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Go Boldly and Be Brave: Managing Change in Retail Accounting with Hope Stocker

Charlie welcomes Hope Stocker, Broad River’s Manager of Retail Accounting, and together they take a trip down memory lane.

Hope has been with the company since 2006, and has had a front row seat to its growth as well as its transformation into the purpose-driven organization it is today. And she’s also survived three major storms with the Company – the Great Recession in 2009; the original failed STORIS conversion in 2015; and the COVID pandemic in 2020.

Hope shares her experience with converting Broad River’s original ERP System (PROFITS) to STORIS in early 2015 and then applying those learnings in a symbolic, redemptive manner to help lead the conversion of the newly acquired stores in Wilmington from the PROFITS ERP system to STORIS much more smoothly and successfully earlier this year.

She also shares what it’s like working with a fully remote team and a what a Retail Accounting Manager does on a day to day basis.

You don’t want to challenge Hope to a Jeopardy or trivia battle, From several office moves to the Savvy Spaces detour, and multiple ERP conversions and acquistions, Hope and Charlie cover a lot of ground in this one. You will be entertained while learning about organizational and personal transformation in this conversation and episode of Stories from the River.

Additional Resources:

Joey Reiman (the man who wrote the book on Purpose) speaking at the 2018 Leadership Summit for Broad River Retail when the River’s Purpose Statement (“Furnishing Life’s Best Memories”) was publicly unveiled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmABICtQLsk

Joey Reiman Q & A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUTZORUZl6Q

Joey Reiman’s Book “The Story of Purpose: The Path to Creating a Brighter Brand, a Greater Company, and a Lasting Legacy” – https://www.amazon.com/Story-Purpose-Creating-Brighter-Greater/dp/1118443691

Inky Johnson speaks to Broad River Retail at the 2018 Leadership Summit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNAGlW6uObg

Inky Johnson Leadership Summit Q & A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErO1LDM3zU0

Purpose 8:28 (Broad River’s Purpose Summit): https://www.purpose828.com

Inky Johnson: https://www.inkyjohnson.com/

Serendipity with Inky Johnson: https://www.serendipitywithinky.com/

Justin Barnes: https://www.justinbbarnes.com

Justin Jones-Fosu: https://workmeaningful.com/

STORIS – The Unified Commerce Solution for Home Furnishings Retailers: https://www.storis.com

Matthew 23:12 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2023%3A12&version=ESV

Matthew 25:23 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A23&version=ESV

“Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child” by Noel Riley Fitc
h https://www.amazon.com/Appetite-Life-Biography-Julia-Child/dp/0307948382

“The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in an Era of Gender, Work, and Family” by Kathleen Gersonhttps://www.amazon.com/Unfinished-Revolution-Coming-Gender-Family-dp-0195371674/dp/0195371674/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1654657244

“Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortunate of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence” by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese – https://www.amazon.com/Signing-Their-Lives-Away-Independence/dp/1683691261/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1654657514&sr=1-1

Office Ladies Podcast – https://officeladies.com/

Julia Child Cooking Show on Pluto TV – https://pluto.tv/en/search/details/channels/julia-child/

The Brady Bunch on Pluto TV – https://pluto.tv/en/search/details/series/the-brady-bunch-cbs-tv/season/1

_______

We hope you enjoy this episode, and subscribe to our podcast for a new story each week.

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:

March 13th, 2020. A day, I think we probably would all like to forget. Tell us what that day meant for you? 

Hope: 

I hope I can do this without being emotional. It was a fairly normal day. There were a lot of meetings, just a flurry of activity. I remember Steve Carey stopped in my office before he left that day and he was like: “What do you think’s going to happen?” And I’m pulling out of our business park and I get a ding on my phone and it’s my uncle from Iowa to let me know that my father had passed away. 

And we were estranged. So there were a lot of feelings there, a lot of emotions you know, and I didn’t know how to process that grief at the time. And then Saturday I got the call from Bill that we probably would not be going back to the office. And then a little later, we definitely weren’t going back to the office. We needed to come in on Sunday and prepare to work from home. 

I was trying to gather my things together and my team’s things together and get everybody out of the building as quickly as possible. It almost felt like there was a fire alarm. I was just crumbling inside. I didn’t know what was going to happen. The world was in such chaos at the time, and as we look back now, it got even worse from there. 

People were dying. It was, you know, it was just it was terrible. It was a terrible time. It really taught me that I had to be brave for the people that I lead. I had to be brave for the people that are in my family and that I love. And I had to be very for myself. It was difficult and it’s still difficult for me to think about. 

Charlie:

We’re going to get real today, guys. We’re here with Hope Stocker, Stories from the River. Hope’s been with us for over 16 years. This is a conversation I can’t wait to have. We’ve all been waiting to hear from Hope. 

The following Monday was my birthday and it was a birthday I would soon like to forget. It was the start of the pandemic. And then who knew that you had so much personal stuff going on as well? And it was just heavy for everyone at that time. Thank you for sharing your story. 

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:

Hope I’m excited to share some with you. Welcome to the podcast. 

Hope: 

Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to do this. I think I slept a total of about 5 hours last night. I just kept thinking about, this is what I’m going to answer it, this is how I’m going to do this. So, I’m very excited.

Charlie:

We’re ready to listen in and learn lots. Before we get going. So I know you’ve been with us over 16 years, but tell us a little bit about you and your background in your career prior to coming to the River? 

Hope: 

Okay. I’m married to a great guy. Phil. Phil was actually our kind of side-time IT guy for Broad River back in the day, did a couple of repairs for us, but …

Charlie: 

Oh yeah, I remember that. 

Hope: 

I’ve been married to Phil for a long, long time and we have three kids and various stages of life. One is married and on her own, one is in college and my, my youngest is in high school, so I’m actually looking forward to an empty nest soon. 

My background has always been in retail. Probably for the past 30 years. I’ve been in retail in some way, shape, or form. Before I came to Broad River, I worked for BI-LO grocery stores for about ten years. I did just about everything you could do inside a store, went into management, was Customer Service Manager, HR Manager. 

