Melinda Fratzke | Motivation On The Move
After a successful career in restaurant management, Melinda Fratzke returned to her roots and took on a new challenge, working her way up the ranks to become the stockroom manager at CITY’s plant in Oelwein, Iowa.
“I honestly never thought I would be where I am today,” Melinda said. “I like working with people. Everyone’s unique and has their own story to tell and personality. At CITY, I can learn about the people and our customers every day, it really interests me.”
Born and raised in Oelwein, Melinda briefly worked in the CITY production department before pursuing a career in restaurant management and taking care of several restaurants across Eastern Iowa. She returned six years ago as she wanted a more consistent schedule as she started a family of her own.
She returned back to CITY’s production team, and today she is responsible for managing a team that makes sure customers get the exact uniforms they requested.
“I enjoy helping out customers and making sure they have what they need,” Melinda said. “It’s figuring out the solution and fixing the problem and making the customers happy. Every day feels like an accomplishment to me.”
Melinda is proud to be able to walk through the plant and understand every part of the process. Having worked her way up, she knows exactly how uniforms and other products are being processed. Her job as the stockroom manager requires her to be able to track where uniforms come from and what they need to look like. She feels it’s important to know what her colleagues do and being able to apply the knowledge to make CITY even better.
“It made me understand the process from start to finish,” Melinda said. “If I didn’t start out on the [production] hang line, I wouldn’t be where I am today. On the hang line, you are touching garments over and over again, I almost just started memorizing accounts per style of shirts. Now I can just look at any shirt in the stockroom and tell you what style number it is.”
Professional growth is extremely important to Melinda. She credits CITY for improving her own confidence and believing in her own skills. It’s something she likes to communicate with new or younger employees. She tries to go around the plant and talk to everyone at least once a day.
“Employee relationships are the most important to me,” Melinda said. “It lets me look at the little things and see how we can improve. If it wasn’t for them coming to work on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. I want to take time out of my day to talk to them because It makes them feel like they belong.”
Melinda is proud to work for a family-owned company like CITY. Having grown-up in Oelwein she remembers CITY’s Route Service Representatives making their way to businesses all across the area. Just like she still remembers the orders of her regular customers at the restaurants she managed, she now prides herself on making sure CITY’s customers get the best service possible.
“That’s what I am here for,” Melinda said. “I am here for our customers to make their daily schedules and their work easier for them.”