Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m the new face behind Burkett’s social media and marketing. I joined Burkett in January, 2022 (just over 4 months ago), and I’m going to bring you behind the scenes with me as I navigate my new employer. Who knows, maybe you’ll choose to join me!
I am somebody who came to Burkett with a background. I was making a total career change after spending two years at home with my daughter… (AKA: A true born and raised pandemic baby). I came from the nonprofit world where one person wears dozens of hats, but marketing was always my favorite hat to wear! To me, marketing was the Kentucky Derby hat of my former job. Now I get to wear the derby hat every day!
I joined Burkett as the company began to expand it’s teams significantly. What attracted me to this company was seeing how resilient it has been and how successful it is continuing to be.
Burkett continues to show its strength and commitment in the commercial kitchen industry and there’s no slowing down in sight. The foodservice equipment and supply industry is booming, and Burkett is showing record breaking growth. We jumped from number 53 (in 2020) to number 43 on the “Top 100 Distribution Giants” 2021 report by Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine.
CULTURE & MANAGEMENT
I was a boss for nearly 15 years… I know about the challenges of keeping your head on straight and I know how hard it is to remember the smallest details about each person in your professional life …. but Jameel makes it look easy like Sunday morning. He remembers everyone’s name and shows a genuine interest in their success inside and outside of the company.
My first interaction with Jameel Burkett (CEO) was with Crystal (my direct supervisor) over slices of pizza where he first assured me he wouldn’t judge me for how much pizza I was about to consume. Then – we talked. We all shared stories, professional and personal, we all learned about each other. I immediately felt like I had a new family. I remember going home and telling my husband all about it – what Jameel doesn’t know (until now), is that we have a new saying in our house. “Be a Jameel”. What does that mean? It means to be so positive and attentive that you can only be an inspiration to others with no room for negativity.
At no surprise, I quickly realized that Jameel’s upbeat and encouraging personality trickled down to management and beyond. The management team does a great job empowering, challenging, and inspiring their teams and that is the type of environment that I wanted to be a part of.
Burkett won the 2021 FEDA (Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association) Gold Award for Champion for Young Professionals. The award was given to Burkett because of the company’s model leadership and achievements that have promoted the attraction and retention of talented young professionals.
Management styles are sure to be diverse in any setting, but one thing that is consistent at Burkett is the focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be. Educational opportunities are offered regularly and we are reminded frequently of the company’s core values.
Lining the hallways you’ll see large prints of Burkett’s core values:
DEVELOP OPEN AND HONEST RELATIONSHIPS
BUILD FUN AND
IT’S YOUR COMPANY
Make it easy for our customers to provide the best dining experience for their customers
To be the most trusted name in foodservice
RECOGNITION IS A REAL THING!
“Kudos” are sent out to the team on a regular basis, but the annual awards are something each Burkett employee seems to really look forward to and works hard for throughout the year. I joined the company days before the annual ‘Kick Off Meeting’ where employees are recognized for their years with the company as well as “Rookie of the Year”, “Top Achievers”, “Salesperson of the Year”, “Employee of the Year” and the newest award, “Mike Burkett Award” (in honor of Mike Burkett, founder and former CEO, who passed away in March, 2021. <– This one even made me cry!) To my surprise, I was even called out and given a ‘nod’, as a “New Employee”.
It’s those little things that make you feel valued, appreciated and ‘like family’ … like a SOMEBODY.
WE HAVE FUN WITH FOOD
I was sitting at my desk on my very first day when an email popped up: “POPCORN IS READY! COME AND GET IT!” I quickly heard feet shuffling down the hallway. I’m allergic to (pop)corn so I didn’t care, but then I was then informed of all the food benefits this company has! Food is definitely the way to this girl’s heart!
As one of the largest used commercial kitchen equipment dealers in the nation, we have to test our equipment often. How do we complete the testing process? By using it to make food for our employees! Each Tuesday we have a little treat that you can see all of the employees bounce down to get… Popcorn Tuesday!
Burkett employees love it when a pizza oven has passed it’s rigorous tests to make it to the final state of ‘pizza testing’! Here’s a fun video from our facebook page that shows off this process! Guys in the service department said “we don’t tell them the pizza is coming until it’s completely ready…. they all come so fast!” – and they weren’t joking! The pizza was delicious and I didn’t hesitate to grab a few pieces for myself!
Each month the Burkett Engagement Committee holds a Team Appreciation meal/snack where employees are invited to socialize and enjoy a special treat for all of their hard work.
Coming from the nonprofit sector, I get a little geeked up about community involvement. After a couple of weeks with Burkett I was asked to join the Engagement Committee. After learning about the group’s goals of connecting the Burkett employees with one another and with the community, I couldn’t resist. When we talk about wearing hats, that one is like the fedora- I felt super savy in the role of ‘engagement’.
Every quarter employees are given an opportunity to donate to a new charity (one local, one national) that is picked by the Burkett Engagement Committee. We believe in supporting our community and helping those who help others.
I got very excited when I learned about Burkett’s annual golf outing. I love to golf – and when I say “golf” please know that my main goal is to simply shift the ball in a forward fashion while enjoying the links.
Burkett hosts the Mike Burkett Memorial Golf Outing, where proceeds benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, honoring Mike Burkett, founder and former CEO of Burkett.
READY TO JOIN ME AND #beBurkett?
If you’ve made it this far, you should consider checking out the careers page on our website for the open positions and more benefit details! Now’s the perfect time to #beBurkett.
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Meet Dave Elmore, Client Services Representative
Dave works in our Client Services Department as a representative to our marketplace customers. His hard work and overall joyful personality are just a couple of reasons why he was named our 2021 Rookie of the Year.
“Burkett is a big company with a small company feel. Everyone here helps take care of our customers as we would want to be taken care of ourselves!”
Meet Madison Wagoner, Content Associate
Madison works in the Burkett Marketing Department as a Content Associate. She works every day to help deliver accurate, meaningful product information so you can find exactly what you’re looking for online!
“I love working at Burkett because of the company culture. The people I work with in the marketing department are fun to be around and we always work together to make sure each other succeeds.”