MA Beer Distributors Employee Spotlight: Mario Edmonds
For over 17 years, Mario Edmonds has worked at Merrimack Valley Distributing in Danvers, Massachusetts. As a forklift/ truck driver, Mario is on the front lines of the distributing process making sure cases and cases of beer get to where they need to be to ensure consumers have a diverse selection of beer at their local retailer. And his co-workers says he does it with a smile. "Mario has a great attitude," says supervisor Greg Bush. "He is the ultimate team player. Working in operations for a Beer distributor is tough work and he always comes in with great spirits looking to do conscientious work."
Here's what Mario had to tell us about his career in the beer distribution business.
What brought you to Merrimack Valley Distributing?
Edmonds: "My father told me about Merrimack Valley Distributing as he use to work out back in the breakage area. I was working at Shaws at the time and wanted more steady work with a better future. So I met with Greg Bush who is the operations supervisor and I started a week later on the 19th of July 1999.
I started as a helper on the trucks and after a year Greg talked me into getting my Class B license so I took the Merrimack Valley training course and it was a great decision. Two weeks after my daughter was born I got my license which allowed for a big pay raise as well as a much brighter future."
You've been in the business a long time. What's changed?
Edmonds: "A lot has changed since I started. First off there are a lot more beers. We use to know where all the items were in the warehouse by memory because they would always go in the same section...now we have a Warehouse Management computer system because we have so many different breweries, beers and packages. It would be impossible to put an order together for a customer without the computer system. Every time I touch inventory I am directed by the Ipad... there is no way i could remember where all the different items are as it is always changing."
What's the work like? What would you say to someone interested in getting in to the industry?
Edmonds: "I love working with my peers and other MVDC team members... We have great camaraderie. I enjoy helping the long haulers bringing beer from around the country to Danvers.
But, it is hard work and you have to have the proper mindset. Be ready because everyone thinks beer is fun until you're lumping it into coolers in package stores and bar basements. It is heavy work. You have a truck full of 800 cases and 40 kegs you have to get that beer out to the accounts and you have 10 hours to do it. I have seen both big and small guys fail at this.
You have to want to work hard but if you do it is absolutely an awesome industry to work in. I love what I do at Merrimack Valley Distributing."