Holmes Custom and Cat:
A Culture of Success
Bryan Croft, President and CEO of Holmes Custom, places a huge emphasis on the culture within his company. Bryan’s father co-founded Holmes Custom in 1954 and when Bryan began working at the company, he was only one of eleven employees. Sixty-two years later, and now under the leadership of Bryan, Holmes Custom has grown to employ over one hundred individuals.
Although apprehensive when first approached by The Arc Jacksonville about hiring an individual with an intellectual or developmental difference, Bryan decided to hire Cat. He was surprised at the overwhelming, excited response from employees. Bryan expressed that it is “amazing to watch employees interact” with Cat, that she has a “positive influence on attitudes” and employees have a “sense of pride” working for a company that supports community employment and inclusion of those with varying abilities.
During her three years at Holmes Custom, Cat has become a valued co-worker and vital employee. With the assistance of her job coach, provided by The Arc Jacksonville, and management at Holmes Custom, Cat excels in her position in the shipping department. She assembles boxes, maintains inventory levels and attends staff meetings and events. She enjoys her work each day and enthusiastically reports how many boxes she has assembled. Bryan and her other supervisors appreciate her work ethic and say “it’s a great fit, because she loves it!” Throughout the day, you can find Cat singing while she works and high-fiving any employee that walks by. When asked about her job, Cat said “It’s kind of fun!” especially when she won an employee recognition award and the company Halloween costume contest.
Bryan encourages other executives to hire individuals like Cat because “as a community member and business leader, we have the ability to create a position, and it’s worked well.”
He adds, “What I see in Cat is the smile every day and her high fives. When you are around Cat, you can’t help but smile too.”
The Arc Jacksonville is appreciative of Holmes Custom’s support in creating an inclusive Jacksonville community.
Interested in employment opportunities for your company? Contact Susan Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org/904-355-0155 or visit www.arcjacksonville.org/community-employment.