INTERVIEW: Adam Cherry
How Was Your Company Founded?
Cherry Optical, Inc was born in a moment Joe Cherry (my father) calls “an awakening.” Joe and Lynn Cherry (my mother) envisioned starting an innovative, service-driven and fiercely competitive Independent laboratory. Joe likes to tell people, “The second hardest thing I’ve done in my life was telling my wife I planned to quit my job, create my own laboratory and work for myself. The hardest thing I’ve done in my life was asking my wife to quit her job and work with me.” My parents took a leap of faith together and opened Cherry Optical, Inc in 1999 with a business model that excluded the possibility of failure. The company started with two employees and two edgers and grew into a leading independent optical laboratory through integrity, superior-quality products and a focus on continued education.
Why Are You A Great Company To Work For?
We take family very seriously at Cherry. That applies to our individual employee's families and how we relate to each other at the lab. If employees respect their company and coworkers, they’re going to do better work. Before welcoming our office dog Pause, we created an “open door” culture by literally removing all of our offices’ doors. This helped our employees quickly become comfortable with approaching management with ideas and concerns. Today, our lab remains a relaxed environment with open communication. Our customer service center is free of cubicles to encourage collaboration. This environment also makes it easy to have fun on the job but make no mistake; we take our optics very seriously.
What Separates You From The Competition?
I supposed I could take the standard approach to answering this question and tell you all about our amazing technology, outstanding quality, and unbelievable service levels. But that is too easy and extremely cliche. I think people in Green Bay, WI have a special understanding of exactly what it means to be part of a winning team. The truth is that the people of Cherry Optical, Inc are what separate us from our competition. There are so many business buzzwords used these days, but it really just boils down to respect, trust and a belief in one another. We provide our employees all of the tools they need to be successful and then the training, support and autonomy to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. While we do have managers, what we don't have is a hierarchy that prohibits one person's ideas to be stifled by another's.
What Keeps You Motivated?
What keeps me personally motivated is a drive to create an optical laboratory and business that is so dramatically better than our competition that we don't have competition. Our ability to have grown a successful laboratory during a period of time with extreme vertical integration and the proliferation of vision plans is very motivating. I like to say that Cherry Optical, Inc earns our business the old fashion way. We don't have the luxury of contractually obligating customers to work with us or simply buying support through kickbacks and rock bottom pricing. We earn it by finding an area that we can benefit our customers and then slowly winning their support with service, quality, education, and support.
What's One Thing You'd Like To Share With Opticians?
That if you want to learn more about Cherry Optical, Inc, the best people to talk to our people because they are the best. You can call us and talk to us about whatever you'd like. We actually answer the phone!