Across the USA, hundreds of people labor every day behind the scenes to bring Medallion Cabinetry to dealer showrooms from coast to coast. Certainly, there are different types and levels of labor. However, in the end, they all need to come together to create the innovation and quality that you’ve come to expect from us over the past 50 years.
That’s why we take Labor Day seriously around here. It’s our annual pause-and-reflect moment. Not only to reflect on all the direct effort that goes into our products, but also on our people and their many years of service, mostly behind the scenes, that go in to bringing those products to homes nationwide.
Today, we’d like to highlight just three such people, whose hard work and dedication is worthy of taking note, as their combined years with Medallion totals nearly 70 years!
Nancy grew up in the area, having graduated from Watertown High School. She came to Medallion in 1985, shortly after the company moved from Fergus Falls to Waconia, MN.
It seems Nancy has had just about every job in the plant at one time or another! Nancy started in door build, edge-banding cabinet doors on the second shift. Then spent time building cabinet boxes, parts picking, and pre-finish door quality inspection. Working in the door pick area, where she quickly became lead, then supervisor. After a short time as supervisor in face frame production, Nancy took on the important role of Process Auditor, where she continues to write work instructions for many plant roles to this day! After moving to the Engineering Department in the Waconia corporate offices, her primary role has been to create, maintain, and update material quality specifications. These documents guide our materials inspectors on exactly how all the grain should look on every bit of quartersawn oak, and just how ‘knotty’ our knotty alder can be.
One of Nancy’s favorite memories from her time with Medallion is of when she had traveled to one of our former east-coast locations. She and another coworker were there for several weeks at a time, and wanted to drive to the beach over a weekend. Halfway there, they hit a bear! …So they had to turn around. On following weekends, they choose not to temp fate, and never did make it to the coast.
Martin hails from Guatemala, where he met his wife, who was volunteering at a school. They married, and eventually made their way to the Waconia area, to be near his wife’s family.
Martin joined Medallion in 2000 as a Processing Engineer. His first big project was to re-do and improve our packaging process. Martin then went on to consolidate and standardize production processes across multiple plants as we experienced a growth spurt in the early 2000s. Martin graduated to Division Process Engineer, where he traveled extensively, working with all of our production plants all across the country. Then, as Building Materials Manager, his job was to improve how our systems calculated what components are needed at what time to build orders as they came in. These days, Martin mainly works in new product introductions. His extensive knowledge of our processes and materials is invaluable when bringing a concept from a sketch to the production line, and out the door!
Martin can’t help but chuckle about one of his most memorable events during his time with Medallion. When he was being introduced during one of his visits to a plant in the southern part of the country, he asked for patience from everyone, as he had a hard time understanding their Southern accents. Without skipping a beat, the plant manager said, “It’s Ok. We can’t understand you either!”
Sarah started out on the plant production floor the summer after high school, albeit for one of our competitors. However, when she eventually made her way to Medallion’s marketing department in 2004, Sarah did make sure to include this experience on her application.
Sarah has spent a lot of time crafting what the brand of Medallion Cabinetry looks and sounds like today. She started out as a Graphic Designer, working to create printed bulletins and flyers, not too long before all these materials became digital. As a Multimedia Designer, she started working on creating marketing videos, many of which were for a major presence Medallion had at KBIS in the late 2000’s. Most recently, Sarah is the Creative Lead for Medallion, where she continues to mold what the brand sounds like, and looks like visually.
Fondly remembered is the 2007 dealer trip to Hawaii where Sarah acted as a ‘Medallion Hostess.’ Her main role was to make sure everyone enjoyed the many activities, such as four-wheeling up a mountain, sailing on catamarans, and of course, the luau. She is particularly proud of having been selected for the trip, as only a handful of Medallion staff were chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
These three stories are just a handful of the many talented people behind the Medallion brand. It is this collective knowledge, expertise, and passion that we celebrate on Labor Day, and continues to inspire us throughout the year.