Employee Spotlight: Rich Lewis

Grafton Companies LogoPeriodically, we’re going to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

Name

Richard Lewis

Title

Vice President-Sales/Operations

How long have you worked for Grafton?

Since June 2006

How did you get into the industry?

Funny story actually. We moved from Texas to Kansas City early in 1998 and I was circling ads in the Sunday KC Star. Before the internet, ads didn’t tell you much.
I answered the ad and they never contacted me. I was the perfect fit for the five bullet points they listed.  I sent them a comparison letter by fax and interviewed the next day.

At first, I thought I was going to manage a lab, etc. based on what they were looking for. To my surprise, I ended up in the Commerce Bank building on 87th street. I went to a suite on the 3rd floor and asked the receptionist what they did, and she said, “Scientific Staffing”.

Look, I’m “a hick from the sticks”, so I had no idea what staffing was or even what she was explaining to me. However, since I was in the room, I thought I should give it a listen. Long story short, it ended up being my career match. I started March 1, 1999, and have never looked back or second guessed my decision. I was home in the staffing industry.

What values are important to you? 

  1. Integrity
  2. Wisdom
  3. Compassion
  4. Honesty
  5. Commitment
  6. Loyalty
  7. Service (family, community, etc.)
  8. Belief in others
Rich Lewis

Rich Lewis

What’s your favorite food?

  1. My wife’s swiss steak with mashed potatoes
  2. Sushi
  3. Just a good ole Rib-Eye (medium rare)

What’s your favorite movie? 

  1. Adult Drama – The Power of One and Shawshank Redemption tie. (Both Morgan Freeman)
  2. Kid Drama – The Harry Potter Series
  3. Comedy – The Water Boy
  4. Adult Comedy – The Hangover
  5. Animated – The Lion King & Hotel Transylvania are a tie.

Favorite Hobbies

  1. Golf
  2. Attending concerts/sporting events(football/baseball)
  3. Fantasy Football
  4. DIY Projects
  5. Shooting Trap/Sporting Clays
  6. Coaching baseball

What is your favorite quote(s)?

“Immature is a word boring people use to describe fun people.” – Will Ferrell

“The world is more impressed with the power of our example, rather than the example of our power.” – President Bill Clinton

People do not plan to fail, they fail to plan!

We must educate to motivate!

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d really like to take the family to Hawaii. In addition, I’d love to take all the boys to the Netherlands so they could learn about their mother’s (Annika’s) heritage.  She immigrated to the U.S. when she was 16 and now we’re a family of five (three boys -18,16,13).

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

  1. Plan your search
  2. Research the organizations you’re interviewing with.
  3. Prepare for your interview. Questions to ask, clarification of position, etc.
  4. Accept offers that are written and signed. Get all details in writing. If anything isn’t included in the offer letter, you should assume it’s NOT included in the offer.
  5. Be wary of organizations or agencies that demand/require you to resign your current position without notice.
  6. Divulge any future vacations, appointments, etc. before you start your new position.

What’s something about you that would surprise people? 

  1. I was an active member of Crime Stoppers when I was in high school. I would re-enact the crimes (as the criminal) for the nightly news. I robbed a jewelry store, ran a meth lab, vandalized a school, etc. (I was a bad man…LOL!)
  2. I was a top swimmer growing up and qualified for Junior Olympics and the Olympic Trials. I missed my shot because I broke my foot playing basketball..barefooted.  I was told not to, but unfortunately, I learned many things the hard way when I was younger.

What was your favorite vacation? 

Annika and I traveling to Jamaica for a week. Just the two of us.

How do you define success?

Success is defined by who you are and the person you aspire to be. Success is when what you’re doing allows you and others to lead better lives. Success is creating/leading a business that empowers its employees and customers alike.

If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why? 

Chameleon. It’s important to understand your surroundings and what’s important to others. We’re all unique, have different personalities and diverse and interesting backgrounds. It’s good to walk, and understand, the path others have traveled.

If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?

I would interview Morgan Freeman. He’s an extremely talented actor, has had many experiences in life, and made movies about a host of divisive subjects. The Power of One is powerful and about apartheid in South Africa. Inspirational. He’s always been a person I enjoyed watching in movies or listening to in documentaries about science, religion and nature. He’s used his celebrity to do good for many people. I would love to meet him.

If you could witness a historical event, what would you want to see?

The end of the American Revolution (Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution). Of course, seeing the first man on the moon or Apollo 11 would have been cool too.

