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Making an Impact and Finding a Career at the River, the Jordan Reilly Story

Jordan Reilly, a Program Manager of Systems Training with Broad River Retail, sits down across from Charlie to discuss his career, his drive, his favorite memories at the River, and the day-to-day situations of his work.

Jordan recalls the first big project that he was responsible for when he was hired (impleneting Salesforce.com across the enterprise) and how we jumped in and helped get the project back on the rails. He explains the impact that this system has had on the Company and how this accomplishment is something he is deeply proud of.

Jordan opens up about his expectations and his perspective when he joined the Company during the pandemic on July 27, 2020, how he was thinking this would be just another job, but that he actually found a home, a family, and a purposeful career that he loves. He also talks about balance when working from home, workplace flexibility, and how he’s adapted to conducting trainings remotely.

Jordan discusses the growth he has already experienced with the Company in less than two years, how Broad River Retail has grown in front of his eyes, and the potential for continued exponential growth that he sees for the Company and for anyone working in the Company.

Jordan discusses his purpose, both at work and at home, and shares some of his inspiration, motivation, and the people who help make him who he is.

Additional Resources:

“The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel – https://www.amazon.com/Psychology-Money-hardback-Timeless-happiness/dp/0857199099/

Additional Resources (Partners/Companies referenced):

Overground Cloud (now CloudBlazer) – https://cloudblazer.us/

Salesforce.com – https://www.salesforce.com/

STORIS – https://www.storis.com/

_______

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:

July 27th. 2020. Why is July 27th important? 

Jordan:

So that’s the day that my wife and I got married. And it’s almost nine years ago. So I thought it was just complete irony and how that’s also now my higher date for starting on the River. So very exciting day and very memorable. 

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:

Hey, guys. Welcome to Stories from the River. We are here with Jordan Riley. Jordan, I’m so glad you could be here with us today. 

Jordan:

Yeah. Charlie, thank you so much. Happy to be here. 

Charlie:

You were like the first person when we said we’re doing a podcast. You said:” I’m in”. And I said we gotta get Jordan on the podcast. 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

You radio ready to go? 

Jordan:

Ready to go. 

Charlie:

Okay, let’s go. I think you’re ready. All right. First of all, before we get going, Jordan, before you join the River less than two years ago now, tell us about your background, your career, what you were doing, and then the events that kind of led you here? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. So, majority of my backgrounds are training and development, and so that’s in multiple industries. So it’s been educational technology, health care, and now in retail. So it’s just with COVID and everything that happened, as we’re all aware, right, furloughs happened and things. 

So it was kind of or I got a furlough and then so happened to a foot-in-the-door opportunity came in with the River and it was kind of just like other opportunities are coming through as well. And here I am now almost two years later and couldn’t be happier with the position opportunity with the company. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. Where are you from originally? 

Jordan:

So Chicago. 

Charlie:

Cubs fan.

Jordan:

I am a Cubs fan.

Charlie:

I love it. Are you a Packers fan also? 

Jordan:

No, but my wife is. So that makes holidays very nice between our families. 

Charlie:

Yes. Are you a Bears fan? 

Jordan:

I am. 

Charlie:

Okay. All right. That’s great. I see a lot of folks who are like Bears versus Packers and their families. 

Jordan:

Yeah.  

Charlie:

I’m a huge Cubs fan. 

Jordan:

Okay, perfect. 

Charlie:

I grew up loving the Cubs, so we’ll be aligned there. Okay, so Jordan just before we get going, I know we kind of traded a few notes to prep. What is most important to you personally and why? 

Jordan:

So for me, it’s three things. Main thing is going to be faith. I grew up in a Christian house. My dad is still a pastor part-time, but also a hospice chaplain. So that’s been instilled into my family and holds dear to us. 

And the next thing is going to be family. We always had kind of like the Sunday afternoon where it’s kind of either sports are on or we’d always barbecue outside. So we always really enjoyed that quality time that we had. 

And then also, you know, it’s going to be sports. My whole family, we all played sports my dad played minor league basketball. My brothers and I, we played basketball collegiately, but then two or three sports at a time. So it’s mom going to and from practices and getting food here and there and grabbing this equipment and grabbing those kids. So those three things are just real and instrumental in my life right now.

Charlie:

That’s awesome. That’s a great order, too. You play basketball collegiately? 

Jordan:

Yeah, for two years. 

Charlie:

What position? 

Jordan:

I would like to say center, but point guard is what I played as.

Charlie:

I stood next to you.  Oh, that’s good. Okay,  so you’ve been with us for nearly two years. We shared that. And has your career with us progressed in just those short, less than 24 months? 

Jordan:

It absolutely has. So my initial role when I came in was the Customer Care Project Lead.  

Charlie:

Okay. 

Jordan:

So mainly more is that just going to work on multiple projects and spearhead those within innovation from completion from A to Z, like a Project Manager. And the first one was the sales force that was brought in. So now since it’s basically standing up developed and integrated and moved along, now then I have a new role which is a Program Manager of Systems Training. 

Charlie:

Okay, we’re going to get into Salesforce and Program Manager. Your title says “comma Systems Training”. We were joking about that. So I’ve not seen it written like that. So tell me what “Program Manager, Systems Training” is or means or does? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. So, yeah, it definitely looks like it’s almost like two titles. So Program Manager is more of the training documentation the prepping and the aligning exactly with the actual documentation, which can go with videos, articles, FAQs, and things like that. We can put on like an actual discovery for retail and so forth. 

Then the Systems Training becoming that subject matter expert, knowing the ins and outs, knowing how to go ahead and implement everything from A to Z and so much more on all our departments and how it aligns to a specific role and to be able to show them exactly how they can use that within a STRORIS, within a CXN, within an actually direct and a Salesforce.

