Arandell News + Events

Employee Spotlight – Antwon Rhodes Reflects on First Year with Arandell

Ask just about anybody that works on a press and they will tell you one of the toughest, most physically-intensive and demanding jobs to do all day is as a jogger. What is jogging, you ask? It’s probably not the kind you’re thinking of.

Jogging means that you are responsible for taking stacks of printed material that has just come off the press and jostling it to separate each individual sheet so they do not stick together. At Arandell, however, joggers are responsible for much, much more.

For this month’s Employee Spotlight we are highlighting Antwon Rhodes, who is currently working as a jogger. He has been working for Arandell just under a year and currently works at our Menomonee Falls facility.

Antwon has been described by his bosses and the people that work closest with him as an “absolute go-getter”, who is “always willing to help with extra hours when needed”. He has a great attitude and strives to get better at his job while striving to learn the jobs of others. Because of his excellent attitude and willingness to learn, we thought he’d be perfect for this month’s Employee Spotlight.

Here’s more about Antwon:

 

Tell us more about your background.

I originally came to Arandell through a temp agency called Site Staffing last August. They told me Arandell was looking for people to work in the bindery, and having worked around machines before along with wanting to make some extra money, I thought I’d give it a try.

I originally went to auto school at MATC for a little while and really enjoyed working on and painting cars, so I have a pretty good eye for color. One day as I was feeding pockets, two operators named Billy Williams and Jeff Hausknecht came up to me and said I should take a color test and asked if I wanted to be a jogger. I ended up taking the color test with Dan Valen, the Pressroom Manager, and only got one wrong, so I started working full-time as a jogger shortly after that around October. Since then, Jeff has been a mentor to me, both inside and outside of work. I really can’t thank him enough for helping me get to where I am now almost one year in.

 

What’s the number one reason you’ve stayed?

The challenge. Every press I’ve worked on is different from the next, and I really enjoy the challenge of having to learn a new one each time. I enjoy pushing myself to be the best that I can be, and I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity for that here.

 

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

The main thing I do is controlling the front of the press, but there’s so much that goes into that. Basically, I’m assisting the first pressman as much as possible and taking some direction from him. I send stackers, reload supplies, change out plates, dip ink fountains and there are a few mechanical issues that come up that I can help with.

The work never really ends as the presses are almost always running, so there’s always something to do. We always make sure the area is clean, especially when our clients come in and you have to make sure your gear is in good shape because safety is the main priority. You have to have a good attitude about it because there is a lot to do.

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I mostly enjoy is the challenge and responsibility. It’s a lot to handle sometimes but when I come home at the end of the day, it’s a rewarding feeling knowing that I worked hard and pushed myself to be the best I can be. I like to learn new things too so the process of coming into work and making sure I learn something new each and every day has been very rewarding as well. I just wish I had started earlier so I could have been even farther ahead at this point!

 

What keeps you so motivated?

Just never being satisfied and knowing there are areas that I can continue to improve in. I see people out around the plant all day that I feel are so much better at their jobs than I am, and so I just want to learn from them. On top of that, I’d like to own my own business in the next 10 years or so and I can tell that continuing to work here will just make me a better business owner someday.

 

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

Well, before coming here I actually had my dealer’s license for buying and selling cars and I still do that when I have some extra time after work. If I’m not buying and selling cars, I’m working on them and fixing them up. I play and watch a lot of basketball as well and have been a lifelong Bucks fan having lived in the area my whole life. I enjoy cooking and reading when I get the chance to as well.

 

Do you have a favorite vending machine snack or drink?

The pizza calzones here are actually pretty good. Usually I drink a couple Mountain Dews every day too. Also, one of my coworkers got me hooked on the banana nut bread here and I like it so much I started buying it at the store outside of work.

 

Favorite music genre or artist to listen to?

I mostly listen to a lot of hip hop/rap from a bunch of different artists, but some of my favorites include the old school guys like Outkast, Jay-Z, Kanye and Big Sean to some of the newer artists/groups like Kodak Black and Migos.

 

Favorite TV show or movie?

My favorite TV show of all time is American Horror Story. I’ve seen every episode of every season and am just a big fan of it. I enjoy the classics too like The Office and other less-serious shows like that. My favorite movie of all time is Focus because Will Smith is just so good in it. If I’m not watching any one of those though I’m usually watching the NBA.

 

Final Question: How do you define success?

I think success is different for everybody because it’s defined by your own goals and aspirations. Success to one person isn’t the same as success to another. What I think makes me successful is setting short and long-term goals for myself that I know I can achieve. Once I accomplish one, I set a new one right away so that I continue to learn and push myself to be the best employee and man that I can be. I see a lot of opportunity for me to grow here so I’m hoping it’s the last “real” job I ever have. The needs of Arandell just align really well with my own goals, which is why I feel like my first year here has been so successful. I could easily see myself here for the next 10-15 years just because of how much opportunity there is.

That’s it for this month’s Employee Spotlight! For past Spotlights, feel free to check out our Company News page. For everything else, be sure to stay tuned into our News & Events page.