Then I moved on and worked for the District. I was an Internal Auditor and really got more involved in the bookkeeping and the money side of retail. And then I went back into a store and the HR Manager for Broad River then was a customer in that store, and that’s how I came to be a Broad River employee. She would come in, we would talk. I helped her out a little bit, and she’s actually my neighbor, or she used to be my neighbor, so. And the rest is history. 

Charlie: 

That’s cool. I’m so glad that your’s neighbors are connected and she brought you on board and ask you to join the River and to bring up that retail experience has been, I’m sure, instrumental which will impact today. But you didn’t join Broad River Retail. We’ve changed our identities and refreshed it a few times. What company did you join? 

Hope:

I joined Ashmore Incorporated and Hillsborough Retail Group. We had two separate companies, which then morphed into three separate companies, and then in 2018, we brought them all under the same umbrella there, for Broad River Retail. And that was part of the bold reset. 

Charlie: 

Yeah, yeah.  It’s close enough. And so March 2nd, 2006. That was your first day, right?  And I tend to believe most people remember their first day. I know it’s been quite a while, but do you remember your first day at Broad River and if so, what do you remember about that day? 

Hope:

I remember it very well. It’s actually a very funny story. Our corporate offices used to be in a four-way queue behind the service counter in Pineville, in the very back of the store. The owners’ offices were where the mattress gallery is now. They were off to the side there. But usually, they will take you to lunch for your first day and you know you’ll make those plans and you’re going to get to know everybody. 

So they planned my first-day lunch between themselves and they never told me about it. So it got to be about 12:00 o’clock and I was like: “Okay, I’m going to go out to lunch.” I just remember calling my husband from the car or he was my fiance then. I call him from the car and I was like: “These people want to take me to lunch”. 

And so when I get back they were like: “We were supposed to go to lunch with you today.” And I was like: “Oh, well, you didn’t tell me that fact.” So, so yeah, it was a pretty memorable day, you know, just for that part of it. And then just getting to know everybody that have since gone on.  

I mean, I think most of the people that I met that day there, they’re gone. And then a couple of days later, I think I met with you and I met Tira, and you two are the two that are still they’re still hanging in there. 

Charlie: 

We’re still rocking it out. 

Hope:

So rocking. 

Charlie: 

I think I was in the broom closet back in Pineville next to the accounting cubes with a flickering light. I think my eye, my eyesight got progressively worse each day. We couldn’t figure it out. I think it’s this flickering like fluorescent light here. Anyways. 

Hope:

It’s good times. 

Charlie: 

Good times, great memories, unforgettable memories. 

Hope:

Yes. 

Charlie:

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

Hope:

Something that has surprised even me is my aptitude for systems. You know, I was I worked in the Profit System for nine years prior to going into STORIS. And, you know, I got to learn the ins and outs. And I’m I have a very obsessive personality, I guess you could say. So if I start to learn it, I want to learn it from start to finish. And sometimes that’s my detriment. And I don’t know when to let go. But, you know, I found that I have a real aptitude for systems, especially Profits and STORIS. 

Charlie:

Well, I would tell you, everyone needs someone who’s got an aptitude for systems in their company. Is invaluable, invaluable. So Hope, other than that, what are you most proud of thus far in your Broad River career? Is there a certain accomplishment or achievement that really stands out for you? 

Hope:

Yeah, it’s a fairly recent one. That was the Seahawk acquisition and then the conversion into STORIS for those teams. I’m extremely proud, extremely proud for one reason that I could remember and go back into the recesses of my mind and pull out that profits knowledge. And, and it was really invaluable to have like when Lynn Bass and Tira, who had worked in those systems prior to fall back on and say: “Hey, do you remember how we used to do this?” 

But, actually pulling out those memories from the back of your mind and using them again and, and being a help in that time, I was really proud of that. And then again with the STORIS conversion back in early March or April, sorry. For those two stores and being, you know, was on the STORIS core team back in 2014, 2015. 

But I feel like this time really opened my eyes to what, you know, what we probably could have done differently back then. But yeah, I was just very proud and you know, just pleased to be a part of those teams. I’m very pleased with my performance. It gave me a lot of confidence. 

Charlie:

Well, that project was smooth like butter, and we’ve come a long way. It’s good to get redemption – 

Hope:

Yes, it is. 

Charlie:

On the STORIS conversion and doing it better. We’re a different company then, with different people processes and yeah, we try not to pay tuition twice. 

Hope:

That’s right. 

Charlie:

So retail accounting, you are the Retail Accounting Manager, a critical role in our company.  And so let’s talk about that. What exactly is retail accounting?

Hope:

So retail accounting is any dollar sign that comes through the store. So it’s the cash, the checks, the credit cards, your banking, anything that has to do with money that comes to the store. And the other side of that is the financing, you know. Lynn Bass is on my team. She is she’s the finance queen. She made sure with the money keeps coming in, we’re not leaving dollars on the table.

We actually have a new well, it’s not new. It’s years old. But we have a daily audit process to make sure we don’t have any of those surprises at the end of the day when it comes time to fund. So anything that comes through that door with the dollar sign on it is retail accounting.  

Charlie:

Got it. Well, that is super important. You want to be ironclad and making sure the dollars that are supposed to come in actually do make it to your bank account? 

Hope:

Exactly. 

Charlie: 

And so, so again, that’s what you do. Is that what you primarily oversee and manage or is it also people on your team? 

Hope:

People on my team especially, we are five strong now. Five or six strong, including myself. And it’s not just retail accounting, it’s monthly clothes for the finance team. We also handle Ashcan payments that come in. 

And those are a specialized set of skills that you need to kind of decipher and figure those out with the operating expense and the home-delivered portion and drag ship. But, you know, we also handle refunds. We handle data entry for posting payments you know, there’s a lot and I’m very involved in the month and close for the financials too. 

Charlie: 

Yeah, that’s it. That’s kind of been a relatively new development over the past few years. 

Hope:

It has and, you know, for the first nine years, I feel like I woke up in 2015 and you know, there have been a lot of changes to the job that I do every single day now. and monthly, and weekly and I am, yeah. I’m really proud to be a part of it. 

Charlie: 

Awesome. So now folks are working from home, working from the office, hybrid. How often do you work from home versus work from the office? 

Hope:

I come in all the time now. I realized about a year into it that work from home life was not for me. My house is not quiet. You know, and I had a kid and, you know, doing the home school and she’s older. She didn’t need as much supervision and things like that. I have dogs. Why do I have dogs. 

