Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Baird recognized for manufacturing success at Schwan’s

Production Supervisor James Baird, who works from the
Supply Chain dessert facility in Stilwell, Oklahoma, was
awarded the company's top honor. He is pictured with his wife,
Linda, along with CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios, right, and
Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Tony Puri, left.
May 2, 2018 — James Baird understands success. From his early days as a line attendant to his current role as a production supervisor leading the startup of a brand new pie line in Stilwell, Oklahoma, he’s been demonstrating success throughout his career.

To James, success comes from taking ownership of a role and putting in extra effort when needed. It also comes from having the support of a great team.

“Years ago I heard the saying ‘it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys, but it’s easy when you’re surrounded by eagles.’ It’s a saying I strive for when developing teams,” James said.

His commitment to success, along with his drive to help others improve, is part of what earned James one of this year’s Marvin Schwan Excellence Awards — our company’s top honor. James received the award from CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios and Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Tony Puri during our company’s leadership meeting in March.

“He was a key player in our new crème pie line start up, and even when times were tough, he always approached his work as a true team player. He always did the right thing for the team and the success of the project,” Dimitrios said.

James received the award after a dozen coworkers and leaders filled out multiple nomination forms recommending him for the company’s highest honor.

“Every day when I come to work I try to make things better for those around me. And to see that people recognize that is a great thing,” James said, adding that awards like this are only earned with the support of a great team.

“Great job, fellow eagles!”

Building a new pie line

James has seen much success throughout his 20-year career with Schwan’s. His most recent achievement came from the startup of a brand new crème pie production line at our manufacturing facility in Stilwell.

James’ role included breaking ground on a 100,000 square-foot expansion, oversight of the installation of new equipment, selecting and training teams on two shifts and leading operations. It was a role he was excited to take on.

“It was a big honor to be asked to be the startup manager,” James said, adding that he wanted to make sure every part of the project was done the right way. “I wanted to see the Stilwell facility and community grow and give everyone in the company confidence to keep investing in Stilwell.”

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