Lori Gaddy has a saying about the waste industry – until you work in it, you don’t realize how important it is to customers. And she takes that to heart when working with them. Before starting her career with Waste Pro, Lori and her husband owned a local garbage company in Georgia called Gaddy’s Disposal, which they established in 1998. It was a small operation, she said, with her husband still working his regular job at the same time.
Over time, though, the customer base grew to approximately 2,500 customers. In 2004, it became one of Waste Pro’s first acquisitions. “It was a great transition,” she said. “As a small business, we didn’t have the working capital to continue to grow the operation. We wanted to align ourselves with a family-oriented company with a high level of focus on service. Waste Pro was a natural fit and allowed us to tell the next chapter of our story.”
In the beginning, they ran things out of a satellite office, where Lori began working. As things grew, they moved into Waste Pro’s Athens, GA Division. “I’ve known Lori for nearly 20 years,” said Waste Pro Founder and Executive Board Chairman John Jennings. “From day one when she joined with her family, I saw a determination to succeed.”
Fast forward to 2022, Lori says she and the dedicated Athens staff are committed to providing the best possible customer service experience. “When a customer calls in with an issue, in their mind, that is the most important thing happening to them,” she said. Whether it’s billing, payment issues, or a missed pickup, it is vital to Lori to make each customer feel valued and not like just another number. “It’s my goal to see that each call is handled with grace to calm the person down, listen to what they have to say, and figure out a resolution.”
In addition to working with customers, Lori is a woman of many hats. From payments/billing to reviewing accounts, running reports, preparing payroll, and more. “I’m here for whatever is needed, whether it’s a human resources issue or a customer service issue – whatever I can do to help.” Over the course of her nearly 20 years with Waste Pro, Lori has seen a dramatic change in the company for the better – a change she attributes to the very man that brought her here. “One of the main attributes of John Jennings is his vision,” she said. “20 years ago, there were very few divisions, but he always had the goal of taking the southeast. 20 years later, when you see how much we have grown and never veered from its customer-focused mission, it’s a true testament to what Waste Pro is all about.”
As for her own success, she believes it’s much bigger than her. “I am proud of the work I’ve done, I’ve given it 150 percent,” she said. “But I’m only as good as my team. It’s a team effort.” When she’s not at work, Lori is a proud – and busy – mother and grandmother. She also enjoys singing and being involved with her church.