Thursday, September 2, 2010

Each week, I wanted to highlight a long term Box Brothers employee, who has been with us for a long time. Last week, I spoke about our founder, our 25 year employee, Robert Goody Goodman.

This week I want to highlight one of our long term employees, our only Vice President,
Chris Long.

I want to tell the story about how Chris, at 18, first came to work at Box Brothers, about
20 years ago, at our Santa Monica location. I recall this story, that is truly amazing and fascinating, at the same time.

Chris came out to California with his older brother, who had a job doing computer stuff at Loyola
University. I believe they lived in the bowels of Northridge. Chris had actually been looking for
a job, and was using the yellow pages, going through the alphabetical listings until he came to
boxes, corrugated and fibre, and saw our listing. He called and as the then President of Box Brothers, I, of course, answered the phone, as we had no real office staff at that time.

I did not really believe him, that he told me that he had been going through the yellow pages,
calling everything and every firm he could to find a job. I told him to call me back in a week if
he wanted a job. He did call back in a week, and when I found out that he had a car which in fact was a El Camino (suedo pick up truck from Chevrolet), I hired him to work out of Santa Monica,
with a very demanding manager, Scott Parsons, who, by the way, was conveniently nicknamed
"the dentist" as he pulled your teeth out daily...........Scott was a true stickler about how his store
was run. He was our only manager who insisted on the guys doing vacuuming two to three times a day.

Anyway, Chris was the best employee I could have ever hired, as he thrived on taking more responsibility and he was finding his way into adulthood. He loved the customers, some more
than others, but Chris' work ethic was nothing less than superb and I truly believe that he became the best packer we ever had, as this was because he actually thought about what he was going to do to pack an item. Once, I was there, and him and Scott were taking care of a customer who brought in a desktop computer, as in those days, they cost2-3,000.00 dollars.

Before Scott had rung up the customer and completed the paperwork, Chris had already, with no
instruction from Scott, just about completed the packaging--with no direction, just his experience and knowing what Scott wanted. To see something being done professionally without one word of direction was amazing, almost like mind reading. Chris' only problem was that he was still young, and he was not to good with directions....just kidding.

Anyway, Chris has done so many things in this company, but one of his greatest accomplishments was to run and build up the Las Vegas stores, which we had bought from
our licensees over 13 years ago. Chris not only moved to Vegas with his then one year old son (no small feat for a guy from Oregon) Tyler, but he built up that business to put us in the position to dominate that market, in the 90's to today.

Chris has built up a reputation that if you need something professionally packaged in Las Vegas,
our Sahara store is the place to go each and every time. We do top quality work for all kinds of
people, tourists, casino's and charities, collectors, and estates, to mention a few, along with some
serious work for some galleries, in town.

Today, Chris is our sales manager, for all the markets we are in: Southern California, the Bay Area, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland and all areas in between. It is a lot of work and there is always so much to do as the business and the people in it are always changing. In fact, Chris,
even with three kids, a wife, a dog and a number of toys--not to mention his boat and his quads and his Harley.., is on the road not less than two weeks of every month, if not 3 weeks out of 4
during some months.

I am so proud of Chris and his commitment to the customer and to him giving each and every
person respect and great service, but that is not the end to this story, as you can ask each and every person who works under Chris, and the remarkable thing is that Chris would never ask
any employee to do anything that he would not do. Chris still does pick ups, packs and handles
the counter where ever he is. The mark of a true leader, if there ever was one.

I have to say however, that what makes Chris the great person he is, is his nature. I believe
he cares about people in a way that never leaves them hanging, always leaves them feeling fulfilled and truly wants was is best for all. The biggest compliment I can give him is that I always want him in my corner, as I know you can always count on Chris--without fail-always.

Even though I think he wears his hair too long.......I think that Chris has made huge contributions to Box Brothers and this family is so much better off because of him and his work ethic and most of all, cause of the person he is. I am so proud and happy that Chris did his walking thru the yellow pages, 20 years ago.

Like I said, I just wish he would comb his hair.

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