One of the notable things about Frederick Fence is that many of its employees have been with the company—on average—for more than half of its lifespan. Given the average individual makes 4 to 5 career moves by the time they’re 35 years old, the team at Frederick Fence stands out as a positive and significant anomaly. Some employees, like Jon “JC” Wisner and Randy Fouche, have been there since the beginning. Others—like Kathy Crum, Louise Barnard, Doug Martin, Joan Spangler and Roxanne Henline—are approaching their second and third decade with the company.
What is that draws people to Frederick Fence? The answer is simple—people feel as if Frederick Fence is not just a place to work, it’s home. The team of folks who show up every day—whether it’s the office staff, installers or sales folks who all make the fencing magic happen for the company’s clients—consider Frederick Fence the best place to work. In fact, Charlie Powers considers everyone who works for the company to be his partners. “People work with me, not for me,” says Charlie. “These are my closest friends and my family. I can’t imagine doing business any other way.”
Family First: The Secret To Frederick Fence
Pay a visit to Tilco Drive and you’re certain to see a lot of smiles on people’s faces as well as hear a lot of laughter as the work gets done. “You can’t beat the work atmosphere here,” says Randy Fouche, who was first brought on board to answer phones and work in the supply yard. “When I first walked through the doors, I knew Frederick Fence was going to go places and I just wanted to grow with it.” Randy, who celebrates his 34th year with the company this August, appreciates that he’s been given significant opportunities to learn new skills and apply himself in different ways as part of his tenure with the fence outfit.
For JC Wisner, working at Frederick Fence has granted him a lifetime of fun and success with one of his closest friends. “When Charlie started the company, we just wanted to hold our heads up high if we walked around Frederick.” From the start, Wisner admits that Frederick Fence was built on Charlie Powers’ desire to build the best fences possible and make people happy. Wisner also admits that though there were times that he and Charlie fought like cats and dogs over how to get the job done, they always managed to end each day as family and not foes. “We built this company from 2 piles of lumber into something great,” says Jon. “How often do you get that kind of opportunity to be part of something special that makes you proud of the work you do every day.” As Frederick Fence’s longest lasting staff member, Wisner cannot imagine being anyplace else and is just as excited to see where the company goes next as the fencing company approaches its fourth decade.
Louise Barnard, the company’s most experienced sales associate, can’t imagine working for anyone else other than the Powers family. Helping families design the perfect fence for their home is what Louise loves to do and admits that working at Frederick Fence for more than thirty years has allowed her to learn a lot about herself. When asked why she’s stayed so long, Louise will tell you that Frederick Fence is a company that takes care of the clients when they could say no and that she sees herself as “part of a family and that Charlie would take care of me if anything happened.” Now that Charlie has passed the company onto his children, Louise feels highly optimistic about where the company goes next. “I have gotten to watch Charlie’s kids grow up to be hard working, compassionate adults and I’m proud to work with them. I know this because of the way Charlie and Diane raised them.”
This sentiment holds true for Kathy Crum, Frederick Fence’s General Manager and Controller. Kathy joined the company in 1990 as a bookkeeper and soon found herself in the midst of something unique. “I noticed right away the casual/relaxed atmosphere and everyone seemed to be friends. The phones were constantly ringing—this was a fast-paced and busy office but everybody was having fun at the same time.” Kathy also admits her initial impressions of Charlie Powers were paradoxical. “He seemed intense, focused, all business and yet was personable and humorous.” As the company grew, Kathy credits being able to put new policies and procedures in place for efficiency as part of why she’s stayed with Frederick Fence for so long. “Sure, we bicker and fight, and joke around and laugh, but everyone here wants the company to succeed and be profitable. For me personally, I’ve seen the growth and I’d like to think I contributed to our success to where ’ll stay until I can’t work anymore!”
The notion of staying until not being able to work anymore is one most Frederick Fence staff seem to share. Even with the transition in company ownership from Charlie Powers to Erin, Kelly and Todd Powers, the team of individuals who walked through the doors of Frederick Fence years ago remain as committed ever to providing the best quality fence supplies and services for customers.
What will the next chapter in the Frederick Fence story look like? For that, we need to hear from the company’s new owners, who are working together to create their shared vision for where the company goes next. Expect them to share their thoughts as they prepare for a special celebration, which we’ll feature on our site soon!