We’re seeing stars.

Check out a few or our Employee Spotlight stories to get a glimpse into how we all go above and beyond.

Anne (Sioson) Carbajal

General Manager

Reno, NV

When you meet Anne, four M’s come to mind. Mentor,
multifaceted and “Man oh man, is there anything this woman
can’t tackle?”Oh, and the fifth: Mom. From helping out the new
recruits, to helping everybody figure out a new back-end
system, to helping raise a beautiful family, she’s a force to
be reckoned with. Let’s take a look at the journey Anne took
and see what continues to drive her success.

Anne was born in the Philippines, then moved to the US when
she was four. Her father made the difficult decision to move
from a very comfortable life in the Philippines. With both a
commercial fish farm and commercial real-estate business, life
was good. But the politics at the time were anything but. This
meant her father traveling between the US and the Philippines
constantly while Anne was growing up. Meanwhile, her mother
was in charge of raising three daughters while he was away.
Oh, and working a full time job herself, too.

It’s no surprise that when asked who her heroes are, Anne’s
quick response was “My parents.” They instilled a sense of
responsibility and sticktoitiveness that stays with Anne to
this day. It also drives her to live up to the three words
that describe her best “Positive,” “Hardworking” and
“Thoughtful.” Maybe that’s also why the superhero she relates
to most is Captain Marvel.

Before we get into Anne’s vast and varied achievements,
there’s one thing that’s important to note: there’s no limit
to how far you can grow at Ernest if you’re determined and
stay hungry. When it comes to determination, Anne is a bona
fide superstar. She began her professional career in medical
device sales, which gave her the opportunity to travel the
world on business.She began her tenure at Ernest as a Client
Coordinator Manager, creating processes to help both her
clients and her team. Always keeping in mind that establishing
and maintaining relationships was key.

She then went on to become a Customer Relationship Development
Manager, first working with the seasoned sales team, then
focusing her efforts on helping the rookies find their
footing. This is where the first M came into play: mentorship.
She loved the opportunity to show the new recruits the ropes,
making them stronger salespeople and client partners.

Next, Anne made her way here via Amgen, a part of Ernest
Business Services. There, she honed her leadership chops by
managing a team of 30 to develop marketing materials for

In the meantime, Anne felt like there were just too many hours
in the day. So she decided to take on a couple (OK, five) side
projects. Again, deep breaths and try to keep up. She’s a
member of the Ernest Brand Council. She volunteers for
countless committees across the company. She tirelessly
promotes Ernest culture.


Yes, that transition to a new back-end system which was a huge
pain in a lot of peoples back-sides. But Anne was undaunted by
this difficult but necessary upgrade. In fact, she jumped in
feet-first to create training programs, work process
documentation and platform testing to make sure all the teams
were set up for success.

In case you didn’t notice, we just covered the second, third
and fourths M’s: the multifaceted and the man oh man.

Now, to the final M: Mom. Anne and her family recently moved
to Reno, where she is currently Director of Operations. Which
means at work and at home, she’s in charge. At work, she’ll
roll up her sleeves in any of the Ernest arenas, whether it’s
doing a delivery, cutting a PO. Literally, anything (see
above). On the family front, she’s drastically cut her
commute, which she now gets to spend with her husband and two
sons. The kids can ride their dirt bikes, there’s more open
space and Anne can enjoy time with her two boys, who are her
main source of inspiration. Plus, she’s just a short hop back
to LA to see family and friends.

So whether you’re down in LA, up in Reno or way over there in
Raleigh-Durham, you’re likely to see and hear from Anne. If
there’s a new challenge to be solved, a new committee to be
formed or a new initiative to be tackled, she’s in. And if you
ever want to run an idea by Anne or need a hand solving a
problem or just chat, she’s in for that, too.

Chad Maroun

Operations Manager

Raleigh-Durham, NC

When it comes to learning the ins and outs of a business,
there’s no better person to learn from than Chad Maroun. He
started at Ernest in 2012 as a client coordinator, then worked
his way up to client coordinator lead before moving on to
merchandising. Now, he’s the Raleigh division office manager.
And while the role may seem pretty straightforward, Chad
brings the wow factor to it. He helps with the merchandising
team, collaborates with the client coordinators and pinch-hits
wherever he’s needed—whether that’s in the office, in the
warehouse or out in the field.

But that’s not all this heavy hitter has on his plate.

