Tuesday, January 15, 2019

All in the family

McColleys deliver years of service and friendship to customers and coworkers

Keith and Andy McColley represent the second and third generation
of family members who have worked for Schwan's Home Service.
They're both currently zone managers. 
Jan. 15, 2019 — For Keith and Andy McColley, working at Schwan’s, serving customers and leading successful teams has been a family calling that has spanned three generations.

Keith and Andy are a father-and-son duo at Schwan’s who both serve as Home Service zone managers. Keith, the elder McColley, works out of an office in Denver, Colorado, while Andy works out of Ogallala, Nebraska. And, if you go back even further, Keith’s father-in-law (Andy’s grandpa), Marvin Butterfield, was the one who started the family trend.

“My father-in-law was the reason I started working for Schwan’s,” Keith recalled. “He worked for Schwan’s for 29 years, and I knew from him that there was a need for warehouse help in Owatonna (Minnesota). So I started working in the warehouse with the full intention of going back to my job in construction in the spring, but I started with Schwan’s and never left.”

After 36 years with Schwan’s Home Service, Keith said he’s planning to retire in early 2019. He plans to take a few months off and then perhaps find a part-time job that will occupy his time but won’t require a huge commitment. He has built a great career since joining the company in 1983. After joining the Owatonna depot’s warehouse team, he transferred to sales and routes in Minnesota for about eight years until he was offered a sales manager (now called an area manager) position in Schuyler, Nebraska.

Since then, Keith has probably seen and done it all in Home Service, including seeing his son, Andy, join the Schwan’s team and excel.

“As you can imagine, there’s a certain amount of pride. Especially, when you see a younger guy who has done well all on his own,” Keith said of his son.

Andy, who grew up hearing stories about Schwan’s, meeting its employees and, of course, eating the food, said he always envisioned himself pursuing a career with the company.

After high school, he worked in a retail clothing store for a couple of years until he became a supervisor. Shortly after he turned 21, he started working as a route sales representative for Home Service in Colorado.

“It was definitely a fun experience being around Schwan’s as a kid,” Andy said. “Being around Schwan’s all of the time, I knew it was something I really wanted to do.”

After working as an RSR for about four years, he became an area manager for a couple of years, and then was promoted to zone manager.

Through it all, he said he always had a great mentor in his dad, who he could bounce ideas off of in a moment’s notice even though they worked in different parts of the country.

“I definitely bounced a lot of things off of him when I first started in a management role,” Andy said. “We would talk about different ideas that I could try specifically at my location, so it definitely has been a big help over the years.”

Keith said the conversations with his son help him as well.

“We definitely talk Schwan’s. We run things by each other and talk about what’s working and what’s not working. It’s a big part of every week,” he said.

Now that Keith is beginning to wind down his career at Schwan’s, he said he is often asked about what has kept him here all of those years.

For him, he said the answer is simple: “I never had a reason to think about leaving.”

“I know that sounds too simplistic, but I started in 1983 and Schwan’s gave me an opportunity to make a good living and raise a family. It has provided us with everything that we desire so it has never crossed my mind to go somewhere else,” Keith said.

For Andy, he’s proud of his dad’s accomplishments and he’s ready to carry the torch from here.

“I am really glad I am at where I am at right now. One thing I respect is that all of the people that my dad has helped through the years — they’re now my mentors. So he helped them and now they’re helping me,” he said. “It’s just an awesome thing.”

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