I can hardly believe another year has gone by. During 2011, Rusty and I kept our staff at Southgate Coins at just two girls, which has surprisingly been as productive as times in the past when we have staffed as many as five girls. So much of that is due to the quality of the two girls we now have, and the strong bond and work ethic they share, which makes them an extraordinary duo. Now it's time to celebrate Nicole, the blonde-haired member of our two-girl team, who reached another milestone with us by wrapping up her third year at Southgate Coins.
I have been proud to see even more growth in Nicole this year as she gains more maturity. Last year I was amazed how she transformed from being a young girl into a young woman, but this year she has come even further. She has become confident and independent, making wise choices for a twenty-one year old. She is coming into her own, forming her own opinions from her own experiences, and she tries to be fair and honest as she evaluates her beliefs.
Nicole is one of the most reliable employees we’ve ever had. She is on time, and she’s ready to go when she gets here. Whether it’s raining, snowing or she has the dreaded dead battery, she shows up when scheduled, and often arrives early. Even though Nicole’s car has many miles on it, she keeps it running and she patiently waits to replace it by putting spare cash here and there into a savings account, unwilling to take on a big debt.
Another thing I admire about Nicole is her perseverance and steadfastness. When she takes a class that is a challenge, she is doggedly determined to master it. She stays on track in school despite the fact that she pays for her own tuition and books. She chose quality roommates this past year, who have the same priorities she has, and they all focus on completing school and getting their degrees.
Nicole has a tender spot for many of the older (practically all of them all older than her, but I’m talking about people in their 50s, 60s and beyond) customers that come into our store, treating them with respect and kindness. She doesn’t just act nice to them; she really has affection for them. I find that to be very touching for a beautiful girl her age, who easily finds acceptance in almost any situation she’s in, to see people in other age groups as being relevant to her.
Each day when Nicole comes in, she brightens everything up for all of us. She has a quick sense of humor, and she’s always willing to share with Maya and me what’s going on in her life and she genuinely wants to hear what’s going on with us.
I enjoy the days I spend together with Nicole and hope she knows she’s welcome to stay with us for as long as she wants. She deserves a lot of respect and I consider her a dear friend. She is as close as family to me. Years from now, I hope she will have fond memories of her time with us at Southgate Coins because I know I sure will.
Now here’s Rusty to wrap up this tribute to our “photo-shoot girl.”
Over the many years that Marie and I have operated coin shops, one in Las Vegas and one in Reno, only two college-aged employees have worked for us for three or more years. Maya Roberts, who will pass the five-year mark with us in 2012, was the first girl to serve with us for at least three years. Now, Nicole Hoff, who reached the three-year milestone on December 29, 2011, joins this exclusive two-member group. Marie and I couldn’t be happier.
Nicole teamed up with Maya in 2011 to offer us the support we needed to get through one of the busiest and most memorable years in our company’s history. Her involvement with Southgate Coins’s 10-year anniversary projects topped the list of Nicole’s work-related activities during the summer.
With Maya serving as project coordinator, Nicole contributed her part to help us get our 10th-anniversary-in-Reno book published. In September, Nicole, along with Marie and Maya, transformed into a vivacious hostess as she greeted and mingled with a store full of guests who attended Southgate’s 10-year anniversary celebration. Nicole wowed, with Maya, a packed audience at the in-store event with her portion of the team-taught presentation she and Maya gave about how to build a 20th century type set of U. S. coins (Maya’s half of the presentation was excellent too). Nicole’s grasp of her subject demonstrated how much she’s learned about coin collecting and how well she’s learned to articulate her knowledge in the three years she’s been with us.
It’s been a delight for me to see Nicole take ownership of her role in our company and to use the expertise she’s acquired about our products and her familiarity with the way we do business to serve our customers. I love the way she has developed her own client base and how she often refers to a person as, “Oh yeah, he’s one of my regular customers,” or, “She’s nice, she comes in all the time and I show her the items she’s looking for.” I can tell Nicole takes pride in the service she provides, and I know her steady customers (and new ones she’s cultivating all the time) look forward to seeing her.
Nicole’s job at Southgate Coins is only part-time, of course, because her college education is her top priority. I have great admiration for how she has hung in there with her studies at UNR and at the same time has usually brought her A-game to work. When Nicole receives her four-year degree, sometime in the future, she will proudly be able to declare she burned the candle at both ends to achieve it.
All work (and school) and no play can lead to burnout, however, and I’m told, Nicole takes occasional short breaks from school and work to hang out with friends at local nightclubs and let loose of her inhibitions by exhibiting her patented double-fist-pump style of dancing. So far, in three years, her leisure-time activities have not affected her work performance.
During her time with us, Marie and I have really gotten to know Nicole, and speaking for both Marie and myself, we count it a pleasure to have done so.
Thanks Nicole, for the contributions you have made to our company’s success. And hey, don’t forget us when you become rich and famous.
With love and appreciation,
Rusty and Marie