Each month I interview an Anthro employee for our Who We Are
series, and one question I ask is “What’s your favorite thing about Anthro?” Inevitably, my interviewee answers with some version of “It’s the people I work with.” That sentiment manifests itself in lots of different ways on a day-to-day basis, be it playing with coworkers’ pups in the Pooch Pen, welcoming decorations and gifts when a department moves location, or monthly customer service awards for going to extra mile to help others.
Another way that ubiquitous feeling reveals itself is in the employees who have left Anthro for other opportunities, only to return again, maybe months or even years later. Here are a few of those stories, told to me by those who left once, only to return again.
“I’d been at Anthro for about four years when I decided to move to Bend (about 3 hours Southeast of Portland). I’d grown up in Beaverton, gone to high school there, and I decided it was time for a change. I started work at Home Depot and I hated it, but I was hell bent on making it there. Then about eight months after I’d left Portland, Mike Burch (Anthro’s former Plant Manager) called me, asking me to come back to Anthro, which I sort of laughed off. But about a month after that, I got super homesick… it just hit me like a ton of bricks… I knew I had to go home. So, I called Mike, and after nine months of being gone, I returned to Anthro. I’ve been here ever since, eventually meeting my wife (Sandy Jenkins, who works in Technical Sales) at Anthro, too!”
“My first tenure lasted seven years and at the beginning, we didn’t make any of our products as they were sub-contracted to local and regional suppliers. But as we started vertically integrating, my job morphed from product design to manufacturing manager, and I found myself doing work for which I was neither well-suited nor enjoyed so I left to pursue a different career. Two years later, I ran into Shoaib (Anthro’s President and Co-Founder) and another former colleague at a trade show, we started talking again and ultimately I returned. Unlike any other place I’ve worked, Anthro taps my unique set of skills and talents, and continually challenges me to serve at a higher level to achieve more for our customers than what they expect. ”
Derek Jenkins, Production Order Packer; Anthro employee for 18 years, 6 months
“After 10 years at Anthro, I left to manage an Inside Sales team at another company, only to return to Anthro six months later. My wife was traveling a lot for her job at the time, so I needed more flexibility in my position. Anthro went so far as to create a new part-time job for me in Customer Service, so I could pick up my kids before and after school. I love working for a company that values its employees enough to do something that. Plus, I have great coworkers.”
Jeff McCaffrey, Vice President of Design and Engineering; Anthro employee for 23 years
Doug Campbell, Education and Enterprise Technical Sales; Anthro employee for 16 years, 2 months
Check back next month for another installment of Anthro Turns 30. In the meantime, don’t miss the story about our first machine
, or the one about all of the couples who’ve met at Anthro
over the years.