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Ottawa County customers see David’s abilities

David Salyers is the Service Clerk from Community Markets that is on posters and billboards throughout Ottawa County with the logo “Ability @ Work”. David, a resident of Ottawa County, has worked for the Oak Harbor Community Markets store for the past 15 years. Recently David and Lester Weatherwax, Supervisor and Store Manager of Community Markets, discussed what is behind that great smile David flashed for the billboards.

David shared that he previously worked in the fast food business for 8-9 years before being hired at the grocery store. He remembers the day he was hired vividly and how his soon to be boss went to Riverview Industries Inc. (now RVI Inc.) to interview another gentleman before his interview. David explains that he went in for his interview and was hired on the spot. He began his job at the grocery store by learning multiple tasks including cleaning, stocking and bagging groceries.

Over the years, David has seen many changes including the store name, a new supervisor, different co-workers and a revision of the layout of the store. Although things have changed, one thing has remained the same is the customers. David knows many of his customers by their first name and shared that serving the community is his favorite part of the job. Lester commented that the customers feel the same about David, as he is always the one that gets the most cookies at Christmas time.

David and Lester have worked together for many years, as Lester has worked at the store for 32 years. During their time on the job together, Lester said he couldn’t ask for a better employee. David always is at the store before his official start time and over the last 15 years Lester said he can’t even count on one hand how many times David has called off. He also commented that David is the only employee that has never had an error on his time card, as he punches in and out when he is supposed to, including lunches. Lester stated that David is always willing to work whatever schedule is needed and will stay late if you ask him. 

David and Lester have also both competed in the annual baggers contest which takes place at the local level at Community Markets every July. The local competition is done during regular business hours and the public can stop in to watch as baggers from the store compete to go to State. The State level competition is held at the Ohio State Fair. Those successful at State advance to the National Groceries Association contest which is held in Las Vegas. There is a lot to keep in mind for the competitors as they must focus not only on speed, but weight, neatness, friendliness and overall service. David has entered the competition and has won at the local level. 

Outside of working at Community Markets, David and Lester also team-up together in the community. Each year the store has a float in the Oak Harbor Apple Festival parade. Last year’s float was a 50’s theme and David dressed as a character from “Grease”, complete with sunglasses and slicked back hair. They won third place. David has also participated in bell ringing for the Salvation Army, delivering food for the Holiday Bureau and helping with the Food Pantry. When he delivers for the Holiday Bureau David sports his Santa hat to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Next time you are in the Oak Harbor Community Markets store be sure to stop by and say hello to David and pick up a sample of free popcorn. David is known as the “Popcorn King” as he makes the best popcorn. 

March is Developmental Disabilities Month. Take a minute to recognize the hard working people with disabilities, like David. Get to know them and see their Abilities At Work. For more information about employing individuals with developmental disabilities, contact the Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities at 419.898.0400.

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