Name: Star Stepp
Position: Production Assistant
Date of Hire: 01/30/2018
Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Star’s admiration for Team 1’s family-oriented support for its team members started before she herself was even hired on to work at the facility. Four years ago, her grandchild, Hannah, was born prematurely at just 30 weeks of development; at the time, her son-in-law, Patrick Campbell worked for Team 1 Plastics as a die-setter on B Shift, and the company was going through some struggles of its own. Despite their own challenges, Star explained, Team 1 never wavered in their support of the new father’s needs to be there for his child, granting Patrick PTO and a small loan to help the family through the infant’s early days – two weeks of which were spent in the hospital’s NICU. “So, Team 1 was a positive part of my life before I even came to work for them!” she says fondly.
How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Always outgoing personality-wise, Star says, “I’ve learned to be more of a ‘voice.’ At work, if my co-workers and I are feeling a bit frantic, I’m the one who speaks up.”
Star explains that the facility has been “crazy-busy since we’ve been back after the COVID-19 shut-down. One day I let Dave Sanford know that we were overwhelmed, and he made some adjustments to the line to let everyone catch up.” And that, she says, has been a step forward in her own professional development.
Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: According to Star, what she loves about being part of the team literally “varies from day-to-day. I do love the people, and that it’s very family oriented. Recently, I was off for several days with a [medical problem], and [co-worker] Vance Bodell – who I date – reported to me that everybody was asking him about me.”
Last year, Star lost a workmate, Karen Watkins, who succumbed to a terminal illness. The loss still devastates Star, whose relationship with her late co-worker definitely started off on the wrong foot. “One time I was working on C Shift, helping pull foam. I entered Karen’s area [to perform the task there] and, because Karen usually pulled the foam and was so upset at my intrusion, I threw off her whole day. I felt so bad when I realized how much I had inadvertently upset her that I sent her a bouquet of flowers – and we were good friends from then on. I still miss her being here.”
What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? When asked how she was given her unusual first name, Star explains that is was because her mother’s favorite movie was “A Star is Born.” After being shown the film when she was younger, she has maintained a long-time crush on two of its celebrity stars, Kris Kristofferson and Sam Elliot. She grew up in Morley, Michigan, located in the northern Lower Peninsula. “I do miss the woods, the water, and the quiet there,” she says reflectively.
Hannah is just one of a total of nine grandchildren of Star’s – all but two, blue-eyed blonds – born into her four children’s families. Their precociousness and level of energy make the frequent caregiving that she provides for them at her home a challenge, but one she meets with boundless love and enthusiasm.
As a crafter in her spare time pre-pandemic, Star would refinish furniture, or paint murals to decorate walls in her off-springs’ homes. “When I’m focused on a project, it’s my way of clearing my mind,” she explains. But in this time of coronavirus, she’s directed her artistic talents towards helping keep her grandchildren happy, overseeing when they decorate tee-shirts, or create hand-print artwork.
Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: “Take every day as a new one,” is Star’s advice. “Because it will be!” Her ‘new day’ when she first arrived at Team 1 Plastics was a memorable one, even if it was technically a ‘night’ shift: when Star reported for duty, her new supervisor, Hesham Yahia (the Lead Captain on the floor) gave her a whole zone to work in and encouragingly told her, “You can do it!” And she did!
Random Question: If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be? “Minion,” Star replied with a laugh. “I think my grandchildren speak it!”
For those not in the know, Minions are the characters featured in a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film that served as a spin-off prequel to the Despicable Me movie franchise. The movies’ minions use words from languages that include French, English, Spanish, and Italian. You, too, can learn to speak Minion, by following this link: https://www.bustle.com/articles/96089-how-to-speak-the-minion-language-be-a-pro-at-communicating-in-banana-video