Charlie:

So helpful to have that skill set. I want to talk a little bit more about that, but I want to go back to your first day, July 27th, 2020. So you’d been furloughed, and we picked you up as a free agent and so glad and grateful that we did. Do you remember? I tend to believe most people remember the first day you’re you don’t have much of an excuse, it wasn’t that long ago. Do you remember your first day? 

Jordan:

I do. I know that when I walked in through the doors, Christian Adams greeted me at the door, and we did a tour of the whole entire campus at Fort Mill. So we went through the offices there and got to meet individuals such as Tracy, Manny, Heather. We went down then to the downstairs. I went to operations to check out the warehouse. 

And then it was more of Christian’s like: “I don’t really have a spot for you yet. Since you just started”. So set me next to IT. I met some great people and really got really endowed into literally all of our systems and then went to lunch at Famous Dave’s, and before I knew it, the day was over and everyone’s like Famous Dave’s is always like, since I could go too. 

Charlie:

We get you barbecue and then we get you on your way. 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

Did you and Tracy know each other before you joined us? 

Jordan:

We did. So Tracy and I actually both worked at Food Buy, and it was more of like, know of Tracy and Tracy knew of Jordan, but such a large company. But she’s just been so instrumental on just professional growth. And then everything here at the River she’s done is just been fantastic. 

Charlie:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Furnishing Life’s Best Memories – four simple yet powerful and succinct words. What have been some of your best memories thus far and just your 22 months now at the River? 

Jordan:

Yeah, absolutely. So first and foremost, I would say it’s going to all the store just openings, the grand reopening as we’ve had, and then recently going to Wilmington. I think just getting to know the people I’ve been traveling with, but then just being a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Retailers and industry are new to me. So just being able to celebrate with everyone, you know, in-person to and during the COVID times was I imagine, very challenging but very rewarding for us all to be there. So I think being a part of something like that has just been just amazing just to be a part of. 

Charlie:

Yeah, and knowing that you’re a former college athlete, you know, one thing about retail as you’re discovering, you get a scorecard at the end of every day, you know, if you win or lose. And so it scratches that competitive itch as well. Have you noticed that? 

Jordan:

I have, yeah. I’ve been able to see it and just being able to witness to some of the reporting and some of the aspects and being in the store to see those interactions and relationships built with guests. Yeah, it’s, it’s just very powerful to watch. 

Charlie:

I think everyone needs a Jordan Riley in their company. I’m glad that we have ours and it takes a unique skill set. I think, to do what you do with Systems Training and Program Managing. And we’ve had some interactions on some of the projects we’ve worked on together. What do you love about what you get to do every day? Like what do you love about your job? 

Jordan:

Yeah, no, fantastic question. I think I really just try and just really find a reward in just seeing people succeed. I love showing them the ins and outs and everything that can help, but not just for their own role, but cross-departmentally and then as the company as a whole. And ultimately this is going to impact our guests in this way. 

This is going to help reduce manual work you have to do on your end big believer in automation, which comes with innovation. So I think it’s just been fantastic, but I just find it very rewarding to be able to know that I can help someone in their role if they’re struggling in any type of area and they don’t need to become an expert, but anyway we can do to help them, I think it’s just extremely rewarding. 

Charlie:

And you’re really empowering people to do it better, faster, and easier, all those important critical touchpoints. Okay, so since you’ve been here, what is something that you’ve learned about yourself that surprised even you, that something you’ve been able to accomplish? 

Jordan:

Yeah, so I think coming in with Salesforce in the way it was in the status it was in to. 

Charlie:

Not great. We can say that it wasn’t going well.

Jordan:

No, no, no. Yeah, no. And just the status it was in is that was a project, that was the red alert. That was the hey, I need to divert all your attention, all your knowledge, all your resources into it and kind of learn it inside it out. 

So bring in prior knowledge of Salesforce, but more on the subject power user side and now being on the development side in the web design and everything and exactly how we wanted to use it and more specifically for our company. 

So I think doing that and then implementing and rolling out to Customer Care and Retail and all of our internal specialty departments like an Order Management and Returns Integrity, I think it’s paid to dividends and our customers I think are the recipients in that manner. 

Charlie:

I agree. And it’s easier to do business when we have more communication. It goes for better morale at all those departments that you just mentioned. Is that what you’re most proud of thus far in your career, like the Salesforce implementation, or is there a certain accomplishment or another achievement that really stands out for you? 

Jordan:

Yeah, I mean, the Salesforce ones, to me, I think it’s like the nail on the head. I think that’s the biggest thing for me. I think that’s been able to kind of put my hand and my footprint on it is kind of like I’ve kind of been able to own this and just see it like just have fruit in it and just watch it grow and it’s rooted and now it’s able to go ahead and just watch it kind of stand up on its own and watch everyone just seamlessly go ahead and go about their day and get things where they need to go. 

Charlie:

Have you ever had that much first-person impact on an organization before? Like where you’re going down to the end-user who’s like getting those immediate that feedback loop is coming back immediately. Like you’re, you know, you’re instantly making a difference and helping them. 

Jordan:

Yeah, no, that’s another good question. I would say probably not. I’d say this is probably the first time and I think it’s it’s just kind of like ice shattering to kind of just be like, wow. Like, this is something where I thought I know it’d be invested and spent a lot of time in. A lot of hours, a lot of manpower to go into it. 

But now to see it come to fruition, just to see all that time paid off and then everyone’s unpleasantness and kind of what’s going on communication gaps were having ups, I guess, and now seeing things just slowly kind of dwindle and it’s kind of like righting the ship. So just very, very proud of everything we’ve gone through with that. 

Charlie:

So you’re like the go-to guy, but have you ever been stumped with someone who brought you a problem and said: “Oh, well, I think I’ve figured that out. We hadn’t thought about that?” 

Jordan:

Yeah, no. I mean, it’s definitely come up. I mean, even here, like when it was like Salesforce-related stuff and I was kind of just like, I don’t know where to turn for this. 

