November 26, 2019
Employee Spotlight: Greg Rue
Photo & Blog by Phil Davies
In the fast-paced, oftentimes chaotic world of thrift, Greg Rue keeps the operation on track—and makes sure that everybody involved has a blast. A Bloomington native who has worked for The Arc Minnesota for 25 years, Greg oversees The Arc Minnesota’s stores in Richfield, Bloomington and New Hope. As Manager of Thrift Businesses he has led a successful campaign in concert with the stores’ managers to increase sales in support of the Arc’s mission. In the process he has empowered employees and volunteers to do their best work while lightening the load with his enthusiasm and humor. “There’s a lot of laughter and a lot of fun, as well as a lot of hard work,” he says.
Comments Molly King, Marketing Manager for Arc’s Value Village: “Greg is incredibly charismatic and kind. He’s also able to see what’s important—whether it’s a business decision or deciding what we need to work on first—which is really important when you have a million things coming at you.”
Greg started at The Arc Minnesota as a cashier in the Richfield store when he was in high school. After earning university degrees in environmental studies and urban studies, Greg became Assistant Manager of the Richfield store, and later, Facilities Manager for all the stores. Over the years he has seen it all—$20 bills hidden in the pages of donated books, gifts of handguns (thankfully unloaded), and in one instance, a pair of slippers with jewelry worth thousands of dollars tucked into the toes. “The lady was just hiding her jewelry in a safe place,” Greg says.
Greg became head of The Arc Minnesota’s thrift businesses last year. Given free rein to boost sales, he has refocused store operations on efficiently processing donations and fully stocking the shelves with attractive, bargain-priced items. More staff members are working full-time, and they’ve been given more responsibility. As a result team morale has risen and sales are up—a win both for shoppers and people who depend on The Arc Minnesota’s services.
Going forward, Greg would love to open another Arc’s Value Village store to ensure robust financial support for the Arc’s cause. “I never wanted a for-profit job,” he says. “I always wanted to be part of a nonprofit, and this has just been a great fit, and the people we help are just so appreciative.”
Phil Davies is a former writer and editor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis who is involved with a number of Minnesota nonprofit organizations.
He is honored to contribute to the Arc’s important mission.