Welcome to a new series of interviews that will take you inside Bob's Red Mill and introduce you to some of our incredible employee-owners. You know Bob's story: now meet the incomparable Nancy Garner! Nancy is the Executive Assistant to the President, which means she manages Bob's schedule and correspondence, travels with him to conventions, coordinates photo shoots and videos, prepares presentations, and even plays piano duets with Bob for tour guests at our plant and at our Whole Grain Store during lunchtime. Read on to learn all about the indispensable Nancy!
Bob's Red Mill: How long have you worked at Bob’s Red Mill?
Nancy Garner: I started in April of 2005, so 14 years this month.
BRM: How did you join the company, and what did you do before?
NG: Before I came to Bob’s Red Mill I worked for 10 years as the office manager for a private school for dyslexic children located in Milwaukie, and also as the office manager of a large church in Clackamas for 5 years. The church was downsizing their staff and eventually I found myself needing to look for another job. One day I saw an ad in the newspaper for an administrative assistant for Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, which stirred up some excitement in me. I was aware of the company, since I had purchased BRM products and enjoyed wonderful breakfasts at our restaurant. To make a long story short, I had an interview with Bob and he hired me that same day.
BRM: What’s it like, being Bob’s right-hand woman?
NG: Working closely with Bob continues to be a real privilege. I’ve worked with Bob through many business challenges, adventures and great successes! Bob’s love for this business keeps him active and at work every day. His passion for human health through whole grain foods, and his vision to spread this truth to everyone worldwide, is a goal he has had since starting the business, and I work with him to continue spreading this important message. Over the years Bob has talked with literally thousands of people about the benefits of whole grains at colleges and universities, health fairs, service clubs and a variety of other venues including multiple trade shows in the US and abroad. We work together on PowerPoint presentations for customers in the US and in foreign countries which have included Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. Traveling to many countries outside the US has been an exciting part of my job. Bob is also in high demand for interviews–print, radio, online and television–and I help facilitate those requests.
BRM: Which of your skills has been the most valuable in this position?
NG: I think organization and an eye for detail has helped in everything I do. Being flexible with the daily schedule is also important, as impromptu meetings with staff and “meet and greet” times with visitors are routine.
BRM: What skills have you had to develop while working at Bob’s?
NG: Bob has included me in some of his presentations, which means I had to do some public speaking–something I had not really done before. I found that it stretched me, but the material Bob and I presented was something I really believed in (and it’s backed up by scientific fact) so I found it surprisingly easy to talk about.
BRM: What do you like best about working at Bob’s?
NG: Being part of a well-respected company is something to be proud of. People never fail to be impressed when I say I work for Bob’s Red Mill. It’s a real pleasure working for a man who is so admired and respected for his accomplishments and his spirit of generosity, which include our profit sharing and employee ownership.
BRM: What’s your favorite Bob’s Red Mill product?
BRM: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
NG: I enjoy nice breakfasts with my daughter, who can always find a great place I’ve never been to before! I also enjoy gardening, music, and visiting my grandchildren when I can (as they live in London).
We want to thank Nancy for taking some time from her busy workday to answer all of our questions. She's an integral part of Bob's Red Mill, and we especially enjoy her piano duets with Bob, as seen in the header photo. Keep an eye out for more interviews in the coming months!