So it’s kind of just like either have to figure it out or I need to go ahead and go to a third party that we had with overground cloud and kind of be like: “Hey, I don’t know what to do. This is what we’re wanting to do. Is this possible? What’s the financial ramifications of this? What are we looking at here?” But I’m always the person who is like, show me once and then I’ll take it from there. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I’m sure you ultimately figured it out? 

Jordan:

Have to, right. 

Charlie:

Okay. Shifting gears a little bit. So sometimes when you’re on video calls or meetings with me, it’s like, where in the world is Jordan Riley? You are in a lot of different places. I just want to switch gears to like work flexibility Training and COVID. And so let’s talk about, do you work remotely? 

Jordan:

I do. I work from home. 

Charlie:

And how’s that working out and how have you found that has helped or hurt your work-life balance? Do you have good boundaries? 

Jordan:

I would say that I do. And I would like to think that I do for the most part. With having now a second kid, too. It makes things a little bit challenging because my wife’s at home with our two kids, but having a home office and kind of having that structure around it to have knowing kind of the day before, what’s my day look like. 

And as in like Dad’s in the office, so the door’s locked, the door is closed, I’ll come down, you know when there’s free time and things like that. But I think it’s really important to figure out that work-life balance and knowing can an email wait if something’s past, let’s say 6:00, you know, can that wait and can it really be invested into family time in that quality time that everyone so I think yearns for and needs. 

Charlie:

Well, it’s, you know, having kids and young kids and you’ll find this as your kids kind of get older and they can move around easily and open the locked door, what have you working out of a home office early in the pandemic. I mean, and you know, people just like, hey, that’s just real life for us.

I remember I was on an I’ll just take a quick diversion here. I was on a national panel speaking and I was one of the panelists that came my time to speak and the kids, this was early in the pandemics. They were doing homeschooling and one of my boys walked into the door and I couldn’t say anything or break like eye contact with the camera to say, get out, go in. 

They know they’re not supposed to go through. But he just walked in, walked around, and I’m just like, okay don’t laugh. Don’t do it. It just came out here and it just got into the camera with me, and then I had to acknowledge them. Right. Sorry, guys, but I got more feedback from that saying that they really appreciate it, like hey, that’s just kind of what happens. 

But yeah, you’ve been at like coffee shops. You’ve, I’ve seen you in Florida, Chicago, or wherever. It’s sometimes you’re cold, sometimes you’re warm. So it’s like we’re in the world is Jordan Riley. But you always get the job done wherever you are. So what are your primary means of conducting training in this virtual remote world? Is it in-person sometimes or is it mostly like over video? 

Jordan:

Yeah, another good question. So I think just during the pandemic in general, right, like it’s like, all right, we envision, I think, a classroom-style training, right? So whether it’s, you know, in RX or a Senior Retail Leadership meeting or new hires and classes, I think we become very adaptable and very flexible during these times. Not to say we’ve been casual, but we’ve been very accommodating, as this is just the way it’s going to be right now. 

So whether that’s in-person going to stores it could be in person, one of our corporate offices, it could be over teams. It’s the capacity in certain rooms we’ve had. Maybe we’ve only been able to reach ten people. So we kind of just I think, have adjusted appropriately on what the audiences or who’s attending at that time and then making the proper accommodations into how we’re going to go and address that such and specifically. 

Charlie:

And maybe even thinking through “okay, well, this will be video training”. Let’s, let’s figure out how the platform delivers it, how will form our training around that. By the way, I do have a suggestion for us on that. I think everyone needs everyone who’s going to share their screen needs training on how to share their screen. Like can you see my screen right now? Oh, is that like, come on, give me something on that. 

Jordan:

Yeah, that’s like a one-on-one, right where you’re kind of on there and it’s like, this is how you share your screen. And it’s almost just like all right, you got to click here, you got to go there, you got to do this. And sometimes you don’t know if your screen is on or you’re or you muted or whatnot, so…

Charlie:

The one that gets me is: hey, I can’t see you guys right now. We’ll just get out a presentation about your screens can still be shared. We need some screen sharing like one-on-one and one or two training. I really think that’s like something I’m just going to see it. Maybe there’s one who you can help, but. 

Jordan:

I’ll see what I can do.

Charlie:

Yeah. Hey, do you have a favorite Broad River story or memory that you can share with us? 

Jordan:

Yeah, it was probably the first. Well, I’ll go and do one, a more recent one. Sam Blum and I went to Wilmington and we went back a couple of different times. Honestly, I think it’s just rocking out with some tunes in the car. 

And then when we weren’t just getting to know each other personally, professionally, just visions for ourself, you know, and kind of where do we see, you know, where the River going and just talking about personal development, professional development, just vision and just aligning values and talking about our kids and everything at all.

So I think it’s been that as a more recent memory, I think it’s just held true. And I just really value the time that we were able to spend together. 

Charlie:

I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall or the steering wheel for some of those conversations. Some of our I mean, I agree, like when we used to do the Orange Crush tours, where some of the biggest laughs and best memories were just taken up and joking on the car rides with a bunch of folks in the car. What kind of music do Sam Blum jam out to? I mean, the world wants to know here. 

Jordan:

I mean, if the world wants to know. it’s like I apologize to Sam Blum, but she listens to just about everything. I mean …

Charlie:

That’s just such a safe answer. 

Jordan:

It’s a safe answer, as in as an as being my boss. 

Charlie:

Yeah, smart answer.  

Jordan:

She does love some rap. So there might be some Drake on, some Lil Wayne might make an appearance, but I’ll just leave it as that. 

Charlie:

I don’t know that I know that about Sam. I’ll say that’s a it’s a did you know? Sam, we’ll get you on the podcast and you can get Jordan back on that one. Or ask what Jordan jams out to.  

Okay, we said we talked about Salesforce.com. So what was your role in the launch of that for the organization? 

