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Employee Spotlight: Shontell Ford, Remington
More than 70 employees on the Remington Centerfire team have a work mom. Shontell “Mother Love” Ford has been leading that team for eight years and has been giving Remington 110% for 27 years.
Shontell started at Remington in hand packing. She eventually moved to a plate loader position and then covered in duplex when a co-worker was out on leave. Her performance in all departments astounded her supervisor.
“I need two of you!” Shontell was told.
So what are the secrets behind a highly motivated, respected, hard working leader who has earned the name “Mother Love” over her 28 years with a company? Truth is, nothing is a secret with Shontell. Ask her anything. She has answers. As for success, she first points to ownership.
“It’s my company. I believe that in my heart, and it hasn’t changed in nearly three decades. For me, this makes it exciting to come to work. If you act like it’s your company, you know you’re going to treat it right,” she said.
Shontell exercises an open-door policy and has earned her nickname because of her servant leadership. She is commonly heard asking questions like “Can I do anything for you?” and is consistently looking to help solve problems with her team.
“I love people,” she said. “If someone is hurt, I’m hurting,” she said. Shontell works to elevate people, one of Vista Outdoor’s Winning Behaviors and says her career plan has always been to go to the highest level she could get to.
“I love money, too, but it’s important for me to be a part of the leadership team and be the voice for the team. To me, there’s no difference whether you’re a team lead, plant manager or supervisor. We walk the same walk. I’m still going to pick up paper if I see it laying down on the ground. I’m still going to make sure we’re running a good product. Whatever I’m doing, I’m going to be happy. I’m going to promote happiness,” she said.
Shontell shared she works her team most on efficiency, 100% completion (filling every SKU in a month and marking the lines green), strongly encouraging the group to do it right the first time.
“We’re still working toward that 100% green on the SKUs,” she said. “And one day we’ll do it. When we do it once, we can do it every time.”
Her walk in faith helped her and her team through Remington’s bankruptcy prior to Vista Outdoor aquiring the brand in October 2020, adding that time was the most difficult of her career.
“We didn’t have money to buy tape,” she said, “but I knew we’d get through it.”
She is a mother outside of work as well, raising and caring for five successful kids with her husband of 28 years. Her family recently planned one of her greatest adventures in life: a cruise to Mexico for her 50th birthday. The family surprised her with the trip, invited friends and made “Shontell’s 50th Birthday Cruise” T-shirts as well. She had two firsts on her vacation: Being on the ocean and being the center of attention.
She also told of a recent Sunday stroll she was on her with daughter. They saw a sign in the bushes advertising over 20 acres of waterfront property for sale – the first step in a dream coming true.
“My dream has always been to build affordable homes for people less fortunate,” she shared. Her daughter proceeded to buy the property. “So, in three years, Mother Love hopes to have 100 units of low-income homes available. That’s what I want to do,” she said.
We know from learning just a little from Shontell that her dream will certainly come to life with color, beauty, purpose and, of course, love.
I am currently reading, “The Charismatic Charlie Wade”. I got tricked into reading this after seeing a link for it...It’s pretty good. They treat Charlie poor but he’s rich and they don’t know it!
Go-to meal when you’re cooking?
Fried chicken, spaghetti and cornbread..
Must-do’s in your daily routine?
I strive to do a good deed everyday - small or big. Before I walk into my company, I recite the Lord’s Prayer: Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want...”
How you’d spend a day off with no obligations:
I would go to the casino. If the casino wasn’t an option, I would put on a movie and lay back on the couch with a glass of Moscato.
What decade do you love the most?
The 1980s because of the music. I love The Isley Brothers. One of my favorite songs is “Choosy Lover.”
What a person needs to be happy in your opinion?
Having a peace of mind and knowing what makes you happy.
Claim to Fame?
I’m affectionately called, “Mother Love” at work.
Next Travel Destination?
Atlantic City - I want to go gamble!
Favorite physical activity?
My Sunday strolls around my neighborhood.
Who would you like to swap places with for a day?
Nobody – I don’t see the need.
I have to wear my cross necklace. If I don’t have it on, I don’t feel good. I wear it all day everyday.
Something your co-workers don’t know about you?
That’s a tough question because I am an open book. They know I love numbers. They know I
definitely want to work. I’ll work with them and they all know I gamble and I walk in faith. There’s nothing they don’t know. I’m here for them and have time for them.
Advice to the younger you?
Strive for peace of mind in everything you do. Know your worth.