As one of the newest members of the von Drehle team, Monika Majewska is still learning the ropes of her role as Supply Chain Manager. Eight weeks into the job, she spends much of her time asking questions about the business and the industry, but she also has deep knowledge and expertise to grow on: before coming to von Drehle, Monika worked in shipping and transportation, injection molding and plastics.
Her experience in operations, production and sales have given her a unique perspective on her current role. She understands sales people, and when they tell her who their customers are and what they need, she gets where they’re coming from. Her background in transportation and production makes her a better buyer, and she draws on her versatile experience to tackle new challenges in the paper industry.
When interviewing for the position, Monika felt an instant connection to the company, our values and what we want for our employees. She explains our leadership style this way: “They want to be stewards for their people and help them to be the best versions of themselves,” adding that the supervisors are always there for the employees and listening to what they say about how they work and how they can make things better.
For Monika, that approach is a foundation of von Drehle’s culture. “von Drehle is what it is because of the teamwork, and that comes from treating everyone the same way, respecting everyone’s ideas and treating others the way you want to be treated.”
Exemplifying that spirit of collaboration are the people working with Monika as she adjusts to her new role. She works closely with Barry Christensen, our Supply Chain Director, who she laughingly says “keeps her in line” while showing her how to handle suppliers, what to watch out for on a daily basis and where we are going as a company. She learns about purchasing from Marsha Holland and Alex Church, who issues the POs and makes sure the suppliers deliver them on time. When she has questions about our products, she knows Danielle Canon and Kassa Hart will provide good explanations of why we pack something in a certain way or where we are going with our product lines. She also works closely with Brett von Drehle, an integral part of our supply chain team.
Learning something new about the company, the people and the industry is fun and energizing for Monika, who starts each day by saying “Good morning” to everyone.
“This is the first company where I can truly say I love my job…Eight weeks in and I keep saying I love my job every day!” She says it so often that her husband occasionally teases her about it. Together, they manage a farm where they grow “anything you can eat that grows well in the region,” including green beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, blackberries, raspberries and spinach.
On the farm, Monika and her husband try to grow everything the organic, natural way, and she’s committed to reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible. This is another way her values align with our own: we’ve been practicing environmentally-sound production methods since 1974 that ensure the majority of our products are 100% recycled and meet or exceed EPA guidelines for post consumer content.
Monika also handled all the accounting for the farm, adding to her well-rounded background. Her experiences are indicative of her love of a challenge and desire to always be learning. For her, that’s an aspiration that extends beyond the job. She likes to keep her brain working by reading and is even taking some online classes to learn more about supply chain strategies and where she can take her role.
If the first two months on the job are any indicator of the future, Monika’s is bright. As “fresh blood” here at von Drehle, she looks forward to bringing new energy, establishing new processes and impacting the future of our company. Her experience has taken her through a variety of industries and places, including Poland, Germany, England, California and Texas, and we are so glad she landed right here in Hickory at von Drehle.