In a role that’s part truck driver and part salesman, Ron Jordan, Route Sales Representative for Aramark Uniform Services, has built his career on his own terms through hard work and a passion for people.
Ron Jordan (he/him) has been working with Aramark’s Uniforms business for the better part of 26 years. As a Route Sales Representative, he drives a local route to various businesses near Fuquay, North Carolina, growing his business by helping customers place orders for the products they need.
When asked why he initially believed Aramark would be a great place to take his career, however, he cites his deeply held belief that he needed to make a change in his professional life to help improve his personal life. “It was just something totally different than the construction industry I was in, where things like the weather dictate your ability to work in some way. I was drawn to Aramark because I knew that this would be much steadier for my time and my paycheck.”
Jordan’s career with Aramark took some winding turns pretty quickly. He exceled in his role early on and says his managers were invested in his growth within the company. “Back when I started years ago, they used to have what they call route managers, which were kind of a route sales support person, but with a little more responsibility. I did that for a while until my district manager suggested that I try the managerial portion of the job. Aramark conducted a training program and so I ventured into that for a while.”
Jordan enjoyed the experience and the learning opportunities that came with it, but at the end of the day, the Route Sales Representative role was where he felt he wanted to be.
“When the opportunity came to go back to driving the route, I took it.” He explains that the type of work he does as a driver is a much better fit for his extroverted, social personality type. “I like meeting new people. I like talking to people. So it was really down my line when I fell upon this. Being a people person helps and so does being open-minded.”
When asked what other characteristics make someone a great fit for his type of work at Aramark, Jordan cites possessing a strong work ethic, which his experience in the National Guard instilled in him. “As a young man, I did a lot of farm work. So I guess I developed a strong work ethic through that. And the military only made that stronger. It gave me an attitude that there’s nothing I can’t do. Those qualities combined with me being a real people person means I really like being out on the road.”
When it comes to growing a career and pursuing more financial rewards, Jordan says that the Route Sales positions at Aramark are packed with potential.
“The type of route that I run is called a mini stop. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You’re in and out of different businesses all day long. And it’s what they call a local route, so the businesses are fairly close together. You’re not doing a lot of driving from stop to stop. It’s a lot more of interacting with the customer. Because of that, you’re always trying to think of new things. When Aramark comes out with new products, you’re asking yourself which customer fits which product? How can you help them advance their industry with new products?”
In his own way, Jordan is empowered to build his own business. He says that through competitive base pay rates, commissions, and bonuses, Aramark offers plenty of rewards for great work.
“When you’re driving around, you see new businesses opening all the time. So you stop in, you leave business cards, and you speak with them to find out if there’s a relationship that you can grow. It gives you the opportunity to kind of write your own paycheck. As you get more comfortable with the job, it gives you the opportunity to expand and take on more.”
Ron Jordan says that’s a big part of his day. Not only is he visiting the customers that are already on his settlement sheet, he’s spending time building new relationships in his community. And that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of his career with Aramark; Jordan loves how he is empowered to grow relationships, support local businesses, and build a fulfilling career on his own terms.
— Ron Jordan, Route Sales Representative
Hear more from our conversation with Ron in the Q&A section below.
Can you tell us about your military experience and how that has influenced you in your career at Aramark?
I was National Guard , so I wasn't full-time military, but I had one foot in both worlds. I’d do National Guard weekend training and summer training a couple of weeks every year. When I wasn’t doing that, I was back at home doing my civilian job as well. So, I didn't have to do the total transition from one to the other. I was always doing both. I think military personnel make good applicants here. The military trains you to have a good work ethic and to know there's nothing you can’t accomplish. It also makes you a team builder because you can't accomplish the mission on your own, so you have to you have to rely on others.
Do you have a particularly fond moment or memory from working at Aramark?
I was named the employee of the quarter a couple of years ago. That is a fond memory. Aramark gives accolades for your hard work. The summers are hot, the winters are cold, and being face to face with the customers is a little testing sometimes. And for Aramark to say we appreciate you, we know what you're going through, and we know what it takes to do what you do, it really lifts your spirits.
Why do you think this role has been so perfect for you?
I like being out and about with people, meeting new people, and talking to people. So when you have that type of personality, I guess it needs to be fed. Not only does working at Aramark give me my livelihood, but it also lets me be me. It lets me meet people, lets me talk and laugh and have new experiences. Sometimes I feel like I’m just hanging out with my friends all day.
Outside of work, what do you do with your spare time? Any hobbies or anything?
I enjoy bowling . I play a little basketball in the driveway with my son. Mostly just hanging out with my wife and my son. And like I said, I really enjoyed bowling. But I haven’t been in a while. I'm going to wait until some more vaccinations happen before I go back. And lastly my advice is to embrace fortitude and grit. Do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Aramark has always supported diversity of thinking, and I've been very fortunate to always have a voice. Even when I was an analyst, I felt comfortable that if I had an idea and saw the president, I should share my opinion.
Do you feel like Aramark is a place where you can stay for the long-term? Do you believe you can grow your career and retire here?
I do. And it's been 26 years, so I like it. I probably wouldn't stay somewhere for 26 years if I didn't enjoy what I do. I’m surrounded by a team of people who I enjoy being around, who I feel give me the support to do what I need to do. We have a pretty good team here in Fuquay. And Justin, he's been my district manager for a couple of years now. And he’s a real good supervisor.