Chad was one of our first members of the Ernest Brand Council
(EBC). Then, he served as chair for three years, helping keep
the Ernest culture thriving through COVID. One of his favorite
parts of the EBC is creating a lively and fun work
environment, building bonds with the team in the process. And,
of course, recognizing the hard work his fellow E-Teamers put
in every day. After passing the reins to Nancy Ponce this past
February, Chad retired his jersey, in a sense. He’s now an
advisor on the Ernest Brand Trust—mentoring current EBC

A big part of the Ernest culture is giving people
opportunities to grow and learn as much as they want. And Chad
has hit it out the park-blowing past expectations and entering
a league of his own in the process.

So, it’s easy to see why the Raleigh general manager
approached Chad about joining the EBC. Where Chad goes, fun
and positivity follow—and food isn’t too far behind either.
“Work hard, play hard” is a mentality Chad lives by. His
ability to solve problems before they become challenges is
nothing short of impressive. In fact, it’s how he got his
nickname, “The Slugger.”

That name (which is now his official E-Team moniker) was given
by his GM, who told him, “I don’t know how you keep it all in
front of you—you know the pitch being thrown three pitches
away.” As a lifelong Cubs fan, it’s a fitting nickname—and one
that quickly stuck.

If we ever get tired of calling him “The Slugger,” we may
switch to “Ironman.” Why? For one, it’s Chad’s favorite
superhero. Another reason is because they’re both creative,
innovative and in it to win. In his free time, Chad can be
found outdoors with his family and dog, captaining his own
speedboat. With Chad’s wide range of talents, it’s no surprise
that he’s a busy guy. So, what keeps him motivated? That’s
simple: seeing his team succeed. He’s energized by the big
wins, the small wins and everything in between. This can-do
mindset reminds everyone that together, we can solve it all.
Chad has truly created a family mentality at the Raleigh
division—making everyone feel welcome and appreciated from the
second they walk through the doors.

Hats off to Chad and a standing ovation for a stellar nearly 9
years on the EBC. Here’s to many more years hitting home runs
at Ernest.

Faye Buchheister

Retired Client Relationship Manager

Reno, NV

Faye Buchheister is not your average client relationship
manager. In fact, when it comes to sales, she’s in a league of
her own—endlessly energetic, passionate, dedicated, and
driven. Maybe that’s why her team calls her the Mickey Mantle
of packaging. Many of them will tell you that they wouldn’t be
where they are today without her leadership and support.

Faye is the first one up in the morning and the last to leave
at night. She’s friendly, resourceful, independent, and has
more integrity in her little finger than some folks have from
head to toe. Despite the fact that she’s our number one client
relationship manager—not just in her division, in the whole
company—you’ll never hear her boasting about it. And that
makes her success even sweeter.

Just like Ernest’s founding fathers (or rather, brothers) Faye
built her business from the ground up. She got her start in
packaging as a secretary for Union Paper Co, where she learned
the ropes by doing the work—hers and everyone else’s. She
recalls, “I was the ‘Girl Friday’ with three sales people. I’d
make outside calls, then I’d go back in and do everybody’s
paperwork for them, too.” She was quickly promoted to be a
salesperson, and when they needed a new manager she raised her
hand. That meant in addition to spending hours each day making
sales calls, Faye was buying product, handling trucks,
negotiating deals, and running the whole organization.

When Union Paper was sold, Calvey Packaging in Sacramento
contacted Faye to see if she wanted to open a division in
Reno. Always committed to her clients, she started working her
territory from her house (more Ernest parallels). Once again,
Faye was doing it all—selling, buying, ordering and
organizing. Her operation soon outgrew her kitchen, and she
started hiring administrators and sales associates who were as
driven as she was. She found a warehouse to move into and
officially opened the Reno branch.

Many of the folks she brought on board at Calvey stayed with
Faye for the long haul. Her sales partner, “Big Al” Dart, who
worked with Faye at Union Paper Co, Calvey, and Ernest, says,
“Faye always gave everyone a chance, and a lot of people here
wouldn’t have been successful without her. She treats everyone
with great kindness, no matter what position they’re in. She’s
so good to us all.”

Twenty-two years ago when Ernest acquired Calvey, Faye decided
to “see where this goes” out of dedication to her customers
and her team. (What a lucky day for Ernest.) It’s that
commitment that got her to the top, and her drive to do the
right thing for her customers that keeps her there.

