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Southern Comfort

Why everyone wants to know Paul Bradley is on the way
By
  • Mary Burich

March 10, 2017

Category
Story

All Paul Bradley has to hear is that someone needs a hand. In the blink of an eye, his signature “on my way”—complete with a velvety Southern drawl—goes over the radio system at Skippy Foods in Little Rock, Ark., and everyone knows help is coming.

Paul Bradley

Paul Bradley and Hormel Foods President and CEO Jim Snee.

“He jumps in whenever there is an issue,” says Plant Manager Roger Vos, who dubbed Paul the location’s first Pride of the Jersey recipient. “You will hear him on the radio … and know that he will be right there to lend a hand.”

Though he is not one to sing his own praises, Paul recounts an incident recently that proves Roger’s point. He helped a team from the quality assurance department rework a pallet because the product label was missing weight information.

Everybody works together to keep everything running.

Paul Bradley

“That normally wouldn’t be the problem of the maintenance guy,” says Skippy Foods HR Manager Heather Schutt.

Paul doesn’t stand on ceremony when there’s a job to be done. As a member of the second-shift crew, he knows he can play a role in keeping the plant operating as it should.

“We always help on second shift like that so we don’t hold up the problem,” Paul says. “Everybody works together to keep everything running.”

Roger recounts how proud Paul was to receive the jersey, sharing it with his family and making sure to get a picture with his 89-year-old mother, Helen.

“On Tuesday, he wore it to the huddle again and when asked why he had it on, he said, ‘It’s my last day of wearing it, I wanted to enjoy it again before I passed it on,’” he says.

Paul was born and raised 50 miles west of Little Rock. He enjoys riding his motorcycle and come summer, taking care of his lawn and Helen’s. He also has three grown children, all of whom live nearby and helped Paul celebrate with his jersey.

As for his five minutes of fame, Paul admits he’s a private person. Attention and accolades aren’t him, he insists.

As for who he really is, Heather offers insight.

“When he was awarded the jersey, he was also given his five-year service award certificate. The following Wednesday we had cake to celebrate his milestone. Paul asked to say a few words. He reminded his teammates that he shared his hire date with an employee who had passed away tragically in December. He asked everyone to appreciate being here.”

Heather pauses. And then she adds, “That’s Paul.”

Pride of the Jersey is a yearlong effort to celebrate the culture, the people and the purpose of Hormel Foods. Inspired People. Inspired Food.™

5
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