Monday, November 13, 2017

'Schwan's People You Need to Know'

Sloan reaches 40 years of service with Schwan’s

"Schwan's People You Need to Know" is an ongoing series of stories that share some of our employees' experiences as we celebrate our 65th anniversary and participate as a founding partner of the Minnesota Super Bowl 52 Host Committee

Nov. 13, 2017 — Over the past 40 years, Jerry Sloan has become known as someone who exemplifies authentic leadership and goes out of his way to help others achieve their goals.

That’s one reason that in 2016 Jerry received the company’s most prestigious honor, the Marvin Schwan Excellence Award.

“The thing I am most proud of over my career is the people I have hired and worked with over the years and seeing them succeed in their life journeys — whether it’s a promotion, retirement or just being a success on the job,” he said.

Jerry serves as an area sales and distribution manager for Schwan’s Consumer Brands, which serves retail stores with brands such as Red Baron®, Freschetta® and Tony’s® pizzas, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts and Pagoda® ethnic snacks. He joined the company in 1977 as a salesperson on a Schwan’s home-delivery route.

He recently took some time to tell us about his long career at Schwan’s, his favorite moment as an employee and how he strives to make Schwan’s a place where people like to work.

Q: Tell us about your career journey here at Schwan’s.

A: I have held a number of positions over the years in a number of locations, including: loader, retail salesperson, warehouse manager, wholesale salesperson, OJT sales manager, marketing manager in two areas and sales manager. I have been in a manager position now for over 32 years.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

A: I am competitive!

Q: What’s your favorite memory in all the years you’ve worked here?

A: Being interviewed by Marvin Schwan (the company founder) for a promotion.

Q: Tell us why your job is one of the most important jobs in the company.

A: It’s the most important because it is where the business starts — on the front line, in the field, with our customers.

Q: What’s your typical day like as an area sales and distribution manager?

A: During a normal day, I get in touch with my team members to talk about a number of topics. There are also a lot of miscellaneous matters that could come up that must be followed up on during a normal day. Then, I normally will leave the office in the evening. If I am filling in on a truck route, I wake up at 3 a.m. If I am filling in on a sales route, I will wake up around 4 to 5 a.m. Then, I will go to the office, check emails and then get what I need to work the route I am on. At end of day, I go back to the office and follow up on any paperwork from the day and check all emails as well as return calls that I missed.

Q: Are you a football fan?

A: Yes

Q: Schwan’s is a founding partner of the Minnesota Super Bowl 52 Host Committee this year, which team are you hoping to see in the Big Game?

A: Cincinnati Bengals!

Q: What is your favorite Schwan’s® product to serve at the Big Game viewing party?

A: Schwan’s® Breaded Mozzarella Sticks.

Q: What’s your favorite Schwan’s product overall?

A: Schwan’s® ice cream.

Q: What do our company vision and values mean to you?

A: The vision to me is the direction provided to get to where we are going by focusing on our six business priorities. If we focus on Safety, Quality, Growth, Cost, Service and Culture, then we will be successful for years to come.

Q: What do you like about our culture?

A: Safety! We are working, talking and living how to be safe and return home the way we started our day. To me, that is the number one thing, and I am happy my people are able to go home safely to their loved ones.

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