Recognizing Our Military Veterans
11/08/2023 · Newsroom Highlight
At Wegmans, we’re proud to employ hundreds of current and former military service members, who use their skills to find success here. The service members we spoke with value working for a company that puts people first, shares their values, and appreciates their skills and backgrounds.
United States Navy
Senior Chief Petty Officer (E8)
Wegmans Wisconsin Ave., asset protection coordinator
Detrick Jones served in the United States Navy for 27 years. Working in force protection and law enforcement, Detrick had a high-stress job that demanded long hours. After 27 years of active-duty service and two years working for the Department of the Navy as a civilian, Detrick left in pursuit of a career with a strong work-life balance. He focused his job search on organizations that lead with their values and foster a positive work environment for all employees. After a lot of research, Detrick set his sights on Wegmans, and eight months ago, joined the asset protection team at our Wisconsin Ave. store in Washington, D.C.
“During my research, I saw a lot of 5-star marks for Wegmans, and it got my attention,” said Detrick. “I went to a store to measure the morale and spirit of the employees and was blow away by what I saw. To my astonishment, I observed all employees radiating positive energy and very professional in their actions and appearance. I went home to try to truly understand the mechanical parts of the Wegmans brand. It was simple; putting employees first wasn’t just a slogan, but a way of life for the Wegmans organization.”
Now, as a Wegmans employee, Detrick describes the culture at Wegmans as nothing but amazing. He admits that the civilian workforce and military lifestyle are two different dynamics, but he’s adjusting well to the Wegmans organization and all it has to offer.
United States Navy
Petty Officer First Class (E1)
Wegmans Harrisburg, maintenance
Lyle Miller enlisted in the United States Navy on September 20, 1973, with the thought that he’d serve four years and move on. However, faced with an opportunity to attend school and learn electronics, Lyle reenlisted, serving 20 years in total, with 12 of those years on five different ships.
After leaving the Navy, Lyle attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and took a job working for the state. He retired after 10 years, and for the last 14 years, has worked part-time at Wegmans Harrisburg on the maintenance team.
“I’m 78 years old, and people say I should retire, but I like working around people,” explains Lyle. “All the people here are great to work with, and I enjoy coming back each night. Everyone, from the top down, is interested in the people that work here.”
United States Army Reserve
Wegmans Harrisburg, sous chef
Drew Kendall served eight years in the Army Reserve, where he attended cooking school and learned skills he continued to hone while working in a variety of food service roles before landing the store chef position at Wegmans Williamsport 10 years ago.
Drew admits he wasn’t too familiar with Wegmans prior to taking the job, but it didn’t take long for him to see he found his fit.
“The similarities between Wegmans’ Who We are Values and the Army’s values really helped make my transition easy,” explains Drew. “The value that resonates with me most is high standards. Everything we do is done with high standards in mind, and I take a lot of pride in that, my work, and the role I play at Wegmans.”
Two years ago, looking to strike a better work-life balance with his family, Drew transferred to Wegmans Harrisburg, where he now works as a sous chef. He appreciates the endless possibilities available to him at Wegmans, whether that means moving stores because it’s what’s best for his family, or the opportunity to take his career in a different direction, if he chooses.
“When I first joined the company, I was amazed to learn my store manager had gone to culinary school, started in the bakery, and grew his career to the point where he was running the store,” remembers Drew. “To this day, I continue to be reminded that the possibilities are endless here.”
United States Navy
Signalman 2nd Class
Wegmans Wilmington, asset protection coordinator
Phil Swanson comes from a military family, so for him, joining the Navy in his senior year of high school was a natural choice. He spent his seven-year Navy career stationed in Japan, where he met his wife, started a family, and taught English for another 15 years after leaving the Navy.
“Serving in the Navy was an incredible experience,” explains Phil. “It matured me in a lot of ways. It gave me the opportunity to see the world visually, but also to experience and appreciate different cultures and ways of life.”
Phil moved back to the United States with his family in 2012 and found a job working in security. It was there that a coworker, whose husband worked for Wegmans, got him thinking about changing jobs.
In May 2022, Phil joined Wegmans, and he plans on it being his last job.
“The people here, the culture, just can’t be beat,” explains Phil. “When I come to work, I’m with people of all different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences. They are all happy to be here and are free to be themselves. This company goes out of its way to make sure everyone is comfortable.”
United States Army
Private First Class
Wegmans Harrisburg, produce team leader
Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and uncles, Nathan Lind joined the military, serving three years in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Drumm in New York.
After serving in the Army, Nathan returned to school and took a part-time job working at Wegmans in Rochester, New York.
“I started in the produce department, and really enjoyed the atmosphere, the people, and my role,” says Nathan. “On top of that, there were so many opportunities for growth that I decided to make Wegmans my full-time career.”
Nathan spent the first three years of his Wegmans career in Rochester, where he advanced from part-time produce to a full-time role working on the front end. He then moved back to his hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was able to transfer to the local Wegmans and was recently promoted to produce team leader.
“The leadership skills I learned in the Army have helped me advance my career at Wegmans, and I look forward to continued growth with the company,” says Nathan.