SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

1% Better Every Day with Danielle Lassiter, the Supply Chain Problem Solver

Danielle Lassiter, a supervisor of Supply Chain Solutions at Broad River Retail sits down with Charlie

In this episode, they discuss the ins and outs of her role; the challenges with Supply Chain during the pandemic; and how problem-solving creatively has become one of her number one skills. As a member of Broad River Retail’s Anti-Racism Committee (the ARC), Danielle also discusses her role on the ARC and how she is bringing awareness to the DEI space within the company.

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Visit storiesfromtheriver.com for more episodes.

Stories from the River Podcast explores the personal journeys of Broad River Retail’s very own Memory Makers. Whether it’s interviews or standalone narratives, Stories from the River will bring you closer to what it’s like to thrive inside the company. This show will share personal experiences from stores, distribution centers, call centers, and corporate campuses, giving listeners a front row seat to what it’s really like to be a Memory Maker furnishing life’s best memories every day.

This show is brought to you by Broad River Retail. Visit www.BroadRiverRetail.com.

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FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Charlie:

Danielle, you’ve been a member of the ARC since we started it. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

For those who don’t know, what is the ARC? 

Danielle:

So the ARC, it’s The Anti-Racism Committee. Like you said, I have been on the council since its inception. I had the pleasure of being included into the conversation. It’s a safe place for people to feel included. It’s about inclusion. It’s about education. It’s about bringing diversity to this company. 

Like, we do have a lot of great diversity, but it’s kind of like getting more information out there, so people can understand that they have a safe place, if they need to talk about something, if they feel, you know like their voice is not being heard, it’s like a safe place for them to like put their voice out there and get information from us. 

We give information, you know, to the whole company. I know people have probably seen a lot of our emails for like Black History Month and Asian Pacific Islander Awareness Month. And giving people just information so they can understand their fellow Memory Makers and get, like a bigger picture of the diversity that’s out there in the world and what we need to bring into the Broad River as a whole. 

Charlie:

Love it. 

Intro

Welcome to Stories from the River, a podcast brought to you by Broad River Retail, where we’ll explore the personal journeys of our Memory Makers and share real stories from across the organization. And now for your host, president, and CEO at the River, Charlie Malouf.  

Charlie:

I’m here with Danielle Lassiter. This is episode nine of Stories From the River. Danielle let’s get going. Welcome. 

Danielle:

Yeah! Thank you for having me. This is really awesome and I appreciate, you know, having me, have a conversation with you. I think this is great. 

Charlie:

I’m looking forward to it. Before we get going, tell us a little bit about your background before you came to the River? 

Danielle:

Yeah. So I’m from Texas. I’ve learned that in North Carolina a lot of people, most people, are not from North Carolina, right. 

Charlie:

I’m not. 

Danielle:

Everybody is a transplant when you come here. So I’m originally from Texas. I went to school at the University of Texas in Arlington. And honestly, the career goal was I got my B.A. in business and I was gonna go to law school, like that was the career path. You know, things happen. Things changed. I got a job in sales right out of college. And sales is not for me, like, that’s not my niche, that’s not where I belonged. And my boss saw that, you know, and so she gave me an opportunity to be kind of like her administrator/Inventory Manager. In that company. people wear a lot of hats and it’s so small. 

And so, she gave me the opportunity to kind of like manage the inventory. And I learned that I really liked the puzzle piecing together of, like, where to find the inventory from, how to get it to where it needs to be on time, making sure we have good accounts of it so we’re not losing money behind our inventory. 

And then she closed her business down kind of abruptly. And I was like, oh, I’m going to be out of a job. But, you know, she was really great and she helped me get a job with one of her distributors. And so I went to a larger company and kind of did that on more of a larger scale and then really found out what Supply Chain is. 

Had no clue what Supply Chain meant till I got into this business, and like sourcing materials from different countries and different locations and kind of, you know, making sure it gets to the right place on time because without inventory, you know, the rest of the business has no way to go. 