Faye loves getting up early to get her paperwork out of the
way so she can hit the road and start making her rounds. “I
love people,” Faye says, “and I love my customers.” She makes
sure she sees all of them in person at least once a week,
often more, and has long relationships with many of her
accounts that span years, sometimes decades. Faye loves
working for Ernest because no matter how big we get, we still
have what she calls the, “independent Wilson flavor.” (Sounds
a lot like her.)

“All my customers know when it’s Faye Day.”

Working with people for over 30 years has taught Faye a thing
or two—not just about people, but also about life. Like how to
enjoy it while also doing the best job you can. These days
Faye is a dedicated grandmother as well as a golfer, a
watersports enthusiast, a traveler, and a chef. Once upon a
time she was even a competitive speed skater. (She’s
originally from Grants Pass, Oregon.) She’s been to almost
every state in the country and is looking forward to even more
traveling and golf in the future.

So what’s the secret to Faye’s success?

“It’s simple: Tell people what you can do. Give them true
expectations and follow through. If you have an issue with a
customer, go deal with it right away—no matter how hard it is.
They’ll respect you, you respect them, and you can have a few
laughs along the way. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s
all about being a team and seeing what you can do.”

Sounds like good advice to us.

Honorio Boyet Padilla

Client Logistics Manager

Portland, OR

Boyet is one of the newest Client Logistics Managers at
Ernest. But that doesn’t mean he’s new to the game. In fact,
he’s been working in warehousing for over 30 years, most
recently for office supply heavy-hitter, Staples. That’s where
he got the nickname “Slash,” because he wore so many hats and
managed a team of over 400 employees.

Thankfully, Boyet decided to hang his ever-changing hat at our
Portland division. PDX is also the place where he hangs
another article of clothing: his belt. He comes to Ernest with
a black belt in Lean Six Sigma, an operations method that
helps teams boost performance, remove waste and reduce

From Day One, Boyet has brought the inspiration. Which came
from the most fitting place. The warehouse employees
themselves. He encouraged his team to start every week with a
new inspirational quote. A recent example? “The worst thing
about being blind is having sight, but not vision.” Quotes
like this not only get the team talking. They spark action. So
much so that the Portland crew is now writing down what needs
to be seen to fruition.

Boyet put it best, “When you write it down, you own it.”

Maybe that’s where his positivity comes from. By encouraging
people to lead themselves. Always with safety and efficiency
in mind, but never losing sight of the positivity, the energy
or the fun. These are traits Boyet not only instills. They’re
traits he embodies. He’s displayed them his whole life, since
moving from the Philippines to the US in 1973, and ultimately
calling the Pacific Northwest his home since 1976.

“I’ve never been part of a team more open and welcoming.”

When we ask our employees what it’s like to work at Ernest,
it’s funny how we keep coming up with the same answer, “It’s
like a big family.” Which is fitting, since we’re a family-run
business that prides itself on putting relationships first.
Boyet echoed this sentiment, saying one his favorites aspects
is the family feel. Whether its people bringing in food on a
Friday or just taking care of one another in the smallest of
ways, those are the big things for Boyet.

Also, being a family man himself, he appreciates the fact that
his job affords him a good work/life balance. It gives Boyet
the chance to spend more time with his teenage son, even more
so than at of his past companies. Through his nature of being
efficient—and by Ernest being open to trying new methods to
streamline processes to save clients time and money—Boyet can
focus on the stuff that’s important. Which is bonding with
your team on the warehouse floor, then having time to enjoy
your life after 5:00 p.m.

Kristin Vega

Manager of Marketing Communications

Los Angeles, CA

Kristin is the Manager of the new Corporate Communications
department at Ernest and her drive has become the stuff of
legend at HQ in LA. She’s driven by her immediate family.
She’s driven by the strong women who’ve inspired her to keep
striving for excellence.

She’s driven by the need to see her team succeed. And if
you’ve ever bumped into her in the breakroom, you know she’s
driven by something else, too: coffee. Although with her
positive energy, it might actually be the coffee that’s
getting a boost from her.

Raised in the small beach town of Santa Barbara, Kristin was
the oldest of five children. Which meant babysitting. Which
meant missing out on some stuff that other sibling-less tweens
and teens could do. But those lost hours at the mall or the
movies pale in comparison to the life lessons she gained from
being a big sis. It taught her independence and
responsibility. And of course, the importance of family.
Which, like so many others, is the word she uses to describe
working at Ernest.

