Sharon Rouse who started with BCS back in 1986 retired on her birthday, August 28, 2023, after 37 years of dedicating herself to Bellingham Cold Storage every working day, no matter what it called for. President + CEO, and all BCS Warriors wish Sharon a fond farewell and cheers to a happy retirement!
Sharon was the type of BCS Team Member that took on a multitude of duties over the years from first working with the traffic department, to Accounts Payable, to assisting with reception duties, to helping with inventory archiving, and more.
In January of 1999, Sharon moved upstairs from Accounts Payable and was promoted to Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, the management team and board of directors. Sharon would add to her list of responsibilities; planning company recognition events and retirement celebrations, customer parties, employee appreciation meals and gifts, annual Thanksgiving gift cards, beautifying the planters in front of the main office each spring, taking minutes during board meetings and management meetings and leadership retreats, and managing the customer tariff system by keeping track of hundreds of different codes and rates.
Sharon would go on to provide a fresh set of eyes to various important and often confidential documents and contracts that we have signed or agreed to over the last 25 years. She was also at the heart of organizing various meetings both internally and externally with customers, government officials, service partners, politicians, and more.
And that is just a glimpse of the various tasks and or responsibilities that Sharon wholeheartedly embraced and excelled at while she was with BCS.
Sharon saw a lot during her 37 years at BCS. She saw things like the evolution of our Warehouse Management Software (WMS) from its original beginnings in 1987 to the robust customer-centric WebOptics system that it has become today. Sharon also saw the raw emotions of crisis, opportunity, and success play out dozens of times over the years and was often my sounding board.
Sharon was here to help us through tough times, including the 2000 Enron energy crisis where she coordinated multiple meetings with various government officials and eventually a visit from Governor Gary Locke who helped save BCS from the energy market price gaming disaster. Sharon was with us during our best years and also during our most challenging.
BCS is successful today largely due to Sharon’s dedication and efforts over the years and we are so thankful for her incredible devotion to doing anything that she was asked or could think of to help move BCS forward in a positive direction. There are only a couple of dozen former BCS employees that have this legacy and Sharon is right there amongst the best of them over our 77-year history. I said several times over the years that Sharon was much like a big sister that I never had. We supported each other in business and in our personal lives, lending support, encouragement, and sage advice whenever one of us needed a little pep talk or just a shoulder for emotional stability.
We agreed that companies are successful because of the efforts of its people and that people are successful because they’ve done everything to help the company succeed, most often without waiting to be told what to do next. Successful employees anticipate and figure out how to add value to a team. Getting after it and following through in a quality and efficient way is an instinct that is always present with exceptional employees. Sharon has those instincts.
When an excellent Executive Assistant does their job well over the body of their career, it looks remarkably like Sharon Rouse’s career. I’m so happy for Sharon and Jerry’s retirement but must admit that I already miss her more than a ton, (In BCS jargon) more like 37 million pounds, one for each year.
I know that I speak for everyone when I say that I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with Sharon all these years and know that BCS is a better company and will continue to experience success, as a result of her incredible contributions. Sharon spent the last year preparing her successor, Danyel Cammon who began her career with BCS just over a year and a half ago. Sharon even made sure to get us all set up with everything that Danyel will need to keep us on a successful path.
Congratulations Sharon, you deserve a wonderful retirement!
Douglas G. Thomas
President + CEO