J.J. Cardinal's Wild Bird & Nature Store
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Our Staff Makes The Difference
self portrait - circa 1996

Dear Friends:
We never tire of hearing it: "Your team at J.J. Cardinal's is extraordinary!" It's such a delight to hear positive feedback from customers who have experienced marvelous service from our staff of naturalists because I know how hard everyone tries to meet our customers' needs.

staff holiday dinner 2002...seems like yesterday.We've enjoyed having local students on our staff since we first opened. Often it's their first "job" and helps them develop a number of essential skills, while we benefit from their vitality and fresh thinking. And we're sure while they worked here employees absorbed a great deal of knowledge of the natural world and all the neat products we carry. For example, Lauren Hartley was a student when she started and worked almost long enough to qualify for a pension! She was our team veteran with over 8-years experience, working occasional weekends, summers, and even during breaks from college. Lauren now teaches elementary school in Grand Blanc. Bright girl. As is Jenny Frick also left us not long ago, off to college seeking enlightenment, glory and fame. She provided creative flair to displays & gift wrapping, and literally grew up with J.J. Cardinal's; Jenny followed in her Grandfather's footsteps as a J.J. Cardinal Naturalist. (Grandpa, Dale Sawyer, was one of our first employees.)

Longtime local resident, Avis Bowen, lifted our spirits with stories of her gardens and husband Dave's woodworking projects & fondness for his Harley (motorcycle), and their precious son Jacob. Whata' hoot it was working with Avis! She recently moved on to a new position that allows her to have weekends, evenings, and summers "off".  Avis still pops in to help out during vacations - she'll always be "family" with us!

Vickie Newell enriched our store with her southern charm; we loved hearing her pronounce the word "pole." Vickie is a wealth of knowledge on plants and gardening, and coordinated our Carruth Collection, and Burt's Bees product lines. Alicia Carol joined our staff when her fellow GBHS pom teammate, Ms. Frick, graduated and headed off to college, got her law degree. Super bright gal.  Alicia enjoyed helping kids with our "U-Build" projects and has quite the artistic flair for gift wrapping. Jack Clark was a steadying influence through the late 90's until spring '04. Bob Worley joined our team around that time and worked two-stints with us thru 2011. Bob has since moved on to his new career in manufacturing. The latest "new guy" at JJ's is Leon Baker - long-time customer and lifetime local resident; stop by sometime and say "hi".

Of those in 2002 team photo above right, only Louise, Mike and Joseph continue working at the store. Joseph Volker is our resident authority on Tarantula spiders and other insects, and is also our "senior naturalist".  Joe also enjoys: fixing-up with his utility truck and when he's not busy working or tending to his pets. Joe still fiddles with his collection of remote controlled cars (RC) and runs a side-line business selling RC parts online!  The guy is a mighty quick study and genuinely focused on customer needs. Joe also coordinates vendor orders for several major product groups in the store.

It's a fun business we're in when you have such a diverse and interesting staff.

   Louise Dawson
(updated 01/03/12)

J.J. Cardinal's Wild Bird & Nature Store ®
12830 S. Saginaw Street, Grand Blanc, MI   810-695-8733
originally posted 07/07/02 illustrations, text & fun © J.J. Cardinal's 1992-2012
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