“Brother Dave” Stephens is a welcome and familiar sight to all of us here at Wind Creek. As a Training Specialist, he is one of the first faces our Team Members get to know in Orientation and training classes. With his sense of humor, boisterous personality, and unstoppable love for everyone that crosses his path, he always leaves a trail of smiles and laughter in his wake. As such a vital part of our Wind Creek team, it seemed obvious to feature Mr. Dave as our “One of Us” this month.
How long have you worked for Wind Creek?
I was hired in January, 2004 as a Security Manager, then moved to HR in 2009 as a Training Specialist. In 2012, I was asked to take the lead in developing a screening process for new hire applicants and took on the additional role as the Talent Screening Specialist and… here we are today!
What do you feel you do that makes you such a great employee?
I do not feel as though I am a “great” employee… but I do possess a lot of enthusiasm and compassion for other human beings and it is my job to demonstrate it. I would not be who I am without my wife of 37 years. I am who and what I am because of the people around me… my training team… and my faith and belief in God.
Do you have any advice for those who wish to be successful?
If a Team Member or any person wants to be successful, I believe the first step is to genuinely care about others. If we could learn to place others above ourselves, then we can change the world. Placing ourselves second to other people in our life changes everything.
What do you enjoy about working at Wind Creek?
I’ve always enjoyed working for Wind Creek because I have a lot of family members here. I have over 1,200 brothers and sisters that treat me like I am special, which I am not, but I can treat them like members of my own family. There is no greater reward than to be treated like family by others.
Do you have anything you would like to share with our Guests?
I hope that when our Guests visit any of our properties that they genuinely feel like we care about them, that they are special to us, and that this is where they can find an escape from what is going on in their lives… not because caring about our Guests is part of our job, but because caring for others is how we are supposed to live our lives.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is Orientation; day one… and right off the bat I get to introduce new Team Members to our system of values and beliefs. I love seeing the energy and enthusiasm in new faces when they realize that this company is unlike any other company they could ever encounter. I love taking new hires on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from tears of compassion to high energy laughter.
Do you have any favorite stories about your time here?
If I could share all of my favorite stories I have have encountered with individual Team Members and departments, you could write a book. Probably one of my most touching moments was when I was in the hospital, and the entire first shift from Games came to see me… WOW! I was like the Grinch… my heart grew 7 times its size, and then burst as the tears ran down my face seeing how many Team Members actually cared about this ole man… and the visits from others didn’t stop until I was discharged. Where else can someone work with so many great people who actually care and love each other?
Any wisdom you would like to share?
I believe if a person wants to be a success, the first thing they need to do is to truly want to be better than they currently are… then they need to find a role model and exemplify them and then try to be better than what you have seen them be. Never, never ever quit trying to be better than you are. This takes a lot of time in front of a mirror. Many times you may not like the person that is looking back at you… and it is at this moment that you have to make a change.
What inspires you (in other people, or in general)?
What inspires me is knowing that I have the ability to change and touch the hearts of people. I am inspired in the belief that generally people are good and all that someone might need is for someone to touch their heart… they will remember how great this feels…. And then turn around and pay it forward. Some, if not all of our greatest rewards come from people that we may never see again, but their lives were changed through the simple act of compassion.
Something funny: After spending 23 years in the Marines, I asked my wife where she wanted to retire… since she had followed me around the country for 17 of those 23 years. I had already sent all of my resumes to Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona. With a smile on her face, she said, “I want to go home to Atmore.” I fell on my knees and cried. “Atmore! What the heck am I going to do in Atmore?”
I believe in divine intervention and I am right where I am supposed to be.