A Warm Welcome to FONA

June 7, 2012
Starting as a new FONA employee, I knew this was a different kind of place.  I was approached by many smiling faces, welcoming introductions and blinded by the mystery of the white coats.

I was introduced to my clean and mostly bare cubicle, my “home away from home." Looking around the FONA office, you find small tokens that illustrate the heart and soul of the company.  Family pictures, tons of awards for a myriad of accomplishments, books on flavors, leadership and faith. And I find the latest masterpiece created by Corporate Comm., the book resting on my desk… Foundation 25.

As part of my orientation I meet with most business leaders.  During my meeting with Luke, and in discussing family and touring the facility, he suggests (and I paraphrase)   “Bring your family through.  And not during lunch, or after hours; bring them through when there are people working so they can get a feel for what goes on here at FONA.”  I learn, family infiltrates everything at FONA- “Business first, family always...”  What an awesome concept lost in most of corporate America today.

Awards, awards, awards!  While 101 Best and Brightest and an Entrepreneur of the Year Award fill the reception seating area, shiny glass flavor drops cover desks.  I notice these awards on my first day, and every day since… and not just because I’m part of the HR team.  Awards mean different things at different companies, but at FONA I realize they show what we have accomplished, who we are and who we strive to be.

Investing in the people
Day 19 - First Employee Breakfast/Meeting, at which, Joe announces a book exchange. It seems almost strange to me for a moment while I gulp that concept down. Free books, for anyone who wants to expand their mind. The importance placed on continued education is everywhere.  Company provided continued education hours for each employee, book exchanges, and trainings on everything from A to Z, overwhelmingly shows FONA’s deep-seeded belief that learning is at the core of greatness.

Day 5 - Cinco de Mayo Party.  What a way to be introduced to FONA celebrations and the culture of FONA. A celebration of employee heritage and culture, but more than that… I interpreted this and the many celebrations to follow as a way to celebrate the FONA culture. One that applauds differences, celebrates individuality and brings everyone together. Although all these secrets were available to me on my first day, (all I had to do was read through Foundation 25), it is even better to see it all unfold in a short 30 days of employment. I can’t wait to see what the next 30 brings.