August 2023 – AJ Ford
A man with a passion for systems
Alfred (AJ) Ford has been with Nor-Cal Beverage for nearly 10 years. He is passionate about company systems and being a great mentor for others. As part of our August monthly employee feature, we wanted to share AJ’s journey with his co-workers and friends.
AJ was born into a military family. His father was in the Air Force and stationed at Beale Air Force Base near Wheatland, CA. AJ’s father retired when AJ turned 5 years old and the family moved to Yuba City, CA were his father joined the Post Office. AJ had a very loving and supportive mother that was college educated social worker for the State of California for over 30 years. AJ attended primary school and graduated from high school in Yuba City, CA. Upon graduating high school, AJ attended the local community college for a few months but decided to leave and enter into the workforce. AJ began working for an interior design store and then worked for a local middle school as an instructional aid for two years, and then decided it was time for him to go back to school.
AJ attended and graduated from California State University, Chico in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. AJ wanted to attend physical therapy school at University of the Pacific’s accelerated program, but the program was very expensive. AJ decided he would work for a short period of time and save money to pay for the program. He began looking for opportunities in the greater Sacramento area. AJ heard about Nor-Cal Beverage from one of his friends and decided to apply for an open position as a Shipping and Receiving Admin. AJ was interviewed and hired in September 2013.
AJ started off assisting in Shipping and Receiving, and eventually learned various areas of the business. “I was always eager to learn and wanted to understand the job and beyond that,” he said. By 2017, AJ was promoted to Repack Supervisor. Then in 2019, AJ was promoted to the Inventory Operations Project Manager and since 2021, he is the Inventory Operations Manager. AJ has been the Operations Manager for a couple of years now and said he enjoys it. “I like helping out different departments and learning everything about them,” he said. AJ is always willing to learn, does a phenomenal job managing employees, and teaching others the complex systems the company has in place. “My strong suit is systems management and all the various systems we use in Nor-Cal, like ILS, Scale WMS, etc. I am the go-to guy for researching discrepancies with inventory and other systems,” he said. AJ also said the job is demanding and difficult, but he said he has had amazing trainers who have guided him. “We are always busy, but I have been blessed with great mentors throughout the years, and they helped me get to where I am today,” he said.
AJ has been with Nor-Cal Beverage for almost 10 years and said he didn’t expect to be here for this long. “I didn’t think I was going to be here this long, but I grew passionate about my job and learning,” he said. AJ said he enjoys teaching and training people on how to use the systems. He also likes seeing employees succeed in their role and helping them accomplish their goals. “My passion is teaching all the systems and training people on what their tasks are,” he said. He enjoys building relationships with different people and businesses and would like to work with IT and learn all areas of the systems within Nor-Cal. “I want to be that software expert everyone can rely on,” he said.
AJ said he has stayed with the company for a long time because he has a great support system. “My team is reliable, and we have a great team. It alleviates the stresses that you have when you have a great team,” he said. AJ enjoys working with his coworkers and customers. AJ mentioned he also loves what he does and enjoys the feeling he gets when helping others or solving issues. AJ said the company’s stability and job security have also had a big influence.
When AJ is not working or learning a new system, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family. AJ spends much of his time with his mother, father, two siblings and two nieces. AJ also likes to stay active and enjoys going to concerts and reggae music festivals. He also enjoys comedy shows and goes to Punch Line Sacramento often.
Nor-Cal Beverage is fortunate to have dedicated and knowledgeable leaders like AJ. They work hard, support their team, and are experts in their field. Thank you, AJ Ford, for continuing to extend your skills to others and helping your team throughout the years.