Feature Friday – Chris Derouen
Before my journey here at Stuller, I worked in retail. Soon enough, I realized that wasn’t the best long-term career path for me. A family member of mine advised I submit an application to Stuller. I was attracted to the company itself, rather than the jewelry industry specifically when beginning my tenure here. Revered in the Lafayette, Louisiana region, Stuller is known for its large size and scale of operations. But I had no idea how big the place actually was. I’ll never forget when I came in for my initial interview. As I took in all that happened within these walls, I was awe-struck!
I began in the Wax department in May 1996 where I was a wax injector and then a trainer. I remained there for two years. Then, I transferred to the Credit Department (now Customer Resources) and worked in collections for an additional two years. Finally, I moved to IT in 2000 where I hold my current role as an Administrator on the Infrastructure Team. Though I maintain a broad scope of duties, I mainly maintain the Enterprise Oracle Systems Environment.
Maintaining the stability of the Oracle Systems is crucial in fulfilling our obligations to our customers. Every order placed through Stuller is routed through the Oracle infrastructure. So without this powerful system, our operation would cease to exist! Just imagine — the manufacturing department wouldn’t know which orders were placed, inventory tallies would be skewed, our shipping department wouldn’t know where to ship orders, and so on. As you can see, the task of keeping our Oracle system up to par is huge! But it’s also extremely enjoyable for me, as every day presents a new challenge. The complexity of my daily tasks is something that keeps me going.
Outside of work, I play the accordion and am starting a Zydeco band. My grandfather had a band, and Zydeco music has always intrigued me. As a young child, the accordion was intimidating, keeping me from asking my grandfather to teach me to play. As an adult, I have decided to carry on his legacy and keep Zydeco music alive in my family. I have teamed up with Chubby Carrier, a Grammy Award winning Zydeco musician, who is mentoring me in my journey to becoming a Zydeco musician. Distinctive to South Louisiana, Zydeco is an expression of our heritage and a tradition that I’m proud to uphold.
I stay inspired by my challenging career, my exciting musical pastime, and the camaraderie of my Stuller Family. I’ve built lasting relationships with my coworkers. In fact, work has become like a home away from home for me. Looking back, I would not advise my younger self any differently. My trials and tribulations have molded me into who I am today and guided me toward this enjoyable career, company, and hobby!
Did you enjoy Chris Derouen’s recital of his roots? Check out Maggi Pere’s story as the Polish-Canadian-Cajun runner.