If you ask anyone around the mill who has the most intriguing office, they will point you in the direction of Dennis Gilliam, our Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Dennis has an eclectic style and has filled his space with all sorts of antique collector’s items, old ticket stubs, funky furniture and our favorite, a Brunswick round table and chair set. Dennis willingly set aside time from his busy schedule to share his story with you, our readers.
Cassidy: Hi Dennis. Let’s start by having you describe what you do here for our readers.
Dennis: My job title is a smoke screen— it makes you forget that I do all the fun stuff (like creating advertising, planning public relations, new product development and new business strategies) so you don’t covet my job.
C: How long have you been with Bob’s Red Mill?
D: Eighteen plus years.
C: Eighteen years? You must like working here to stick around that long. What do you like most about your job?
D: Working in a wholesome atmosphere breathing the rarefied air of professionalism, hard work, good humor, mutual respect and tolerance of differences.
C: Well said. Those of us who work with you know that you are just full of interesting stories and have worked in several different fields. What was your first job?
D: Selling garden seeds door-to-door and my morning newspaper route at roughly 10 years old.
C: You’ve been working since you were 10 years old? Not many people can say that these days. Use three words to describe for our readers your ideal day off.
D: Why use three words when one sentence is better? A bit of exercise, a stroll in our flower garden listening to the birds, a quirky keep-Portland-weird restaurant, a visit to the Chinese Garden, poking around Rejuvenation and Hippo Hardware, lunch with a friend for conversation, jazz and classical music on the radio, look for a new-to-me used bow tie at Ray’s Ragtime, community sing at Artichoke Music, a Stumptown coffee break (with pastry) and dinner with Marie at Chart House or Clay’s Smoke House. (Okay my three words are: garden, listen, explore).
C: That sounds like a lovely day. Matt and I are lucky enough to hear about your adventures on a regular basis. Why don’t you tell our readers where you took your last vacation?
D: April in Paris (2008) was as good as it gets. Marie and I had an apartment one block from Metro and near many specialty food shops, the best antique street in the city, and numerous museums and shops. Two stops a day for coffee and pastry . . . and . . . when can we go back?
C: Sounds wonderful. Some of our readers may recall the great tips you gave on how to eat hot cereal. What is your favorite whole grain food and why?
D: Any and all (7 Grain is my favorite) of the Bob’s Red Mill granular cereals. They are fast, foolproof, and full of flavor and they all give me an excuse to add a few raisins and nuts as I prepare the world’s best breakfast.
C: Raisins and nuts sound like great toppings. I bet that keeps you going all through your busy day. Thanks for sharing your time with us today, Dennis. I’m sure I could grill you for hours and not bore our readers.
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