Within the hustle and bustle of Camas Plaza’s environment, a committed leader has stepped up, guiding Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation’s (MCEC) newest venture with a commitment to excellence, growth, and professional development.
We shine our November 2023 MCEC Employee Spotlight on Camas Plaza Manager Paul Kennedy, a relative newcomer with a story of dedication and adaptability. Nominated for this spotlight by MCEC Interim Retail General Manager Ed Rosen, Paul’s journey is a testament to perseverance and the distinctive qualities that set him apart.
“Paul was hired from outside of the company, so he worked hard to learn the standards and expectations we maintain at Nisqually Markets,” Rosen said. “He has been open to guidance and possesses a strong willingness to learn. He brings his own ideas to the table and is always looking for ways to be more efficient, often sharing these with other locations. With good communication skills, and the courage to ask questions, Paul is a great addition to the Nisqually Markets management team, especially since he has the leadership of all of Camas Plaza on his plate.”
Just six months into his role at Nisqually Markets, Paul has already demonstrated his commitment to ensuring a productive work environment at Camas. Before stepping into the world of retail, Paul spent a decade in production and management at a shellfish farm, honing his skills in a markedly different environment.
“With production, it’s all about speed and efficiency, whereas with retail, you can only go as fast as the customers come in,” he said. “Trying to slow myself down and be flexible to the unique needs of a retail environment has been a growth area for me.” He added that his career-change decision was fueled by a thirst for personal and professional growth.
“I was looking to further my career, and when I came across Nisqually Markets on Indeed.com, I researched the company and was inspired by all its expansion and growth,” Paul said. “I knew right then that Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation was something I wanted to be a part of. It’s exciting to be in a growing company, something that’s not stagnant.”
As the Camas Plaza manager, Paul presides over both Camas Coffee House and the plaza’s Nisqually Markets location, a heavy load he’s embraced with a surefooted stride. His capacity to juggle the unique responsibilities required of managing two stores has spurred his willingness to introduce fresh perspectives to the team, a quality that sets him apart as a leader.
“I enjoy meeting new people and getting acquainted with the Nisqually community,” Paul said, explaining what he likes most about his position. “And working with the upper management team has really felt like a strong comradery, rather than people cracking the whip.”
As a father of five, ranging from a newborn baby girl to a 24-year-old, family is a central factor in Paul’s life. And when he’s not leading the charge at Camas Plaza, you’ll likely find him pursuing his passion for golf.
“I golf about two to three times a week, all year round – rain, snow, or shine,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for about 12 years.”
But it’s not just about golf and work for Paul. He possesses a passion and drive for supporting those who are just getting their footing in life.
“I really love trying to build up the younger generation. Sometimes they feel alone and like they have no one helping them, that no one understands them,” he said. “I try to take the time to interact with people from the younger generations and try to help them build themselves up. I’ve known many who feel stuck in their circumstances, and I want to help them through that, to let them know they are not alone.”
He said he also finds purpose in working for an enterprise owned by the Nisqually Indian Tribe, noting that he’s proud to be among those who work toward the prosperity of Nisqually.
“Working for the benefit of the Nisqually Tribe means a lot to me because we uplift people in the minority populations here, which is huge for me,” he said. “It’s the highlight of what I get to do here.”
Paul’s journey at MCEC is not just about retail management; it’s about making a positive impact on the community and providing guidance and mentorship to those who need it. In terms of golf, we’d say that with Paul Kennedy, the Nisqually Markets team has nailed the perfect put.