The Service Award with a Twist

Mimi Umstead gives and receives her Service Award!
Mimi Umstead gives and receives her Service Award!

We at Currey & Company are identifying ways we can celebrate our tribe because the things we accomplish, even during a pandemic, would be impossible without each and every member of it. As they say, it takes a village, and ours is a remarkably diverse one. We give each employee a service award when he or she hits important milestones. These are usually done with a rousing event but this year, the in-person celebrations have been put on hold. That didn’t stop Mimi Umstead, our wellness coordinator and assistant to our president, Brownlee Currey, from figuring out a way to present a service award to everyone who’d earned them so far this year. In the image above, she gives and receives her five-year service award (for a spot of fun)!

The Currey & Company Service Award

The effort demanded some photographic ingenuity and a bit of zipping around Atlanta. With masks in place and awards in hand, she and Karen McWeeny, our Human Resources Director, made special deliveries. “Being Brownlee’s assistant has allowed me to do some of the ‘fun things’ at Currey, like annual service awards,” Mimi explains. “In a normal year, we would have done these in June, parading through the office waving balloons with employees in tow, clapping and cheering. I just decided we needed to get creative and take each service award to those who are intermittently in the office. I was unsure how everyone would experience the awards; then, it occurred to me—pictures of course!”

Brownlee checked in during Cecil Adams’ award ceremony.
Brownlee checked in during Cecil Adams’ award ceremony.

The awards are handed out twice each year, and Mimi plans on producing videos in December when she covers the remainder of the 2020 celebrations. In every way, her goal is to keep everyone at Currey & Company close. Drumroll, please…we present to you our latest crop of service award winners! 

Celebrating Five Years

Receiving their awards for five years with Currey & Company:

Stephanie Cote, our Product Development Administrator, receives her service award for five years at Currey & Company.

Stephanie Cote, our Product Development Administrator.

Lujah Fontaine, Currey & Company’s Contract And Hospitality Coordinator.

Lujah Fontaine, our Contract and Hospitality Coordinator.

Christi Lotspeich, our Accounts Payable and Service Operations, receives her service award for five years at Currey & Company.

Christi Lotspeich, handles Accounts Payable and Service Operations.

Lucy Roche, Currey & Company’s Purchasing Coordinator.

Lucy Roche, our Purchasing Coordinator.

Dan Tuten, Currey & Company’s Inventory control and Shipping Manager, receives his service award for five years at the company.

Dan Tuten, our Inventory Control and Shipping Manager.

Mimi Umstead, Currey & Company’s Executive Support and Wellness.

Mimi Umstead, our Executive Support and Wellness Coordinator.

Renita Young, our Parts Specialist, receives her service award for five years at Currey & Company.

Renita Young, a Parts Specialist.

Celebrating Ten Years

Receiving their awards for ten years with Currey & Company:

Tina Brown, a Currey & Company Sales Coordinator.

Tina Brown, a Sales Coordinator.

Troy Hewett, our Sales Operations and Salesforce Administrator, receives his service award for ten years at Currey & Company.

Troy Hewett, our Sales Operations and Salesforce Administrator.

Celebrating Fifteen Years

Receiving their awards for 15 years with Currey & Company:

Cecil Adams, Currey & Company’s Vice President/Creative Director.

Cecil Adams, our Vice President/Creative Director.

Nghia Nguyen, a Product Finishing Specialist, receives his service award for 15 years at Currey & Company.

Nghia Nguyen, a Product Finishing Specialist.

Celebrating Twenty Years

Receiving their awards for 20 years with Currey & Company:

Dang Trinh, a Currey & Company Product Finishing Specialist.

Dang Trinh, a Product Finishing Specialist.

Celebrating Twenty-Five Years

Receiving his award for 25 years with Currey & Company:

Miguel Sanchez, our Senior Project Engineer, receives his service award for 25 years at Currey & Company.

Miguel Sanchez, our Senior Project Engineer.

When we celebrated our 30-year anniversary as a company several years ago, we conducted a series of interviews with some of our newest and some of our longest-standing employees. Miguel was among those who had been with the company the longest. We thought it would be fun to share his interview to illustrate why our talented employees make our company so great. Miguel actually had a hand in our success two years before his employment began. “I started wiring lighting part-time 27 years ago,” he says. “When the demand for lighting grew, they hired me full-time and I’ve been a part of the company ever since.” 

Miguel says he likes challenges and one of the aspects of his job that has made him want to stay with us for so long is that he has moved around in different areas, which has kept him learning—an important aspect of satisfaction for him. “If I had been doing the same thing all these years, I wouldn’t be as happy as I have been,” he notes. “I’ve grown with the company, and as other people were hired, I gained a management position with 16 people under me in the wiring department. I am very proud of that accomplishment” 

Management positions would be the norm for this disciplined supervisor. He also teaches our new hires who need knowledge of working with electrical components in order to do their jobs successfully. He says the happiest year of his life with us was when he met his wife Anita here. They have now been married for 15 years, and they have a child in college and one in high school. “The Currey family and management want to support the employees beyond the normal ways a company does,” he says. “The educational program here is an example. They pay for employees to get degrees, even when the learning doesn’t relate to the jobs they are in. They just want everyone to better themselves. My wife took advantage of this and she is now a nurse.”

Moving from production to product development to quality control and then to design has brought him knowledge he is grateful to have. “It makes me happy that the company has grown so much and that I have been able to grow with it,” he explains. “I feel like I have purpose here and seeing that I am making a difference means something to me at the end of the day.” Miguel has traveled to the Philippines, China, and India in order to teach employees working for our international partners about engineering so the workers understand how our products need to be produced to be successfully wired in North America. “One of the most touching things I have ever experienced took place when I was in China,” he says. “They called me teacher and that was very humbling for me.” 

He likes that people in other countries are eager to learn and that he is making the lives of others better by teaching them. It’s no wonder he has been called a walking encyclopedia of our products, as his 25 years of being involved in the development of furnishings has meant he has had an impact on so many of them in one way or another.

New Introductions

Though statistics relating to the pandemic continue unabated, Miguel and the others who keep our products flowing are hard at work. They’ve done it yet again as we zoom into fall (in more ways than one!) and introduce our new crop of products next week. Stay tuned for news via our social media channels: we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. We’re looking forward to featuring lots of superb designs here on the blog in the coming months, as well. 

Currey & Company at High Point Market

If you’re traveling to High Point Market, we will be there and ready for you from October 13th to the 21st with more than 500 new items debuting. Appointments are strongly preferred to ensure safety and excellent service so please contact us if you want to stop by. If you’re opting out of market this season, we understand and we will be putting together a number of ways for you to see what we have to offer—at your pace and your comfort level. It’s a strange time, but our commitment to meeting our customers’ needs remains unwavering. We can’t wait to see you soon, whether in person or online. Stay safe, everyone!