Core Value Story: I Build Relationships!
Becky Wagner, Administrative Assistant
If you have ever called C.D. Smith or walked into the Fond du Lac office, chances are you were cheerfully greeted by Becky Wagner, Administrative Assistant. Becky makes everyone who walks in or calls the office feel welcome. “My grandmother always said, a smile can change everything,” advice Becky has carried with her throughout life.
A Campbellsport native, Becky graduated from Campbellsport High School in 1998 and continued her education at Moraine Park Technical College. She married her high school sweetheart, Jake, and the two celebrated 20 years of marriage in May. The couple started their family at a young age, first with a daughter, Hailey, and then a son, Keegan. To stay at home with her kids, Becky ran a daycare out of their home, caring for dozens of families over 14 years. “It was truly a blessing to help raise other people’s kids,” Becky says, “I just love kids.”
After deciding to close the doors on the daycare, she felt driven to continue making a positive impact on kids’ lives. She went to work at Waupun High School in the Media Center, helping students with their homework and unknowingly becoming a strong female role model for those students. “I just tried to listen to their stories and problems,” she says, “and sympathize with the challenges kids face today.”
The next chapter in Becky’s story began with a phone call from her long-time friend and C.D. Smith employee, Katie Ruplinger. She told Becky about a job opportunity at C.D. Smith and encouraged her to apply.
“I interviewed with Connie. She called me that week and offered the job,” recalls Becky. Stunned by how quickly everything moved, she knew it was the right choice for her. “It all happened so fast, but I knew it was a great place to work; I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity,” she said.
In the beginning, Becky worked alongside Project Coordinators to learn more about construction and day-to-day operations, admitting that the biggest challenge was learning the Superintendents’ names. At C.D. Smith, many superintendents are referred to by nicknames, creating a challenge to put a face with a name and a nickname! “I used to have post-it notes with everyone’s name and nickname,” she laughs, “otherwise I wouldn’t remember who anyone was!”
Becky has the ability to talk to anyone. She genuinely cares about others embraces every conversation when someone walks in the door or calls the office. Her outgoing personality has enabled her to build strong relationships with others. Having started at C.D. Smith’s former Fond du Lac office location, she admits it’s been easier to make connections with office employees in the new building. “Everyone used to be cooped up in their own offices. Now, it’s so much easier to develop a friendship with others just by walking down the hallway or when I’m delivering mail,” Becky commented.
Becky serves to keep field employees and office staff connected, coordinating materials and supplies between the offices, yard and jobsites. During the COVID-19 crisis, Becky remained a vital player in keeping the daily flow of materials from the office to the yard for superintendent pick-up. She says, “Everybody has an important job to do, and if I can make it a little easier, I find that rewarding.”
Becky never turns down an opportunity to help out, no matter the task. “We’re all working together toward the same goal. One can’t work without the other,” she says, reiterating the importance of each person at C.D. Smith.
One of her favorite memories since starting at C.D. Smith was the 25 Year Club Dinner, held to recognize and celebrate those who have dedicated their lives to the C.D. Smith legacy. Current and retired employees who had dedicated 25 years or more of their career to C.D. Smith came to the office to celebrate, reminisce and share memories of how far the company has come since its start in 1936. “To share a small moment with them, to see their reaction to the new building and how proud they were, was amazing,” Becky shares. “I left with such a sense of pride to work here.”
Sending a cheerful smile or sparking a genuine conversation is something that Becky does without thinking. She makes a positive impact on each person she meets, building relationships with both clients and employees that walk through the doors of the Fond du Lac office each day. Thank you, Becky, for all that you do to keep the day-to-day activities in the office running. We couldn’t do it without you!