To continue our journey through the ThermoPro process, our next stop is with the Process Coordinator, Sonny Robinson.
The amazing ThermoPro team members are busy folk, and sometimes it’s hard to schedule time to sit down with me and just chat. But luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with almost everyone. As a reminder, this series is written from my own perspective as an outsider. It has been a pleasure interviewing and interacting with everyone at the company.
I feel privileged to take you through the full ThermoPro experience. When you first call ThermoPro and speak with the Customer Service Team, you may not have the opportunity to interact with the Technical Engineering team, the Operations Managers, or our Process Coordinator. It would be a shame for you to miss out on all the dynamic personalities that make up this “work family.”
Sonny is a jack of all trades. He does a lot for some of the big machines like handling some inspecting, and general maintenance. He is also a character. His energy is charismatic and almost bubbly.
As a rare Atlanta native, he’s also a diehard Braves fan. He grew up near Georgia Tech but made his way out to Gwinnett County and loves it there. He admits that it’s not just the Braves, but all Atlanta teams, however, the Braves were his “first love.”
Where He Started
Sonny didn’t start his career in the thermoforming industry. He actually started in the restaurant business, I think that’s where he gets his compelling energy.
I couldn’t understand that transition, from the restaurant industry to thermoforming. Sonny told me the unique story. When he and his family were purchasing their first home in Gwinnett, his realtor actually worked at ThermoPro and sold real estate on the side. At this point in his career, Sonny wanted out of the service industry. Listening to his realtor sing ThermoPro’s praises convinced him to apply.
I asked him about the transition and he said he “felt like he was meant to do that, meant to do machinery.” He talked about falling in love with the big machines and it feeling like home. What an amazing transition.
His first day was intimidating. Everyone he worked with had been with the company for many years and he was the “new guy.” However, he was surprised by how welcoming everyone was and the overall comradery.
I asked him what else surprised him about his new life in the thermoforming world. He said he was truly surprised by the amount of geometry he used on a daily basis. But, he loves the work and the regular challenges that come with it.
As with everyone at ThermoPro, I ask them to describe the company culture. No surprise, Sonny kept the family theme. His answer was very succinct: honest, family oriented, understanding, and full of respect. It is a beautiful thing that everyone I’ve spoken with feels the same, they all feel that they work with extended family members.
Favorite Aspect of working at ThermoPro
It’s become somewhat of a broken record to say that the people working at ThermoPro are a family, but again, it’s one of Sonny’s favorite things about the company. He told me that everyday he gets to see people he’s worked with for almost 16 years. He knows their kids, and they know his.
Sonny enjoys his job so much he recommended it to his cousin. His cousin was looking for somewhere nice to work and, Sonny couldn’t imagine a better place. So, he now gets to work with his traditional family as well; making the work family expression even more accurate.
It’s great loving who you work with, but it’s equally important to love what you do. Sonny finds his work very rewarding. Being able to do projects with large companies and household names leaves an impression on Sonny.
I asked him if there were any memorable projects he’s worked on and he told me about thermoforming pieces for Blockbuster “back in the day.” He was impressed to work on a household brand that he knew. He also mentioned the overall sense of pride he felt when he saw some of his work in the real world; such a feeling of accomplishment.
In his free time, Sonny is a history buff, among other things. He loves learning more and more about The Great Depression era leading up to WWII. Sonny told me he is drawn in by the cultural changes that came with those massive shifts.
He absolutely loves road trips to the Great Smoky Mountains but you will never catch him on a plane. Oddly enough he has a fear of flying and heights. I personally found the fear of heights to be amusing because he spends all day climbing up on the big machines. But, Sonny made it a goal to overcome his own negativity.
Sonny has grown so much with the company and in his current role. He is grateful to have a career in a place he can stay.
In his own words, the “biggest room in the house is the room for growth, and I’m here till the doors close.”