I think you said you came on with like, we are in the throes of the implementation. Maybe it kind of got off the rails a little bit. Maybe that’s a safe comment. What was your role and what does just go into like what is salesforce.com do for us and what do we use it for? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. I think off the rails is probably, it’s probably a pretty appropriate response is what it was because I kind of got here and else kind of just like, what are we wanting to what’s the intention for this. Like, I know we have a financial commitment to it, right? But kind of digging deeper is in the root of what exactly do we want to utilize this for as far as a company goes. 

So salesforce.com with my role was I think it were multiple hats. Envisioned I was like going to kind of help assist with the onboarding of it. And then as new hires came on or existing users, we’re going to go and walk them through how to utilize it for their specific role and for their department and how they can go ahead and be able to communicate on the system instead of using email to another department. 

So Customer Care can send something to Retail. Then over time that went ahead and just manifested and become a more of a Point of Contact, Ownership, Trainer, Web Design. 

Charlie:

This guy knows what he’s talking about. Keep throwing more at him. 

Jordan:

It’s kind of what it was, right? So that was kind of more of and now, hey, we want to take it this step further and hey, now we want to bring on this new Department. And then it’s like, oh, hey, Home Delivery is coming on and now we have EMT, right? And then here’s OM, and now here’s Delivery Scheduling and now here’s Retail. And then it’s just…

Charlie:

And on and on, and on. 

Jordan:

Yeah. And I would say the list just goes on. So I think it’s just having complete ownership of it and it’s kind of just been like my baby as everything I’ve had. 

And so it’s more of just the biggest thing I think it does is it really has bridged our gap communication-wise internally for us between Retail and Customer Care, I’d say, for the most part, just being able to have a line of contact as far as I know, when I send this, it’s going to be sent to the right person on the first attempt and it’s going where it needs to go instead of a say, let’s say a spray and pray email. 

Charlie:

Well, even, yeah, even as just a comprehensive ticketing solution where nothing gets missed and it just brings together all these disparate locations into, like you said, a spray and prays email. That’s it. We’re much better. We’re so much more synchronized intake inputting a call from the guest and taking care of it and seeing it all the way through to resolution, which is really, really important. 

Jordan:

Super important. I mean, I think getting things routed where they need to go on the first time, a lot of stuff on the back end. But for any of our users who was in Customer Care, Retail Order Management, and so forth, the ability for them just to do a couple of clicks and get something sent off to where it needs to go for the end-user and have that information upfront. 

That way they don’t have to jump to a store or another one of our systems. I think it’s huge. Saves a lot of time. It gets the response back to the guest and ultimately. It alleviates any escalation that potentially could be happening, which could be a cancelation or things of that sort.

Charlie:

Absolutely. So we’ve seen those come down as we’ve gotten better and more proficient at salesforce.com.

We love a good project. So other than Salesforce project SeaHawk and then Coastal Connection. So when we were looking at Project SeaHawk, we said, Well, this can be a big project. We need someone to help us executive manage it. And oversee it, project manage it. What is – what was Project SeaHawk and what was Coastal Connection? 

Jordan:

Yeah, so Project SeaHawk to me, I’m thinking during our acquisition, you know, with HEW and then our pre STORIS conversion that we just rolled out here recently. It’s more of like we need to basically align all of our Executives, all of our Department heads and just make sure everyone’s aligned in their tasks and responsibilities and make sure everything’s up to date. Daily, weekly, monthly basis. And then so much, so much more with that is..

All right, now we need to coordinate logistically travel arrangements, who’s going where, who’s doing what, and just keeping track of all of that. So I became that point of contact and hounding people down via email or teams or in person. if they’re there and kind of dislike, make sure please that you’ve updated your tasks and all of our data, making sure it’s accurate out of DW, from there to in that way we have data to go ahead and go off of with the analytical side on what we’re getting into. 

Charlie:

So you and CW are they’re known as the SeaHawks on acquisition, which before we could announce it was called Project Seahawk Code Name. And so you helped us really oversee that project and I think you were recommended by one of our Executives. And I said, oh, that’s awesome. And so we partnered together on that and it went really well. 

And people think acquisitions are just like easy to do now. It’s like, it’s like a transplant. I mean, you bring in 50 people over into new different systems, different operating ways of doing business. And so it’s a lot of work and a lot of things to piece together and keep people apprized of. And so instead there was a project to kind of get to the acquisition and all that goes into that. 

And then once we did that, the Coastal Connection was bringing them onto our unified ERP System in Consulting. 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

And so you really oversaw as Project Manager and liaison both of those projects, sometimes being in person. I know you just came back from Wilmington. 

Jordan:

I did, yeah. Yeah. Like you said to, it’s kind of managing both of those right. And then kind of juggling that. And then now with like the post STORIS conversion, now with the ERP and everything to, making sure, you know, everyone can log in, everyone knows how to utilize it. 

And then it’s more of just continuous to go there and just invest in them in the time. And the importance of change is a part of the way it is, but kind of just reassures them that this is going to be fantastic kind of. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Jordan:

Stay with us and do some reassuring. 

Charlie:

And making sure no detail, no stone gets left unturned. Like, like I said, everyone needs to Jordan Riley and say there’s always going to be projects and special projects and you need a ninja who can help you tackle and get done special projects. 

Okay, so since you’ve returned from Wilmington and we just completed the conversion of stores like you mentioned in those two stores from profit systems over to STORIS, what’s the status update on Coastal Connection, how the conversion go from your perspective? 

Jordan:

Yeah, no, that’s a fantastic question. So this was my first profit to store is conversion. So there’s like no prior knowledge of anything. But I think overall from what I’ve seen and what I’ve been able to witness, I think everything went extremely well. There would be hiccups and bumps in the road, I imagine, which would happen with any type of acquisition and jumping ERP serums or whatever a company would utilize. 

But I think having boots on the ground was extremely vital and it was extremely critical, as you could probably imagine. Just to show that these people care, they’re truly invested. We are now unified and we can thrive together, which is our word for this year. 

