By: Fara Foster, Director of Communications & Community Engagement
“Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley
With that statement, Mr. Hinckley could have very easily been making an introduction for our own Jim Whitten. Anyone who knows Jim will attest he has no interest in his own importance. Instead, he will go to the extreme to make you feel yours.
Jim joined Lehman-Roberts in 1997 for reasons very similar to those of his peers – he was influenced by a family member who worked here. He knew this to be a good place to work, where one could earn a decent income and provide for a family.
In the more than 20 years since joining us, Jim has made our companies feel and function like a family. Because our operations are distanced over a 200-mile span, we have a satellite office in Batesville, MS in addition to our home office in Memphis. Jim’s role is to ensure every administrative need in our Batesville office is covered. Yet, it is the way he performs in that role, not just the duties themselves, that makes him the heartbeat of our southernmost operations. When asked to describe Jim’s duties using a singular title, Human Resources Manager Melanie Stinson remarked, “He’s just ‘Jim Whitten.’ How can you describe everything he does with a title? If he ever retires, I’m just going to post an opening for ‘Jim Whitten.’”
Not only does he manage the operational efficiency in Batesville, but he plays a huge role in the orientation process and safety training for incoming new team members company-wide. He lends his time and experience to several improvement process teams. Further, he is the first to organize his schedule around the needs of others, especially in times of personal hardship.
“When someone’s in need, Jim is always there,” said Brenda Myers, our HR Specialist who supports new employees and benefits. “He stops everything to organize a collection if one of us needs help. He is a friend first then a co-worker.”
It is that attitude that makes Jim such a respected and loved peer within our ranks and with our customers, as well. Thanks, Jim, for putting your entire “who” into what we do.