A+ Corporation’s employee tenure is unimaginable in today’s industrial technology, especially along the Gulf Coast. With the many companies to work at and the fast pace of employee’s and even companies moving around, it’s hard to find employees with the dedication to one company. But there are many reasons A+ is three time winner as one of the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge. One of those is the same dedication to its employees.
On Friday, March 16th Jan Terito celebrated her 20-year anniversary at A+ Corporation. Jan joined the A+ family back in 1998 after a 20-year stint as a dental hygienist. Her journey started when she was asked by a friend who knew Mrs. Sheila Harvey if she’d be interested in filling in while A+ waited for their new receptionist to start two weeks later. She thought, “Why not? It’s right by my house and it’s stress free, a far cry from the dental facility.”
Upon talking, Jan became fast friends with Mrs. Sheila, who at the time was working as the CFO for her father and founder of the company, Mr. Don Mayeaux. As it turned out the receptionist who was coming on full time never actually showed up. The real journey began when Mrs. Sheila asked Jan to stay to assist in accounting. “I don’t know anything about this industry as I’m a trained medical professional,” Jan mused. But first she needed to focus on completing her stint as receptionist for the company. She learned how demanding the customers were, but as a true professional, she made it through “the longest two weeks of my life. I’ll stay but I never want to be in sales!” making her self clear.
In only a few weeks, Jan had to deal with the kind of calls that would spur her along in her second career lasting over 20 years and counting. Her career continues to be driven by the fact that she knew she was working for, and with, some of the nicest people she’d ever met, especially the Harveys and Mayeauxs. Those tough customers and calls spiked an interest due to the demand for Genies, Tornadoes and other ground-breaking products. So, while helping in accounting, being a woman of brains and curiosity, she asked what this ‘stuff’ was. As it turned out she learned about the industry-changing patented products that Mr. Don and his team conceived, manufactured and sold. As she became even more interested in the detailed workings of the products, her curiosity caught Mrs. Sheila and Mr. Don’s attention. They liked what they saw and trained her without her even knowing.
Before she even realized it, she was doing exactly what she said she never would, working in sales. Fast forward to 2018 — 20 years later and she worked for three generations of the family including A+’s third-generation president, Justin Harvey, son of Mrs. Sheila Harvey whom she met when he was just 13 years old. Justin began shadowing his grandfather at a young age and came to work for A+ part-time in 2000 and full-time in 2004.
It is under Justin’s leadership that Jan hit this incredible milestone and was honored by A+ Corporation with a lunch party with her favorite food: baked chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, along with desserts and a lot of black shirts. At no time in the history of A+ has the entire office chipped in to participate in an event to this level of commitment . Though many holidays are celebrated, and many take part in fun activities, such as Snow Day 2018, or philanthropic work done for many charities (such as the upcoming jambalaya cookoff — stay tuned), this was the most anticipated event with approximately 90% participation of the black shirts, a dig at the length of time employed at A+, for Jan.
Her family attended and it was like they were part of the team too. Mrs. Sheila sat with Jan and family and reminisced about the good times they had and will continue to have. Justin then talked about his history with Jan and it almost got too emotional as he described her as the closest thing to a second mom. There was clapping, a welcomed interruption, as Umi the office mascot dog, wanted to say his piece about how excited he was for Jan, since it’s her office he’s liked to hang out in since he was a puppy.
As the food was served, stories were told, tears were shed – but they were tears of happiness as she isn’t going anywhere. (We had to reiterate this for our customers so we wouldn’t get an overwhelming flood of calls yelling at us to “Bring Jan Back!”) She will get to leave for one week on her free vacation to a place of her choosing, awarded by the company. Her exceptional work ethic and customer service led to her amazing tenure, which is now being chased by many A+ Corporation employees, many being honored on April 6th for 10 years+.
As many people say, they must be doing some right over at A+ Corporation. The employees don’t want to leave and their customers wish their other partnerships came with the level of customer service that A+ provides. Stay tuned to our office blog and social media networks to keep up as we invent, grow and excel as The Sampling Experts and beyond.