So I think that has been super transparent. We’ve been super helpful with them. So I think the more we can continue to stress the importance of unity and we are one team with them, I think we’ll pay dividends for our leaders that are there.

Charlie:

Well, you are so right I mean, everyone wants to feel like they belong. And the worst thing is for those teammates now Memory Makers to feel like they’re orphaned and  juxtaposed. 

We want them to feel like, no, you’re part of the family now you belong and you are a Memory Maker. And so that’s part of it, like making sure that we can connect and cohesively bring adopt them and, you know, make sure that they feel like they’re now part of us. 

Okay, I know that you don’t have a large data set or my company experience relative to some of our others who we’ve had on the podcast who’ve been with us from 12 years to 17 years. But, but you have still seen a lot almost two years. So during your tenure, how, how have you seen the company grow, adapt, and change? 

Jordan:

Wow. Growth I think is a fantastic word to use. I think that it’s kind of like we’re busting at the seams as far as potential growth and expansion. I mean, it’s kind of like, where do we go next? I mean, just with the distribution centers, I mean in stores and now an acquisition. And a lot has happened in just under two years that I’ve just been able to witness. 

And it’s very eye-opening and it’s it should just be eye-opening to anyone who’s either looking to look to join the River or anyone who’s here that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. And it’s extremely special, very fortunate to be here. The growth is literally exponential and I think it’s unlimited. So I’m very excited to see kind of what comes next. 

Charlie:

Wonderful. Okay, so if you could go back to your seventh wedding anniversary on July 27, 2020. What would you tell yourself about what this journey what life is going to be like at Broad River Retail at the River?

Jordan:

It’s not going to be what you expect. 

Charlie:

What you expect? 

Jordan:

Yeah. So I mean, is being transparent I let Christian know it too. When I started, I mean, to me, I was like, all right, this is just like another job. I mean, we’re doing code, but I think just you just always had a lot of emotions going on and a lot of uncertainty you just even in the world of kind of what’s going on, what’s next, just trying to take it one day at a time.

So to me, I was just like, this is just another job. So when I look back now, almost two years later, like you have no idea what you’re in for. And it’s kind of like strap yourself in because it’s it’s going to be an amazing ride. And it has been so far. So looking forward to many more years.  

Charlie:

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Okay, Jordan, I know that you’re a man of self-reflection and and as you kind of, I want you to fast forward to after those many more years with the River and you’re at the tail end or you’ve just recently retired and you’re reflecting back in this in this future state saying, what are people going to remember me for? How are they going to remember me? What are they going to say to me about me? How would they describe you in just three words? What are the three words you want to have describe you?

Jordan:

Wow. So I think innovation comes to mind for me off the bat. Genuine or authenticity. And I say compassionate. 

Charlie:

That’s great. 

Jordan:

Yeah. Just want people to know that I’m Jordan personally, professionally. I’m Jordan Monday as I will be on Tuesday. So what you see is kind of what you get. 

Charlie:

And a lot that you led with innovation. So innovation, genuine authenticity is great and compassion, yeah? 

Jordan:

Compassion. 

Charlie:

Yeah. That’s a very strong human important for any people to have. And I’m sure you that comes from your upbringing and the way you were raised as well. Okay, you know, I know you’ve got a great support system with your family. 

I know it always takes a village to achieve phenomenal success. So that’s no different with you. But there’s always folks who don’t get the accolades that they probably deserve. So, in your life or your contributors to your success, who are the unsung heroes, and what have they done, what do they do for you? 

Jordan:

Yeah, no, that’s another great question. So unsung heroes. I mean, it’s to me, it’s got to be my dad, right? I mean, I think it just has to be just everything that I feel like. He’s always been the person where he’s kind of like, I want to put my family first. 

If I have to take some money out of retirement to help here or there or whatever it may be at the drop of a hat, he’s there. I think it also goes with his profession, too, is he just will talk to anybody. 

Charlie:

That’s cool. 

Jordan:

He could be at Starbucks, maybe not like Rene Bradley as much as frequent, but he’s there a lot. 

Charlie:

Ooh, Rene. 

Jordan:

But he can just have a conversation with anybody and it just so personable. But just to kind of sit back and always watch and just see how people should be treated and just the interaction and the dialog and just personable on how things go. He’s definitely the unsung hero that always kind of stands out. 

Charlie:

Well, he doesn’t have to be unsung anymore. Jordan’s dad, you can subscribe to this podcast series and you heard it here first. I’m sure he’ll love hearing that. So Jordan, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Jordan:

So the best advice I’ve ever received is embrace failure. 

Charlie:

Really. And do you remember who told you that? 

Jordan:

It was my boss at Enterprise, actually. And I actually mentioned to Manny during our interview, and we were talking about Enterprise and the background and the protections and everything that goes with that job. 

But first job out of school and it was just kind of like didn’t understand probably too much of it being so young. 

But I mean, looking on it now, just like it’s okay to fail and you’re never going to be successful unless you go through those ups and downs and go into those valleys personally or professionally. So, I always use that now for anyone that I talk with, too, is that it’s okay to embrace failure and take it on kind of head-on. 

Charlie:

I love that, by the way. It’s great. That’s great advice. So you’ve had some experiences, you know, before the River, now at the River, and you’ve been able to juxtapose, you know, you thought this was going to be another job like you said. And it turned out to some, not something you want to do. You see exponential growth. You want to be here for a long time. 

So this is going to all tie into this kind of mystical word called culture yeah. I like to say that you can’t microwave culture. It’s more of a crockpot mentality, you know, but what is your favorite thing about our culture, and what was what do you think makes it unique or special relative to others that you’ve experienced? 

Jordan:

No, absolutely. So working at and coming from larger corporations I think some words get thrown out very loosely. And it’s not so much a practice what you preach. I love honestly just the investing in people and it goes into the work-life balance and other perks and incentives that I think that we offer. But I mean, just getting back to actually investing in our people, grooming them, helping them grow personally and professionally. 