Charlie:

That’s right. So critical. 

Danielle:

So, yeah. So, it was very interesting stuff for me to go from wanting to be a lawyer to, like the Supply Chain, you know. 

Charlie:

And now you’re the Supervisor of Supply Chain Solutions for Broad River Retail. 

Danielle:

Yes. And that has been an experience, especially within the last two years. 

Charlie:

No doubt about it. No doubt about it. 

You began with us in 2015, a little bit over six years now, six and a half years or so. Tell us, take us through your career progression with Broad River. 

Danielle:

Um, it’s I would say it’s a lot of growth. When I first started with Broad River, it was a three-person team. Like it was me, Alex Lowe, and Kiana Garcia. And, you know, we were the only three people in Order Management at the time. There wasn’t even really a Supply Chain, you know for a Broad River and a little three-person power team. Working six days a week, because we had to like rotate our schedule and make sure everybody was where they needed to be. 

And then we got Tim and, you know, he brought growth to the team. He added more people to our team, gave us a lot of structure. And then as we grew with him. Then we got Brian, you know, and then it really became a Supply Chain. You know, it went from Order Management in a corner to Supply Chain as a group. And, you know, we really had a little bit of force behind us and it was like people really looked to us to, like answer questions and like where, you know, where the inventory is, where’s the product, you know. And people really depended on us to have those answers. 

Charlie:

 I’ll look forward to digging into that today. Let’s go back to your first day. 

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

I tend to believe that people remember their first day with the company. Do you remember yours? 

Danielle:

I do. Like I said, it was Kiana and Alex and I, you know, they brought me into the room and they were like, this is, you know, this is the Order Management team. 

And I remember getting a phone call from somebody in the store, and I tried to answer the question. They’re like: ”Okay, yeah, we can’t you don’t you can’t help me. Who can I go to help me?” And I was like, really flustered because I didn’t know, you know, really what was going on. 

And, Kiana and Alex really helped me figure it out and master building a manifest. And it was really just a good day. It was a really great first day. They were very warm and welcoming and like, made me feel like a part of their little, like, little tiny family. 

Charlie:

Trial by fire starting with day one. I love it. 

Danielle:

Yeah. They just threw me in there. 

Charlie:

Organizational purpose is: Furnishing Life’s Best Memories, four simple words. What has been one of your best memories at the River? 

Danielle:

I think at the River, it’s really an overall memory. You guys. I just moved here. This was my first job just moving here. I didn’t really know anybody. You know, the only person I knew was my then boyfriend. He’s now my husband. He’s the only person I knew in North Carolina. And you guys gave me friends. Like, I built a really solid relationship with the people that I worked for and developed really great friendships that I still have to this day. 

Charlie:

That’s a lot. That’s awesome. What do you love about your job? In Supply Chain Supervisor or Supply Chain Solutions? What do you love about it? 

Danielle:

I love that, while there’s a lot of things that are pretty consistent that I will do on a regular basis. I love that I randomly get thrown like a crazy problem. Somebody is always sending something and they’re like: “Hey, I don’t know what’s going on here. Can you figure this out?” or “Hey, I need you to stop what you’re doing, and like, let’s build this transfer so we can get some product from this place to another you know, create like a container and like get more product.” Like, I love that I just randomly get thrown like crazy problems every day. 

Charlie:

So you’re a problem solver? 

Danielle:

Yeah, I try to be. 

Charlie:

I love it. I love it. Well, I guess if there’s solutions, that means there’s problems to solve. 

Danielle:

Right. 

Charlie:

So since you’ve been a Memory Maker here at the River, what is something that you’ve been able to accomplish that has surprised you or something that you’ve learned about yourself? 

Danielle:

That I’m capable. You know, I sometimes struggle with my own, you know, like, can I do this? 

Am I going to be good at what I’m doing? And like I said, Supply Chain wasn’t like the thing that I thought I was going to be in, but I know that I am capable and that I can do this and that I’m good. 

