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Employee Growth Story: Blake Ashburn

Blake Ashburn joined the Cross Hose and Fittings team in 2012. He had previously worked in a family business, but was looking for something with more hours and a career path. A family member who worked at Cross mentioned the opening at the Winston-Salem hose store as a possibility.

Blake started as a warehouse/counter associate in this small store and soon worked his way into a full-time counter role. Blake remembers liking his first years at Cross because “it’s a family around here. We all have good relationships. And the customers are cool too. You learn their names and build relationships and that’s great, too. I’ve been here for over ten years and I’ve never regretted a day.”

After a short break where he explored a career with the police, Blake decided that Cross was the place for him and returned to the Winston store in September 2019. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to team leader. “I had applied for a couple of manager roles and they said, you’re not ready but here’s what you need to do to get prepared for it. I think this was the reason the team lead role was created.”

After a year as the team lead, Blake moved up again, to the Customer Care Team. While he had to choose between serving customers on the counter or on the phone, he was relieved to be able to focus on just one and jumping in to help the counter when they needed it. In August of 2022, Blake was promoted to the branch manager of the Winston store. “I wanted to move up in the company and I was grateful for the opportunity. I like to help people and I’ve always wanted to be in a management or supervisory role.”

Blake credits his success at Cross to hard work, proving every day that he wanted to be here. “Overall, Cross is awesome. It’s one big family. We’ve got different divisions and locations but we’re all on the same team. And we’ve got a good crew here, they’re fantastic!”

Blake's Career Path At Cross

Employee Growth Story: Blake Ashburn 1
Employee Growth Story: Blake Ashburn 2

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In the meantime, enjoy these fun facts…

Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet to paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are a 100% employee owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.