Staff Spotlight: Andrew Fillmore

May. 9, 2022
staff spotlight

Next up for our staff spotlight is Andrew Fillmore! Andrew is our Plant Manager at ALP, and also looks after everything related to our IFS PACsecure certification and upkeep. Andrew is an integral team member at ALP and we are lucky to have him!

1) How long have you worked at Associated?

I have worked here for over 20 years.

2) Describe your journey at Associated so far.

I was originally hired as a prepress operator in our art department. While working in that department, we began looking into pioneering digital print solutions with HP. I was given the honour by Rusty, ALP founder, to start up this new division along with some key personnel. After several years of growth and expansion in this division, I ventured on a brief sabbatical for five months. I returned in a new role of Quality Assurance Coordinator. At that time, we were looking into expanding our product lines and establishing certifications to greater meet the needs of our clients. I took on this “new hat” of IFS PACsecure Coordinator along with QA (quality assurance) responsibilities, which grew into a larger managerial role where I am now responsible for our flexographic label division, certifications, employees, facilities, and oversight to the operational team as the Plant Manager.

3) How would you describe the work environment?

It has been said many times by others that we see ourselves as a family. I do not disagree with that, but you don’t get to choose your family, and I would describe our environment more as a collective group of impassioned friends who are always looking out for each other’s best interests, which I consider a privilege to hang out with on a daily basis. We greatly enjoy our times together, whether it be during working hours, working out at our onsite gym, off-site at a park or beach, bike trails, hikes or even an onsite impromptu BBQ.

4) What is your favourite thing about working here?

100%, it's the amazingly diverse group of people that make up this company and work through challenges together.

5) What's been your best day at work so far?

Well, it was a workday, so this will count. A few years ago, on my birthday, Shaun (ALP President) had rented a motorcycle. A group of us took the day, even though they did not realize it was my birthday, and we did a day-long motorcycle trip, “The Duffy Lake Loop.” It was scary with my motorcycle breaking down on the side of the road and another nearly running out of gas, but the time with Shaun and fellow coworkers helped foster and cement what this company has been built on; friendship rooted in the beauty of the West Coast. It also showed me how the directive of our executive team is not all about profits but about the people who are the greatest investment we have.

6) What are you most proud of since working here?

I've had the opportunity to work in and with all of our divisions here. What has made me the proudest is having a voice and being heard, not only for myself but for each of our employees, from clean-up crew to COO and warehouse staff to President. No one is greater than the next, we each have a role and a voice, and it makes me so proud that we all can speak and be heard; all voices are considered and valued.

7) What is the biggest challenge you've had since working here?

The early mornings. I put in long hours and try to connect with each of our three shifts, so knowing when to "clock out" for the day is typically the most challenging part.

8) Do you have a particular moment or memory at Associated that stands out for you?

Getting the results from my first year of spearheading our IFS certification. While we did better than previous years, the amount of direct support from our COO, Dan, and directive from Shaun, ALP President, made the transition into this new role very rewarding, as well as seeing all of the support from so many others that worked alongside me tirelessly. It was very emotional and gratifying to see the combined efforts of a company with a clear vision and goal to obtain a very specific purpose. I was honoured to be a part of that.

9) What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?

My typical day is coffee, coffee, coffee, then checking in with production staff from the graveyard shift, then the day shift. After that, I review emails and set an action plan for the rest of the day, with lots of interruptions from personnel, which I prioritize above all else. Next is the delegation of items that need to be taken care of by specific division managers, coordinators, or specific employees. At the end of the day, I always make time to focus on “me time” with my fellow “gym rats” to exercise the body and recalibrate the mind.

Currently, I am working on the upcoming audit of our Food Safety Systems (IFS), amongst numerous compliance and R&D-related items and facilities management.

10) Describe the advancement opportunities here.

There are multiple avenues for advancement, as you can see from my history here. Whether it be in-house training or off-site schooling, we are all huge proponents of tapping into and developing peoples’ strengths.

11) How does Associated support professional development?

As mentioned, not only do we ensure our teams are trained in-house, but there are also many opportunities and methods for education that we encourage as it relates to the field of each employee and their skill set.

12) What is on your wish list for the next 5 years?

Personally, travel and a new motorcycle are at the top of my wish list. Work-related, I’d like to develop a more robust team and support for those who are direct reports to me, along with a scheduled routine of extracurricular activities for all employees.

13) Given the chance, who would you be for a day?

Hmmm, I would probably clone myself for a day. While the cloned me comes to work, I would go have fun hiking up a mountain or going on a motorcycle adventure.