Yesterday marked 20 years of employment for me at Ernie Graves Company and I didn't even realize it until the work day had passed. I guess the saying "Time flies when you're having fun" applies to me.
February 17th, 1997 was my first official day as a full time employee. I was 21 years old and feeling lost looking for a career when my father took a leap of faith by purchasing a smaller complimentary company to Ernie Graves Company, T.E. Mowry Company, so I could get my feet wet. I remember pulling up to their location in my lowered Honda Accord that Monday morning, taking a deep breath, and walking in ready to work. I started out in shipping & receiving that day, six months later we moved the company under the Ernie Graves Company roof, and six months after that I began climbing the ladder by moving into inside sales.
Truth is I grew up around this stuff --from watching my father put in work as a I grew up to sweeping floors and dusting shelves during my summers as a teenager. It's in my blood, it's in my fathers blood, it was certainly in my grandfathers blood when he started the company in his garage in 1955, and we'll have to wait and see if it's in either of my two sons blood.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes to many people for their part in our family business as it has been successful enough to continue 20 years into a 3rd generation and beyond (<15% of companies successfully make this transition).
- Thank you Ernie for having the vision and drive to make this all possible!
- Thank you Frank (aka Pops) for the 39 years of official employment you put in as a 2nd generation owner, and for taking that leap of faith on me 20 years ago!
- Thank you Mom (aka Grobbie) for bringing me in to this world, and everything you've done along this journey setting me up to be the leader I am today.
- Thank you Sarah (aka Wifey) for making me a better man, husband, and father each and every day!
- Thank you to my AMAZING Ernie Graves Company team! It's in your blood too, you just might not have realized it until we crossed paths :)
Here's to 20 more years of building on this thing together, having fun, and setting it up for the elusive possibility of gen 4!