“This will be the most boring interview ever,” says Betty Brady as we sit down to talk about her pending retirement at the end of the month. She insists that her story is not much to talk about but a few minutes into the conversation you start to piece together a career at Crossland Construction Company during an important span of history. The interview was anything but boring.
“I first met Ivan Jr. when the metal building manufacturing company I was working for (Sonoco) in Chetopa, Kansas was shutting down. He asked me if I was going to go to work anyplace else. He said Crossland might be looking for some help. After giving it some thought I called to see if there was still a need. In 1991 the office was confined to where the mail room and benefits offices are now. We had fewer than 100 total employees and the office staff was just a handful of people.” Betty remembers that time when there were really no titles and everyone just seemed to contribute to get the work done. Her main focus was making sure bills got paid. “It was a much smaller company but it seemed big at the time.”
Betty Brady eventually became the office manager. “We really didn’t have a lot of formal policies and procedures. Looking back it seems like the time went by so fast.”
Betty smiles about some of the experiences that lead to deep friendships. She has worn a lot of hats from accounts payable to managing receivables and, for a time, she was in charge of the company picnics too. So many memories. Now, she is looking forward to retirement and taking care of her husband Calvin. People who have been around for a while know Betty Brady as a wonderful cook with some unique specialties like pumpkin dip, spiced peaches and candy corn and peanuts. She loves to decorate for the holidays too. Her house has been a showcase for Christmas Trees her family and friends have enjoyed over the years.
Betty knows she’ll have more time for cooking and her family and the holidays she loves so much but she knows she will miss the deep bonds of friendship she has developed with the people of Crossland Construction Company. “Good company. Good people.” When asked for the advice she would share with a new employee, Betty didn’t skip a beat. “Be loyal. Earn your pay. Do what you are paid to do.” From 1991 through June 2011 she did just that. It’s that kind of pragmatism that defines Betty. We wish her all the best in her retirement.