So as Corporate Communications Manager, what does Kristin do,
exactly? Short answer: she communicates. In fact, she holds a
college degree in it. Which comes in extraordinarily handy
when dealing with campaigns, marketing collateral, event
planning, graphics and text, company announcements, launches,
initiatives, travel and Insider content. It’s also very useful
for another, much simpler reason. It helps her connect with
people. Especially her very small team of three. Her words
about them were this, “I wouldn’t be where I am without their
support. I love them.” We have the sneaking suspicion the
feeling’s mutual.

One of the reasons could be that Kristin has held every job in
Corporate Communications. And, little known fact: she started
at Ernest as a temp. This background of starting from the
ground up helps her relate to the ones she works alongside.

Because she’ll never ask for something that’s unrealistic.
Simply because she’s done it before. Hers is the type of story
that’s so completely Ernest. Proof that humble beginnings,
hard work and hands-on is a real recipe for success. To this
day, Kristin prides herself on keeping an open line of
communication with her team, collaborating with open arms
across divisions and always staying open to new projects and
opportunities to grow.

Now, let’s get down to the fun stuff. She was stumped by one
of the interview questions, “What is your E-Team name?” So
what did she do? She opened it up to her team. And they gave
her one with some serious muscle. KV-12. You know, like V12.
Like the engine. When asked what the next Cardboard Chaos
creation should be, Kristin fielded that one all by herself: a
cardboard robot. But not just any paper-and-epoxy android. She
suggested a BARISTA robot to brew and deliver coffee to the
employees of Ernest. When you put those two answers together,
you understand what makes her inspirational engine roar.

When she’s not working with her Ernest family, she’s still
surrounded by family. With a loving daughter and a husband
who’s one of seven kids (that’s 12 in-laws and outlaws total,
if you’re keeping count), there’s a lot of love to go around.
And being in LA, there a lot places to go to spread it.
Kristin loves going the beaches, parks, museums and sporting
events to take full advantage of what the City of Angels has
to offer. In fact, ever since she was a little girl from the
sleepy little seaside town, she’s always been attracted to the
big city.

We’re thankful for that. That she made the two-hour migration
down the coast 10 years ago. That she walked through our doors
nine years ago. And that we’ll be able to keep learning and
growing with her for many, many years to come.

Kyle Hand

Client Relationship Manager

Las Vegas, NV

For our Las Vegas-based client relationship manager Kyle Hand,
the keys to success in sales are work, routine, and
discipline. “If you put in the effort,” he says, “you’ll see
the rewards.” When you’ve spent six years in the military and
earned a Bronze Star like Kyle has, it’s pretty clear that
putting in the effort is in your blood.

While Kyle doesn’t like to talk about it, his military service
record is impressive—and humbling. He joined the Army after
going through a rough patch in his teens, clashing with his
parents, and being kicked out of the house before eventually
dropping out of school. He went on to earn his GED, but soon
found himself at a crossroads, unsure of what to do next.
Living in San Diego and having both a grandfather and stepdad
who were in the military, he decided to join the Army. After
completing his basic training, Kyle was stationed at Fort
Hood, Texas, when the 9/11 attacks saw his fourth infantry
division deployed to Iraq. He was 21.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” says Kyle, who was
deployed for three of his six years of service. Just two
months into his first tour, his unit came under “active
engagement” while on night patrol. Kyle pulled in a wounded
buddy while under fire, gave him first aid, and called in
medevac—all while fending off the group of 10 to 15 men
attacking them. Kyle’s actions that day earned him the Bronze
Star, a medal awarded for heroic achievement or service in a
combat zone.

Despite how hard being deployed in an active combat zone was,
it wasn’t all bad. At the same time Kyle was in Iraq, his
brother was off the coast on a Navy ship and his stepdad, who
was in the National Guard, was also on the ground in Iraq.
About six months into his tour, Kyle was on a mail run when he
got word that a nearby unit was under attack. He went to help
suppress the enemy and provide first aid. When he saw the
license plate of the vehicle that was under attack, he
realized it was his dad’s unit. He ran around to the other
side of the truck, and there he was.

“I ran up and gave him a big hug,” Kyle says. “After that
experience my relationship with my parents did a complete 180.
I earned their respect, and all our problems went away.”

