The Castellini Group of Companies' Brian Kocher Pulls Back the Curtain on Company Culture
CINCINNATI, OH - If there ever was a time to test the strength of a company’s culture, now would be it. After all, culture is everything—this is one of the many strong sentiments that The Castellini Group of Companies shares with me this month. As 2020 tested many industries and toiled against even the strongest of strategic ramparts, many in fresh produce rallied and the tide rose, for all of our industry boats.
“The COVID-19 crisis had us all reprioritizing in an effort to stay afloat at first. Then we learned that we could make some essential changes that would indefinitely elevate and impact the company and its members for the better. We never could have identified these areas without a crisis like this,” Brian Kocher, President and CEO, shares with me. “We have renewed our efforts to create a values-driven culture internally, in the way we conduct ourselves with our employees, customers, and vendors, and how we support our communities, and especially those in need.”
In Brian’s words, it is a duty that Castellini has—to be stewards of its community—and the company is in a unique position in the produce industry to execute this vision, having stepped up its efforts during these challenging times.
“We are supporting many charities and non-profits serving the food insecure population in our region,” Brian tells me. “Just one example is a new partnership with Last Mile Food Rescue. We began the relationship in late summer and for the past seven weeks, we have been running the pilot program for the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky market. In those weeks alone, we donated roughly 19,000 pounds of produce, and that produce was delivered to 10 local non-profits by Last Mile Food Rescue.”
While the company has enlisted its charitable and industrious arms to help those communities in need today, the current state of the industry has forced the team to think about the future more than ever, along with the health and welfare of its employees.
“Now is the time to review how we have adapted to the current situation–and which of these adaptations we want to build upon into the future,” Brian tells me. “The coronavirus may have or may not have changed the way we live our lives forever, but it has forced us to rethink the way we do business and our strategies. The landscape will be very competitive when we emerge from this pandemic, and we feel we have effective long-term strategies in place that will be fundamental to our success as a supply chain services provider.”
Over the past 10-plus months, the company has pivoted and shifted its footing, creating teams and blueprints to address all concerns and challenges from staffing and social distancing to recruiting and partnering—all in an effort to keep its family of team members healthy and its customers thriving. Check out all the deets on these recent moves here.
“I am proud of how we pushed through the process and how we continued to focus on being the best partner for our existing customers,” Brian shared with us earlier this month. “At the same time, we focused on our strengths and expertise as a full-service supply chain partner and were able to start new relationships in the 4 PL category, where we see our biggest potential for growth in the coming years.”
With all these moving parts, you can either hold steady and let them shift around you, or you can be the movement that changes the pieces you hold.