Founded in 1990, Portacool is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. To give you a view into what makes the leader in evaporative cooling tick, we’re spotlighting long-time employees to share their memories, experiences and perspectives during their time with the company.
Name: Kimberly McElroy
Role: Director, Customer Service and Logistics
Years at Portacool: 12 in September
What initially drew you to Portacool? How did you first get involved with Portacool?
Approximately 12 years ago, Ben Wulf approached me about coming to work at Portacool, LLC to assist him and his team with International Sales. At the time I was working at Tyson Foods in Center, Texas, and just knew I would work there for the rest of my life. I was satisfied with my position as Employment Manager and had already been there six years, so I wasn’t interested in changing careers. Ben met with me no less than four times and was finally able to convince me to make the change! I decided to embrace the challenge and try something new, and I have never regretted that decision.
What does your day at Portacool entail?
Currently, I have a team of 29 employees that I oversee and work with daily. Most of the employees are based at the Center location, but I also oversee 12 employees that are based at our Wilmer, Texas, distribution center and one customer service representative located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. My day starts by checking emails and reviewing open order reports, past due shipping reports, returns reports, etc. I tend to arrive early so that all emails are covered before 8 a.m. When the team arrives, I greet them and tell them to have a GREAT day! I remain available for team members, customers and vendors should anything arise that needs my attention. I enjoy visiting with the Manufacturing, Engineering, Purchasing and Shipping teams weekly. It is nice to visit with everyone and get a break from the “norm” every once in a while. I can assure you every day is different and with that comes new opportunities!
From your perspective, what would you say are Portacool’s greatest accomplishments over the years?
I have seen a multitude of changes during the past 12 years but the greatest accomplishment I’ve seen thus far is a change in our culture. I have never seen all teams work more closely than I have from 2019 to the present. The Leadership Team has worked tirelessly with managers, supervisors and hourly team members to ensure our culture is recognized each day. We are committed to our team members, committed to our customers, committed to quality, and committed to performance. It doesn’t matter if you work in Customer Service, Logistics, Accounting, Purchasing, Marketing, IT, Manufacturing, etc. – we all take pride in our roles, keep our culture commitments at the forefront and strive for excellence every day. Communication between all departments and companies is at the highest level I’ve ever seen, and it only continues to improve. I look forward to seeing what happens over the next several years; it can only get better from here!
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