By: Kathy Kwong
It is a dreary Tuesday morning at BRING’s recycling located in Glenwood, Oregon. Last night’s rain lays claim to the facility’s premises. Gray clouds above, and a cool moist, breeze begin the day for employees at this non-profit “Planet Improvement Center.” Before opening for business the staff are shuffling between the many buildings within the facility.
A woman, in a green hoodie and sunglasses on hear head despite the gloom, bustles among the buildings. Under her arm, she is clutching a bank deposit bag. Sorel boots wrap her jeans and ankles carefully keeping Northwest moisture from her busy moving feet.
She is BRING’s retail business manager, Deveron Musgrave.
Musgrave paces back and forth along with her staff from one building to the next. A walkie-talkie and gloves hang from her blue jeans as she scans her crew and her surroundings.
The calm, collected and organized Musgrave joined BRING’s team as a retail manager in 2008.
Since then she says her title hasn’t changed, only her duties-and she enjoys those duties very much.
“She [Musgrave] is a really unique boss. She is extremely efficient at multi-tasking, coordinating and listening to employee’s ideas,” Emily Horton, assistant retail manager, says.
This morning, Musgrave is coordinating a staff meeting minutes before they open. Business as usual begins at 9 a.m.
Meanwhile, a guest has arrived and Musgrave hurries back to the business office to greet him, drop bag still clutched under her arm.
“Good morning, how are you?” Musgrave asks the representative from Saif Corporation.
Saif is a workman’s compensation insurance provider. Musgrave has arranged for the meeting to familiarize her staff of how to handle accidents on the job.
She knocks on one of her colleague’s doors and leaves the bank bag with the administrative assistant. Checking the coffee pot hopefully, Musgrave exits the building with no coffee.
Pulling the walkie from her back pocket, Musgrave calls out in a direct voice, “Ben, Jay…the meeting is a go. Please meet our presenter in the office for the Saif meeting.”
A typical day for Musgrave can entail anything from customer service to running the BRING art gallery blog, scheduling and even programming cash registers to keep the business moving smoothly.
Back at her office, Musgrave has just missed a phone call. She checks her voicemail, returns a call, then hangs up before heading out to greet her customers in the plumbing section.
There are not too many customers this early in the morning. The facility opens its doors relatively early in order for corporations and local businesses to make drops and still have time to return to open their own business. Much of their clientele are business owners and builders.
BRING recently acquired a large amount of granite in large part to Musgrave noticing a “going out of business” sign on her way home. She stopped and gave them her business card saying she understood the moving process.
Musgrave previously owned two businesses and says that sometimes at the end you want to be done with things. She said she didn’t hear from them for three months. Then, one day Musgrave received a call, asking her if she’d be interested in moving it all.
“It took several trips but we got it,” Musgrave says.
Her philosophy, as well as that of BRING, is that they try not to take anything that cannot be reused. Recycling is what started the non-profit in the beginning (founded in 1971). However, recycling comes with high costs and before recycling is considered, reusing is the first and more sustainable option.
She also has a keen eye for even the smallest items. She rummages through an endless supply of towel rods, some outdated, many unwanted, from brass to white finished styles. She pulls out three stainless steel very new looking rods.
“I can take these and make them into a set to try and make a bit off of them rather than letting them go to the scrap metal pile,” Musgrave says.
Musgrave says she has little to do with a positive impact on the Glenwood neighborhood. Rather the business manager says she is only a part of what everyone at BRING is doing as part of a team.
Horton says that her manager is crucial to BRING as well as to the Glenwood neighborhood.
“This area has growing opportunities as well as untapped resources for potential businesses. I think Deveron can be a key person to helping businesses in the area.”
“Just the mission of the nonprofit in general probably educates the people around us, even if it’s unintentional,” Musgrave says, laughing.
Aside from managing the business aspect of the organization, Musgrave keeps herself educated about public and neighborhood issues by sitting in on boards, affiliating herself with Eugene/Springfield Commerce as well as attending learning workshops. She recently finished a stint with the Glenwood Refinement Plan, which she says she joined for a learning experience.