While his actions were heroic, his time in Iraq also left him
with PTSD. After his second tour, during which he lost several
friends, he left the Army to pursue his education. He
continued to give back though, working as a military analyst
at the national training center for six years where he helped
prepare soon to be deployed troops for what to expect. He was
even promoted to the Department of Defense. But after meeting
his wife and having his two sons, Kyle was ready for a change.
“I didn’t want to be defined only by being military.”

Kyle completed his degree online and moved his family to Las
Vegas, where he worked in HVAC and as a maintenance engineer
at Bally’s before finding his place at Ernest. While he still
talks to vets in support groups, today his focus is on the
future, not the past. “It’s something to be proud of, but not
something to brag about. You push on, work your best, and
provide for your family. I just want to make sure my boys are
raised with respect and dignity.”

We’re proud to call Kyle a member of our family and we
couldn’t have more respect for what he’s accomplished—both
then and now. As for the secret to his success in sales,
that’s easy.

“My customers trust me because they know I’ll take care of
them. If I tell someone I’m going to do something, I do it.”

On behalf of everyone at Ernest, we want to thank Kyle and all
the men and women who’ve served in uniform.

Linda Rodriguez
Linda Rodriguez

Director of Corporate Accounting

Los Angeles, CA

When you work at Ernest, you become part of the family. But
when you work at Ernest for 26 years, you become part of the

Linda Rodriguez joined Ernest Packaging Solutions on the
warehouse floor in the early ’90s. She didn’t have a college
degree, but she outworked everyone and demonstrated leadership
skills from the start. Today, Linda is our Director of
Corporate Accounting and a “Fore-mother” of the Ernest Brand
Council. Some people claim she bleeds Ernest orange.

“The culture here makes you never want to leave.”

Linda knows our business and culture backwards and forwards.
She started as a warehouse expediter, then learned the
ins-and-outs of routing and product deliveries. And when it
comes to the financials, she definitely knows her way around a
calculator. But it’s been her work on the Ernest Brand Council
that holds the most meaning for her.

“What we created with the EBC is really remarkable. Tim had a
vision and we really ran with it.”

But Linda, or “L-Rod” as she’s known within these walls, is
just being modest. In 2011, she took the reins and helped
create a team of passionate individuals that are truly the
keepers of Ernest culture. This group of volunteers represent
every Ernest division as the eyes and ears of what’s going on
within the company. And they do much more than preach culture.
They fuse Ernest into one great community. By creating goals,
turning small ideas into big realities, and making sure that
each and every voice is heard. EBC members actively live it
and inspire their peers to do the same.

Inspired by none other than Linda herself.

Linda and her co-members were responsible for creating the MVP
peer recognition program, which is a special way to recognize
individuals across the entire organization. And when they come
together to tackle challenges big or small, they stay focused
on how to boost morale, to give something back to the
community, and how to encourage and educate others.

Linda’s passion for Ernest spans every aspect of her life. Her
kids have enjoyed their summer jobs at the company and she
even jokes that she’ll have her coffin bubble wrapped when the
time comes. With her enthusiasm and uniquely Ernest spirit,
she’s not only created a legacy here. She brings that same
passion to her friends, her family and the community as a

But it’s probably best summed up by Linda herself: “We’re all
just trying to make the world a little more Ernest.”

Nancy Ponce
Nancy Ponce

Corrugated Merchandising Manager

Los Angeles, CA

When you meet Nancy Ponce, three things become clear right
away: she’s caring, she’s passionate and her fashion sense is
next level.

To our first point, she cares about her team and wants them to
succeed. As the Corrugated Merchandising Manager, she leads
the Corporate Merchandising Team at Ernest—a team of nine who
collaborate with the sales force and solve problems left and
right. With Nancy leading the team, we’re confident they’ll
become the next generation of merchandising greatness.

The second thing? She’s dedicated to the corrugated world.
Nancy took her first job at age 18 as a two-week temp, then
stayed there for 15 years before joining Ernest eight years

And lastly, she’ll always have better shoes on than you. More
on that later…but we’re not kidding. She dresses for the
success she brings to Ernest.

So, how did Nancy’s journey with Ernest begin? Well, we were
one of her customers. When the opportunity presented itself,
it took Ernest a while to convince Nancy this was the place
for her. A combination of our charm and Nancy’s ambition
eventually led to her joining our team as a merchandiser,
before climbing the ladder to become a lead.

