Here at Thermo-Kool, we know that what makes our company run so well, is our employees. For over 60 years, our team has been building the company into a leader in the industry. So we decided it's time to show you the people behind the company. Our new series, Chill Zone: We Are Thermo-Kool, sits down each month with an employee to chat with them about their experience here and what they like to do outside of work. Up first is Lisa Hinton, our Executive Specialist/IT/Marketing. Learn a little more about Lisa and let us know what you think about her favorite food and drink combo!
How Long Have You Worked At Thermo-Kool?
Almost 13 years. It'll be 13 in September.
How Did You End Up In The Foodservice Industry?
By fate, I suppose. I took culinary arts when I was in high school, and it always seemed to be my job to clean the walk-in (a Thermo-Kool walk-in, as I would later realize). My primary field of study in college was Programming, but when the largest employment company for programmers in our area did a full layoff the year I graduated, it was time to branch out and rely on other skills. Needless to say, when I received a call from the walk-in company that I had spent two years of my life cleaning their product, it felt a little like things had come full circle.
Where Do You See The Industry Headed?
‘Up,’ may be the simple, ‘cheesy’ answer, but it is true in so many ways. The landscape of the industry has changed so drastically in the last few years thanks to The Virus That Shall Not Be Named. Schools are changing to commissaries, farm-to-table is a trend, and more and more we see our favorite places to eat now on wheels. These are all creative changes that demand creative solutions, and I believe firmly that the industry has risen and will continue to rise to these occasions as the landscape and technology continues to grow.
In Your Opinion, What's The Best, Obscure Use For A Blast Chiller?
This is not my personal experience, but we had an employee get married one year, and she used one of our blast chillers to shock freezer the top of her wedding cake so that she and her husband could share it on their one-year wedding anniversary. I thought it was so cool, that Thermo-Kool wasn’t just preserving food but memories as well.
What’s Your Favorite Food Or Beverage?
Fried pickles with a banana milkshake (try it before you say ew)
Do You Have A Favorite Restaurant?
Mellow Mushroom, and I have mourned the loss ever since the nearest restaurant closed years ago.
What's Your Go-To Order?
Are You Binge Watching Any TV Shows?
Midnight Mass. There’s nothing better than a horror series that just doesn’t make sense . . . until the ending. I’m assuming, of course, as I have two episodes left that I’m saving for a rainy day.
Is There Anything On Your Bucket List?
A trip to Egypt and tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in New York City.
Do You Cook At Home? If So, What’s Your Favorite Tool Or Appliance?
Remember when I said I went to culinary arts for two years? Don’t let that fool you. Any meal attempted by me ends in a mass murder of perfectly good ingredients. Perhaps that’s why the microwave is my kitchen BFF.
Where's The Coldest Place On Earth You've Ever Been?
The coldest place would have to be New York.
What’s Your Favorite Cold Weather Sport?
I think anyone who lives in the South, a.k.a., The Land of No Snow, would agree that cold weather sports here are different than anywhere else. Mostly it’s football and other sports that resemble football. Coming from someone who played clarinet in the marching band and was forced to attend every football game, golf is pretty okay too.
If You Could Describe Thermo-Kool In One Word, What Would It Be?
Dedicated. It’s one thing for a company to say they are dedicated to customer satisfaction, to quality, to providing a product built to outlast the test of time. But it is another thing entirely to see it in action. I’ve had a lot of time to roam these halls, make friends, and attend many meetings with those same friends. So I can say with absolute confidence everyone here is dedicated to our customers. It is humbling to be a part of such a team.
Anything Else We Should Know About You?
Speaking from a personal standpoint, I’m pretty boring. But I’ll take a shot at some possibly interesting things. I’m a gamer and a cosplayer. I’d rather read than watch tv, and I’d rather write than read. I own four cats: Sam, the fluffy ragdoll with the attitude a demon might envy; Persia, the sweet Siamese who’s just a touch oblivious; Grimm, the black cat bad-boy who is just cute enough to get away with most things; and Si, my striped tabby who swears on an hourly basis that I haven’t fed him in ages. I always win the first round of bowling and seamlessly tank every other round thereafter, and when going axe throwing, I can almost always hit the back of the axe on the target. It still counts if you hit the middle though, right?
We hope you had a blast reading about our team member Lisa. And if you think your foodservice business is ready to become more efficient, click below to find out.