starting as a part time accounting clerk, and then was hired as a full time employee. She eventually was transferred into the HR department and has remained there since.
We decided to sit down with them and have a quirky interview to learn a little bit more about their journeys at Hodges Badge Company!
- What have you seen change?
Lee: We’ve seen a lot of really great changes. We’ve seen technology change, people change; we’ve watched our product line expand. It’s been fun!
Jane: We’ve seen the company grow both sales wise and people wise. We’ve seen technology change. There were no computers on our desks when we started. We only had terminals just to do data entries and things a long that line. There was also one internet computer that you had to have a special password to get on. I really only used the internet for credit checks.
Lee: I had to punch in every number manually into a credit card machine and double paper tape would come out white and yellow on the other end. I had to do this for every transaction. Good thing we were a smaller company back then, can you imagine doing that now?!
Jane: We both also saw the company transition as it was passed down from Jim Hodges to Rick Hodges.
- What have you seen remain the same?
Jane: Some of the people have remained in the same position. The way that we operate is mainly the same.
Lee: We’ve always had our dedication to the company.
Jane: Also, our commitment and the passion that we both have for our jobs, that hasn’t changed one bit.
- Any memorable moments you’d like to share?
Lee: There’s been some amazing things. I’ve watched wonderful people come and go and lots of laughs and spontaneous things. They might be small but they’re significant to me.
- Favorite thing about your jobs?
Lee: You think you know what you’re going to do for the rest of the day in the morning and then you might as well shuffle your to-do list like a deck of cards because some priorities always take precedence. It’s constantly changing and exciting. But truly for me, my favorite thing is working with the people. When I became a part of HR and I was able to help people it was extremely satisfying.
Jane: I love the challenge. I just sat down and priced all the new products in our catalogue and its very challenging, but its fun to see the company grow the way it has. I also love the drive in. I come over the Mount Hope Bridge every day and there is nothing like seeing the bay 1st thing in the morning, when everything so still and calm. And going back over the bridge at the end of the day to a beautiful sky and the sun setting. Honestly, this part of the day really means a lot to me! A fabulous drive to a place I want to be- what’s better than that?
- Name 1 thing your coworkers would be surprised to know about you?
Lee: MY AGE! No I’m just kidding. I pretty much have been an open book with the people here and they could probably surprise me with something they’ve retained about me from the things I’ve said more so than I could surprise them with anything I tell them!
Jane: I have a twin. As long as I’ve been here a lot of people still don’t know that!
- Favorite thing to do on down time?
Jane: Hanging out on our boat with my family and friends, and of course doing Zumba.
Lee: Archery, friends and family.
- What would you like to see the company become in 20 years?
Lee: Go ahead, Jane, you can take this one! But, in all seriousness, I would like to see the company remain a family business the way it has been from the beginning.
Jane: In 20 years I’d like to see the company continue to prosper and continue to grow. It’s a leader in what it does now, so I would love to see the company continue in the path that it’s on.