And I think having those kinds of transparent and casual conversations, but also recruiting those even deeper into kind of like what kind of growth are you looking at here, right? And we’re going to invest in you personally and we’re going to get you that opportunity. So I think it’s really going back to investing our people and we’re practicing and preaching that I think speaks volumes. 

Charlie:

Well, I’m glad so glad to hear that you said that. We do have some sayings that kind of help us remind us about that. Like we like to say to new hires, your success is our scorecard. You know, the human capital mindset is all about career paths for everyone. You know, we if people are our greatest asset, we want to invest in our assets. And see them grow. 

And another one we like to say is we will to get that exponential growth, exponential growth that you talked about. We need people because we say we will always grow as far as our people will take us or not. So we have to have growth-minded people who want to grow and we’ll grow from the inside out. 

Every investment we’ve made in our people thus far has paid off. And so if past is prologue, I think that that’s been the right strategy for us. You mentioned thrive earlier, so THRIVE is our word of the year and we thought we were talking about that. What does it mean for you to thrive in 2022? 

Jordan:

So thrive for me personally I think is it might even be twofold. One, I think it’s kind of taken the next step as far as like with a new role and kind of seeing sky’s the limit with it, kind of work me can we of take it kind of I love also too that we’re also kind of like we see talent and we see people and we’ll see a need and then we want to go ahead and fill that. So I think that one to the first part of it is extremely vital and it’s extremely important for us to be able to help grow. 

And then the second part of that two, I think is just the continued learning and education with our people. Just to be able to not just give back, but also for new people coming into kind of see it without blinders as in, wow, this is really what almost like unexpected kind of like, wow, I didn’t think it was going to be like this or another role like I mentioned earlier, it’s more so going to be like, wow, I see myself here long term, not just a stepping stone, let’s say, for another opportunity, whether internal or external. 

Charlie:

Yeah. I mean, like, do you connect like the Thrive and Purpose series to that? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I’ve really enjoyed all the different series that we’ve had. And I mean, there was one even this morning, you know, updates about finances and budgeting and things like that where I think that us investing into our people and giving them means to help with finances or mental health or whatever it may be, I think speaks volumes from leadership, so… you and Manny especially. 

Charlie:

Well, I think thriving has to be in all facets of your life and so whether it’s physical health, spiritual health, mental health, professional health, or just financial health. I mean, all these things, relationship health, all these things kind of build-up into thriving because I mean, we humans are complex beings where people are where people were not just one dimensional or multi-dimensional, diverse, beautiful human, you know, creatures. 

And so we have to hit all those aspects to have a full, fulfilling life. So what advice come back to the advice thing would you offer to another fellow Memory Maker to help him or her thrive this year? 

Jordan:

Oh, man. I would, I would say just kind of you know, it’s all just I would say like kind of just take care of yourself. I mean, everything through the pandemic, I think at least for me personally, it’s just always trying to help other people. And I think you always have to also kind of take care of yourself, too, before you can get yourself right, before you can also go ahead and help others.

Charlie:

Absolutely.

Jordan:

So I mean, I think it’s more of kind of get yourself in that gut check and then be able to go ahead and kind of spread from there. 

Charlie:

I like, this may sound a little bit too like grab a little bit, pull the mask, oxygen mask, down on you first is saying the same thing. Take you in order. You know, in order for you to help others, you have to be healthy yourself. So that’s great advice. I really like that. What do you think are have been the secrets to your success? 

Jordan:

I would say just the right people in my life. Well, there was personally at that time, but professionally, I mean, I think the Managers have had a business been very blessed and very fortunate. I always feel like everything happens for a reason the way it’s supposed to happen, whether good or bad. So the Managers, I think, and I’ve had and the roles I’ve had at that time, I think have led to this moment. 

So whether you get taken out of State, you get taken into a new industry. Want to try something different? Want to expand on your current skill sets and experience? Just don’t be afraid. I’d say to go ahead and try something new. 

Charlie:

That’s great. I’m a creature of habit and I don’t know if you are or not, but yes, you know, I like to study habits. What are your best daily habits and that have served you well? 

Jordan:

Yeah. Another great question. So I need to get back to a more regular exercise routine. I know that I’m, personally…

Charlie:

You just had a kid, I mean. 

Jordan:

Yeah, yeah. There’s kind of like the when there’s a free moment, it’s kind of like dad mode. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Yeah. 

Jordan:

Like-kind of steps in, but used to, you know, being able to go about three days a week and being able to play basketball with some guys before work so that was fantastic. And then I would get the cardio going and then be able to get, you know, just a good breakfast after that. 

But I need to get back to that habit. But otherwise, I mean, usually, it’s kind of quiet time for me. So is that meditation, is that prayer, is that something that I try and do usually before I go to bed, but will love to get back to doing that, plus cardio or some type of physical ability with exercise to be able to do that on a daily basis. 

Charlie:

Awesome. Other than your dad, you know, and just going into mentorship, where or from whom, and maybe there’s your dad primarily who gave you that great advice. Where or from whom do you get your mentorship? 

Jordan:

Yes. I mean, it probably is my father for the most part. Speaking of Sam Blumm, maybe some kudos now versus the music choices. 

Charlie:

You can go ahead and give Sam some kudos. 

Jordan:

Yeah, we can give Sam some kudos. I would probably say, Sam Blum. 

Charlie:

Okay. 

Jordan:

I know that she’s probably and she’s been here a while, so she’s probably mentored a lot of people, whether they might say it or not. But she’s had her hand her footprint on, I think a lot of people’s growth, a lot of opportunities. And she’s just I mean, as anyone knows, just even have a conversation with her. 

I mean, she’s special. She’s fantastic. It’s more than just being at the River. I think she really cares about you personally, too, and wants to see you succeed. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Jordan:

So she’s helped me, I would say aligned where I’m at, and will continue to do it for the next Jordan or whoever else may come into her life. So she gets big, big kudos. 