Charlie:

You’re doing a great job. 

Danielle:

Thank you. 

Charlie: 

So, but if you had to pull out one thing, what would be the one accomplishment that you’re most proud of, during your career here so far? 

Danielle:

I think what I am most proud of is the first promotion I got here at Broad River. I was in, you know, Order Management, and then I got promoted to Supply Chain Specialists. And that was a position I feel like I really fought hard for. I really, like, put in the work I put in the time. And, you know, I just went to Tim and Brian and I was like, I really think that I add value to this team and I really think that I want to grow in this company.

But, you know, where can I go? What can I do? How can I get to the next stop? And they saw that potential in me. They saw that drive in me and they took that and ran with it and they gave me a chance. 

Charlie: 

I love that initiative. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie: 

That’s awesome. 

Charlie: 

Supply Chain Solutions. We were talking about that earlier. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie: 

That infers, like we said, that there are problems. So give us, give us a day in life. Like what are the problems that you’re solving day in and day out each day? 

Danielle:

I mean, you know, anybody in Retail will tell you like:  “Hey, can we get my delivery out faster?” And that’s obviously a problem. But, you know, I feel like Supply Chain is very good at, like pivoting and finding like creative solutions to kind of, we all know that there is a Supply Chain issue. We all know that we’re waiting for things to come in at the right time to get them out to the customer. 

Charlie: 

Fractured Supply Chain. How tough has it been during the pandemic with what you do every day? 

Danielle:

It’s you know, it’s been a lot, but I think we’ve handled it very well. You know, last, maybe the first year of the pandemic, there was a lot of having to do late night pivoting calls to like 11:00 in the morning. Not like calling customers, but like just scrubbing through the list and seeing what we can save, and try to get as much out there as we possibly can. 

And just you know, the team was so great about like going the extra mile to make sure like what we could do we were doing. And that has sprung, you know, a lot of change for like the positive like the utility ship, you know, that’s been great delivery scheduling team that we’ve added to Supply Chain, that we didn’t have before to help, you know. Talk to the customers, schedule things that we know we have available. It’s brought a lot of change and added a lot of like positive value to the team just kind of fighting through all the chaos. 

Charlie:

Yeah, we’ve certainly bolstered the team and added a lot of necessary resources. 

Danielle:

Yeah, yeah. 

Charlie:

So how do you remain optimistic day in and day out when you’re waging war and fighting battles? 

Danielle:

I’m, I try to remember that, you know, it’s not just about me. Like there’s other people that, you know, I have to be accountable for and accountable to. And, you know, making sure that I have conversations. Like with my husband, he’s very good about keeping my spirits up. And if I’m having a rough day, like making it a little bit easier for me everywhere else so that, you know, I can do my job and not take that out on anybody else. And that’s just like something that it’s just me dealing with that as opposed to, you know, spreading the negativity. 

Charlie:

So customers certainly hear about Supply Chain, right? And, how understanding have they been during this pandemic? 

Danielle:

I think for the most part, you know, customers get it. There they see it everywhere. It’s not just with us there, you know, a little bit more understanding of the circumstances. And our delivery schedulers, teams deal with that every day and they try to, you know, make it positive for them and make it you know, we’re doing our best to, like, help you and get your things to you. 

And we understand that you’re frustrated and just being empathetic with them. And understanding that everybody’s going through this, but they’re seeing it on their own like micro level as opposed to, you know, the macro where everybody’s having a problem, like making sure they tailor it to. We understand that you are having a problem personally making it personal about our customers. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Yeah. So smart. Do you personally have a favorite customer Order Management story?

Danielle:

So, we do have an Order Manager story, that purse that I did. Don’t fire me for this. 

Charlie:

Oh gosh. Too late, statute of limitations. 

Danielle:

So, a while ago, we used to manually key our TC orders or temporary orders. We have to manually input those orders, and send those over. 

