Willie Smith, VP of Treats
This week’s employee spotlight is on our VP of Treats, Willie Smith.
1. WHAT’S YOUR ROLE AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH HIPB2B?
I’m the VP of Treats, a title Alexis suggested for me, and it stuck. Looking back on this, it truly does suit me, and I am the best candidate within the company to hold this uniquely special title. I’ve been with HIP for three and one-half years and counting.
2. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING AT HIPB2B?
The CEO. He and I have wholly clicked and have become super best buds. I don’t think it is the sole reason for me achieving my position within the company, but it absolutely could have been a factor. I also really, really love all my teammates. They are THE best. Always have lovings for me, and, of course, TREATS.
3. WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM WORKING AT HIPB2B?
I’ve learned who might be carrying around with them the best treats offered. I know that Andy loves cheese sticks and will often share them with me. He’s great like that. I’ve also learned that I can just be me, which helps me grow both personally and professionally.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
When I am not working, which is rare, I enjoy soaking up some rays. I may take a break and lay on my patio, or take a little power nap while reclining in a sunbeam, on the floor of either my work office space or within my home office. On the weekends, I like to sleep in a bit and then chill as much as possible, hanging with dad when he is not out riding on the big, yellow, roaring lawn machine.
5. WHAT’S ONE GOOD MEMORY FROM DURING THE PANDEMIC?
A good memory from the pandemic . . . well, I got to spend a LOT of time with my dad because he, too, was working from home. We’d take breaks together, sometimes taking lunchtime walks or just horsing around, like boys tend to do. I love my dad, and we have a lot of fun together.
6. WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU’RE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN A POST-COVID WORLD?
Well, it has already begun, but I’m most looking forward to ALL the hugs and attention and love. And for the humans to be able to hug each other. They’ve been missing that part of their lives, and I get so happy when I see them being able to give each other big bear hugs once again. I also get hugs from these moments. It’s a win-win for us all!
7. TOP 5 DESERT ISLAND BOOKS/MOVIES/TV SHOWS/PODCASTS ETC.
Podcasts really aren’t my jam, and my lack of opposable thumbs makes it difficult to turn the pages of books or magazines, but I am down with discussing what the others around me have been listening to or reading. Occasionally I’ll watch something on the television, but usually, I don’t get to choose. Honestly, if I am ever stranded on a beach somewhere, I only need a few things; my dad, a soft bed, bottled water (I’m picky that way), TREATS (chicken rawhide chews), and because I’m encouraged to eat canine food, I guess some kibble would come in handy. Other than that, just lounging in the sun with Dad would be all I need.
8. WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I’m adopted. It was a surprise to me, too, but it’s true. Even though I strongly resemble my mom, I’m not her biological baby. Also, I’m not a dog; I’m a 95-year-old man, wrapped up in a fur suit. Oh! And I do NOT like blueberries!!!
9. WHAT IS ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU’RE PROUD OF?
I can run just as fast on three legs as I can on four. The deer don’t stand a chance of hanging out on the lawn during my watch.
10. WHAT’S YOUR HIDDEN TALENT?
Melting the hearts of all the humans around me. I’m an equal-opportunity receiver of all the love. I can also make humans do things they think they won’t. I can look at my mom and hear her say, “No, no treats before dinner,” and then still get a treat because I’m that talented. And that adorable. I’m also extremely good at giving love back. It makes my day when I get to give back the love that is always given to me.
11. IF YOU COULD LEARN TO DO ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Man, if I could learn to grill a steak or drive to the park, that would be awesome.
12. PC OR MAC? IPHONE OR ANDROID?
I can’t answer that. I live in a home that uses both. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I have a preference, but I’ll keep that to myself out of respect for those around me.
13. WHAT’S ONE PROJECT YOU’RE WORKING ON, PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY?
I’m working on being able to tolerate kibble. It’s an ongoing work-in-progress. Each time I think I have the humans trained to give me only steak (and sometimes cheese, bacon, and my ultimate favorite, a little dab of melted butter), they buckle down on the ‘kibble only’ rule. So, I’m working on just accepting that while hoping for at least a dabble of peanut butter to help the ‘dog food’ be edible. Professionally, I’d like to continue growing as the VP of Treats and see how I can further help my team buds.
14. WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
More rides and hikes with my dad. And more playtime in the creek bed water with my dad. I’m a pretty content pup, so what I have right now is all I need.
15. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU WOULD BUY IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY?
Treats for everyone, especially all my shelter buds who don’t have homes of their own yet or those not getting daily goodies, especially those who can’t even get into the shelters for protection and food. I’d even want this for the cats, too. Although I’m not a fan of the feline populous, they still deserve all the treats, homes, and love. (That goes for all the animals and humans; love and safety for all.)