Friends, family and even Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds stopped by the local Starbucks Thursday morning to celebrate a milestone for one of the store's beloved employees.
Today marks 15 years that Brandi Montgomery has called herself a Starbucks employee. For anybody in this current economic climate, that kind of longevity and dedication to one employer is hard to come by. It's even more impressive because Montgomery has Down syndrome.
Her tenure with Starbucks began in 1997 when she first worked with Tamra Hignard, director of Rios Employment and Consulting Services, to find a suitable position for her skills and abilities.
Hignard said Montgomery's family had lived in Seattle at the time and so she was placed at a Starbucks location there and thrived. "She has such a love for life and an enthusiasm," Hignard said. "She's drawn to people and loves all things about her community. She radiates life wherever she goes."
Montgomery worked at a second Seattle Starbucks location before moving with her family to Enumclaw about six years ago, mom Ginny said.
That appreciation for her community translated well here. Cara Reid, manager of the Enumclaw Starbucks, said Montgomery is always eager to talk to customers and she loves babies in particular. "She's been great," Reid said. "We're very fortunate to have her here with us."
Montgomery works best with a set routine, Hignard said. It may bore some people but for her, it provides a sense of comfort and empowerment.
Reid, who has worked with Montgomery for four years, adds that she's been impressed that she has been able to adapt when things don't go according to plan. "She's been great," she said. "It's been fun to see her grow."
Montgomery confirmed that was what she liked best about working at Starbucks, "working off my list," she said, which includes everything from helping to clean the facility to stocking supplies and condiments.
Mom Ginny said her daughter is pretty meticulous when working off her list of duties. But above all else, "she's just a young woman like everyone else."