I’ve been with Rhodes for twenty-one years…my second time around. I joined Rhodes in 1986 when I was only nineteen years old. I left in 1993 when I moved away from the area. Four years with a company probably felt like a long time when I was young. Who knows what my younger self would have thought about twenty-one years!
Hi, I’m Neva Menard, General Manager of the Perryville Rhodes located on Perryville Blvd. I’ve held several positions through my four-plus-twenty-one years with Rhodes including Customer Service Representative (CSR), Operations Manager and General Manager. Considering how young I was when I joined Rhodes, I haven’t had much time to work anywhere else. While I was away from Perryville for six years, I worked as the Assistant Manager of a Rite Aid pharmacy in West Virginia. When I moved back to Perryville, I worked at a factory until I got laid off. That’s when one of my former Rhodes co-workers and boss, Deb Austin, contacted me to see if I would return to Rhodes. Everything else after that is twenty-one years of history.
It didn’t take me two decades to realize that PAJCO (the company that owns Rhodes, Imo’s Pizza restaurants and Rally’s Drive-Ins) is more like a family than a business. The same nice people that keep its establishments clean and provide fast, friendly service to guests are also willing to help their team members on a personal level. They make sure you feel appreciated and rewarded for all the things you accomplish within the company. For all those reasons, and the opportunities for growth made available to all hard-working employees, I have chosen to stay at Rhodes for this long.
My favorite thing about working for Rhodes has always been meeting amazing people who work for our company. I’ve had the pleasure of making many friends and learning from incredible mentors over the years. Rhodes’ leadership team believes in their people and encourages us to grow and to push ourselves to become the best version of ourselves. I’ve had numerous opportunities to grow during my Rhodes career. I am now where I believe I do the most good for the company because I get to manage my team. You see, I don’t really manage a convenience store. I manage people who take care of other people. But, who knows what my future holds? Another opportunity might come along at Rhodes someday that puts me in a different kind of position where I can still utilize my strengths.
When I mentioned friends and mentors earlier, several people came to my mind. I’ve been friends with Deb Austin since the first time I worked at Rhodes. She’s the person who invited me back to this great company. Traci Stark Lowry manages the Ste. Genevieve Rhodes. We’ve been friends since high school. At Rhodes, she’s been a co-worker and even a boss to me. Sarah Shelton served as my District Manager for a few years, and now we’ve become friends. Brent Bohnert is now my District Manager. I’ve watched him work up from being a General Manager of the other Perryville Rhodes to now being my boss. He’s always inspiring me to do my best.
I’m proud to work with these individuals every day and all the other people who operate our stores. I have been especially proud of how our company has taken care of its team members during the pandemic. They made sure we had all the tools necessary to keep everyone safe. They also shared updates with us as soon as new information was available. On top of all those things, Rhodes cares about their employees with great benefits while providing room for growth.
I would encourage anyone who is looking for a company that feels more like a family than a business to apply at Rhodes. If you work hard, there isn’t any position that you can’t reach. Rhodes follows five core values in caring for its team members and guests. My favorite one is “Empower all well-trained team members,” which means they give us the autonomy to make decisions for our stores that many companies don’t. My second favorite core value is “Respect and trust our team and guests,” which means Rhodes respects our decisions and trusts us to make the right choices in running our stores. Their family-like atmosphere, respect and trust for their team members makes it an ideal place to stay with…even as long as twenty years.
*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.