So I made a decision last year after my vacation that I would come back to the office. And it has been such a help for me and my mindset and my mental health. And it also makes me appreciate home a lot more as well. 

Charlie: 

Yeah, it’s good to have that separation. And really, it’s unique to each person. Some people prefer to work at home or some people prefer to go into the office and have that kind of separation. And give you, like you just said, that appreciation for home or the quiet work time and the separation. So it’s very unique to the individual. But what about your team? Are they working from home or? 

Hope:

They’re all working from home and they do it beautifully. They love it. You know, two ladies on my team, Dupree and Tamika, they had babies in 2019. So when they got sent home, they got to be a stay at home moms while working as well. And everybody’s just thrived. I think it’s been a really great thing for them. 

Charlie: 

Yeah. Who would have to thunk that? Like people, so many people can work from home and do it well and maybe even better be more productive that way, you know? So it’s been and we were flexible with them. By the way, if we tried to bring everyone back to the office, they wouldn’t fit. That’s one of the things that we learned. 

Okay,  so your work-life balance is improved now that you come into the office and some of your team they love being. Do you still see them, though, in-person? You’ll come in for like monthly meetings or gatherings, or? 

Hope:

We see each other once a week on teams. We have a touch base meeting on Tuesdays to talk about our game plan for the week. I see Stephanie Crain about once a week. She comes in to help me process refund checks, but other than that, it’s mostly remote. We have gotten together for things like reviews and birthdays, things like that, but generally, they’re just at home.

Charlie:

Okay. And can we shift gears to the early days? 

Hope:

Of course. 

Charlie:

You’re one of the few people who’s a familiar face and you know, people come and go, but it’s good to have familiar faces. So, what do you recall about like what are some of your memories or recollections from the early days at the River?

Hope:

That we moved a lot. We had of you know, we started very humbly. I think when I started, we had four stores or five stores. We were getting ready to open Anderson, South Carolina. And just the growth that happened in a very short time, not just that present growth that we do, but back then. And for us to grow so much from 2006 to 2008 was really a testament to the leadership that we had and the vision for the company. 

Charlie:

Okay. We did move around quite a bit from Pineville to Matthews to Fairview to Selwyn. 

Hope:

Back to Matthews. 

Charlie:

Back to Matthews, part for a little bit, back to DC, and then to Fort Mill. Tell us about the different office? Give us a couple just stories and memories from the different offices that you can recall? 

Hope:

So like I said before, Pineville was a four-way cube. We had HR Accounting, you had a marketing person who sat off to the side and the owners were there. That was fun to be on the front lines there and to actually get to see the customers and be involved in that part of it. Then we went to Mathews and we were upfront and behind a partition where customer pickup was. 

And, you know, I think that was where I really built relationships with the people who were, who I was working with at the time. Because we were all crammed in that little space. And then we moved back to the bullpen adjacent to Charlie’s office. There were a couple of times he had to come out and tell us, keep it down I know it’s Friday, but you got to keep it down. 

And, yeah. I think at that point, being part of you know, having the whole team together because we were kind of an island to ourselves when we were upfront with customer pickup, but we were back there with QA, Customer Service was not too far away from us. It was in that little small, small room up front there in the Matthews Store. But that’s when I really felt like I was part of a team and a really good team. 

Charlie:

So the Matthews corporate office was just inset in the little Matthews Warehouse Distribution Center, which was probably 35 or 40,000 square feet and only had four dock doors and was connected to the Matthews Store. It’s now Elevation Church in Matthews, but that office space had no windows and it was in the where else, do you know what Jonathan nicknamed that office? 

Hope:

No. 

Charlie:

The Petri dish. 

Hope:

(laughs)

Charlie:

But you know what? We had a lot of great memories together, 

Hope:

We did, we did. 

Charlie:

Being crammed in there with no windows and in the back in that little warehouse. The petri dish, I can’t get that out of my mind. Okay. And then Jackson was there, and Jonathan, and Chris Dulski and you, and Brad Neff, and everyone was there. 

So okay, a little bit more tumultuous time. You talked about the growth from ‘06 to ‘08 and then we hit the Great Recession. We kind of pump the brakes. What are your memories of the time during the Great Recession? 

Hope:

It was another difficult time for us. You know, everything was kind of unsure what was going to happen with, you know. Housing markets were collapsing, and if housing markets are collapsing, what does that do for furniture business and things like that? People are losing their jobs left and right. You know, we were fortunate that we kept our jobs. 

We were even more fortunate. I think I said this in a meeting we were in together a couple of weeks ago. We just kind of had to look each other in the eyes and say: “I’m not going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to do what I can to make sure that we survive and to make sure that we’re still standing. “

And was it easy? Absolutely not. I mean, there were days you came in and you just didn’t want to do it anymore, but you had to keep going, you know? And I think it taught me about you know, not only our leadership’s ability to keep us going and keep us afloat, but my own ability to keep us going. 

I’m sure most ladies know, you know, the bathroom is your safe space. And I can probably attest that I go in there more often than not and have a cry if I need to. But I was in that building, and so when I had to go in there and they just wouldn’t stop coming, because it was such a difficult time. 

It was so uncertain. I didn’t know what was going to happen. And I had to go and give myself a pep talk in the mirror. You know you got to man up. You got to stop crying. You got to stand up straight. Because I had people who depended on me. I mean, you know, I had a team under me at that time. And even though it was only two or three ladies, it was they were still people who depended on me and I couldn’t crumble. So yeah, that taught me a lot about myself as well. 

Charlie:

Okay. Thank you for sharing that. 

Hope:

You’re welcome. 

Charlie:

And then so shifting gears. Not a lot of people will know what we’re talking about on this next topic when I mentioned Savvy spaces, but what can you tell us about Savvy spaces? What do you remember about it? 

Hope:

Savvy spaces was a concept for custom in the higher-end furniture. And the showrooms were gorgeous. I remember we had the opening gala and you have the press and everybody there, and that was a memorable night. But those showrooms were just amazing and it was right there beside the Pineville store. And I think there was one up of 85. 

Charlie:

Smith Corner.

