If there’s anyone who can appreciate the feeling of empowerment, it’s Richelle Bishoff. Someone once lent her a Maserati for a weekend.
But the truth is, she’s found an even better kind of empowerment – one she owns.
Bishoff, a University of North Dakota alumna, has been an employee-owner at Border States for the last six years. It’s where she found her voice.
“Whether my team and I are in meetings with an intern or with a vice president, I’ve always felt like our voices have been heard,” says Bishoff, Border States strategic sourcing supervisor in Fargo, ND. “We’ve never been afraid to share our ideas.”
Her team’s ideas have been incredibly valuable to Border States as the company continues to move forward with generating total cost savings, as well as controlling risk and offering exceptional supply chain services for customers.
“Border States isn’t a status quo company,” Bishoff says. “I really love that we’re always pushing to be better.”
Nearly everyone in Bishoff’s family – including her husband’s side – lives in or near West Fargo, which is where she grew up. She loves that her job still allows her to spend lots of time with her family, especially since she has a 5-month-old to come home to every day.
“Spending time with family has never been an issue,” she says. “I’ve been really lucky to work with great managers who are very understanding and always willing to work with me on scheduling to make sure I have that balance.”
Bishoff also says Border States’ employee stock ownership program (ESOP) is very rewarding, and especially helpful for families.
“Being able to plan for my family’s future is huge,” she says. “It’s nice to have that stability.”
Bishoff says her team of professionals currently focuses on customers with whom Border States has long-term contracts in place, making sure the company is helping to generate total cost savings and control risk. Her team also has plans to expand efforts to other areas of the business over the next year.
“We want to offer our customers services that make sense and help them optimize their costs,” she says. “It’s been a fun journey building on those processes to meet the specific needs of every customer.”
A big-picture thinker who’s constantly considering ways she can use her external customer service focus to improve internal departments, Bishoff says Border States is a company that is constantly growing. Not only are employee-owners empowered to set a vision for the company as a whole, but they have the satisfaction of executing that vision.
“I think everyone who works here and knows about the company talks about the employee-ownership culture a lot because it’s such a strong, driving force that leads to legit success,” she says. “We’re constantly challenging the way we’re doing things.”
Bishoff has enjoyed evolving with her team since she first started at Border States. In addition to having found growth opportunities and empowerment, she’s thankful to have discovered a workplace family.
“I love the people I work with,” she says. “It’s been fun to share the stories of our wins as a team.”