Before Larissa Crum started working at NPC, she heard things like: It’s a very unique organization…You’ll understand it when you get there…Mark Barnhart cares about the employees…The employees come first.
“Maybe I was skeptical, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” recalls Larissa, who started working at NPC in 2001. It took some time for her to understand that the “family-oriented, performance-based culture” at NPC wasn’t just lip service.
“I think you have to live it and see it firsthand before you truly get it,” she explains. “I’ve always trusted the people I worked with — that wasn’t the issue. But it was just hard to comprehend because the statement, ‘taking care of the people who take care of the company,’ is so intangible. For me, it took 18 months after I got hired before I really understood it.”
One of the things that has helped NPC grow and transform over the years is our entrepreneurial spirit, led by owner and CEO Mark Barnhart. “A few years after I started, I remember discussing a new business venture with Mark,” Larissa says. “He basically said ‘I’m investing in you. The people, not the idea. I trust that you’ll do the due diligence on the idea. But it’s really the people that I’m investing in.’” Some might call it a leap of faith, but it’s just part of the culture at NPC.
It was at that point in her NPC career that Larissa realized she had a bright future awaiting. “Anybody who is willing to come in and take full responsibility and ownership of what they’re going to do — I don’t care if it’s working on a production line or customer service or sales — there’s a great future for you here at NPC,” she adds. “That’s really what has driven me to pursue the huge range of opportunities I’ve had in my sales role over the years at NPC.”
Since Larissa and so many others at NPC genuinely care about the well-being of others in the company, she knows the importance of relationships built at work. “Anytime you meet somebody, you have no idea what they’re dealing with in their personal life. Those relationships are often the support we need to help us get through the day and provide support to deal with the stuff that’s going on outside of the office.”
“Because of my leadership position, I have the ability to help build something for the next generation. I take that very seriously,” Larissa explains. She knows that making sure what we do today is sustainable for future NPC generations — or at least leads to things that can ultimately become sustainable — is essential for the long-term success of the company.
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