What three words best describe you?

  1. Loyal
  2. Accountable
  3. Humorous

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was 14, I wanted a go-cart I could race, so I asked my stepdad and mom if they would get me one or build me one. They said no, but I didn’t hear them. I kept asking. I was either going to be successful or get grounded for asking all the time but the reward was worth the risk.

My stepdad said “I have a job for you. You will do this over the next 3 months. You will work on the farm and pull weeds from the soybean fields with the farm hands/workers. You will pull all the potatoes and process them from your mother’s garden. (literally the size of a football field) You will reload shotgun shells for my shooting competitions.”

Not an ideal job. Not an easy job. But I got a YES and I could get my go-cart if I just worked hard every day. So I did. I showed up every day, did my job the right way and earned my go-cart. My dad built it from the ground up. It was awesome and I won some races. I think it did about 55-60 MPH. Pretty fast, especially when you’re four inches off the ground.

It was a weird job but it was WORTH IT!!

Employee Spotlight – Todd Hickam

Grafton Companies LogoPeriodically, we’re going to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

Name
Todd Hickam

Title
Account Manager

How long have you worked for Grafton?
3 years as of October 2018

How did you get into the industry?

I worked in the newspaper industry for 17 years. Once the internet came along, that industry wasn’t doing well so I decided to try staffing. I’ve loved it ever since.

Favorite Quote

“It’s all practice for the big game!”

What values are important to you?

Loyalty, trust, and honesty.

Todd Hickam

Todd Hickam

What’s your favorite food?

It would have to be a toss-up between Mexican and Italian.

What’s your favorite movie?

Hands down….Rocky!

Favorite Hobby

I love to play golf.

What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to travel the world someday.

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

Always keep your resume current.
Research the company you’re interviewing with.
After every interview follow-up with a handwritten thank you note.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

I love old Kung Fu movies.

What was your favorite vacation?

Maui, Hawaii

How do you define success?

Happiness. You must find a balance between life and work.

If you could interview one person who would it be and why?

Bill Murray, because he just cracks me up.

If you could witness a historical event, what would you want to see?

I would’ve loved to have been ringside to watch Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman when they fought, ”The Rumble in the Jungle.”

What three words best describe you?

Loyal, funny, and loquacious.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked as a bellman for two years at the Adam’s Mark Hotel when I was in college.

Employee Spotlight – Teri Amyx

Grafton Companies Logo

Periodically, we’re going to use our blog to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

How long have you worked for Grafton?

14 years. I started in the Executive Recruiting Division and spent 5 years there…and then I moved to the Scientific Division.

How did you get into the field?

While living in Alabama, I went on an interview for a Finance Manager role and ended up working for the recruiting company that was sourcing for the position. I love what I do, and take a lot of pride in bringing the right candidates to my clients.

Favorite Quote

“If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got.” (But if you ask my co-workers they would say they constantly hear me say “Recent and relevant.”)

Teri Amyx

Teri Amyx

What values are important to you?

Honesty, integrity and loyalty.

What is your favorite food?

I truly think I could live off chips and salsa, so I guess Mexican food would be my favorite.

What is your favorite movie?

I have so many favorites but the one that comes to mind is ” Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. Growing up I would watch this movie with my Mom and we would sing along to every song. My Mom made sure my sister and I watched all the old classical musicals. To this day we can still “belt” out a few show tunes.

Favorite Hobby:

Refinishing furniture, and making home decor or crafts. I love making vs. buying so that each piece has a story.

What is on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to pack a bag and take a one-week adventure with no plan or destination in mind. Go down those roads you’ve passed so many times and see where they take you. Find a few Mom and Pop Diners, no GPS, just pull out the atlas and go. Imagine the stories and people you would meet.

What advice do you give to a new grad?

You won’t know what you really want to do until you actually do it. It may not be the first job or second job, but you will find it. Be patient. Use the first few years out of college to learn what it’s like in a structured work environment and be open to new challenges no matter how scary they may seem.

Oh, and put the cell phone away and start using an alarm clock. HA HA!

Something about me that would surprise people?

I’m a bit of a hermit. On the weekends you might find me reading, gardening, lounging poolside, or rocking my new grandson Easton. I rarely make plans. I just see where the day takes me. And I’m a huge “car singer.” If you pull up next to me I could be rocking to old school Earth, Wind and Fire, Styx, Maroon 5 or anything that’s on the radio. Yes, I’m that person you’ve laughed at.