By Scott A. Heintzelman
My colleagues at McKonly & Asbury and I are fortunate to see many companies up close and personal that understand the value of engaged employees. As I profile these companies, I think you’ll see common threads about attention to culture and values.
One of those companies is Four Seasons Produce, Inc. – a distributor of fresh produce, based in Ephrata, PA. Founder, David Hollinger, was driven by a love for fresh fruits and vegetables from the young age of eight. His fervor for the industry deepened as he traveled with his father to purchase produce for the family’s farm market. Years later, David’s involvement in the family produce market grew as he began buying produce and managing the company. Local bankers recognized Hollinger’s personal integrity and potential and Four Seasons was founded in 1976 when David purchased a 5,000 square foot building, some trucks and equipment.
Recently, they opened a state-of-the-art 262,000 square foot distribution facility. Until you see it, you’d never know the amount of technology and know-how that brings you the freshest fruits and vegetables. But the team at Four Seasons understands that in order to get the best and freshest products to your local market, it takes a team of energized and engaged employees.
Four Seasons understands how important relationships, both internally within the Four Seasons family and externally with customers, are to their success. Historically, the key element to the endurance of Four Seasons is the effort that goes into building these relationships. They get that by focusing their individuals’ various talents and capabilities on the direction that Four Seasons is going, namely to identify and provide solutions for their customers' needs, this makes them different from just another produce company.
Four Seasons is centered in the fundamentals and values of the company. This is evidenced by their core value design which illustrates their logo in the middle of a circle. Immediately surrounding their logo are the words "Customers", "Associates", and "Suppliers", which signify that all three are critical to the success of Four Seasons and to each other's success. Encompassing the center of the design are the four principles that Four Seasons consistently strives to provide in every business, personal, and community interaction: Integrity, Winning Culture, Dynamic Leadership, and Exceptional Partnerships. These principles are bordered by gold to represent "The Golden Rule": Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
“We’ve thought long and deeply about what the formula for success for our company should be. If we are serious about creating an environment that enables our customers, associates, and suppliers to achieve and celebrate success, then you have to stick to your values and know who you are,” said Hollinger. “Naturally, we want to do business with the same kind of companies – companies like McKonly & Asbury. We want our business advisors to be working from the same playbook that we are, so they can understand how to help us move forward.”
Fresh product, delivered at the perfect moment, by a team that is passionate about their work and the values that guide them – sure sounds like the ingredients for success to me!
This is an organization that “Gets It.”