And one time, I placed like a $1,000,000 purchase order for Tempur-Pedic. Luckily, we have really great partnerships with them and they are very used to the way we order. And so when that happened, they gave us a call and they were like: “Hey, this is not your normal. Is something wrong? Like, is this okay? Is this really what you want?” And we were able to stop that before I spent way too much of the company. 

Charlie:

An extra zero or two. I may have heard about that. 

Danielle:

I think you did. 

Charlie:

It’s all good. It’s all good. And with where we are today, and what you can see in the near future is there a light at the end of the Supply Chain tunnel? 

Danielle:

I mean, you know, obviously we’re going to be optimistic about it. We want to say that, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. How far down the line is that light? It’s Supply Chain. You know, this is a very up and down business. We’ve had a couple of really great weeks as far as Supply Chain and bringing inventory in and, you know, getting it out and into deliveries. 

Can we say tomorrow that it might not be as great? We can’t. We always hope for the best. We always do things to try and make sure that we’re staying on the ball and making sure that we’re bringing everything in that we need to bring in. And be more proactive instead of reacting to the situation. And just staying on top of it, I think will bring us to that light a lot faster.  But, you know, I wouldn’t want to, like, put a date on it. 

Charlie:

Okay. 

Danielle:

And say, tomorrow we’re going to be great because you never know. Like, the last two years have definitely taught us that we can’t predict the future, especially in the Supply Chain. 

Charlie:

So I am going to ask you to put a date on something. 

Danielle:

That’s fair.

Charlie:

Okay. What is your prediction? Well, let me go back a second. We’ve been the backlog really began in the summer of 2020. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

And it grew for several months in the back half of 2020. And then it’s kind of been and grew into the beginning of 2021 and then it kind of came down a little bit, grew a little bit at the beginning of 2022 and. And so you know, we’re at a level that we don’t want to be at. What is your prediction for when we will be caught up with the backlog? 

Danielle:

So, I think that kind of blends into how awesome our Retail team is going to be. Like they’ve done such great work and they’ve been so amazing. And you know, the goal that we’ve set for this year is an attainable goal, I think. And, but it’s just, you know, if that goal is so high and we want to get to like 3 million, right?

Charlie:

300, yeah. 

Danielle:

300 million a year. You know, if we do two 280 and we focus on that 280 then we, you know, we can take that 20 and we can get rid of the backlog. 

Charlie:

Okay. I like that. So by the end of the year? 

Danielle:

Fingers. 

Charlie:

Fingers crossed, okay. Leaving yourself an out, I got it. Well, how impactful do you think the new third distribution center in Spartanburg is going to be for our ability with Supply Chain to work through the backlog and just to service our guests? 

Danielle:

I think that’s going to be great. When we open a Fort Oaks that kind of lessened the burden with Fort Mill. You know, we gave us another place to go. It gave us some more, you know, space to bring stuff in and service more guests and not have to charge, you know, any out of routes like we do if it’s too far out. 

And I think Spartan Ridge is going to do the same thing. It’s going to make it easier on the guests, it’s going to make it easier on us. It’s going to give us more capacity to bring more in and hopefully, you know, service to guests at a faster rate. 

Charlie:

Okay. Let’s shift gears to company-changing growth. 

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

Okay. So you’ve seen a lot of growth thus far. And since you’ve joined us, how has the company grown, adapted and changed overall and in your department? 

Danielle:

Oh, my gosh. I have never seen a company grow like this. Like even through this pandemic we’ve grown so much, you know. You would think that there would be a little bit of a stop to that and we’ve just power through. And it’s been so amazing to kind of watch from where we started at the old DC to coming into Fort Mill to bringing on Fort. 

Like we’ve gotten, you know, two whole new distribution centers in just the six years that I’ve worked at this company and it’s amazing. And then, just Supply Chain as a department by itself. We went from two people to now like we’ll probably have like 27 by the end of this conversation. We’re there. 

Charlie:

By the end of this conversation. 

