Photo of Matt Garmer with his family posing for a Christmas picture

Employee Spotlight: Matt Garmer

In talking to Matt you realize that he has an unusual story for Quincy Recycle. He saw an ad, applied for the job, went through the hiring process, and started with Quincy Recycle as a Financial Accountant. That process would seem normal at almost any other company, but he stands out at Quincy Recycle as one of the few employees who didn’t join the company via an employee referral. Nevertheless, Matt knew right away that he had found his place and he hasn’t looked back.

When did you start with Quincy recycle? Was your job title the same as it is now?

I started with Quincy Recycle in October of 2012; so quickly I am coming up on the 10 year anniversary.  When I was hired, we had one primary company, Quincy Recycle, and only three physical locations.  Fast forward to today, we have four primary companies and 11 physical locations.

I was hired as the first Financial Accountant that Quincy Recycle had and was assigned to focus on those three physical yards as well as the brokerage business from a financial analysis, closing, and reporting point of view.  Over the years, and as more Financial Accountants have come aboard, my responsibilities and experiences have shifted greatly.  From Quincy Farm Products, Quincy Exact Solutions, Quincy Recycle, QRP Logistics, and the Equipment division, I’ve worked throughout the Quincy Recycle system and continue to do so.

Along with financial and reporting responsibilities for Quincy Recycle, five years ago, the responsibility for IT shifted to myself as well.  Focusing primarily  on user interface, software, backup capabilities, and especially security, I’ve gained new experiences and skills at Quincy Recycle in the IT realm.

If you had to pick one, which Core Value is your favorite?

My favorite core value is “Be Courageous & Try It!”  At QRP, we are allowed to fail in trying to bring new success to the company.  Sometimes an idea doesn’t work; but oftentimes it does.  But having the support to try something that ultimately may not work is very refreshing in the business world.  This has particularly helped me in my career as I often try items at work that QRP has never done before.  While I would love to say I am always successful, there are times when I am not.  Those failures are where learning and progression come from, and QRP supports both the successes and failures.

What was the most challenging thing to learn in your roles?

One of the more challenging parts to my position is that there are times when I am working on new items in which there is no company history to fall back on.  An example of this was early on in my career at QRP, the need arose to extrapolate and analyze data in more significant ways than previously had been done.  Specifically, using Excel ODBC data sources, pivot tables, and macros to pull information and analyze was a major part of my job.

The only problem, I didn’t have many skills with Excel and was just a basic user, and QRP needed an advanced user of Excel in the organization.  Reading books, watching videos, and lots of trial and errors; I slowly learned to use Excel in much more productive ways for the company.  Nowadays, I help to train others when they need help with Excel.

What was the most surprising/ fun thing to learn?

Taking over IT has really opened my eyes to different aspects of a business.  Specifically, being charged with keeping the company’s information safe and secure was, and still is, daunting.  QRP takes security of our electronic information extremely serious and devotes time, talent, and energy towards keeping all of our records safe and secure.  Every day we run across people trying to phish, scam, and steal information from employees; which is no different than any other business.  Learning about items such as Phishing, Ransomware, and other items has been very eye opening, and I dare say “fun” in a nerdy sort of way.  Making our company safer and secure has been very rewarding and is something that we are constantly striving for.

What’s your favorite part about working at Quincy Recycle?

My favorite part of working for QRP is how every day is different.  With the variety of companies (QRP, QFP, QES, QRL), the variety of tasks, and my primarily focus on helping our internal team; I’m constantly working on different things.  From accounting, to business analytics, to project management, to IT; my days throughout the month can be quite a bit different.  Often when I’m talking to someone, I’ll ask “what company’s hat do I need to have on?”  This makes for a fun, unique, and diverse work experience.

What would you like curious prospective employees to know about Quincy Recycle?

The culture of QRP is something special!  We work hard and play hard, and that is very enjoyable as an employee.  Employees of QRP are expected to deliver quality results.  You are not just a number here, but part of a family.  Likewise, we celebrate the wins together, as it is a team environment.  It is because of this, that if a prospective employee likes to be judged and rewarded for hard work they should look at joining QRP.  Being here for almost a decade, still puts me as one of the “new” folks, and that speaks volumes on the longevity of the employees that work for QRP.

What are some of your hobbies you like to do outside of work?

My wife and I have three children under five years old, so unfortunately hobbies have taken somewhat of a backburner.  When I do find some free time, some of my hobbies include spending time working on our property, taking the kids on adventures – especially to waterparks, meeting up with some fellow co-workers and going to ATV parks, and finally I’m still fishing for that elusive 10lb+ bass.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever read or received?

My parents always told me to “do my best”.  I believe it is simply that.  If I do my best, success will follow both for myself as well as the team.

If you had to pick a song to portray the essence/ culture of Quincy Recycle, what would it be?

The first song that came to mind was “Baby Shark”, and I’m trying to think of a good analogy to compare it to QRP, but in reality it is simply a song I’ve heard 1,000 times, did I mention I have kids?