Gratitude for customers, staff, Usha, Partners
As this terribly difficult year draws to a close, it causes me, even more than usual, to stop and think about what I am grateful for.
I am so grateful for the customers who keep coming back time-after-time, trusting us to produce awards, signage, gifts and so many other products that fill a need or delight a recipient. Every day has something totally different in it as our customers have ideas or a creative project or bring in odd stuff for us to mark. It keeps things interesting and we love being the ‘go to’ for our customers.
When we joined the Better Business Bureau we had to ask for recommendations and I was stunned by the whole-hearted support we got. Every single one was 5 stars!
Thankful hardly begins to cover how I feel about the VAE staff. They are, every one, tremendous assets to the company. We added a staff member this year but the others range from 6 – 18 years of working to build our culture, expand our capabilities and they always put the needs and desires of our customers foremost. We all oversee each other’s work and suggesting a remake if the job isn’t quite good enough. They are the ones who keep the company going; I mostly stand back and let them do what they do so well.
Usha – she has to have her own mention. She started working at just 8 weeks old and quickly mastered her role as greeter. She has won the production manager’s “Gold Star Customer Service Award” every year since 2013. I doubt anyone else has a chance this year! People love coming in and being met by a wagging, happy chocolate lab. Her ‘chocolate drop’ is well known!
This year I’m awfully thankful for the funds and support received from the PPP and the State’s grant programs. Goodness knows that has kept us going.
Mike Lannen and the team at Eternity are due many thanks for their work on our website and web marketing. I can’t imagine a better partner for our digital efforts. They’ve made it simple for me to make our website very personal and easily updated.
John Boutin and the Vermont Business Magazine are wonderful partners as well. The award programs they run elevate the entire business community in Vermont and doing the awards for those events allows our work to reach the best companies and future leaders in the state. Getting the list of Best Places to Work in Vermont is almost a customer list for us after all these years.
I’m very grateful for the suppliers who continue to make outstanding products. While many I worked with early on have closed down or raced to the bottom with ever flimsier, crappier goods, some have stayed the course and others have arrived on the scene believing, as I do, in the importance of quality - knowing it's better to give nothing at all than to give something shoddy. They are the ones I’ve focused our website on.
Finally I am very grateful this year is nearly over. A new year always brings hope that better days are ahead and this year we need that more than ever!