Senior Supervisor, Total Rewards
“I love that with all the growth we’ve experienced, we still feel like a homegrown company.”Shaina Day
One thing Saddle Creek’s founder, David Lyons, was known for was a commitment to improving the lives of those around him. It comes as no surprise that Shaina Day, Senior Supervisor, Total Rewards in Lakeland, Fla., has been named the 2023 Founder’s Award winner.
This award is given out annually to the associate that most embodies the spirit of the Founder’s Award – a Saddle Creek associate who not only excels in the workplace but also shares a similar passion for improving his or her community.
Shaina joined Saddle Creek in 2012 as a shared HR administrator and in the past 11 years she has grown right along with the company. Now a Senior Supervisor, Total Rewards, she has seen the company grow from 1,200 associates to over 6,000.
“I love that with all the growth we’ve experienced, we still feel like a homegrown company,” said Day. “We’ve altered things, we’ve changed, but we haven’t lost that feeling.”
In 2014, Shaina took over the responsibilities of coordinating the annual Toys for Tots drive and the blood donation drives at the Lakeland campus and corporate office. Since then, the Lakeland campus has donated over 8,900 toys to Toys for Tots in Polk County, Fla.
It is not just about what she does at work though.
“Though Shaina is the driving force in keeping Saddle Creek in the top 5 Toys for Tots contributors in Polk County, she is also an avid volunteer with Toys for Tots, including helping to deliver the donations to the warehouse, and then sorting and distributing donated gifts from there,” says Helene Sanford, Chief HR Officer for Saddle Creek.
In addition, Shaina is an active volunteer for local Girl Scouts and Future Farmers of America. For several years Shaina volunteered as a Girl Scouts troop leader, and though her daughter has since outgrown the program, Shaina still provides support and is there when the troop needs her. She also volunteers on the Lake Gibson FFA Alumni council and helps with events and shows as needed.
Shaina finds all her volunteer work very fulfilling but says Toys for Tots is dear to her heart. As Shaina was growing up, her mother was involved with Santa Project locally. For years, she would not only pick out toys and necessities for other children, but she was also able to participate in delivering the items to the families.
“I was excited to get to be involved in helping children at Christmas again and now I am carrying the tradition on with my daughter,” says Day. “We shop all year long and my daughter is really good at finding items that would be great for Toys for Tots.”
One of the most gratifying parts for Shaina of being named the Founder’s Award winner is how much the Toys for Tots program meant to our founder, David Lyons.
“Mr. Lyons loved being part of the organizations that supported the children in our community,” says Day. “I remember when I took over the drive, a ‘secret elf’ would always give one of the HR team some money to go purchase toys for the drive and the bags would always magically wind up in Mr. Lyons office for him to see what goodies would be going to the kids.”
“Those memories stay with me as I do this every year,” adds Day.
Shaina said it is wonderful to be able to give back to the community as part of the job that she gets paid to do.
“I really enjoy what I do here. I get paid to play with toys during the holidays,” said Day. “I get to go all over campus and see the toys overflowing the boxes knowing that we are impacting our local community.”