Join us in congratulating Randy Gifford on his new position with Kaye-Smith as General Manager. Randy now oversees our organizations in Renton and Portland. He began his career with Kaye-Smith in 1994 and has held roles ranging from Warehouse Manager and Accounting Manager to Controller and previously Assistant General Manager.
We had a chance to sit down with Randy to hear all about his new role and how he spends his days.
What is your leadership style?
“Lead by example. I find that if people believe in you and see what you’re doing, they follow. I like to think about a captain of a sports team. I spent most of my life playing a variety of sports, most recently coaching my son’s teams for over 10 years. I bring the teamwork mentality to work with me every day.”
What is the most important thing you learned as Assistant GM that you’re bringing to your new role?
“Greg Sommerville, who held the General Manager role before retiring, was very committed to service. Greg was a mentor to me for several years and I admired his dedication to servicing not only the customer, but our employees.”
How has your experience with Kaye-Smith prepared you for this role?
“My experience working in the warehouse and accounting forced me to dig in and learn how to manage people. It taught me the importance of observation and listening to problem solve.”
What keeps you at Kaye-Smith?
“The people. I appreciate the family ownership and the tenure in our management team. I enjoy coming to work every day.”
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen since you began here in 1994?
“Technology. We used to have a big building full of printing presses. Today, digital presses have joined our lineup. We maintain a wide array of data programming and intelligent mail processing systems as well as sophisticated procurement solutions. Technology is the biggest challenge we have and it forces us to continue expanding sales strategies in areas where compliance is a must – like health care, biotech and financial services.
Promotional products and branded merchandise provide opportunities that align nicely into our marketing communications services. I stay on the pulse by attending trade shows to see new products and get a feel for what’s out there.”
What does your typical weekday look like?
“I spend a lot of time in meetings, and also in our facilities speaking with managers on the floor. When I speak with the managers and analyze the numbers, I know right away if something is not right. My history with Kaye-Smith has taught me how to quickly identify any issues we’re having so I can get to the root of the problem.”
What keeps you grounded?
“Every day, I take a mid-day walk for two or three miles. This helps me get some fresh air and most importantly, clear my head. Sometimes my colleagues join me!”