Hope:

Smith Corner’s, yeah, for a while. And it was a really good idea. But you know, people want fast food furniture they want, they don’t want to wait that 45 minutes for that extra marinate on that stuff. So yeah, it was a great time. I still think of, you know, I process unclaimed property for the company every year. And up until two years ago I still had access to savvyspaces.co to get some, some information there. 

Charlie:

Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that that’s I had no idea. Savvy spaces, high style-savvy price. 

Hope:

That’s right. 

Charlie:

Something, something like that. Okay. Pre STORIS. So you talked a lot about your late nine years of Profit systems knowledge and accessing that in this most recent conversion on Coastal Connection Project Seahawk. It seems so long ago almost like the prehistoric dinosaur days. 

But how did we operate then? What can you recall from those days before we converted to STORIS, so from 2014 and before what do you recall about how we operated? 

Hope:

Profits was it was an okay system when it was developed in 1978. 

Charlie:

(laughs) 

Hope:

But what we were using it for was very disjointed. You didn’t have reporting capabilities and if you did you had to manipulate data so much. And it was built with accounting added on as an afterthought. So all of our accounting was handled inside of QuickBooks, so we would transact inside of Profits and then transfer all that over into QuickBooks. 

And it was, it was, it was no easy feat. So yeah, just of just the whole disjointedness of it and it not being efficient and you know, as we grew it just really didn’t work for our needs. I mean there were, there were times that it was down more than it was up and you know, I think a Black Friday we had that it was down for the better part of the day. 

And I still don’t think we ever reconciled all that stuff to the penny. But yeah, just the disjointedness and looking back on it now just makes me really thankful for STORIS and all the capabilities that it has and all of the things that we’ve been able to develop with STORIS to get us to where we are. 

Charlie:

You mentioned savvyspaces.co, which is like a replica of shopashley.net which we had to build in a bunch of modules and plug-ins to pull data out of Profit systems like to run our automated payroll, or to run our customer service tickets with your service orders. 

Hope:

Right. 

Charlie:

So it was not a cohesive way of operating. Okay. The STORIS conversion. The gift that kept on giving or taking, depending on your perspective. So, you were on the STORIS conversion team, and I’m sure that you have some vivid memories about the first half of 2015. 

I know you talked vividly about the Great Recession, but we acquired the Asheville and Arden stores in that market in early January of 2015. Then we converted to a new ERP system, I think about mid-January, January ‘14 or so of 2015, and then a couple of weeks later we broke ground on a new Distribution Center in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Corporate Campus. 

And then all the wheels kind of came off. And it’s not like we like didn’t prepare for this conversion for two or three years. I mean, I have some ideas about what we got wrong, but what do you think we got wrong with that conversion from your perspective? 

Hope:

That’s a hard question to answer. I was a part of the team and it’s really hard to see when you’re you’re so entrenched in and in a process and everything that was happening. Plus, we were working, you know, our regular jobs in addition to these core team jobs. 

I really feel like probably if we had been able to focus just on that core teamwork and not have to split our time like we did. And you talk about Petri dish. We were in a room with no windows for, for days and days on end. And I think they would even bring lunch in with Sterno. 

And I mean, it’s a wonder we made it out alive. Anyway. But yeah, I think just really being able to focus 100% on what we were doing because it was so important, what a probably helped to make that go a lot smoother. 

Charlie:

That’s 100% what I would say. I think there’s a great business lesson in focus and you’re going to pay more for it. Not doing that. Like one of the biggest regrets I have and probably one of my biggest failures was not identifying that we needed to invest in a take our best people, because we had our best people like you and essentially felt like we beat you guys up. 

Like we said, you’re going to do your day job and then you’re going to go do this other job that supercritical. And if you don’t do this right, everything’s going to like collapse. But you still have to do your day job and we’re going to still keep growing and we just did this acquisition and we’re going into this new distribution center, and we weren’t prepared for and then we did. We did break all of our bones. 

I mean, and so I take a lot of responsibility for that. And if we never would have, if we were to do it again, we have to take people out of the job and invest in getting people to backfill those roles. And that’s the right way to do it. But, we’ll get to the other side of that. But did you ever think that we weren’t going to make it in 2015? Honestly? 

Hope:

There were a couple of times. There were a couple of times that I thought it was it was probably not going to be able to be recoverable. I’m just in the issues we had with delivery, and then the issues that we had months after with AR and customer deposits. Because we were so not prepared for what we were looking at and we knew what our customer deposit balance should be. 

And it was this inflated number. I want to say it was two or three times what it should be and we, we really had to dig in and audit those things one line at a time. But yeah, there were some times where I wondered if this was, was not the end. 

And I have such a tender heart and I have, you know, I’m such an empath that, you know, I felt like the blame was, was mostly mine. I was like, I didn’t think of this. Why didn’t I think of this? So, that’s my burden to bear. 

But it’s nice to hear you say what you said and how you agree that we should have been split, for that time for the conversion and then pass that. Because I still think we need like an aftercare team, a post conversion.  

Charlie:

Well, I also have a lot of guilt because I know that a lot of our key people internalized, you know, they took it as their responsibility or that it was their fault. And I never thought that and never believe that. And I hated that they had that guilt for something that I was responsible for. And so if I haven’t said that enough, we’re doing this live here on this podcast and getting this out in the open here, so… And how do you think we ultimately change the news? 

Hope:

I think you change the news because you rolled up your sleeves. You had those I think they were, are they were biweekly meetings? 

Charlie:

April 1st, 2015 we started every Wednesday 8 a.m. – the change the news meetings. 

Hope:

Yes. Change the news. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Change the news, we had to get everyone in a room and we were going to the change the news meetings. 

Hope:

Right, right. I think that played a huge part in getting us back on track. You know it was not so much the work that needed to be done, but we needed that cheerleader, and we needed that leader especially to say: Hey, we got to get this done through any means necessary. 

And it, you know, I’ve always thought really, really highly of Charlie Malouf, but that just kind of solidified in my heart and in my mind. What a wonderful leader that you were because we were in the midst of falling off the edge of a cliff. And here you are with this lifeline. Let’s pull it back we got to pull it back. We got to pull it back. So I think you were instrumental. 

