In my previous jobs at Cape Girardeau Public Schools, Salvation Army and Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center, building relationships was very important. Would you ever guess that building relationships is just as important when working at Rhodes? If your answer is “no,” think again.
Hi, I’m Marquis Brookins, the General Manager at Rhodes located on North Kingshighway in Cape. Some of you may know my location as “Momma Rhodes.” I’ve been with PAJCO (the company that owns Rhodes, Imo’s Pizza restaurants and Rally’s Drive-Ins) for almost four years now, and I can tell you with complete certainty that developing relationships with people is as important here as it was at my previous jobs. The community of guests and team members that I build inside my store directly impacts the store’s success.
Before I joined Rhodes, I really thought the company was just another “gas station.” Then, a family member referred me to apply with the company. During the interview and onboarding process, I met Deb Austin. She was super polite and professional. Deb encouraged me to take time deciding if Rhodes was the right move for me and my family. Once I was hired, Scott Baumhoer trained me to work in the stores. He used a hands-on approach with business-like meetings to be as thorough as possible. From the time I met Deb and Scott, I quickly learned that Rhodes cares for people and works to get the right people serving in their best capacities. Rhodes values “real people” and hard work. The company and its team members helped me find a home within Rhodes’ family.
I’ve worked at about ten different Rhodes locations before accepting my current position at Momma Rhodes. Each store has helped me develop relationships with guests differently. One of those relationship-building moments involved my boss’ wife. When she came into the West End location that I was managing, I didn’t know her. I thought she was a typical guest. She mentioned seeing me in the Rhodes Christmas promotion. I was excited that a guest was connecting with our media and was speaking up about it. So, I bought her coffee. Several hours later, my boss called to jokingly harass me about going the extra mile for brownie points. I truly didn’t know what I had done. It made me feel good to know that my actions were natural and not impacted by knowing who she was. During my time at Rhodes, I have purchased many cups of coffee for guests and bought lollipops for kids who demonstrate great behavior. Regardless of who is on the receiving end, I remind myself that people are always watching and little things make a big impact.
I believe the world is changing. With it, the convenience store industry and guest expectations are also changing. As a result, management jobs are being created to influence people and culture as much as they are sales and bottom lines. My career goals at Rhodes align with the management evolution. I want to be as impactful and influential as possible within the Rhodes family. I used to think I could achieve that goal by becoming a District Manager. Now I realize there are other opportunities and positions within the company that would allow me to use my skillset even more.
Several Rhodes team members have helped me develop my career goals. One of them is District Manager Matt Boxdorfer. Matt thinks outside the box and challenges you to grow the best team and environment that you can. I mentioned Deb Austin earlier, and I’ll mention her again. Deb is super reliable and helpful. If she can’t help you, she will figure out who can. Martha Wolf moved away recently, so she’s no longer with Rhodes. While she was at my store, Martha was a hard worker with a servant’s mentality. She was super reliable, a joy to work with and is now sorely missed. It’s a good thing I still have Jacob Colyott as my Operations Manager. Jacob is a giver and truly wants to see the store and its team do well. He has been a great addition to the team. Jacob consistently approaches me with ideas that could help me become better. Blake Slattery, Stephanie Powell, Shelby Mangels, Mary Henson, Sarah Shelton, Katy Wondel, Sandy Mize, Brandon Tietjen-Abner, Marcell Malone, Will Malone, Brandon Hughes, and many more have made my time at Rhodes pleasant and productive. I am a people person, and I value my relationships with these individuals. I could list more and more team members but will stop here.
I’ve told you all the reasons that I enjoy being a part of Rhodes just so I could build up to this invitation, please consider joining the Rhodes (PAJCO) team. Rhodes provides a great environment for people of all ages, races and backgrounds to grow into a community of people who care while taking care of guests’ needs. There is always work to be done, but how we work is more important. If you accept a job at Rhodes, work hard and you’ll be surprised at what opportunities come your way. As you set goals for yourself, go after them. Rhodes will help you get there while helping you along your personal journey.
At Rhodes, we have six core values that we reference frequently in making decisions and leading our daily routines. I’m going to leave you with my favorite Rhodes core value. It’s “empower all well-trained team members.” In my own words, this core value means, “Yes, we will train you to do the job you were hired for, but we will also empower you to become the best version of you while working with the Rhodes family.”
*Rhodes provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Rhodes complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation and training. Rhodes expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Improper interference and the ability of Rhodes employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.