Michael Sonderman comes from a tech background, but he understands that the value of the latest technology is only as much as the people using it. “Do not take technology for the sake of technology,” Sonderman says. “We don’t necessarily need the new gadgets.” Sonderman began his career at Ridgefield Supply as IT support and worked his way up the ladder to operations manager. Today, he’s no longer helping staff learn how to log in to their computers but works to confront the best way to keep Ridgefield successful in the 21st century.
“We’re really looking at what drives the modern workforce,” Sonderman says. “Employees have other interests that need to be addressed. Some would like to continue volunteer work that takes one or two afternoons a week. If I can cut down my overtime by giving them one or two afternoons off a week, I don’t need everybody here the same hours day in and day out.”
Sonderman acknowledges that finding the right person isn’t just about finding the most qualified person. Each company faces its own challenges. For Ridgefield, that meant investing in Spanish-speaking employees. Sonderman, who grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, was able to meet that challenge head on. “To service that base out there, we need to be able to adapt this across [the industry],” he says. “We need to be able to service all the customers out there. Having somebody on staff that can speak to our demographic, it really does give people that sense of caring.”
After 13 years at Ridgefield, Sonderman has found a career that brings him a sense of passion day in and out, and hopes to pass on that fulfillment. “My goal is to grow many company as much as I can. I just want to introduce the passion I have for this company to the people that are helping me to grow it.”