Employee Highlight – Melissa Hurtado

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.

Melissa Hurtado – Shipping Department

Melissa Hurtado_blog

The shipping department is the last stop for all orders passing through the lab. From local pickups to international shipments, the billing and shipping team takes pride prepping, packaging and shipping your orders so you can better serve your clients. Shipping department team member Melissa Hurtado is well known around the lab, since she has been with H&H for over twenty years! Her positive attitude is infectious. Thanks for all you do, Melissa!

How long have you worked for H&H?

Twenty years as of March 1st. I have been with the shipping department since 2008. I started off working on School and Sports products.

How has the lab changed since you started working here twenty years ago?

When I first started working at the lab, the film would be spliced together upstairs, and then the volume orders would go downstairs to be printed. We didn’t know anyone upstairs. It felt like two different companies. In 2003, when we switched over to digital, they expanded and combined all the different areas together upstairs. One great thing about that, is now we all work more closely together, and know more people.

You must like shipping?

I love my area! I like all the people, and have made many close friendships through the years. I also like working in a Christian environment. I’m 52, and this is only my second job.

Where did you work before coming to H&H?

I worked for another lab, called School Photography Group, formerly Associated Photographers. They went out of business and both my mother and I were given the opportunity to move over to H&H. We got to choose where we wanted to work. My mom worked at the lab until 2006, when she was laid off. Although it was very difficult for me, everyone was so kind and decent in how they handled that situation.

How big is the shipping department?

We have one of the biggest crews, that we have had in all the years I have been here. From about 2008 to 2016, we had about 8 people. Now we have about 12-14 people! We have gotten better and more efficient as well. In the past we only had one person doing the invoicing, and then the rest of the department would have to wait until that person’s work was complete, before we could move forward with the other steps of the shipping process. You could only work on one cart at a time. Now each station is able to bill, assemble, package and ship. This new process came out of one of our Kaizens.

Did you get to participate in the Kaizen?

I did! I thought it was really interesting. I have been part of several Kaizens. I like the process, and I also like finding out how other departments work. I think it gives you a lot better understanding of why certain things are done a certain way. It just helps with understanding how the lab works as a whole.
Definition of a Kaizen – Japanese word for continuous improvement. A management philosophy emphasizing employee participation, in which every process is continuously evaluated and re-evaluated for the elimination of waste.

Does the shipping department handle international orders?

We do ship internationally. At certain times of the year, our international shipping can be very heavy.

What is it that you love about your job–that when you go home, you can say it was a good day?

A good day to me, is up to me and my attitude. I try to go into each day with a positive attitude. There will always be negative people in the world, but I try not to let them get to me. It’s also a great day, when I receive a compliment from a co-worker about how quickly I have taken care of something! I have been here a long time, so I have gotten pretty fast at certain tasks. That always makes me feel good to receive a compliment like that.

So tell me a little bit about your personal life?

I am not married, nor do I have kids of my own, but I was blessed in 2009 with my boyfriend and his ten-year-old daughter, Frances. The Lord’s time is not our own, and it was His time to reunite Jeffrey and I. We originally met through work in 1989, but we went on different paths. Jeffrey was a single dad and I found him through Facebook about twenty years later. We have basically been together ever since. Frances is now twenty years old and I could not imagine my life without her or her dad. My life is a blessed life!

What is your favorite kind of food?

I love Chinese food!

What kind of movies do you like?

I love old black and white movies. I love Cary Grant. My favorite movie is “Singing in the Rain.” I could watch it over and over again.

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