Charlie:

Well, she she is a fantastic leader. It’s I know she’ll appreciate hearing those words. So what about where do you get your inspiration and motivation to kind of what fuels you, fires you up? 

Jordan:

Probably goes back to even like the current role. I mean, my passion is training and personal growth for our current employees, our new employees, watching them be successful and succeed. So that kind of drives me. 

I mean, if we’re talking years ago I mean, it’s sports, right? You’re always trying to be the best. It’s just competition and you’re just thriving once again with our words like a plug as far as the kind of go in there. But that’s kind of what fuels you, right? You always want to be the best. So it just keeps practice, practice, practice. So that’s probably what I would kind of lead with. 

Charlie:

Okay. Do you think others from the outside looking in would have a different perception about Broad River than what actually is? 

Jordan:

Potentially, I could probably see that. I mean, I know for me, especially like when I came in, I was just like, well, like this is a Retail Company. Like, I’ve never done retail. Like I’m normally on the consumer customer side kind of going in somewhere. 

But I think it it may or may not have a stigma or connotation with it, maybe just depending upon their viewpoint. But it might depend on also the person or the way they’re kind of looking at, but maybe you’re maybe not.

Charlie:

So a stigma because we’re a Retail Company, but we’re not just a retail company. I guess…

Jordan:

Correct. Yeah, that’s what I’m insinuating. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I got, I got I got there. So what about you? What is what is something, you know, about you that would surprise your fellow Memory Makers? 

Jordan:

Oh, man. So two things. One is that in high school and college I was very fearful of public speaking would get like the hand tremors and sweats. I would. 

Charlie:

Really? I wouldn’t have guessed it. You are a very extroverted, sociable guy. 

Jordan:

Yeah. So that was more of dislike. It didn’t make any sense. But the second one is I absolutely love puzzles. Love puzzles. 

Charlie:

What kind of puzzles? 

Jordan:

Oh, man. 

Charlie:

Crossword puzzles like? 

Jordan:

Oh, no, no. So actual like actual puzzles, like he actual jigsaw pieces. 

Charlie:

Jigsaw puzzles. 

Jordan:

Yeah. So, like, I get my daughter who’s three and we’ll do them like crazy. A 50-piece puzzle than a 1000-piece puzzle. And sometimes we’ll sit on our kitchen table and we’ll just tackle it when we have a moment. But if I can keep her there. 

Charlie:

My wife really likes puzzles. 

Jordan:

I love it. 

Charlie:

Is it just like seeing something come to fruition? 

Jordan:

Yeah, possibly. I mean, just to me it’s almost like a de-stressor. I think sometimes people might do it into exercise or listen to music or just like driving in the car, going for a ride. Mine’s doing puzzles. Very, very unique. 

Charlie:

Well, it’s a great as de-stressor. Disconnects your mind to be able to focus on stuff like that, it’s great. Hey, if you could change something about the company today with the wave of your Jordan Riley magic wand, what would that thing be? 

Jordan:

So it probably honestly, be some type of benefit or incentive or financial package into infertility. I’ve been at companies where they do that. My wife and I struggle with infertility, but now kind of with everything’s happened we’ve been very blessed to have two beautiful girls. 

But infertility I think it’s just a lot of things people struggle with. So people are more open or not, but a little extra incentive, I think, for people I think may or may not be in the company that might be struggling with that. 

I mean, it’s a huge financial hurdle that people have to overcome, but it’s also physical, mental, emotional and so forth. So if I had a magic wand and had ample amount of money, that’s probably something I would do. 

Charlie:

Yeah, a lot of these things we asked this question come back to like the health benefits and things of that nature. So is super important to people. 

Well, let’s say that, you know, I’m the guy on the front porch or retirement drinking the lemonade or ice tea and and it’s my time to go. And you’ve done such a great job. I’m going to retire and we’re going to appoint you President and CEO. And today’s your first day in the role. What would be your first order of business? 

Jordan:

I don’t know if I’d want the role, but if I had to take the role on. 

Charlie:

Be careful. 

Jordan:

Yeah, be careful what you wish for. Yeah, I would probably say the ability to take our current PTO and if you don’t use it, you could roll it over. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Jordan:

So if I don’t have a couple of days there, I don’t use it or lose it, I can roll them over so and maybe it turns into a long weekend or a little time at the beach or at the mountains or someone be able to use it for a mini vacation or something in the next fiscal year. 

Charlie:

Well, we had heard a lot about that from the engagement survey that we did. And I know we have an engagement survey advisory council who’s come up with recommendations and, and that’s at the top of the list, restructuring, reformatting PTO. And maybe by the time this episode airs, we will have a, maybe I’ll ask you for a different level advice. Maybe that one would be checked off. So I think that’s, I think that’s you hit the nail on the head there. 

Okay, do you, you know role about that personal growth and development. I said that, you know, we want your success to be our scorecard and we really believe that when you come to the River, you’re better for it. That’s our desire. We want you to be better for your experiences from the River, whether it’s for one season or a lifelong offseasons. 

Do you feel that working at the River has positively impacted your design your desire for personal growth and development? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. I mean, I think even just in the short amount of time from going from one role to the next and getting into my niche in passion and where I have years of experience and obviously from just various industries, but it absolutely has. So I mean, I think it’s just the sky’s the limit, as I kind of keep saying, but it’s more of the exponential growth, which I love that word, is there. 

So I think it’s definitely just pay dividends. It’s kind of stay patient, you know, and just just keep me in a rockstar and just keep doing your day to day and keep grinding. And I think you’d be amazed at what new either roles could you know, could potentially open up or a new department that would see a need for that may come down the road. 

Charlie:

So other than like, you know, the challenge in your brain with jigsaw puzzles, with your daughter, how do you sharpen your sowl? Like, what do you do to invest in your own personal growth and development that might be helpful to our listeners? 

