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The Face of Jameco

It's Different and We're Struggling With Our New Look

By Greg Harris

Liz Smith We don't think of ourselves as a retailer, instead we think of ourselves as a wholesale distributor, but with the high cost of shipping, many in the San Francisco Bay Area like to drop by to pick up their will call orders, talk to a technical expert, see what we're giving away for free in our lobby and sometimes take a tour of the warehouse. For the past 20 years, the first face most customers have seen was Elizabeth Smith.

In fact for many customers Liz Smith was Jameco. No other employee has had more customer compliments submitted to our management team than Liz. When I've met people that asked where I work, it's not uncommon for them to say, "Do you know Liz?" In electronics circles Liz is both famous and loved. She freely gives away electronics magazines to customers, has a permanently cheery disposition and clearly is a huge part of who Jameco is.

Jameco works hard to remain consistent. The Jameco catalog has largely remained the same over the years, the Jameco logo has existed for over 35 years and the buildings we work in have had fresh coats of paint, but are largely unchanged since the day we moved in. We're now entering a new era without Liz who recently began her retirement.

Companies are a collection of people. We work hard to add processes and procedures so that as people come and go the customers’ experience remains consistent. For the most part we've been successful doing that, but somehow replacing Liz will require more than a well documented process or procedure. Liz has been the face of Jameco for over 21 years and we know that Jameco and the customers who visit us in person will struggle a little bit without Liz. Liz has big retirement plans and promises to visit. Personally I'm counting on the fact that she'll miss us (and more precisely her customers) so much that she'll come running back. Maybe you could help us to that end. Post a couple of words about your interactions with Liz on our facebook page. I know it will mean the world to her. In the meantime all the rest of the Jameco faces will do their best to support you and hopefully make Liz proud.