Danielle:

You know, our, one of our scheduling teams is bringing on two new people so by the end of this, yeah, like by then this conversation would probably be at like 27 people on our team. Like it’s amazing the growth that’s just happened, even in just this year because Supply Chain was ten people when the pandemic started, and we’ve grown three times. So it’s amazing. 

Charlie:

So, exponential would be good. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Okay, got it. Let’s do an icebreaker question. 

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

And get to know Danielle Lassiter. When you’re done with the Supply Chain and you’re longer tired and you’re sitting on your porch in your rocking chair, just sitting back and you are over reflecting back on. So, just put yourself there now and how you want to be remembered, people to think about you. What three words come to mind that you would like to describe you? 

Danielle:

I would say loyal. I’m a very loyal person. Like once I’m on your team, I feel like I’m there for you. I’m always going to have your back and you know always be supportive. I would want to say that I’m a hard worker. Like I’m going to do the job until the job gets done. So if you give me something, I’m going to do, whatever it is you need me to do. And, I don’t know. 

Charlie:

Loyal, hardworking. That is the right ones, will come back to. Well, I got one for you. Like you’re still known as Danielle Dalton. 

Danielle:

Oh, my gosh. 

Charlie:

Can we go there? 

Danielle:

Yeah. There’s the third one I want to be known as the Lassiter. 

Charlie:

I want to talk to your husband about that. You may not know this. I used to create and manage every email address in our company. 

Danielle:

Oh, my gosh. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I did. So I know all about the maiden name to the married name, and so I’m pulling for you to sometimes submit that ticket so we can. 

Danielle:

So I’m not going to show this podcast to my husband. 

Charlie:

Oh gosh. 

Danielle:

I don’t think he knows that I still go by my maiden name. 

Charlie:

Whoops, cat out of the bag. Sorry about that. Okay. We’re also going to be known were three Lassiter. 

Danielle:

There you go. 

Charlie:

Unsung heroes. Here, you have a chance to redeem the husband’s comment. I know that it always takes a village to achieve success.  Who are some of the unsung heroes in your world, tell us what they do or have done to help you? 

Danielle:

Definitely want to start with my parents. They’re always supportive. I’m like in their eyes, I can do no wrong, but if I am doing wrong, they’re going to, like, put me in my place and let me know, right. They always give great advice. They always, you know, they’re the two people that if I’m going through anything or if I have a tough time, there are two people that I’m going to call and like, they’ll walk me through it.

And then my husband, super supportive. Right, I redeem myself. He’s super supportive. He always has my back. Like, anything I want to do, he’s like right there on my side, like, ready to help me through it. 

And then the Supply Chain team, like, I couldn’t imagine working with a better team. Like, I wake up every day and I know that I can give 110% because they’re always going to give 110%. Like, that’s from the top down.  That’s Brian and Sophia. So like, our Supervisors on our team, to like even just the Agents on our team, like they’re, it’s an amazing team to work for. 

Charlie:

Sure it is. I love Supply Chain. Those are great answers. Thank you. Advice. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Danielle:

1% better every day. Like don’t strive to be perfect. Just get 1% better than you were yesterday. 

Charlie:

Where’d you get where’d you hear that? 

Danielle:

Oh, my husband. Like that’s not even like that I redeem myself. 

Charlie:

I like him even more. 

Danielle:

That’s my husband, yeah. 

Charlie:

I love it. I love it.  Okay. If you can go back to October 2015. You’re getting ready to start with Broad River Furniture at the time. 

Danielle:

Right. 

Charlie:

Yeah, Broad River Furniture. And you’re going to have a conversation with your younger self about what life is going to be like at Broad River Retail or Furniture. What would you tell your younger self or what advice would you give your younger self? 

Danielle:

That it’s a learning environment. Like you’re always learning something. You’re always trying to, you know, do a little bit better every day. Like come in with an open mind. Don’t just think that you’re going to come in here and do the same thing every day.

That’s going to change and you gotta be ready for that. You gotta be flexible with that, and want to change with it. Like if you’re going to stay stagnant and not want it evolved and this is not a place for you. 

