Publix Patriots: E5 Sergeant to Customer Service Manager

ByJazmyn M.

August 28, 2019

Publix with American flag

You often hear that Publix was the first and last career for a lot of our associates. For many of us, including our CEO, our careers began bagging groceries as a part-time job. What you may not hear about are those associates who experienced a fruitful first career they are proud of, prior to finding their home at Publix. Many of the stories we share are representative of our military veteran associates.

We appreciate the commitment our veterans have made to this country and understand that level of dedication often makes for a stellar addition to the Publix family. Last year, Publix was ranked as one of the best workplaces for veterans by Indeed. Our Publix Patriots blog series showcases real veterans who found success in a second career at Publix.

We are honored to employ veterans and hope to spread the word about opportunities found at Publix and prove we’re much more than “just a grocery store.”

Meet Richard, customer service manager.

Richard, Customer Service Manager

Not everyone can say they have experienced two successful careers simultaneously. Richard’s path to success in the military and at Publix is not like most. Richard started working for Publix in 2004 as a front service clerk and moved his way up in the customer service department. He later felt a calling to raise his right hand in service to our country in 2008. He was able to fulfill his duty all while maintaining tenure at Publix.

Richard has been a Publix associate for 15 years, and half of his career was also spent as an infantryman in the Florida Army National Guard from 2008 to 2015. He was honorably discharged after injuries he’d sustained in a car accident but was able to successfully complete his contract. He retired as an E5 sergeant in the infantry.

Richard is a proud husband and father. He and his wife Devyn have two children, Thomas and Madelyn. He feels blessed beyond measure to work for a great company that has helped him continue to build upon his leadership skills and provide for his beautiful family even while he was away on duty.

How Richard’s military background helped him at Publix.

Richard says the skills he learned in the military don’t just apply to Publix, but to life in general. He learned what it means to work with a sense of urgency, prioritize tasks and be able to perform under pressure. The military helped him prepare for opportunities by instilling the idea that you should always prepare for promotions or responsibilities up to two levels higher than where you currently are. Applying that mindset at Publix has helped him grow quickly in his career.

Richard explained that the military also taught him important people skills. He says, “One of the many things I am grateful for in my military experience is the understanding that not every soldier is the same. Just like every associate is not the same. We need to direct our message in a manner that speaks to the individual.” One thing that Richard feels Publix and the military have in common is that they both focus on developing future leaders, and he feels extremely honored to have experienced both.

A piece of advice Richard shared with his fellow veterans looking to join the Publix family is, “Be sure to adapt from a military mindset to a service-oriented mindset. There is a difference between following orders and providing premier customer service.”

Richard in military dress uniform

If you are a fellow veteran and Richard has helped you see the amount of opportunity that exists for you at Publix, don’t hesitate to connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram or LinkedIn. Follow us as we continue to tell stories of our military veteran associates and let us know what you think. We even have a Publix Patriots LinkedIn showcase page where you can stay tuned into all our veteran-related content.

Ready to make the leap and join the Publix family? Applying to work at any of our retail locations is now easier than ever. You can apply online through our Talent Application Gateway. We promote to management positions from within our stores. You are just a click away from getting started. Interested in opportunities at our corporate office, warehousing or manufacturing? Visit our Careers site to learn about current openings you could be eligible for.

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