The sound of laughter mingles with smoke from a roaring campfire and drifts upward into the dark autumn sky. Sitting together around the fire (socially distanced, of course) is a group of friends and coworkers who have gathered for the first ever meeting of the BioProcure book club. The book selected for discussion tonight—and for the entire month of October—is the classic Stephen King novel Misery.
“I’m glad that we voted to read a Stephen King novel in October,” Says Phil, the BioProcure resident IT guru/Facilities Manager/bonfire builder. “This one in, particular is really creeping me out. It’s great.”
Around the campfire, heads nod enthusiastically as others echo Phil’s sentiments. The BioProcure book club was his idea. In years past, Phil often acted as the unofficial chairman of the BioProcure Party Planning Committee, bringing everyone together for the occasional game night, happy hour, or movie screening. After COVID-19 hit, it became more difficult to find safe ways of getting together, having a good time, and unwinding with fellow coworkers. A book club was the perfect solution—a way to make new friends and get to know old friends better while connecting over the shared experience of reading a great story.
At BioProcure, we believe that a company cannot be truly great unless it has particularly exceptional employees, and the eleven members of the newly formed BioProcure book club are certainly among the best employees—and friends—that anyone could hope to have in a workplace. Cori Onaga, Claire Buckley, Crystal Lundberg, and Diandra Valentin are all superstars from the Accounts Payable Support team. Claire is dedicated and hardworking, and her mangers describe her accounts as “spotless.” It’s no surprise that she is the recent recipient of the 2020 Q2 Employee of the Quarter Award! Crystal is an expert communicator who, unsolicited, recently created a training guide which has proven to be very helpful to new Accounts Payable Support trainees. Cori, the winner of the Employee of the Quarter award for 2019 Q4, once received the following kudos comment from a fellow co-worker: “Cori is always helping with finance related questions. She is very collaborative across departments and creates a positive environment for everyone.” Diandra’s managers report that she “has a can-do attitude and is friendly and easy to work with” and that she “provides excellent customer service, exhibits the BioProcure core values, and is results driven.” (Diandra was also recently featured in an Employee Spotlight post on the BioProcure blog! You can read more about her and her experience working from home during the pandemic here.)
Jessica Mearls, Christine Olesen, and Adriana Roman are valuable members of the BioProcure Purchasing team. Jessica has only been working with us since August, but already she has hit her stride and is proving successful in her role as Procurement Specialist. Christine celebrated her first anniversary with BioProcure this summer, and we couldn’t be more grateful for her contributions to the company. Coworkers have called her a “team player,” who “consistently goes above and beyond to help not only her own team, but the entire BioProcure team.” The newest addition to the BioProcure book club is also the newest addition to the Purchasing department—welcome aboard, Adriana Roman!
Also participating in the BioProcure book club are some members of the management teams. You’ll never meet a friendlier guy than Tyler Mizenko, our Business Development manager. Michela Mizenko and Kara Rea, from Operations and Finance, respectively, give their all to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. And almost nothing we do would be possible without Phil Rea, BioProcure’s Facilities and IT manager, who spends his days quickly and creatively solving every technical issue that arises while simultaneously making sure that the kitchen is always fully stocked with snacks and espresso.
BioProcure sure has a lot to boast about where our employees are concerned!
Three weeks after the meeting around the bonfire, on the Wednesday before Halloween, a small group of book club members convened in the large team room for the final discussion of Stephen King’s Misery and a viewing of the 1990 film by the same name. A few more members joined via Microsoft Teams, and before long the topic of conversation shifted away from scan uploads and email box monitoring to the gruesome final scenes of the classic psychological thriller.
“The end was confusing,” says Crystal, thoughtfully. “Because what he thinks is reality and what is actually reality are two very different things.”
“I agree,” Cori chimes in, “At first I wasn’t sure—was she actually dead? Or did she survive, and is now trying to find him?”
The discussion continues while Phil queues up the movie and passes out bottles of soda and individual bags of popcorn. Soon everyone is quiet as the characters from the novel spring to life on the screen.
It’s late by the time the movie ends, but the members of the BioProcure book club don’t seem to notice. They are comparing the film to the book, pointing out the differences, discussing what they enjoyed and what they had questions about. It’s a refreshing conversation, miles away from the stresses of real life in 2020—proof that good books and good friends can sometimes be just the thing to buoy our spirits.
It’s hard to overestimate the value of friendship and human connection, especially in times like these. At BioProcure, we take relationships seriously. Of course, we always aim to maintain excellent relationships with our client companies and everyone that we serve, but equally important to us are the relationships that we are fostering with each one of our employees. We believe that the best way to go about providing above-and-beyond customer service to our clients is to promote happiness, wellness, and growth within our own workforce. With such a strong emphasis on creating a fun and supportive company culture, it’s no coincidence that BioProcure is quickly emerging as one of the best places to work in the greater Boston area.
Before leaving for the night, the group narrows down the list of suggestions for the next book club read from what seems like hundreds of titles to just five. The following day, an anonymous poll reveals the November BioProcure book club read: The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern. So far, it’s gearing up to be the perfect book to snuggle up with by the fire on a chilly day—a welcome escape from reality into a world where magic is everywhere, and anything is possible.
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