Charlie:

Well, I don’t know that I would necessarily agree with you on that. I don’t know that had any other choice, but that’s very kind of you to say. And, you know, we had great people who I knew could solve the problem, and we just had to pull everyone together and figure it out. Like, I knew we could figure it out, and we did. 

Hope:

Right. 

Charlie:

And so we had this thing called the bold reset. 

Hope:

Yes. 

Charlie:

And so the bold reset from, it was like from late June or July, 2015. And, you know, we love a challenge, right? It was a 100-day challenge is when we kind of started doing these challenges. So do you remember the bold reset and what do you remember about it? 

Hope:

The announcement that you were going to be President, and CEO, that the previous owners were moving to a different type of role or out completely. And I knew we were in for quite a ride. I mean, I knew your enthusiasm, and I knew your heart for the business and the people. So I knew we were in for quite a ride. I just had no idea how far it would go. 

I remember it very well. I think I even sent you a Bible verse, I think it was from Romans about “go boldly” because of the bold reset. And yeah, it’s just it was a memorable time for me.

Charlie:

Yeah. I got a lot of great messages. I do remember that message, and I need to go back and find that laptop with the 2015 messages. But those were so encouraging to me. And to have just the belief in from people like you who I thought so highly of. And then we did it. 

Hope:

We did. 

Charlie:

And then we changed it, all started to work, and everyone kind of chipped in and we rallied. 

And another key person who helped us was someone who joined around that time right before Bill Woodman. 

Hope:

Right. 

Charlie:

And so Bill Woodman joined us. It was in May or June 2015. He started as a contractor. I think he was working like seven days a week as a contractor. And, and he’s really worked with you in the Finance Department to completely overhaul the department, and the way we operate since coming on board. So what is his leadership meant to you into our company, in your opinion? 

Hope:

Oh, this is maybe hard without being emotional. You know, Bill came at a time of great, you know, an upheaval for us and chaos. He came as a contractor and in the middle of his, you know, him getting there, our controller on VP of Finance decided to leave. And again, it was just like how much more can we be kicked here?

But he stepped into that role. He taught us, you know before we were never even able to touch the balance sheet. There were things that we just had no idea outside of, you know, daily transactional duties that we just never were allowed to touch. He took each one of us and he elevated us. He believed in us. He built this confidence in us.

And he still has to work on me sometimes for that confidence. But he has really been a mentor. And I mean, just a great partner to have, probably the best boss I’ve ever had. 

Charlie:

Well, I want to ask about him because I don’t think you can understate what he meant to the team, and our finance department, and to our company and the timing. You have to have great financial optics and great rigor and your fans, department, and county department. It takes great people and great leadership and it just empowers the leaders to be able to do what they need to do. So that you can trust the numbers. And again, that’s a great business lesson. 

I love what Keith Cunningham talks about in the The Road Less Stupid whicjh is sutbitled Advice from the Chairman of the Board, and you know just keeping the lug nuts tight and, you know, having great financial optics. 

So, okay. Let’s switch gears to purpose, organizational purpose, specifically. Ours is furnishing life’s best memories. What is this shift to a purpose-driven organization been like for us and what does it mean to be purpose-driven in your opinion?  

Hope:

I really feel like it’s given us a roadmap to where we need to go. You know, we talked at the I believe it was last year. We talked about vision casting and what we wanted to look. You know, I feel like for so many years, we were, you know, heads down, blinders on, and we weren’t looking around at what else is out there and what’s on the horizon and what’s coming at us. 

And I really feel like being, you know, a purpose-driven company, like what we started and 2018, that has really helped with that, to look around to see what’s on the horizon so we can be better prepared for it. And I think that you know, most of our growth can be attributed to that, especially our recent growth. 

Charlie:

Okay, you’ve noticed a real change, since we made that shift and adopted a corporate purpose, or were some of those elements always present just underneath the surface? 

Hope:

I believe they were always there. I believe they were present. I think they were kind of like you say, bubbling underneath the surface that just took somebody to kind of bring them up and wrangle them all together and put them, you know, put them in the forefront. 

Because, you know, and you can think back in 2015 culture was not such a buzz word that it is now. I mean I think it was just starting, to come up with tech companies and things like that. So yeah, I really feel like it was always there. It just took somebody to, to bring it up, polished it off and, and present it to everybody and they say,: “Oh, that’s what I’ve been feeling.” 

Charlie:

Oh, cool. Very cool. So do you recall the August 2018 the Leadership Summit with Joey Reiman, who wrote the book The Story of Purpose and Inky Johnson when we had the big reveal of our organizational purpose? 

Hope:

I do. I have to say that was one of my life-changing moments. 

Charlie:

Really? 

Hope:

Joey Reiman, listening to him talk about the, you know, Diana Nyad and “the swim in the English Channel” and the “secret fight like a girl”. You know, at the time I had an 11-year-old daughter who I saw those things happen to. You know, they lose that confidence. They lose that childlike confidence. And you know, around that same age. And it just really stuck with me. 

And I guess it kind of showed me that she’s learning from what she sees, which is me. And I have no, you know, I didn’t have that confidence. I didn’t have that boldness. I didn’t have anything that I should have had as a mother, as a parent, as you know, a role model for her.

So I’ve tried to work on that myself, and I think it’s helped her immensely. She’s 15 now. She plays the cello beautifully and she’s unashamed of it. And it really changed my life. 

And Inky Johnson, I mean, I could listen to him all day. I still follow him on social media. I listen to everything he has. He’ll actually bring up some of the Broad River clips every now and again, or repost just here in that story and what he came from that adversity and thinking he had all his days planned out. 

And then that last game just changed everything and how he wanted to be mad at God and he was mad at God for a little while, but he found his purpose in that in that tragedy. And yeah, it really changed my life. 

Charlie:

And you never know when you develop, take time to develop all of your leaders how that will really manifest. And it could just be on a personal level back home to their families, which is ultimately going to make them a better person and probably more fulfilled at work, because you’re a better parent or a better leader, more confident. 

We’re going to put it in the show notes. We’ll put the link to the Joey Reiman YouTube clip and the Inky Johnson YouTube clip, because we have them, we share them. And Inky has a podcast now too – Serendipity. 

Hope:

Oh, nice. I have to check that out. 

