Wendy’s shift manager honored for 40 years of service

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 19, 2019

SALISBURY – Local employees and managers of Wendy’s gathered Wednesday to celebrate shift supervisor Jo Ponds’ 40 years of service.

Wendy’s employees on the managerial, corporate and customer-service levels gathered at the Wendy’s dining room on East Innes Street to celebrate Ponds’ hard work and dedication. She received gifts, cards and a cake.

“Jo was here when I took over as a district manager. She and I went through a lot together,” said Dody Theodore, Wendy’s general manager in Charlotte. “I appreciate everything she did for me as district manager. She’s your right hand, your left hand, and she’s a dedicated employee.”

Theodore said she could often count on Ponds when she was in need.

Ponds said her journey to a 40-year achievement started shortly after high school.

“I started right out of high school. I did well at it, and then was promoted along the way,” Ponds said.

She started as a cook, trained other employees and eventually assumed her current role.

Ponds said she was touched and nearly cried during Wednesday’s celebration.

Multiple co-workers shared words of praise for Ponds’ hard work.

Judy Howard, general manager of Wendy’s in Albemarle, said Ponds’ work ethic is exemplified by her length of service. Howard said Ponds often “goes the extra mile” while completing work inside and outside the restaurant.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Salisbury general manager Rodney Curlee. “You are one of the most hardest-working, loyal people that I have had work for me.”

Ponds’ son, Christopher, echoed that sentiment.

“She has made many sacrifices. There have been times when she would come home for five, 10 or 15 minutes and was called back into work (for) double shifts. She’s always gone above and beyond,” Christopher Ponds said.

And she’s the perfect grandmother, too, the younger Ponds added.

“Just the other day, my mother drove two hours in order to have lunch with her grandchildren during Grandparents Day at their school,” he said. “I thought this was a great thing for them to do, to recognize her for all of her work and her loyalty and to just show their appreciation and how much she means.”

Ponds has five grandchildren — Gabrielle, Londyn, Emmerson, Michah and Grant. Her four children are Christopher, Kendall, Joseph and Luke.

Ponds said her time at Wendy’s has been rewarding and that the company has been supportive of her life outside work.

“They worked with me, with taking care of my children, my mother’s illness. They’ve always worked with me around my hours and whatever I needed,” she said.