Kerusso announces staff changes, additions

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BERRYVILLE -- Now celebrating its 25th anniversary year, Kerusso Founder and CEO Vic Kennett has announced new staff additions, promotions and restructuring within the company.

"Company growth and future predictions of growth precipitated the need to look toward the future for opportunities to continue to build services and serve customers and clients in the future," said Kennett. "In many cases in 'Corporate America' today, restructuring brings visions of layoffs and job cuts. By God's hand, thankfully, that is not the case for Kerusso in 2012."

Kerusso was founded in 1987 by Kennett. Over the past 25 years, Kerusso has become the leading producer of Christian-themed apparel, jewelry, and accessories. Kerusso products can be found in more than 100 countries around the globe.

Kerusso Human Resources Director Bob Ahart noted that gaining a promotion during a down economy is a significant accomplishment by each associate and one in which each can take pride.

"We are proud of the high caliber of staff at Kerusso and we are pleased to offer a career that can also be part of a personal mission."

Following is a list of new and promoted employees at Kerusso:

* Steven Gates has joined Kerusso as controller. Gates earned his BBA in Accountancy from Western Michigan University and holds CPA and CIA certifications. His 25 years of experience includes finance and accounting management positions with Whirlpool, Rheem Manufacturing and SSW Holding Co. Gates and his family will be relocating to Carroll County from Fort Smith.

* Duane Beckham has joined Kerusso as director of operations. Beckham is responsible for operations, overseeing manufacturing, distribution and directing the quality business system plan. Prior to joining Kerusso, he was the West Region Operations Manager of the Fashion Bed Group and Branch Manager of a manufacturing operation with Leggett & Platt Inc.'s Carpet Cushion Division. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Management Technology from Missouri Southern State University, Beckham's background also includes engineering, product development, risk management, regulatory compliance, quality business systems, transportation and manufacturing operations management.

* Michelle Amundson has been promoted to director of business process improvement. Employed with Kerusso since 2006, Amundson previously served as sales manager and manager of sales administration. She is a native of Wisconsin.

* Lynn Futrell has been promoted to supervisor, finishing and return material authorization. A five-year employee, Futrell has held a number of key positions in production required to achieve consistent quality and on-time performance goals for the company. She is a native of Rolla, Mo., and attended Rutledge College, majoring in Computer Sciences.

* Michelle Grman has rejoined Kerusso as assistant controller. Grman held that same title from 2007 through 2010. Before returning to the company, she continued to work with Kerusso as a consultant and was instrumental in upgrading the corporate operating system.

* Brian Hancock has rejoined Kerusso as production manager. A 26-year veteran of the print industry, Hancock's skills and expertise are well known. He has been a major contributor to many industry awards for Kerusso, and the company is excited about his return. Hancock attended Ball State University and is a native of West Lafayette, Ind.

* Tina Martin has been promoted to manager of national accounts administration. Responsible for customer compliance, monitoring processes and building relationships with Service Merchandising Teams, Martin began her employment in 2007 and has worked in general market sales, sales administration and customer compliance. She grew up in Minnesota and moved to Arkansas from Texas eight years ago, where she owned her own company. Martin is nearing completion of her Master's Degree in Child Psychology.

* Charlotte Stratton has added director of customer service to her director of credit department duties. Assuming responsibilities for Accounts Receivables, RMA Processing, Credits, Customer Service Tickets, Mail Services, Employee Orders and Call Center will allow the integration of two departments to better serve customers with improved processes to enhance the integrity of account receivables. A native of Harrison, Stratton spent 16 years as a Field Tax Investigator with the Office of Field Audit for the State of Arkansas and six years as the Mortgage Broker and Chief Financial Officer of Ozark Home Mortgage Inc.

* Jan Minkalis was promoted to national accounts administrator and now reports directly to Tina Martin. Minkalis's ability to see the fine details of reports has been a major contribution to working with service teams and calculating sales commissions, company offiicals said.

* Whitley Backs was promoted to national accounts administrator and has transferred from the sales administration area, where she was previously customer service specialist. She brings her problem-solving skills to national accounts administration, officials said.

* Amy Campbell was promoted from the Finishing Department as a catcher to an administrative assistant in sales, reporting to Nadine Anglim.

* April Lovell was promoted to senior creative designer.

* Janna Meythaler was promoted to administrative assistant II, special projects and sales administration.

* Mary Weems has returned as the manager of Kerusso Christian Outlet store.

* Vito Sawtell returned to the Shipping Department as a packer, after serving Kerusso loyally at the outlet store, officials said.

* Ann Weymouth was promoted to customer service administrator.

* Holly Grisham was promoted to senior credit analyst in the Customer Service Department.

* Lori Hartsell was promoted to credit analyst.

* Pam Single has moved to quality assurance in cycle counts.

* Patrick Smith accepted the position of pre-press floater/cap/manual press.

* William Wall was promoted to a press operator.

* Joey Darby was promoted to graphic designer II in the Creative Department.

* Sherry McGinley has been promoted to senior payroll/benefits administrator.

* Leah Morgan was promoted to finishing lead.

Other new hires are:

* Markie Qualls -- Graphic designer in the Creative Department.

* Meagan Graber -- Administrative assistant, handling sales administration needs.

* Pam Harris -- Receptionist in Customer Service Department.

* Nicole Sperduto -- Credit analyst in the Customer Service Department.

* Candice Seifert -- Catcher in the Print Department.

* Shelly Weathereal -- Material handler in RMA.

* Matt Wolfinbarger -- Returns clerk in RMA.

* Tom Weymouth -- Material handler in RMA.

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