Charlie:

Yeah, yeah. Okay. So what about the following year when the PAC the Purpose Activation Committee planned Purpose 828, our first Purpose Summit, we changed the Leadership Summit to a Purpose Summit. What do you remember about Purpose 828? 

Hope:

I can remember that one very vividly too. I remember the speakers. I still follow Justin Barnes on social media. Everything that he says is just so uplifting to me. And it, you know, most of the time it’s on time because he’s a pastor, right? 

Charlie:

Yeah, he actually works in retail, but he does speak at his church. 

Hope:

Speaks at his church, right. And just Justin Jones. He was one of the last ones and he is super fun. Again, when I say I felt like back in 2008 that being part of a team was solidified, and that I felt like a family like I felt like I was that cousin that you would invite to Thanksgiving dinner. 

Because I was sitting at the table with, you know, Sales Managers and Store Managers, and Executives, and members of my own team on that day. And we were all just hanging on to these knowledge bombs that were being dropped on us. And it was a great day. 

Charlie:

That’s great. 

Hope:

I miss those. 

Charlie:

We’re going to get back to and we’ll put those links in the show notes as well. So what have been some of your other just couple of best memories at the River? 

Hope:

One of my best was winning the influencer award in 2019 of the 2020 Gala, that we have it for. Everything shut down, and you know I knew ahead of time that I was going to win an award but when they called my name just here and that applause from and there are a lot of retail folks there so if you get applause from retail folks you know you’ve done something right.

Charlie:

Oh yeah. 

Hope:

And that was, that was a really proud moment for me. Really. 

Charlie:

So powerful. And to let people feel those celebratory moments and the team that put that Gala on. We still have people talking about it was a phenomenal night. So who have been some of your all-time favorite Memory Makers who you’ve been able to work with over the years? 

Hope:

Oh. Frst and foremost, Steve Carey. He was on the store’s core team with me and I got to know Steve Carey very, very well. I know all of his kid’s names, and his wife’s name. He was a mentor to me. He believed in me before, you know, before Bill came along. 

He saw a lot in me and he helped to develop some of that. Yeah, he was just one of my favorite people. And he never not have a smile on his face. 

Charlie:

The nicest guy in the world. 

Hope:

The nicest guy in the world. And Mr. Dash, you know. 

Charlie:

Mr. Dash, he created the Dash acronym everyone. 

Hope:

And, you know, gosh. You know, I’m thinking back to the early days, Jackson Moore, with his laid back. You know, you know, he was tall. He was laid back. He this loud, booming voice. You know, he was one of my favorite people. And then Jonathan, on the other side was more ordered and more quiet and more cerebral, I guess you could say. And just thinking back on some of those days, it’s really special to me. 

Charlie:

Those two guys are great guys and set a great foundation for us. And I just saw Jackson and his wife in Nashville a few weeks ago. 

Hope:

Really? 

Charlie:

Yeah. He’s doing great. I’m gonna send him this podcast here let em know what we said about him. 

Hope:

Please. 

Charlie:

Okay. The financing Q, a.k.a the Waterfall. One of your main responsibilities, you talked about it earlier, is managing all of the funding and making sure that the money is coming in as it’s supposed to. A very critical component of a business like ours, or any business for that matter. And so what has changed was with the management of our financing vendors, with, with this financing Q, in this way that we find now through the STORIS financing Q? 

Hope:

So again, it was taking seven or eight vendors and putting them all in one spot so that, you know, everybody had the chance to be run through the same. We weren’t leaving dollars on the table because we could not communicate with regional or smart sales at least, for folks who didn’t qualify for our primary providers. 

And how it’s changed? It’s just been it’s been so much easier. It’s such an efficient process. STORIS makes it easier for us to do that, and to get that guest in with that application and to get it through as quickly as possible. 

They’re not standing there waiting, you know, like in the old days where you’re waiting on a credit decision, and you’re like bubbles of sweat popping out of your forehead. This is almost instant. And I really take a lot of part in keeping that up. Because I know if that goes down, then the stores aren’t, they’re not operating efficiently.  

Charlie:

Right. And you doing a great job. 

Hope:

Thank you. 

Charlie:

Always, always managing the dials and that any time you can make edits and changes. So there’s the front-end application, which is the Universal Credit App, and then this the funding, the automated funding. So what impact has the automated funding part had on our ability to prevent write-offs, losses, and to ensure that we get the money in from financing providers? 

Hope:

Right. So it happens automatically, you know. Before in the old days, you know, we drive our cover wagons to work and then we funded on a terminal called a Hypercom. So every cell that was delivered, you punched in numbers, there was a lot of room for error. There was a lot of room for duplicates. It was just not a great process.

But now it all happens automatically. So when that cell is delivered and built out, STORIS will go out and talk to the finance company, and pull that money in for us and we get paid within a couple of days. It’s just made us much more efficient. We have less room for errors. We perform our audit, prior to delivery, so we don’t have those surprises when it comes time for that communication with those finance vendors for that funding. So it’s just it’s been, it’s made a world of difference in our department. 

Charlie:

Yeah. So critical. We’ve talked a lot about company change and growth, and it certainly hasn’t been linear. There’s been peaks and valleys. And since you’ve joined the company, other than what you’ve already discussed, you know, I want to just kind of know and pick your brain on how the company has grown, adapted, changed overall in your department and in, you know? Kind of what highlights or milestones really stand out for you? And what accomplishments and accolades that we’ve received that you’re personally most proud of? 

Hope:

I think the change has just been the growth in everybody. You know, I was in my early thirties when I started. I think you were you were along the same age. Charlie and I are about the same age. And just the growth, you know. 

Charlie used to be the king of the 1 a.m. email and we don’t get those so much anymore, and just the growth and knowing that, you know, that once you build a solid ship it’s going to stay afloat so that you can step away and let somebody else take the controls for a little while. And then when you get back up, you’re back at the helm, you’re good. 

I think just the personal growth that I’ve seen and everybody that I’ve worked with for such a long time. You know, I have some of the longest-tenured employees I’ve brought River on my team, Lynn Bass and Tira Thrower. And I think just seeing them go from having a job to blooming into a career has been really, it’s been worth it all for me. 