Nancy craves a challenge, cares about workplace culture and
always wants to learn more, so naturally, we asked her to join
the Ernest Brand Council. The EBC is all about creating a
positive and fun work environment for Ernest employees—and
it’s our culture that first caught Nancy’s eye. Like
everything Nancy does, she fully embraced the EBC—and will
officially become the Chair of the EBC next year. She’s come a
long way…especially since this self-proclaimed “shy person” is
now an all-star when it comes to public speaking.

The fact that Nancy always steps up and is an amazing leader
shouldn’t come as a surprise. She’s a first-generation
American raised by two important women—her mother and
grandmother. They came from Mexico and worked hard to give
Nancy a great life. And they succeeded. Having strong women
raise her gave her a stronger appreciation for women in the
workplace. When Nancy came to Ernest, she was thrilled to see
so many women in leadership positions. She calls Greta Gaskin
her “corrugated momma” and one of her role models, along with
Linda Rodriguez, Anne Sioson and Beverly Hennessy.

Oh, and we have another strong woman to add to that list:
Nancy’s favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. Like Wonder Woman,
Nancy faces problems without fear and provides quick
solutions…while wearing a killer pair of shoes. In Nancy’s
case, it’s always high heels. And we’re not kidding. She LOVES
her shoes. When we asked her what’s something surprising about
yourself, what would you bring to a deserted island, what do
you want the next Cardboard Chaos to be…all of her answers
included—you guessed it—high heels. She has almost 100 pairs
and can do anything in them. In fact, pre-pandemic, she raced
Brian Porter while wearing heels and she beat him. Proof she
can’t be stopped.

But the most important thing in Nancy’s life is her family.
She’s married with two adult children and they keep her
motivated to give her best—both at work and outside of the
office. In her free time, she loves taking hikes and getting
out in nature. And she also likes the open road. On the
weekends, you might see Nancy on the back of a Harley, as she
and her husband take a ride out to Huntington Beach.

Nancy’s work ethic is second to none. She has unmatched drive
and meets every challenge with immediate momentum. It’s a
mentality she picked up from her mom and one she still uses to
this day. And she’s always hungry to learn, so it’s perfect
that she leads a team of individuals who feel the same way.
They bring her questions all the time, and she may not have
the answer right away…but she will definitely find it for
them. Her corrugated team has evolved over the years, all for
the better. That said, it hasn’t come without some challenges.
They’ve weathered COVID, price increases and supply chain
issues together, which only improved their bond and made them
stronger. With Nancy in your corner, she’ll kick challenges to
the curb, then stick her stilettos into them.

“I’m hungry to learn and up to any challenge. I’m big on
building relationships, so we’ll see where that will take me.”

Ori Rosenbaum
Ori Rosenbaum

Senior Design Specialist

Los Angeles, CA

Ori’s official title may be Senior Design Specialist, Inner
Packaging, but everyone knows he can do it all. With 30+ years
of experience, he’s constantly educating clients through
product training and by providing vendor info. And he’s always
on the go, traveling to different divisions and working
directly with the sales teams. So it’s safe to say, if you
have a question, Or’s your guy.

He may have a million responsibilities on the client front,
but he always has time for the 500+ people at Ernest, as well.
Pick a random day of the week and you’ll find Ori mentoring
our newest E-Teamers. Since he started as a packaging salesman
(three different times), he can relate to the challenges
people face on the road and offer advice on how to overcome
them. But it goes further than just that. Ori’s there for
whatever his team members need—pushing them to be successful
both in and out of the workplace. His love of helping people
goes beyond just those at Ernest. His idea for the next
Cardboard Chaos? Shelters that can be used to help those less

You may be thinking Ori must have more hours in the day than
we do. We promise you that’s not the case. Ori just has a
knack for speed. He’s quick to help and quick to solve
problems. Everywhere he goes, he generates this contagious
power that motivates those around him.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his E-Team name is

His love for speed spans across all aspects of his
life—driving race cars, skiing down mountains or piloting
anything that moves fast in his free time. But he does slow
down to read, travel and of course, hang out with his family,
including his superhero dad. While his dad may not be able to
fly or have his own Wayne Mansion, his powers are far more
supreme. He survived the Holocaust—going on to start multiple
businesses and raising a family. All without a formal
education. Despite his unfathomable experiences, he remains
the most positive and happiest person in Ori’s life. It’s safe
to say that Ori’s dad is now our favorite superhero, too.