Charlie:

Culture. We’re like proud parents of our culture. We certainly believe that our culture is really special and unique, and we’re proud of our culture. But if you like, what is your favorite thing about our culture, or what do you think makes it special and unique? 

Danielle:

You guys really make this like a family environment. Like it’s not just come to work every day and sit at a cubicle or sit at home now, and not be involved. Like it’s family department wise, company wise, like throughout the entire company. And so you feel like you belong, like they don’t just leave you out in the cold. 

Charlie:

One thing I would say to that is only you guys, I think, is all of us. You know, I think so many people contribute to what you just said. 

Danielle:

I agree. Yeah. 

Charlie:

Word of the year, you know, we love a good word of the year. 

Danielle:

Yes. 

Charlie:

This year, it’s THRIVE. What does the word thrive mean to you? 

Danielle:

Um, being in a healthy, happy place. Like not, you know, not just existing, but like living every day to like every day, every hour doesn’t have to be happy in that day, but like having a moment of happiness and having a moment of like you are good in the place that you are, and that you’re growing and that it’s, it’s growth that’s healthy. 

Charlie:

Okay. Healthy things grow. What advice would you give to a fellow Memory Maker to help him or her thrive this year? 

Danielle:

Ask for help. Like, don’t do it alone. 

Charlie:

Simple. 

Danielle:

Yeah. Just ask. 

Charlie:

Simple. Secrets to your success? What do you think have been the secrets to your success? 

Danielle:

I think having a good support system has been a really good secret to my success. Not even a secret. Like I’m very, you know, vocal about the fact that I have a really great support system. I think without that, I wouldn’t be comfortable doing, you know, the things that I feel like I’ve been able to do and be able to accomplish. 

Charlie:

I love a good daily habit. I think habits are just so powerful and important. I’m sure you’ve got some good ones. What are some of your best daily habits that have served you well? 

Danielle:

I’m addicted to a to-do list like I have on my desktop, a to-do list of everything that I know for sure that I have to do on that day. As anything it’s added, I add it to-do list. If it’s more important, I flag it. So I know I do that first and then do everything else and then, yeah. 

Charlie:

I got to ask you about it. Manny is a big to-do list guy.  

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

Do you have a system? Is that notebook paper? Is it digital? Like, where’s your list? 

Danielle:

It’s the Microsoft to-do list. And I found this and it became my thing and I shared it with everybody on the team and they’re a little annoyed with my to-do list, but yeah, it’s on my Microsoft to-do list on my desktop, like literally typing it in.  It gives you, like reminders to make sure you do things and it flashes and you know. 

Charlie:

Have to ask, are you 100% or how many items per day don’t get done on your to-do list? 

Danielle:

I try to make sure that no more than two items don’t get done. 

Charlie:

Got it. I appreciate honesty. No more than two. There you go. Maybe the goal could be to keep it down to one, right? 

Danielle:

Yeah, yeah. Update the goals. 

Charlie:

Mentorship is so important. Where from whom do you get your mentorship? 

Danielle:

My dad has always been a really great mentor for me. I used to work for him at one point. And so, you know, I would go to him about things and he helps me walk through conversations and things. 

But specifically to this business, Brian has been a really great mentor for me. And any time he gives me anything, he kind of understands me and lets me, like walk through it and mess up and get frustrated and try to figure my own thing out. And then he sits back and waits for me to like, alright, I need help.

Like, let’s fix this and make it better. But he’s very good about, you know, letting me do my thing and walk myself through it first because he knows that’s how I understand things. And then we go back and we correct it and see what we could have done better and ask questions about it. 

Charlie:

Okay. I love that. You seem like you’re, you’re, you have a bundle of inspiration and motivation. 

Where does that come from? 

Danielle:

I think my mom. My mom is like my rock. She came here from the Philippines with my two brothers and my dad and my dad was the only one she knew in the US. And she, you know, had to make it work because he was in the Marines and he wasn’t home. And, you know, she had to figure it out and learn a new language. 

