STAFF SPOTLIGHT: EDDIE WEIDOW AND JIM COLEMAN
Jim Coleman and Eddie Weidow, friends for more than 50 years, grew up together in Scranton, PA and have quite a few things in common. Both love the Dallas Cowboys, both love spending time with their grandchildren, and both are two of Diamond K Incorporated’s longest tenured employees, having been with the company 44 and 48 years, respectively.
Eddie started with Diamond K driving trucks in 1968. Soon after, he got Jim a job with the company bailing paper in 1972. The two have come a long way: Jim now holds the title of Plant Superintendent, while Eddie is now a Shift Supervisor in Building Two of the warehouse.
Both employees can recall the enormous four-room warehouse they currently work in being just woods when they first started. They worked in a small building at the front of the Diamond K property, which they referred to as “the news shed.” They can remember a time when they didn’t even have a garage, and when they only had two trailers on the road (Diamond K now has 115 trailers coming in and out from PA, NY and NJ every day, for reference). The pair even recalled a time when David L. Kirtland, the owner of Diamond K, was driving a tractor-trailer every day. The company’s office building was built in 1980, and shortly thereafter, the first building of the warehouse arrived. Today, the warehouse is now made up of four separate buildings, with two balers, a shredder, and other industrial machinery.
Jim Coleman’s daily activity has changed quite a bit—as Plant Superintendent, he now starts his day by opening up the office, where he answers and sends emails, takes phone calls from new and potential customers, and reviews invoices and paperwork as well as weighing trucks until the office staff arrives.
Jim then heads over to the warehouse, where he goes over daily operations with his team to ensure all deadlines are met. One of Jim’s main duties is to keep track of what loads are coming in and out of the warehouse, and to ensure the paper coming in is not contaminated. Each and every day, Jim also inspects all warehouse equipment to ensure it is safe and in satisfactory condition. Jim also handles any and all problems that may arise throughout the team’s daily routine. Although Jim holds one of the highest management positions, at any time throughout the day he can be seen driving a forklift, loading and unloading trailers and filling in at any position where extra hands may be needed. He believes that his title involves not only supervising but assisting in any position that may need additional hands. This helps to maintain the productivity and excellence that Diamond K strives to achieve as well as promoting a positive work environment for his team.
“I enjoy coming to work every day. We work with a great group of guys,” Jim stated. “I like my job, like what we’re doing. Not everyone can say that—we’re extremely lucky here at Diamond K.”
As Shift Supervisor, one of Eddie’s main duties is to oversee the unloading and loading of any and all trucks coming in to the Diamond K warehouse. He also supervises the grading of all paper material, as there are several different grades Diamond K processes from a number of printing and paper handlers in the area. He also manages his own crew and all equipment they use throughout the day.
When asked why he has stayed with the company, which was founded in 1955 by Lloyd J. Kirtland, father of David L. Kirtland, for so long, Eddie stated, “Mr. Kirtland is a great boss just as his father had been. He respects each of his employees, and treats us all well. There hasn’t been a reason for me to leave Diamond K.”
Outside of work, both Jim and Eddie enjoy spending time with their friends and families. Eddie is an avid runner, and used to run 40+ races a year! Jim used to enjoy playing softball and basketball, which he feels kept him healthy and agile throughout the years. Though he no longer plays, he surely misses it, but has replaced these sports with a great passion for golf! Both also especially love attending all of the sporting events their grandchildren participate in.
As far as the continued success of Diamond K goes, Jim is hoping the company is around for another 55 years. He explained that Diamond K Incorporated is more than just a job—it is a way of life. The rapport the senior team member has with the rest of the team is something many would be hard pressed to find when job searching in the current market. Jim genuinely enjoys what he does each and every day, and it shows. His, and Eddie’s, dedication to Diamond K Inc. has certainly contributed to the company’s success.