When I was finishing my first year of college, I applied for a job at Publix because I wanted some extra spending money. As a Lakeland native, I had grown up watching Publix television commercials. I remember especially liking the one with the VW Bug being driven down the wide aisles in the store. I decided that Publix was the best place to work. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a cashier by Tom McLaughlin, who was my Store Manager at the time and who is now a Divisional Vice President for the company.
Excited with my first job, I eagerly embraced the Publix culture and learned everything I could. After just 6 months, I was promoted to working in the front office which I enjoyed very much. And, I met our company founder, Mr. George, on more than one occasion when he visited our store. He was a genuinely kind man who really cared about his associates.
After I had been with Publix for about 6 years, I decided to get a job using my Biology degree. I left Publix and worked for both the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County as a restaurant inspector and also the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). During my multiple roles at FDEP, I was able to learn a great deal about many environmental programs, administrative regulatory authority and also how federal, state and local governments interact. I didn’t know it at the time, but this experience was preparing me for my next chapter with Publix.
In 2006, my brother-in-law told me about an Environmental Specialist opening at Publix. I had missed the Publix culture since I left, so I was thrilled after I applied and was interviewed that I was offered the position! And truly, it was like coming home. Five years later, I was promoted to my current position as Environmental Compliance Manager.
Publix has grown into a much larger company today, but it maintains its core values. I appreciate that associates are stockholders and we all work together to improve the company that we own. Both my husband and daughter also work for Publix, and I plan to retire with Publix because I’m here to stay!