And she’s just like my inspiration. She’s a hard worker, you know, takes care of her family back home, and she’s just like moms on everything, so yeah. 

Charlie:

I love that. Yeah. My mom came from overseas, and I had to learn the language and everything else, and I’d say similar things, but it’s great to have a good mom as a model. 

Danielle:

Yeah, for sure. 

Charlie:

What is something about Broad River that you think would surprise others from the outside looking in? Maybe like a misperception or something?

Danielle:

Um, it’s not about just business, you know. Like, we are very involved in the community. Like Bed For Kids. The different volunteer things, having the ARC. Like, it’s a community, you know, we’re worried about other people. It’s not just about the business aspect of it.

It’s about the people in the business where you don’t call us employees, you call us Memory Makers because we care about each other. We want to make memories together and not just come to work every day. 

Charlie:

Yeah. And we like to say about furnishing life’s best memories, it’s for others. For other people. It’s not about us. 

Danielle:

Exactly. 

Charlie:

So what is something about you that would surprise your fellow Memory Makers? 

Danielle:

I got ordained. 

Charlie:

Really? 

Danielle:

So that I could marry my best friend and her husband. 

Charlie:

Okay. 

Danielle:

And she works, she actually works with Charlie Workman, Stacey White. 

Charlie:

Oh, yeah. 

Danielle:

So I performed her marriage, and I got ordained just for her. 

Charlie:

That is fantastic. That’s awesome. When was that?  

Danielle:

Right after my wedding. So I got married in 2017. And she got married in the spring of 2018. So. 

Charlie:

Okay, that would definitely be a surprise. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Not anymore, though. To our listeners. If you could change one thing, sometimes I wish it would be as simple as waving a magic wand. So if you had a magic wand and you could change one thing about the company, what would that be? 

Danielle:

So, I think that, I love the leadership of this company. You guys are amazing. You really care about your people. I would just want to see, like a way to bring more diversity into our leadership in this company. Whether that be like a mentorship program so people can develop the skills to get to that place. Because, you know, I don’t want you to just bring somebody in for the sake of bringing somebody in. 

I think it’d be great to have people who want to be in that position, to work with people who are already there and bring a little bit more diversity to those positions. One of the people that I look up and look up to in this business is Miss Anita. Like, if I could follow her career path and go there to like, that would be amazing. 

Charlie:

Well, I think I said I think that’s been great to change. I think we need to do that. And then when you put goals in place and the timeline, nothing gets done without a deadline. 

Danielle:

Right. 

Charlie:

So we’ve got to have that. And it’s something we should aspire to. Let’s say, though, I decided to retire. And Danielle, you’ve done a great job and it’s time to give you the keys to the company.

You’re the new president and CEO of Broad River Retail. 

Danielle:

Oh gosh. 

Charlie:

Oh, yes. 

Danielle:

Promotion, let’s go. 

Charlie:

And today’s your first day in this new role. What is your first order of business? 

Danielle:

Um, I’m a learner. I like to learn things, so I think my first order of business would just, to go out to, like, the different departments and just see how everything works from the people who do it on a daily basis. So I can understand how the company works. 

Charlie:

I love that. 

Danielle:

Yeah, I can’t lead you if I don’t know what you do, so I’d love to know that. 

Charlie:

Yeah, get to know them along the way.  

Danielle:

Exactly. 

Charlie:

Great answer. Learning. You’ve talked a lot about the 1% better every day in learning. So how do you sharpen your saw? Like, what do you do to improve your skillset? 

Danielle:

I ask a lot of questions if I don’t know, like what I’m doing. Even things that I have done before and probably haven’t done in a while, I go to the person who knows it best and ask them to retrain me on that. Like how are you doing this now? It’s got to be different, fFrom what I did before. So show me how you’re doing it or show me a better way. 

Charlie:

Okay. Love it. Let’s keep going. 

