You might say that Field Manager and Queen Anne Delivery Kitchen (Valley Street) General Manager Brandon Steele is the poster boy for the young punk turned well-respected adult. At least, that’s how Director of Operations John Clifford sees him. Brandon plopped into the role of cook and counterperson at our Ballard location (85th Street) when he was in high school. Over the years, John has watched him grow into the role of mentor for so many at Pagliacci.
“There are few, if any, managers who care as much about his people than Brandon does,” says John. “He also cares a ton about Pagliacci and works hard to make the company better.”
This year Brandon celebrates his 15th anniversary with Pagliacci, so we caught up with him in between his job roles to talk about the high points of his career and what keeps him coming back for more.
How'd you come to work for Pagliacci?
I had a buddy who worked at the 85th Street (Ballard) location, so it was an easy fit for an after-school job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working with different people, and getting more people to take on new responsibilities.
What is the highlight of the last 15 years?
*Probably winning the first Tyrone Award.
What do you do for fun?
Brew beer and watch the Sounders and the Hawks. **I’m a big soccer nerd.
Balancing your roles as Field Manager and General Manager probably means there's never a dull moment. What does a typical day look like for you?
That’s kind of the fun part in that there isn’t really a typical day. My days can start early to open a store or help cover catering, and then I drive to my next stop for a manager meeting or to help with the lunch rush, drive to another store to hit the dinner rush, and then finish my day with another meeting or closing a store. I put about 20,000 miles on my car in the first five years I had it and 14,000 miles since I became a Field Manager.
When you first started, did you think you'd be in it for the long haul?
Absolutely not. Who thinks they are going to stay at a job they have in high school for this long? I just got lucky and it was the right fit for me at the time. It has allowed me to keep growing my role as I get older.
What are your goals going forward?
I’m very happy with my position now, but am always looking for the next way I can do more. I’m sure I will expand my role with Pagliacci more in the coming years.
Not only is Brandon an exemplary manager and great friend, he's a shining example of what we mean when we say, "I am Pagliacci."
*The Tyrone Award was created in memory of our dear friend and manager Tyrone Fabroa, who passed away three years ago. Brandon was the inaugural winner of the Tyrone Award in part because of his dedication to mentoring his crew.
**Some would say this season ticket holder is actually a HUGE soccer fan.