Kelvin Williams is a people person. One brief encounter with him will certainly leave one with that lasting impression. This personable trait works in his favor as a driver for Associated Grocers. As he puts it, his deliveries are “easy”. The fact that he’s developing relationships with retailers on his route aids that notion. “Everywhere I go, they love me” Kelvin smiles. “And I love them in return”. It’s important to enjoy your job, and for 27 years at Associated Grocers, he’s done just that.
His weekly route includes a mash up of travel throughout Mississippi and Texas, something he hasn’t grown tired of yet. Prior to working for Associated Grocers, Kelvin drove throughout the United States and Canada delivering mostly grocery products for manufacturers. When the opportunity presented itself for him to work for Associated Grocers, Kelvin was in. Great benefits and competitive pay may have been the initial draw, but it has been this position throughout the years, that has allowed him to return home every night and participate in the rearing of his four kids with his wife of 26 years. “I love driving for AG because what I do is routine…and for my lifestyle, that works. I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
“I’m not your average truck driver,” Curtis Williams states with assured certainty…and he just may be right. As a 23 year seasoned driver for Associated Grocers, he points out that is the running joke between he and his friends. Noting his well put together uniform at the end of his route, and being able to return home every single day—it’s not an average outcome in the profession. Competitive benefits and the ability to be home with his family nightly is a great opportunity, and the career driver does not see himself retiring any time soon.
“Being a driver is a tough job, but working for Associated Grocers makes my career so much easier. AG is a great place to work.” Curtis speaks of the details surrounding the job, along with training opportunities, incentives and a safety driven culture. As he heads west, covering Louisiana areas such as Crowley, New Iberia and Abbeville, Curtis recounts that the updated equipment in his truck makes it a comfortable ride. “Having that type of security is beneficial to what I do every day. So I would say, no I’m not your average truck driver, but that’s because AG is not your average company. I love driving for AG because for us safety comes in a multitude of ways- career, pay and the durability of the truck. For me and my family, that is everything.”
Herman Gage Jr.
“A Main Reason I Drive for AG is… they are just as important to me as I am to them. I am valued.”
It was the rev of the engine and the possibilities of going someplace new that led Herman Gage Jr. to follow the route of his boyhood passion – driving big trucks. The Port Allen native’s first job was as a truck driver for a heavy hauling company. When that company relocated out of state, Herman began working at AG, and he contends that, “It gave him the opportunity to work and interact with people… really good people.”
“People who don’t mind asking for what they need, and I don’t mind helping them,” Herman noted. “I help connect the retailers to AG. I’m another link for them.” For 25 years Herman has been a team member of Associated Grocers, and credits constant growth opportunities and safety techniques, as factors of his success. “There are a variety of trucking programs and health initiatives offered here that keeps us informed and up to date with what’s going on. I’m more aware of the industry and am more alert on how to stay healthy on the job.”
The long time driver also credits the reciprocal relationship between he and AG as a factor in his longevity with the company. “I’ve always wanted to drive more than anything, and AG has provided that opportunity by being a trusted company to work for,” Herman said. “Working here is an honest, good living and since my first day on the job in 1990, I learned that I am just as important to them, as they are to me. That is a main reason that I work for AG.”
“The Best Part of Driving for AG is…we are equipped with quality, up to date trucks.”
For 10 years, Randall Broussard moved trailers around at Associated Grocers. When he was given the opportunity to train and drive for AG, he took his chance. Randall first came to AG after a retail member recommended the company to him. At the request of his wife, he didn’t hit the road due to her reservations concerning his safety. Although he didn’t initially start as a driver, he moved into that position and has been with AG for 28 years.
The best part of driving for AG is “we are equipped with quality, up to date trucks,” Randall shares. Having previously served as a Volunteer Firefighter for 20 years, simultaneously as a driver, the importance of safety resonates with him. Randall has been married for 35 years and has one son and two granddaughters, whom he frequently spends time with. Randall’s family’s uncertainties about safety have certainly been put to rest. “AG cares about safety. When I’m out on the road, I can be assured that all safety precautions are met, and as a driver for AG, I am home every night to spend time with my family.”
A main reason I drive for AG is…My hard work is acknowledged and appreciated.
For Mr. Johnny, driving trucks is something he’s always wanted to do as a young boy. While riding down the road in St. Gabriel, he’d position his arm into that upright motion signal, smile, and excitedly await for the passing driver to oblige and blow the horn of the big rig. Now he is that driver.
Johnny Holland has been an AG driver for over 32 years. He loves his job – and the friendships that comes with it. “Driving the AG truck has taken me to places I wouldn’t have ever seen. I have my regular route, but when I hit the road, I get to see “my friends” at their stores. I know that what I do every day contributes to their success. Retailers depend on us to show up and make things smooth and easy. The way we do our job, is important to their business.” Mr. Johnny has earned trust, and established relationships with his retailers over the years, which is something he’s very proud of.
“I’ve always been an independent man, and this job allows me to continue to be that. I’ve continued to work for Associated Grocers for all of these years because here, I am respected and appreciated. AG acknowledges hard work and I always want to make my company proud. If I could give any advice to a new, young driver coming on – I would give him the advice that was given to me. ‘Go to work, do your job, come on time and be dependable. Someone’s counting on you to do your part.’ ” In February 2015, Johnny Holland received an award for 27 years of perfect attendance, and 18 years of safe driving.
William “Timmy” Martin
I Love Driving for AG Because…my job is secure.
Having grew up on False River, Timmy Martin is used to equipment- big equipment. His family owned a farm, and the trucking business was a part of his town … so driving is something that he knows. With the support of Associated Grocers, he has been able to do what he know and love, and not have to worry about instability.
When he climbs into the cab of the truck at AG, Martin puts his stereo and his CB on, and then hits the road. He has been driving for AG for over 27 years and has seen the company grow exponentially – from its earlier days of having standard equipment, to the current state of the art trucking and warehouse equipment. “To me, this growth speaks volumes to the company’s leadership and vision throughout the years. It gives me an added assurance that by working for AG, I’ll be able to support my family,” Martin said. Those are the two things have been constant throughout his life – making memories with his family, and driving for AG. “AG has always looked out for the best interest of their employees. The trucks are updated and maintained; we don’t have to worry about being stranded somewhere. Driving for AG…I know what to expect.” Martin, a seasoned employee, also gives credit to many of the people he’s met. “This is a good company, with good people. At AG, it doesn’t matter what job you have – everyone’s treated the same, from the CEO to the janitor. I’ve always been proud of where I work…and for me, that matters.” In February 2015 Timmy Martin was awarded for 25 years of safe driving.
The benefits of Driving for AG are… Training Opportunities and Having a Say about My Route
Troy Beaulieu started out washing 18 wheelers, now he’s driving them. During his 30 years at AG, the company has helped him, by way of his own motivation, continue to head in the direction that offered greater opportunities. “A typical day may take me from Patterson to Baldwin, Louisiana and that next day I may be in Opelousas. That’s the way it goes, and I like it. It’s how I get to see Louisiana,” Beaulieu said. He also saw the chance for advancement the moment he hit the fleet yard at AG. Starting off in an entry level position proved not to be a dead end. Beaulieu soon moved to working in the fuel area, and then began a certification program for truck driving. During his tenure as a driver, input on his route and assigned hours were more in his hands. “I love doing my job, but I’m also a family man. I have four children that I’m able to spend time with because I can make it home every night, and for me, that’s important.” In February 2015 Troy Beaulieu was awarded for 3 years of safe driving