Danielle:

Okay.

Charlie:

With learning. What book are you currently reading? 

Danielle:

I’m reading two books right now, so I have this thing where I’m, like, simultaneously reading right now just because I have a goal number of how many books I’m going to read this year. 

Charlie:

What’s the goal? 

Danielle:

14. 

Charlie:

Okay. Just all reading. Or do you any audible? 

Danielle:

I do audible, but I don’t count it. 

Charlie:

Okay. That’s fair, that’s fair. 

Danielle:

So currently I’m reading “Eat the Frog”. It’s about procrastination because in my personal life, like, I want to start working out, but I keep procrastinating doing it. Like I’m always going to do it on Monday. And then I’m reading a book called “City on Fire”, which is just for pleasure. 

Charlie:

Awesome. “Win the Day”, I’ll recommend that one. 

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

It will inspire your soul. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

To ignite the habits that you’re looking to do. 

Danielle:

That’ll be my next learning book. 

Charlie:

And I did that one audiobook, by the way. 

Danielle:

Okay. 

Charlie:

You can do that one quicker. I’ve done it both ways. With audio, and now reading, rereading it. Okay. Other than Stories from the River, do you listen to regularly, listen regularly, listen to podcasts. And if so, do you have a favorite? 

Danielle:

I do. So I started listening to podcasts when I was doing like the 4 a.m. building manifest shift. So that was my thing. There’s three podcasts that I listen to regularly. I listen to a lot of NPR, so I listen to “Throughline” on NPR, which is about, like, taking like present-day things that are happening and linking it back to the past. 

I also listen to “Code Switch” on NPR. And then there is a podcast that reminds me of this like it gives me that vibe and it’s called “Beautiful Anonymous”, where a person just calls in and kind of  tells you their story. 

Charlie:

Except you’re not anonymous. 

Danielle:

Right. 

Charlie:

Okay. But you hit the story part, I got it. 

Danielle:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

I’ll have to check those out. Are you currently binge-watching the show?  

Danielle:

I just finished the show this weekend. I watched “Inventing Anna” on Netflix. That’s a wild ride if anybody wants to go there. 

Charlie:

Julia Garner. Do you watch Ozark? 

Danielle:

My husband watches Ozark. I couldn’t really get into it. 

Charlie:

She’s good though. 

Danielle:

She’s amazing. Yeah. 

Charlie:

So when you stop working for the day, you’re not building manufacturing, not leading your team, you’re not solving Supply Chain problems. What you like, and take some time to relax? What do you like to do for fun or just to relax? 

Danielle:

So I read a lot, as I’m sure you’re, learning. I like to read a lot. My husband and I like to go out to dinner, especially on the weekends. If anything big happens, we like to go out to dinner. 

And then just go visit his parents in Rock Hill. Like they moved here to be closer to us. So we try to go and spend time with them whenever we can. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. Okay, we’re coming down to the final question and final advice. 

Danielle:

All right. 

Charlie:

To someone who is not a Memory Maker today, but they’re thinking about coming to the River, about joining the company. What advice would you offer to that person? 

Danielle:

Give it a try and be open-minded. Like this is a really great place to work. But you got to, you know, you got to put in the work and you got to be willing to learn and you got to come in here with an open mind because like I said before, things change on a regular basis and you got to be ready to go with the flow. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. Danielle, thank you so much for being with us. 

Danielle:

Thank you so much for having me. 

Charlie:

This has been fun. This is Danielle Lassiter, Stories from the River Podcast. Please, like subscribe. Listen on YouTube or your favorite podcast player that could be Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google. And we look forward to bringing you fresh new content and episodes from the River each Wednesday. Thank you. Thank you, Danielle. 

Danielle:

Thank you. 

Welcome to Stories from the River, a podcast brought to you by Broad River Retail, where we’ll explore the personal journeys of our Memory Makers and share real stories from across the organization. And now for your host, president and CEO at the River, Charlie Malouf.

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