Charlie:

Yeah. I remember hiring so many of these folks and you bring them in at a starting hourly wage or something, and then you just see, gosh, they grow their income, they grow their confidence, they grow their abilities. And it goes back to like just this whole world I’m fascinated with, which is potential and not seeing someone for who they are, but who they can be or who they should be or who they will be. 

Hope:

Right.

Charlie:

And so it just goes into having a growth mindset and leading from the front with that. We have to have leaders who are growth-minded, who are going to invest in themselves, who are going to mature and develop. And so that they we can model that for the next generation to come after us, you know. 

Hope:

I agree. 

Charlie:

Those are great insights. Okay. Just a quick icebreaker question to get to know Hops Stocker, a little bit better. 

Hope:

Okay. 

Charlie:

Not that we haven’t gotten to know you well so far. If you think back, you’ve done you’ve hung up your retail accounting cleats, you’re sitting on your front porch, drinking lemonade or iced tea or whatever your beverage of choice is, and you’re talking about the good old days. 

And Steve Carey and Bill Woodman, and Brad Neff, and just talking about, you know, Tira and Lan, and everything else. And people are going to talk about you and they’re going to remember you in three words, can come to their mind. What three words do you want to come to their minds to describe you? 

Hope:

Oh. I would have to say humble, wise, and weird. 

Charlie:

(laugs) Humble, wise, and weird. 

Hope:

Right. So, I don’t like the spotlight. I would much rather elevate somebody else and put them on the pedestal they deserve to be. So, you know, Matthew, 23: 12: “Those that humble themselves will be exalted and those who exalt themselves will be humbled. And I keep that in the back of my mind, all the time. 

Wise, you know, I kind of went back and forth between smart and wise. But, you know, there are a lot of smart people who are just not wise. So, you know, I want to be known as, as a wise person. I think you know, every report card I had growing up was, Hope needs to think before she speaks. And, you know, Miss Johnson, I want you to know I took that to heart. So somebody who’s wise always thinks before they speak. 

And weird. Life is too short to be put in somebody’s box, you know, to be to fit into this box that, or an idea that somebody has of you. I have undiagnosed ADDD, so I have varied interests in that flip from one thing to another. 

So so, yeah, I tend to be a little weird. I like movie monsters, and I like Broadway. And I like to watch cooking shows, but I don’t cook. So so, yeah, just a little weird. 

Charlie:

That’s great. Well, you know, what some people may not know is when I worked with Jonathan and his persistent prayer was always for wisdom, praying for wisdom. And there’s a lot, a lot of discernment that comes from wisdom. And I hold Matthew 23:25 just a few verses later, when I try to remind myself all the time to guide me. 

Okay. Unsung heroes. I know that it always takes a village to achieve the level of success that you’ve achieved. So who are some of your unsung heroes in your world? Tell us what they do or have done to help you? 

Hope:

Okay. The first would be my mom. You know she was a single mom from the time I was 12 on up. She actually lives with us now. She has macular degeneration is probably about 80% blind, but it hasn’t stopped her. She still gets out and you know, pills in the yard. She helps with our laundry. She makes sure she’s home when the kids get home from school,  she’s not let that stop her in the least bit. 

My husband is another one. He was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago and as of February we decided to take back our health and our life. And we’ve lost a combined total of about 60 pounds, since February. 

Charlie:

Wow, that’s amazing. 

Hope:

We’re exercising. We’re eating right. Thanks, Weight Watchers. But yeah, he has decreased his diabetes medication by about half every day. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome.

Hope:

We’re looking forward to not having that and, and you know, just the Steve Carey, and the Bill Woodman, the ones that saw what I was and believed in me enough to push me and keep pushing me, you know. And I do like to push back sometimes, but eventually I see it their way. So yeah, those two guys, they’ll never know what they mean to me. 

Charlie:

Well, have someone who believes in you is just one of the best gifts anyone can ever give to someone else. 

Hope:

Right. And it’s not like, you know, I know that there are people in the organization that believe in me, but for them to say it and to keep saying it until it gets into your, you know, your thick skull, it  really means a lot. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I believe I believe it. What’s the best advice you’ve received? 

Hope:

Again, Steve Carey, I have to keep going back to Steve Carey. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you have this huge project, or this huge issue that you need to work through, you just got to take one step and you know, it really is true. And it holds true for a lot of different things in your life. 

Charlie:

That’s right. You can’t boil the ocean. 

Hope:

No, you you can’t. 

Charlie:

Just try to win the day. So if you could go back to that younger self in her early thirties and say, tell her what life is going to be like at the River, what would you tell yourself? 

Hope:

Hold on, stick it out. There’s going to be a time that comes that you look back and you… I have a life now that I never dreamed possible, for myself. And I hate to say, I hate to be emotional. 

Charlie:

That’s okay. 

Hope:

And I owe a lot of that to first to God, and secondly, to Broad River. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. 

Hope:

You know, I did not have a traditional education. I had a lot of real-world experience. I ended up having a child very young. I was a single mom for many, many years. And I struggled. And, you know, when I came to Broad River, I was about to get married. I wanted a normal life, and I had no idea that doors that would be opened for me and I’m eternally grateful. 

Charlie:

Well, you have, you’re going to understate what you meant to Broad River, and it’s like times ten what you feel Broad River owes you, is what we owe you. Maybe times 100, or maybe a thousand. I don’t know. It can’t be overstated. 

Okay, switching gears to culture. You know, we’re obviously biased and we believe that we have a culture that’s really unique and special. But what is your favorite thing about our culture here at the River? And in your opinion, what is it that makes our culture special? 

Hope:

I hate to use the word a cliched word, but the family you know. I like to think of ripples. And before we had, you know, such a culture-centered business you know, we would make small changes and you never would think about the ripples. How is something in ops going to affect accounting or, you know, something customer care is going to do? How is that going to affect retail? 

But now we’re more of a closer-knit family, I guess you would say. So those ripples we talk about those before they actually happen and that collaboration. And that’s one of our core values as well. I think that that kind of lends to that feeling of family and those, you know, making sure we catch those ripples before they get to be huge waves. But really, just the family that just that feeling of you can’t put your finger on it.  

Charlie:

Yeah, yeah. That’s great. You talked about the journey you and your husband are on personally, and might even align to our word of the year being thrived. What does it mean for you to thrive? 

