When customers call Hit Trophy or come to our store in Archbold, Ohio, many times our Office Administrator Kelly Schmucker is the person who greets them. On June 18, Kelly celebrates 25 years with Hit Trophy and during those years she has made many friends. For those local clients who regularly visit the store, they expect to see her smiling face behind the counter. She has helped hundreds of our local athletic directors, coaches, and business owners in picking the exact award, plaque, or trophy they require. For our patrons who place an order over the telephone, they appreciate her warm friendly voice as she aids them in acquiring exactly what they need. She believes her concern for the needs of others came from a lesson she learned from her mother when she was only five years old.
In kindergarten, Kelly misbehaved one day in Miss Creek’s class at the Stryker elementary school. She hit another classmate with a book, although she can’t remember exactly why. “All I remember now is I felt he deserved it for some reason,” Kelly said recalling the incident. Miss Creek punished her by keeping her inside school during recess. In retaliation, when Miss Creek was not watching, Kelly took Miss Creek’s keys, put them in them in an empty milk carton, and promptly tossed the carton in the trash can. Kelly went home that afternoon, and Miss Creek called. Miss Creek questioned her about the keys, knowing that Kelly had been alone in the room during recess. After hearing the entire story, Evelyn Schmucker, Kelly’s mother, explained to Kelly why her actions were wrong and convinced Kelly to return to school. Once there, Kelly confessed to Miss Cook, retrieved her keys, and apologized to her. Kelly learned to always treat other people with respect and to consider other people’s needs and feelings before her own.
The Stryker native carried that lesson throughout her years in school and beyond. She earned an Associate Degree at the University of Toledo’s Scott Park Campus and planned to work as a Medical Secretary, but instead she entered into service with Mennonite Central Committee for two years and Mennonite Voluntary Service for another two years. Both terms of service were in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada helping refugees. Her mother’s lesson and her Christian beliefs guided her as she aided others in her role as a volunteer.
After leaving the MVS, Kelly worked a number of jobs until she contacted her cousin to see if he needed help in a local business he ran known as Hit Trophy. Tom Wyse, her cousin, had recently lost two employees. Both were recent hires, but they did not last long. One left for lunch and never came back, and other claimed she could type, but she could not spell. As Kelly tells it, her interview for the position of office aide was strange. “Tom came to my house and asked me to type something for him. My typewriter did not have a ribbon, so no letters appeared on the paper as I typed. He insisted I type on it anyways. When I finished typing, he pulled the paper out of the typewriter, examined the key strikes by holding the paper up to the light, and said, ‘You’re hired.’”
A quarter of a century is a long time to work in any single job, and according to Kelly, Tom Wyse and the people she works with are the reason she has stayed so long. “Tom is good to us at Hit Trophy, and it is still fun after all these years.” She has done just about every job at Hit Trophy. In her administrative role, her duties include payroll, taxes, and managing accounts, but she still also engraves items. “I love my job because I don’t do the exact same thing every day.” Of course, her favorite job is still serving the customers. Thanks to the lesson her mother taught her nearly 50 years ago, customers of Hit Trophy are always treated with respect and consideration.
We at Hit Trophy appreciate Kelly and her 25 years of loyal service. Without her caring attitude and kind treatment of our customers, we would have never grown to a company that now conducts business all across the United States. Thank you Kelly Schmucker for making our family owned business a success story!