I stay really busy, there is always something to work on. There is always new challenge to deal with. The market has been at our current location for 30 years. The facility is starting to show its age. Also, customer and vendor expectations have increased over the last 30 years. Many of the buildings at the market are not designed for the way they are being used today. So, that can make things challenging for both the market and the vendors at times.

For example, many of the buildings on the retail side of the market were designed for vendors to pull in sale out of the back of their truck, then leave at the end of the day. That has changed, vendors are set up permanently and do not leave at the end of the day. Electrical needs in the buildings have increased. The facility was designed for one million visitors per year, we now have over 3 million.

The area around the market and in Raleigh in general is changing and developing at a rapid pace. We must change and adjust to the things going on around us. Change can be hard sometimes. We are a government run NC State facility. Even though we are completely self-supporting, we use no tax dollars to run the facility, and we still operate under the guidelines and rules of state government. Trying to manage and run a facility such as this under those guidelines can be challenging at times. 

A typical day is spent planning, scheduling staff and assignments, reviewing work and procedures, facility maintenance and improvements, budgeting, procurement, space assignments, assimilate market product needs, marketing, facility safety and food safety, maintaining inventory and supplies. Dealing with and working with staff, vendors, customers, commodity groups, government agencies, local businesses and NCDA&CS leadership is another important part of my day.   

I truly enjoy helping farmers, vendors and customers with their needs and trying to provide a place for them to be successful and shop. I get pleasure in making improvements around the market to benefit the people that use our facility. I personally enjoy the opportunity to get outside and work some. I have never been one to want to sit at a desk all day, even though it happens more than I like.

If there was one thing about my job that I liked the least is that we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. We only close Christmas Day. So, I’m always working even when I’m off. I get calls, e-mails, and text when I’m on vacation, weekends, holidays eating dinner with family, in the middle of the night. This past Christmas Day, the one day we are closed, I got a call from a vendor at 10:00 AM on Christmas morning. And it wasn’t to tell me Merry Christmas. It makes it very difficult to unplug or disconnect from work?  But don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge immensely and if I can help someone while I am on vacation or even on Christmas morning, I am still thrilled to be able to do so.