Helen Bowman has worked in the same job in Youngstown, Ohio for over 20 years. The last seven have been with Heidelberg Distributing, following the company’s purchase of Ohio Wine Imports at the end of 2012.
“Honestly, there were some of us that were a little nervous when Heidelberg took over,” said Helen. “But the first day of their ownership we were asked ‘what can we do for you to make this a better place to work?’ I will never forget that. That eased any concerns we had.”
With Heidelberg, like before with Ohio Wine Imports, Helen has been on the overnight shift. For some people the third shift schedule can be a difficult transition, but she bought into the schedule from day one. “I am a night person, I love the overnights and would never want to switch,” says Helen. “We work our four 10 and a half hour shifts and then get a full three days off. It allows me extra time with my son. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Helen’s job in the Youngstown warehouse is picking bottles. She’ll get an order sheet for each account and fill it with bottles of wine, low-proof spirits and whatever else is needed. Helen is meticulous about two things: that every account’s order is correct and that no bottles break. “Everyone knows I am a stickler for making sure the orders go out correctly,” says Helen. “If I was a customer it would bother me if my order was incorrect and if product showed up broken or damaged.”
If you think that just placing bottles in a box gets the job done, you haven’t met Helen or seen the care that goes into ‘building’ a box. “I make sure that everything is properly packed and there is cardboard in between those bottles,” she says. “I am definitely OCD when it comes to packaging. There is no clinking and banging of bottles!”
For more than 20 years, the night shift and the people Helen works with have been her home away from home. Since starting with Ohio Wine Imports and continuing with Heidelberg, she has never thought once about leaving. “I love my job. I love the people that I work with, they’re like my family,” Helen says. “If you think about it you spend more time with the people that you work with than anyone else. That’s what turned me into the “night shift den mom!”
The size of the Youngstown operation helps to lend itself to a tight-knit family atmosphere. With 43 Associates, it is the company’s smallest operation in terms of personnel and according to Helen helps to foster the comradery. “The fact that we don’t have a huge night shift operation means everyone helps everyone out,” says Helen. “We really believe in teamwork and pitching in wherever needed. I feel like encouraging words go a long way to making sure we get the job done.”
Helen loves to bake and cook and part of her duties as the “night shift den mom” is bringing in goodies for her fellow night crew Associates. Away from her Heidelberg family, Helen spends time with her son and is working on renovating the house that she recently purchased.
Since 1938, Heidelberg Distributing has relied on its Associates to make our company great. We’ll spotlight some of the hardworking men and women who not only excel in their everyday jobs but also go above-and-beyond in exemplifying Heidelberg’s core values.Archive