A 40-Year Career Milestone – from a Daughter’s Perspective.
I’ve always thought of TR as an older sibling of sorts –
Siblings share a parent’s time, energy, and attention.
Sometimes the relationship can teeter on Love/Hate.
While you may operate differently, you tend to share in a common understanding of purpose and values.
Checks most of the boxes, right?
This particular sibling (the company previously known as Temporary Resources, now The Resource) existed before I did, and was a part of my mom’s life before I was even a glimmer.
Kathy Tedder was given the opportunity out of college to join Lester Burnette at Executive Resources in Winston-Salem, NC. A “headhunting” company born from a savvy businessman with varied interests. Lester would continue to serve as a father-figure of sorts until his passing in 2013, providing invaluable support to Kathy in her career. The early days spent in Downtown Winston made for some interesting stories, and the chance for Kathy’s inherent work ethic – forged in the tobacco fields of Quaker Gap in Stokes County – to flourish. Temporary Staffing was the new big thing, as large volume manufacturing boomed and so too did the need for contingent workers. The Temporary division of Executive Resources became the bulk of the business, and the company became Temporary Resources, with Kathy at the helm.
The 80s and 90s saw new opportunity, a growing team, different office spaces… Oh, and my sister and I came into the picture in ‘89 and ‘92, respectively. A favorite picture is of Mom in her office looking out onto 4th street, very pregnant with her feet up on the desk, on the phone, smoking a cigarette (hey, it was the 80s, remember?!). We were born into the business in a way. Staffing is a particularly unique industry in that it’s often multi-generational – families working together are the norm, not the exception. But it wasn’t just us, the rest of the team was truly family as well. They were walking through the fire, forging forward to build the organization through many long hours, and a desire to help positively impact people’s lives. Recruiting wasn’t easy then, and it’s still not easy now. But it’s vitally important work. Over this time Kathy was named President and gained ownership in the company.
Fast forward through the next decade – which ushered in advanced technology, and office expansion. My mom was one of the very first people I remember with a cell phone, and believe it or not, she still has the same number! I also recall stories of TR holding classes to train people on Microsoft. Whew – Y2K anyone? The 2000s tested resolve with the great recession and a changing labor market. Kathy led the company through what remains to be one of the hardest times in its history. The Staffing industry tends to be an economic indicator, so the recession was felt at TR about 6 months before it hit other industries. Business was tumultuous and hard decisions had to be made – but the company survived. As an “outsider” who was too young to truly understand the impact of what was happening (I was also a high schooler who thought I knew everything and led with my hormones, so I’m sure I made that phase TONS of fun for Mom), what I observed was emotion. My mom isn’t typically a crier – but when the weight of business decisions that impact other’s lives and employment falls on your shoulders, emotions are warranted. She is human, after all. Though sometimes her stoicism can make her seem super-human, she’s always led with her heart (her heart and her gut), and always will.
Fast forward again – business has continued to evolve; the labor market still ebbs and flows to ensure there’s always a new storm to weather (job security? Lol). As Kathy reminds us regularly – we must identify the storm, then we can face it. And learn to dance in the rain while we’re experiencing it. There’s another Kathy quirk, she loves the rain! As she tells it, when you grow up on a tobacco farm, the only times you weren’t working were on Sundays, and when it rained. She can often be found taking a porch snooze during a rainstorm. The storms don’t phase her, they inspire her!
I’ll wrap this up with a few final thoughts.
There’s no one like her. Thanks to our CORE Assessment® we understand that a bit deeper – the why. She is her own unique recipe, and it has served her well in leading many different “energies” and types of people. That now includes me and my sister! I can confidently say the CORE is the only reason we can all work on the same hallway and [hardly ever] butt heads. We’re proud to work alongside our mom and sibling (see how I rounded it out there?), and our extended TR family which now includes quite a few other second-generation-ers. Speaking personally, I’m proud to bring what I can to the table to help plan and prepare for the next phase of the organization. Learning every step of the way from the phenomenal leadership team that’s been assembled (the cumulative years of experience is pushing past the 500 mark at this point)! When people ask how long I’ve been with TR I usually answer, “6 years officially, 31 years unofficially”.
Kathy likes to say she feels 22, but with 40 years of experience.
I hope she always feels 22, but I sure am thankful for the 40 years of experience. They’ve influenced and impacted many lives – including mine. She’s a mentor, a constant, an encourager, a supporter, a challenger, a forward thinker. She’s direct, expects action, gives opportunity, and drives change.
She’s a doodler, a nail-filer, a head scratcher, a gardener, a pickleballer, a golfer, a Smith Mtn. Laker…
She’s a grandma, sister, aunt, cousin, friend. A leader, a CEO, and my favorite title – a Mom.
THANK YOU for your 40 years Kathy/Mom. You deserve to be celebrated.