Employee Spotlight: Wendy Pederson!
Today on the blog we have the person who keeps everything running, picks up the pieces during the busy times, a jack of all trades and the face of this operation, Wendy Pederson! Wendy is the first person you see when you walk in the door of Pederson Seed and always has a kind and encouraging word to offer to everyone who comes in. We are thankful for her leadership and support. We are excited to share our interview with her and let you all get to know her a little bit better!
Rachel: You and Andy started this business in 1998, so over 20 years ago now! Looking back, is this what you envisioned this journey to be like? Has Pederson Seed and Services became all you imagined it would be?
Wendy: I never expected it to get as big as it is and to have as many employees and work with as many farmers. So, no. I didn’t see this happening at all. We started out small and I kinda thought it would be good to grow a bit, but we’ve grown a lot more than I ever imagined. As we’ve grown, I’ve thought, “Oh wow, this is as big as its going to get” and it just keeps going.
RS: What is on your wishlist for the next 10 years here?
WP: I’d like to grow our seed and scouting a little bit more. Facilities wise, I’ve had a wish to change the facilities a little bit to improve the customer connection and for our employees. I think a building would be useful and helpful and easier for us to manage. But that’s a big price tag on that. I don’t know if it’ll happen or not but that is something that I’ve wished for in the last 5 years.
RS: Are there any new services you’ve thought about adding in the coming years?
WP: You know, with all the new technologies coming out I hope there is something along those lines that we could grow from. From my desk, it might just be a fancier accounting program!
RS: What is one of your favorite memories at Pederson Seed and Services?
WP: It’s not one specific memory, it’s when it was just Andy, Jerry, Trevor and I was pregnant with Syd, and it was during planting season and Jerry and I were treating seed. I was getting pretty big, and out there pouring in chemical and doing all that stuff and seeing Trevor in his little cozy coupe driving around and farmers coming and going. When I think about fond moments here, I kind of go way back to the beginning to where it started and we were really small. A lot of my memories are right here at the building. I have pictures of us celebrating birthdays around the kitchen table which was in a much smaller area. Those are some of the fondest memories I have when we were just starting out and the kids were little.
RS: What would people never guess you do in your role?
WP: I don’t know that there is much that people don’t know. I think the farmers have been around enough and have seen me out driving the forklift or making seed deliveries. Those are some of the cool things that people don’t necessarily expect, but I’ve been doing them so long now that everyone knows. Occasionally community members will drive by and see me doing stuff and comment “I didn’t know you drove a forklift!”. But otherwise, I think everyone knows what I do now!
RS: Changing the subject away from work now, do you have a favorite movie?
WP: Yes! You’ve got mail. Its just a great love story that’s so different than all the new ones today that are all the same plotline. It’s all about the attraction and the mystery of it. And Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? They’re amazing. So fun to watch.
RS: If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
WP: Amelia Earhart. Years ago, when we were going to the library a lot with the kids, Sydney got a book about Amelia Earhart and she got really interested. So I started getting more books about her, anything that talked about Amelia Earhart. I feel like she had to be such a pioneering woman. You know she crossed the line and started doing things that only guys were supposed to do. It just seemed like she had such an adventurous spirit about her. I just think it would so good to talk to her and hear her attitude.
RS: Okay, so what is your theory about what happened on her last flight? Do you believe the stories about her being a prisoner in Japan, or somehow making it back to the US and living secretly as a housewife?
WP: There are so many theories. And I don’t know. I kinda just bet she just went down with her plane in the ocean. With her adventurous spirit, you’d hope that maybe she was able to get to an island and live a while, but probably unlikely.
RS: I think that what makes it such an interesting story. Its all the mystery around it. How did such an experienced pilot crash? What really happened?
WP: Maybe someday we’ll get to ask her. If you believe in an afterlife and running across people, maybe get to ask her, what did happen?
RS: I love that quote from her, “I do it because I want to do it.” Just so persevering.
WP: I think she just would be so interesting to talk to.
RS: Do you have a motto or a personal mantra?
WP: I think it would be to stay positive. To look for the positive. That is one thing I try to do. In any given situation, I think there is something positive that spins out of it. Even in the worst. Stay positive.
RS: What did you always want to try and never did?
WP: White water rafting. But I’m going to do it. I know I will. That’s something that’s been on my list for wanting to do, but just haven’t had the opportunity yet.
RS: What is the best book you have ever read?
WP: Dewey, the Library Cat. It’s a goofy one but it warms your heart and then at the end, like all good pet stories…
RS: HE DIES?
WP: Possibly. But, it’s a great story. He’s got such great character and is so fun. It’s a light hearted story. It’s a true story about a cat that was dropped off in a library book drop box. This library kept him and raised him and he lived in the library. And there were all these stories of things he would do and how he would greet customers and eat rubber bands and just strange stuff like that. At the end I was reading it to Sydney and I could hardly get the words out because I was bawling like a baby.
The other one I really like, which is on a totally different level is “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I really like that book. The way its written, the words and the story, I just love that book. I would read it again and again and again.
RS: What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
WP: I’d pay for college for two kids. That’s what I would do.
RS: What is the one thing you can’t live without?
WP: My family! Totally. I could live without a lot of things, but not without my family.
RS: What is your favorite activity to do with your kids?
WP: Boating in the summertime. And getting to go on trips with them. We’re taking them skiing again. I like it when we get our family all together and get away. We’re just focused on family and having fun. Those are some of the best times and where some of the best stories come out. You drop your guard down and get silly. It’s so good.
RS: Do you have a favorite family vacation you’ve been on?
WP: Yes. A couple years ago we went to Copper Mountain to go skiing and it was just the four of us. And the snow was good and the kids were good and everyone was healthy. We just had so much fun. I don’t know, it was just the best. Two years later, we went back to try and recreate it and there was no snow and Sydney got sick. We’re going to the same place again this year, so I’m a little nervous. I don’t think we can top that one trip though. Everything about it just worked and it was smooth and everyone really enjoyed themselves.
RS: So where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
WP: The beach.
RS: Are you a beach or mountain person?
WP: I would choose the sand and sun and water first, over the mountains. I grew up going to Colorado. That was the one trip that Dad would take us on each year. That was his vacation: to take us snow skiing every year. And it’s really beautiful and I love it. But man, to see that ocean and that big huge horizon and the sunrises and sunsets and just realize how small we really are, and how big and grand it all is. It’s just beautiful. The water and the sounds are so peaceful and relaxing.
RS: Okay, I’m asking everyone this for our employee spotlight. Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
WP: I’m going with the tiny elephant. The giant hamster? That’s just scary! I don’t want to put fear into people. I don’t want people to approach me with fear…or bats. But the tiny elephant they might think, aww cute!