Hope:

You can survive. And I feel like we’ve just survived for the past two years through the pandemic. And like I said, when I was at home, there were days I got, you know, two thousand steps on my step counter because I just wasn’t moving. You know, I would go from the bedroom to my desk, set up a go to the kitchen for lunch. You know, I was getting very few steps, and I put on a lot of weight, you know, and that was just a survival mode. I was just surviving. I wasn’t living. 

We enjoyed going out and doing things in our, you know, community. We have, the town we live in has a great downtown area now. It’s all revitalized. We enjoyed going down there, and listening to loud music on the weekends. And, you know, of course, you couldn’t at that time but even when it opened back up, we just didn’t go. 

So you can survive. But to thrive means to live and to live well. And not just you know, going out and doing fun things, but making sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and that’s what thrive means to me. 

Charlie:

I like to say, before you can lead others, you have to pull that oxygen- 

Hope:

That’s right. 

Charlie:

Right down for yourself, self-care. What advice would you offer up to a fellow Memory Maker other than that to help him or her thrive this year? Or just maybe it’s just that self-care? 

Hope:

Yeah, self-care. 

Charlie:

And what is something about you, that would surprise your fellow Memory Makers, other than being weird? 

Hope:

Other than being weird, I have a head full of useless knowledge, and I would challenge anybody to Jeopardy duel.  

Charlie:

I would love to see you and my wife compete.

Hope:

I am a trivia buff. I’m a history buff. And, you know, I can pull out random facts. I know how many windows are in the Statue of Liberty. I know what the chemical symbol is for gold. And that hashtag is called an octothorp. 

Charlie:

Okay. 

Hope:

I know a lot of useless stuff. If I could parlay that into gainful employment, I think I would. But until then, I’ll just do retail accounting.  

Charlie:

Jeopardy we gotta get this woman on your show. I can’t wait. Okay. If you could change one thing about the company today, with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be? 

Hope:

Slow down just a little bit. Let us catch our breath. You know, I’ve always thought we don’t do anything unless our hair’s on fire, and that’s a good way to be. But let’s slow down. Let’s do a little bit of that vision casting again, look around and see what’s coming on the horizon. Because it’s still uncertain what is out there. 

Charlie:

That’s great. And so let’s say it’s my time to retire. And you’ve done such a great job with me and give you the keys to the company. And you’re the new President and CEO of Broad River Retail. And today’s your first day in your new role, what would be your first order of business? 

Hope:

Oh, man. Well, it would have been to get rid of that semester PTO, but that’s been done. So I’m going to bring back Purpose Summits. I want that Purpose Summit. I want that feeling again in that room. I want to be outside in a tent or wherever we need to have it. But I want that Purpose Summit back. That was, that’s amazing. 

Charlie:

I love it. Love it. Hey, what book are you currently reading? 

Hope:

So I said before about undiagnosed A.D.D. so I have actually three on the nightstand right now. One is a Julia Child, Biography. She’s just such an amazing individual outside of cooking. And it’s been a really fun read. 

One of my son’s psychology books from college. It’s called “The Unfinished Revolution”, and it’s how kids who are like our generation dealt with their moms being in the workplace. And it talks a lot about mom’s guilt because mom’s guilt is real. Do I stay home? What am I missing out on? If I stay home, do I work? What am I missing out on if I work? And it’s been very, very interesting. It’s kind of dry, so you can only take small doses of it. 

But the other one is “Signing Their Lives Away”. It’s about the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

Charlie:

Oh, wow. 

Hope:

Because I’m a history buff. But these are normal people. These are normal people that put their lives, their land, and their families on the line for our country. And I think a lot of our politicians need to read this book. But I digress. 

Charlie:

Okay, I love it. Other than this one, do you regularly, regularly listen to podcasts? 

Hope:

I do, actually. While I’m working, I listen, I am a huge Office, Parks and Rec fan, so I listen to the Office Ladies podcasts. They go back and dissect all the episodes from the beginning. You’re about halfway through now. It’s really fun and it goes by really quickly. 

Crime junkie, of course, I love True Crime. Weird. And yeah, mainly I just go back and forth between those two. 

Charlie:

I’m such an Office fan. I need to start listening to Office Ladies, if that’s what they’re doing, deconstructing the episodes. 

Hope:

It’s hilarious, and it gives you insights to things. You know, if you’re a super fan, you know, the episodes inside and out, and this just gives you a little bit of a different perspective. 

Charlie:

Love it. What show are you currently binge-watching? 

Hope:

So again, Julia Child’s Cooking Show, there’s a streaming service called Pluto, and they’re all on there, from the early 60’s all the way up through the early 2020’s when of course she passed away. So I’ve been binging those at night. 

The Brady Bunch. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s nostalgia, and I’m going back to Downton Abbey now. Because the movie is about to come out the second movie, I’m going to give it a rewatch. 

Charlie:

And so what do you like, when you stop working for the day, what do you, what do you like for fun or just to relax? 

Hope:

Now, we take walks. We go to the, you know parks in Rock Hill there where I live, we take walks, we see what’s out there. We live over by Winthrop Lake, and there are a lot of hidden paths in there. So we’ve enjoyed really exploring those. It goes back to, you know, the greenhouses and just hidden places that you didn’t see. So that’s what we’re enjoying right now. 

Charlie: 

Got it. Final question. To someone who’s not a Memory Maker who might be thinking about joining the River, what advice would you give to that person? 

Hope:

Do it. You got to take that plunge. You know, we have built a wonderful place to work. I feel like I’m a cornerstone in that. So you got to do it. You got to take the plunge. If you’re you’re on the fence about doing it, you know, whether it be for a different title or money, the things that you’re going to get here are worth more than anything that money could put a value on. That culture, that feeling of family. Yeah, you just got to do it. 

Charlie: 

Hope, thank you. This is been fun, and educational, and a full episode. This is Hope Stocker our retail Accounting Manager for over sixteen years now, and she’s been with us through almost all of it, and from nearly the very beginning. 

Hey, catch Stories From the River, every Wednesday we drop fresh new episodes, and listen to us wherever you’re listening to this one, on YouTube, Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. And Hope, thank you so much. 

Hope:

Thanks for having me, Charlie. 

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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