We are so excited to highlight Elise in this week’s post! Elise is the manager of the juice stand at our New Castle Farmers’ Market and has worked at Stoltzfus Meats since September 2018. I can’t wait for you to learn a little bit about Elise and her leadership in the juice stand.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you like to do outside of work.
A: Well, I guess I could say I’m a second or even third career person! I started my working life after college as a social worker in Philadelphia and then transitioned to a stay-at-home mom and then homeschooling mom when our 3 children came along. I’m an Elder in my church and I’ve taught the high school Sunday school class for 12 years now. I like to sew and read and ride my motorcycle as well.
Q: What are your main responsibilities at Stoltzfus Meats?
A: I have the privilege of managing the team that runs the juice stand in New Castle. In a bigger picture sense though, my overarching goal is to develop the next generation of good bosses and leaders.
Q: Since the juice stand is one of Stoltzfus’ newest ventures, can you tell us a little bit about the juice stand – what products you sell, what goes into making your products, etc.?
A: The juice stand is completely unique in the Stoltzfus family and it’s thanks to Chris’s
[the general manager of our New Castle stands] vision a couple of years ago for what could be possible there that it’s part of the Stoltzfus market. We primarily make fresh, unpasteurized juices and lemonades. We also make and sell cut fruit, salads, parfaits, salsa, wellness shots, and energy drinks! Everything we sell, with very few exceptions, is made from scratch on-site in New Castle. We have originated and adapted our own recipes and techniques to create products that you literally cannot find anywhere else in the world! We are completely unique and the growth and buzz we’re generating is exciting for all of us.
Q: As a manager and someone in leadership, what does true leadership mean to you?
A: Leadership is something I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about over the past two years or so. When I was approached not long after I started at Stoltzfus about taking on the role of juice stand manager I had a bit of panic as I’d never “managed” in a business sense before and I felt completely unqualified! So I threw myself into reading and learning about management and leadership and it was a tremendously eye-opening experience. One of the things I learned is that nobody agrees on what leadership actually means so there is a wide latitude for an individual leader to create their own unique path. For corporate use, I find myself going back to Brene Brown’s definition of leadership (Dare To Lead). Brown defines a leader as someone who “takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” I also very much like Ken Blanchard (Lead Like Jesus) and his perspective that “leadership happens anytime we influence the thinking, behavior or development of another. If you have influence, you are a leader.” Thinking about leadership as the opportunity to serve and develop the people we lead is exciting because there’s no actual limit to what we can accomplish that way. It’s also a self-replicating system in that the ultimate goal of that style of leadership is the development of other leaders. It’s a wonderfully sobering perspective because on an individual level since everyone I lead is a leader themselves to some extent, everyone I lead magnifies my influence for good or for ill. Almost all of my employees are teenagers and I don’t think that’s an accident at all. Every single one of them is going to go forward in life and become a leader in their families or churches or communities. If I can equip my people to become the best leaders *they* can be I’ll retire happy and fulfilled.
Q: What is your favorite Stoltzfus Meats product?
A: I love our juices but more than juice, I love collaboration and empowering individuals to think “outside the stand” and come up with exciting new products. So with that in mind, my favorite is the Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad. It uses chicken from the poultry stand which is baked in the bakery. Then it adds fresh-chopped mango from juice and additional ingredients from Chef George’s [another incredible Stoltzfus Meats employee in New Castle] amazing recipe imagination and is sold from the salads stand. I was so tickled to see this collaboration come together that I almost didn’t appreciate how tasty the salad really is! It’s amazingly delicious and I highly recommend that anyone coming to New Castle give it a try. You will NOT be disappointed!
Isn't she just great?! Elise has the most caring, compassionate heart and we are so thankful that she puts her heart and soul into her work here at Stoltzfus Meats. As you could probably tell, Elise's energy and team-oriented attitude create excitement in her department and the company as a whole. We appreciate Elise and all that she brings to the company!