Family is everything to Ori. Just like it’s everything to us.
Ori describes Ernest as an environment that’s belonging and
welcoming. A place where people stay motivated and grow
together with endless opportunities.

And while Ori may be busy working with the people of Ernest,
we’re pretty sure he wouldn’t have it any other way. His
favorite aspect of Ernest is? You guessed it. The people.

Vanessa Dichari
Vanessa Dichari

Client Relationship Manager

Portland, OR

When a recruiter tried to sell Vanessa Dichari on a box
company, she rolled her eyes and thought, “Don’t waste my
time.” Then she went in for the interview. The people were
great, the challenge was exciting, the fit felt right.

As a Client Relationship Manager in Portland, OR, Vanessa has
fully embraced all things packaging. But what gets her most
excited are the ways Ernest challenges expectations and pushes
the limits. “It’s a very open-minded culture,” Vanessa said.
“The people here are what make it different. And I love
sharing our creative solutions with our clients, like
Cardboard Chaos. Who would have thought you could build a
surfboard or a guitar from corrugated?!?”

“This is a company that lets you really capitalize on your

In just six years, Vanessa is on track to becoming a top-tier
CRM, but the journey wasn’t easy. After a decade in the
telecom industry, she faced a big learning curve. But Vanessa
has a lot of E-Team in her, so naturally, she faced the
challenge head on. In true Ernest-like fashion, she innovated
to solve problems for our customers, which made her story
compelling, and opened a lot of doors.

Vanessa continues to build a successful book of business
that’s breaking records month after month. She loves helping
her clients find solutions for their unique problems or just
simply giving them better options. Her story is living proof
that you should never underestimate the power of perseverance.

Today, Vanessa remains focused on building her book, but is
equally focused on finding balance in her life. Which is why
she takes time out to pursue one of her top personal goals:
traveling. Her favorite spot? Thailand. She loves the people,
the serenity and the quality of life. Not to mention the fact
that it’s a place many people wouldn’t expect her to go.

This makes complete sense, of course, because delivering the
unexpected is one of her true strengths. It’s all part of
staying committed, staying balanced and going above and beyond
for her clients. With Vanessa, that’s one thing you can always
count on. When it comes to exceeding expectations, expect her
continue to lead the way.

Wille Mae Irving and Diane Hughes
Wille Mae Irving and Diane Hughes

Retired Receptionists

Los Angeles, CA

Willie Mae Irving and Diane Hughes are the first people you
see when you walk through the doors at Ernest headquarters in
LA. They’re the first voices you hear when you call us up on
the phone. And they’re the first and last name (well, names)
in kindness. So how long has this dynamic duo been at the helm
with the hands-free headsets? Let’s put it this way. They both
remember a potluck party a while back celebrating the birth of
a coworker’s twin babies.

Those babies are now in college.

Willie Mae started with Ernest 21 years ago and after her
first 12 months, she got employee of the year. Talk about a
sign of what’s to come. When Diane joined the ranks a mere 19
years ago, the two began what would be the most celebrated
partnership in the history of our company (Sorry, Cornflake
and Porterhouse). Sure, it took some time getting used to one
another’s quirks. But once they clicked, their bond was
unbreakable. In fact, when asked about one of the highlights
of her career, Diane remembered one particular Administrative
Professionals Day when the VP at the time took the pair to
lunch. He said “You two are the best in the industry.” Eight
words worth roughly one thousand.

They’re the same age. They love the same songs to send them
down memory lane. They drink the same amount of coffee per
day: 1 cup. Although Diane likes to sweeten hers up with
flavoring, while Willie Mae takes hers black. Diane describes
Willie Mae as courteous, friendly and funny. Willie Mae
describes Diane as thoughtful, kind and helpful. But the best
definition we’ve heard so far is Lucy and Ethel from the
comedy classic I Love Lucy. When people walk through the
lobby, they sometimes only hear half of the joke or better
yet, just find the two laughing, which just adds to the joy of
coming to work every day. So who’s Lucy and who’s Ethel? It
doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s a hit.

This probably goes without saying, but their ratings are
through the roof.

