Celebrating Team Tropical: Duke

September 21, 2017

Mike Duke, Director of Supply Chain

In our Celebrating Team Tropical series, we commemorate our employees’ work anniversaries by getting to know them and their role at Tropical better. Mike Duke is our Director of Supply Chain at Tropical Foods and is celebrating 20 YEARS with the company.

Tell us about your role at Tropical:

I have worked at Tropical for 20 years in a variety of different roles and departments. I currently head the departments that comprise the Supply Chain group which are responsible for procurement of raw materials, manufacturing planning of finished goods, and inventory control.

What your favorite part of your job?

I get to work with all of our internal departments as well as hundreds of our suppliers to help determine the appropriate item selection and the plans to deliver them to our great customers across the country. The level of complexity that the job requires to be successful is challenging and always keeps me on my toes.

What project/success are you most proud of here?

I am most proud of the successes of the people that I have hired and worked with over the years. Whether it be here at Tropical or elsewhere, I am proud to have been a part of the career development of some very smart and capable people that have gone on to do bigger things.

What’s your favorite memory from working here?

Although I didn’t know it at the time, I met my wife here at Tropical. We were both in the sales department, and we didn’t like each other AT ALL. After some long meetings with our boss and much gnashing of teeth, we eventually grew to respect each other and become great friends. Fast forward from there and we will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next June. Family business indeed.

What is on your wish list for your next five years here?

My wish is that Tropical will continue to grow and be successful and that I am able to continue to be an integral part of that growth, wherever needed.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I think maybe a book critic. I love to read and I love to share my opinion.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Gerald York – The founder of Tropical (and fellow Ohio native). I have always respected Mr. York’s tenacity, drive, and vision.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you:

I don’t have any social media accounts.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?

Bill Murray

Tags: company culture, employee interview, mike duke, tropical foods

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