Jordan:

Yeah, no, that’s another good question. I mean, I do I do try and listen to a good amount of podcasts when I have a moment. But I mean, it’s also just working on the craft. 

Charlie:

What are some of your favorite podcasts?  

Jordan:

So if it’s football season, I listen to the Fantasy Focus it has like Matthew Berry and Field Yates. 

Charlie:

I’m not going to count that as personal growth and development podcast, but that’s great. We’ll put we can link to. 

Jordan:

It’s more of personally and for fantasy football, right? 

Charlie:

Yeah. So that’s really important. That’s really what you need, that you need that intel for fantasy football. I’ll give you that. 

Jordan:

Yeah. And then I mean, there are a couple of podcasts too I listen to. I mean, even the one we had with Pete this morning that did our Thrive series. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Jordan:

Pete did a fantastic job. Dave Ramsey, I think his helps ever since we’ve been married, just dealing with finances and getting a budget together. And there’s some things with the debt snowball that like we like. And then there’s other things where he’s like extreme, where he’s like cut up your credit cards and other things like that. 

But that is helped with personal growth from a personal level. Those two are the ones I do, but I mean there’s also ones with like devotions and other stuff that deal with anxiety and stress and more mental health focus. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Well, you’ve mentioned Dave Ramsey and then the Pete Marriott thrive on purpose, on financial well-being. Can I recommend a book to you? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

It’s called The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. 

Jordan:

Okay. 

Charlie:

It’s, you know, I can’t get that for you is a gift. 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

For being on this podcast. 

Jordan:

That would be great. 

Charlie:

It’s 20 short chapters. I mean, I read it in less than a week and I’m not a fast reader. It was phenomenal, but I think you’d really enjoy it. He’s such a great writer. 

Jordan:

That’ll be wonderful. Thank you. 

Charlie:

Okay, awesome. Well, so what book are you currently reading? 

Jordan:

So probably since college I’m probably very, very limited on books I’ll actually read. I felt like I got to that point in my life and I was like, I don’t even want to see another book, but I mean… 

Charlie:

We can make Psychology of Money an audiobook. We can do it that way. 

Jordan:

That would be great. I mean, like audiobooks probably would just be better. Maybe just at this point in my life, just either crying baby in one hand, really trying to help someone do something else or. 

Charlie:

I promise you is easy read, I promise you. 

Jordan:

Sounds good. 

Charlie:

What show are you currently binge-watching? Take me through your show? 

Jordan:

Yeah. So these is some of the Marvel shows like Daredevil and Punisher, which I just rewatched them both the second time. Love Jack Ryan, which is on Amazon Prime. And then my wife and I watch all the Chicago shows. So there’s like Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and then we’ll watch always The Office. And then my wife’s a huge Friends fan. So we’ll watch The Office every day if we have a chance to. 

Charlie:

I love The Office. It never gets old. 

Jordan:

No.

Charlie:

What did you say, you and your wife watch? 

Charlie:

The Office and then she’ll watch Friends. Like like I’ll watch Friends. But The Office, we could just have it on the background while we’re cooking dinner, anything going on. 

Charlie:

Are there any shows that you want to watch that you’re not currently watching? 

Jordan:

So I would love to get into I keep hearing about Yellowstone. I keep hearing about it, and I haven’t had a chance to get to it quite yet. 

Charlie:

I know Manny loves it, swears by it, others that my wife watched it and I tried it, you know, with the horse and there I can’t get it. But I mean, I am clearly missing something. I’m in the minority there because people love it. But if you get into it, let me know think. 

Jordan:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

Because we sounds like we have similar tastes. Okay so other than jigsaw puzzles and your kids, is there anything else you like to do, you know, to, to just have fun or relax? 

Jordan:

Absolutely. So if it’s not like hanging out with friends and our family when they’re around to I mean going to the movies. And now with like the way COVID is kind of now then too. I mean, my wife and I used to just it was always like dinner in a movie. Very cliche, but it was always like that was always like a go-to kind of thing. 

Charlie:

Nothing wrong with that. 

Jordan:

Super, super simple and, you know, just simple taste. But go get a bite to eat and then go to a movie.

Charlie:

What’s the last movie you and your wife have gone to see? 

Jordan:

Oh, that’s a great question. 

Charlie:

Did I stomp you on that one. 

Jordan:

You stomped me on it, probably because it’s been a little while since we did that. But we did take we took our daughter to see Sing 2 on Christmas. 

Charlie:

That’s such a good movie. 

Jordan:

Yeah, but that was that was probably the last movie we saw. 

Charlie:

I really enjoyed that movie. 

Jordan:

It’s a good movie. 

Charlie:

We the next night, I think we watched Sing 1. Yeah. We for example, we, we we got on the Sing bandwagon by watching them all. Maybe you guys can go see Sonic the Hedgehog. The new one. 

Jordan:

There we go. Maybe. I’ll put it on the calendar. 

Charlie:

There you go. Okay. So to someone who’s not a Memory Maker and they’re pondering, do I come to the River or not, they think about joining the company. What advice would you offer to that person? 

Jordan:

I would say you would be pleasantly surprised. No matter what the opportunity is right but just to join the company as a whole. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. We could probably just keep going with all the catch-22, to 20 catchphrases.  

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Jordan:

But give us a try. Like you won’t be disappointed. The roles are kind of what you’re going to make it. Growth is there. I mean, we could just keep going, probably on and on and on. 

Charlie:

Sure. Well, Jordan, I mean, we could, but these things tend to need to have a time limit. Any final words? 

Jordan:

No, I just really appreciate our conversation and our dialog, and just trying to dive a little deeper here, so I appreciate the opportunity. 

 Charlie:

Absolutely. Thanks for carving out the time. Like I said, everyone needs Jordan Riley in their company, but you can’t have ours. He’s with the River and hopefully for many more years to come. Thanks so much for being here to share your story. 

Jordan:

Yes, Charlie, thank you so much.

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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