Employee Highlight – Cora McThompson
We are proud of our employees and the pride and care they take producing your orders and want to share their stories with you.
Each month we highlight one of our employees and the department they work in! You will get a look behind-the-scenes here at the lab, and get to know one of our own a little bit better.
We are pleased to introduce Cora to you. She just celebrated her 40th anniversary at H&H! Cora began her career at the lab as an artist/retoucher. She now provides maintenance and facility care for the lab. She is one of longest term employees, and we want her to know how valued she is to us and how much she is appreciated!! She helps make our work environment special!
Q How did you come to work at H&H?
A I was working at a little donut shop in Raytown at the time – 1976! H&H had recently moved to the current Raytown location from Wayne’s home in Kansas City. Around morning donuts and coffee, I found they were in need of an artist, and that was what I got my schooling in. So that is when I started to work at the lab – forty years ago.
Q So you have seen big changes over the years—what was it like when you first came to the lab and how has it changed?
A I learned a lot on the job, and mainly did retouching and artwork directly onto the photographic print. Wayne secured a well-known artist in the photographic industry, Dixie Laval, (who happened to live in Raytown) to help train me in doing photographic artwork. I also worked closely with H&H customers to do the style of work that they wanted.
When I first started, we were in one small house, working out of a narrow garage with about 8 employees. During our busy season, we had to put tables in the middle of the room to hold all the work. It got so crowded at one point, that when someone had to go to the restroom, everyone had to get up and move out of the room, to let them out! We had a pre-inspection area, a final inspection area, a spotter and artist working on all of the prints. Wayne’s office was on the screened-in porch of the house.
H&H grew and expanded over the years and when digital technology started to develop, the photography industry started to transition to digital. Around 1996, the lab started to offer this “new technology” of digital retouching and artwork as a choice for our customers. I learned basic digital retouching in Photoshop 3, and I absolutely loved doing digital retouching. About 12 years after that, the lab transitioned completely to digital and no longer offered traditional artwork on photographic prints. Then as time passed and I got closer to retirement age, I shifted to the facilities maintenance team. I now help maintain our 60,000 square foot facility and 200 plus employees.
Q Tell me about your family!
A I was part of a large family. There were 8 of us. I was born in Kansas City. We used to go on vacation every summer in Duluth, Minnesota, and visit relatives. I still have quite a bit of family up in that area. Growing up with brothers, I watched a lot of sports. I grew up watching the Athletics, and then the Royals. I am a big Royals fan! My mom would watch golf on TV. I would watch bowling, just to annoy my brothers. I don’t have any children, but I do have my rescue dog, Lucy, that I love.
Q What hobbies do you have?
A I love to draw and paint. I also take lots of photos with my digital camera. I take lots of sky photos. I figure I have lots of sky photos to use for reference when I am making paintings now. I was into art at a young age. In 5th grade, my mom noticed that I was interested in art, and she started buying art supplies for me every time she would go into town. I was lucky for that.
I also love to travel. I would like to see all of the National Parks when I retire. I also enjoy genealogy.