The Walmart WondersBy JILL WARE,
Forest Walmart Supercenter recognized three decades of dedicated service with a 30-year Anniversary Party for Nell Russum, Betty Bell and Annie Stowers last week. A crowd of excited associates, family and friends was greeted by Manager Boyd Jenkins as they gathered together to congratulate these three ladies on achieving such a marvelous milestone.
The first Walmart store opened in Forest in Autumn of 1987, with Nell Russum and Betty Bell joining the team of associates in September of 1987 and Annie Stowers signing on in November of 1987. The first Walmart store had 40,000 square feet which seems modest when compared with the whopping 157,000 square feet of retail space under roof at the Forest Walmart Supercenter which opened its doors to the attention of Walmart Shoppers 19 years later in 2006.
The Scott County Times managed to wrangle through the great assembly of upbeat, personality plus Walmart associates at the celebration on October 6 to ask each 30 Year Honoree one burning question: “How in the world did you put in 30 wonderful years at Walmart? You’re a Walmart Wonder!”
Mrs. Nell Russum, “I am happy working, to be doing something. I worked in a sewing plant for 28 years, but I have really enjoyed people… not being scared of people and that helps a whole lot. You don’t come in here to have a party… you have got to work! But I have enjoyed every bit of it. We have had some good managers, especially Boyd now, he does good. Back in ’87 when they opened the first store, they had a grand opening for just the associates and their families. Then, three days later they had a grand opening for the entire City of Forest and that’s when we knew we were somewhere!”
Ms. Betty Bell, “It’s having a good attitude about your work. I enjoy it. I’ve always enjoyed it. I did Lay-a-Way over at the old store for years and still to this day some people will come in and say: There’s the Lay-a-Way Lady! I have met a lot of people over the years. Over at the old store one of the district managers that came in said for us to put God first, family second and Walmart third. That’s a good thing for all of us to live by.”
Annie Stowers, “Commitment. It takes commitment, willingness and, I would say, it takes one’s ability to perform at any job to be successful. Success comes with learning. Never stop learning. Things change and one must be able to change as life or workplace changes. We must learn to respect others even though we may be different or have different ideas and responsibilities. Walmart has given me the opportunity to be more open about the many changes that have gone on in the retail business. I appreciate all of the knowledge that I have gained in my 30 years of working at Walmart. Though there have been many managers and district managers, each have had their own ideas on how to make our workplace a better place to work. I would encourage our young people to become reliant on the fact that they must learn to be a part of our global society.”
Walmart and wisdom…wow!