Like many have described, Diane and Willie Mae refer to Ernest
as one big family. Which has a whole lot to do with our
patriarch, Mr. Charles Wilson. The two women hold him in the
highest regard because, well, he feels exactly the same way in
return. In fact, one of our most famous on-film moments came
about almost entirely by accident. One morning, Willie Mae and
Diane happened to say good morning to our CEO at exactly the
same time and it came out sounding like a song. This tickled
Chuck so much, they made it a regular thing. To date, he’s
even known to do a little soft-shoe when they sing their A.M.

He’s also known for the soft spot he has in his heart. Diane
remembers the kind words he gave her when her parents passed
away, “I promise you’ll get through this, even though you
think you can’t.”

Willie Mae remembers his similar kind words when her mother
passed away. Diane summed it up in a sentence, “When he gives
you words of wisdom, you really pay attention, because he’s
been through it all.” Charles’ words meant the world to both
Willie Mae and Diane, adding yet another reason why it feels
like family within our walls.

These two women are on the front lines. They see clients
they’ve greeted for decades and greet new ones they’ve never
seen before. They welcome entire teams from sales to the
warehouse on a day-to-day and a first-name basis. But just
like any great duo, it’s their individual strengths that add
the real power to their partnership.

Let’s take Diane. She describe her superpower as making people
feel welcome. She takes the extra steps to get to know all the
new hires and to make sure they’re doing OK from Day O-N-E.
There’s always something new going on and there’s no need to
take those bad days home. “You get to start fresh,” she says.
That’s what this she loves about her career here: the
freshness of the work and the friendliness of her coworkers.
When it is time to call it a day, you can find Diane headed
home to work on remodeling her house. Or watching HGTV to get
more IDEAS about remodeling her house.

As for Willie Mae, her superpower is slightly different:
always be helpful. Whether she’s assisting Diane in designing
the holiday winter wonderland in the lobby or helping organize
an employee party, Willie Mae is all in. Outside of work,
Willie Mae is a self-described homebody. She’s an avid reader
and an accomplished home chef. So instead of taking out the
hand-sander or the SKILSAW, she prefers to do her constructing
in the kitchen. There, you can find her making recipes passed
down from her family, making for one very lucky husband.

Although this duo’s strengths may differ, there’s one subject
where they’re absolutely on the same page. When asked who’s
the quirkiest at Ernest HQ, they responded in unison: Brian
Porter. You always know when he’s in the building. You count
on him to keep you laughing. And you can also always ask him a
question, because he always takes the time to listen.

It’s different at Ernest. As we’ve said before, it’s like a
big family. That’s what makes it so special, both to Willie
Mae and to Diane. So with 40 years of combined experience, how
would they sum up the whole journey in just one word? Diane
took a nod from Chuck for hers, “Terrific.” While Willie May
settled on, “Fun.”

We needed two words, though, to describe their dedication and
unparalleled kindness.

The first one is “Thank. The second one is “You.”

Gene Tarrant
Gene Tarrant

Client Fulfillment Specialist

San Diego, CA

Meet Gene Tarrant. He’s been one of our Class A drivers since
1988 and a self-proclaimed bad-ass-ador. And we agree! With 34
years of big-rig road service under his belt, he’s seen a lot,
including a lot of success. As a Class A driver, his job is
the last stop on the customer journey relay. A responsibility
Gene takes very seriously. Delivering exceptional inventory
not only reflects on the product, but the people and company
as well. And Gene, well, he does a darn good job doing just

When asked what one word he uses to describe Ernest, Gene
always replies pride. He’s proud to do what he does and proud
to make people happy. Bottom line, that’s what motivates Gene
and keeps him truckin’. Knowing that he’s delivering the
goods, both figuratively and literally. As previously
mentioned, after 34 years on the road, Gene has seen a lot.
That’s why it means so much when he says the team at Ernest
can get anything done. And he means anything. A lot has
changed over the decades, but Gene has always prioritized
customer satisfaction.

Gene loves his job at Ernest and truly believes it’s a great
place to work and gain excellent career experience. He credits
this belief to the good people and good managers that help
make up the team. He notes, “As long as you keep your best
foot forward, you’ll do well here.”

Outside of work, Gene is an avid golfer and family man. In
fact, he’s been known to drive the ball like Tiger Woods. Now,
that’s an impressive forward trajectory! Speaking of forward
trajectories, when asked how Gene would help move Ernest
forward, he replies, “I’m going to put it in the truck, and
I’m going to move forward. But sometimes I put it in the truck
and move backward first.” No truer words were ever spoken.
Gene, thanks for being such a valued member of the team. You
are so appreciated.