Can't Do This Alone

Craig Mullet is Vice President of Corporate Care for ProVia

By Craig Mullet

Most of us in the building products business are sticklers about quality. At ProVia, quality is one of our core values, and an area where we never compromise. But we live in an imperfect world, and things sometimes happen during the ordering or production process that prevents a product from being sold. However, the product is often in perfectly good working condition and it would be a shame for it to go to waste! That’s why we’re glad to be a partner with World Vision, the organization we donate to when we have reordered product.

Participating in World Vision does much more than avoid wastefulness. It’s perhaps the most useful way to manage reordered product because donations are ultimately helping children and families in need. Recently I spoke with Mary Garcia, Corporate Engagement Director for World Vision, to discuss how building products manufacturers can help fill these needs while also benefiting their own companies.

Craig: It’s possible that some of our readers aren’t familiar with World Vision, so please tell us a little bit about the organization. I notice that your slogan places an emphasis on children.

Mary: World Vision is a not-for-profit Christian humanitarian organization that operates in nearly 100 countries throughout the world with approximately 46,000 employees worldwide. We started as an international child sponsorship organization, and are now one of the largest and most respected community development and relief organizations in the world. We hire local people and work alongside communities to tackle the root causes of poverty. We focus on providing access to clean water, food security, basic healthcare, quality education, and more. It’s not a hand-out; it’s a hand-up.

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47 Years at Provia

Esta Winkler is Customer Service Team Leader for ProVia

Esta Winkler has worked at ProVia for 47 years and has seen a lot as the company grew and went through many changes. These days it’s quite unusual for someone to spend their entire career at one company, so we asked why she made this choice and how this has worked out for her. Following are a few excerpts from our interview with Esta, who will be celebrating her retirement at the end of this year.

How did you get started at ProVia?

I turned 19 in August of 1968, and in September I was hired to work for Alsco, which was the Sugarcreek facility where we made storm doors and storm windows. I worked in production for 10 years, mostly in the storm door department, and I ended up being a team leader in that department for several years. I really enjoyed working in the plant and making storm doors! Then there was a job opening in the payroll department in the office, so I applied and did that for a couple of years. Then I worked as a shipping clerk for a couple of years and also in the order department. Just all kinds of things, and I enjoyed learning as much as I could, doing different things. At one point they asked if I’d be interested in a newly created position as a customer service manager. I’ve been doing customer service ever since.

Esta with Lonnie Hershberger, Director of Customer Service  

What did they see about you that was a good fit for customer service?

At the time, I knew the product very well. I also enjoyed people. I was very friendly with everybody in the production area and of course in the office. I just obviously loved working with customers and we got along well. I guess I’m a people person!

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