Paine-Miller prepares to take reins of family’s trash-hauling empire
Category | Rising Star – Julie Paine-Miller, Vice President of East Granby-based Paine’s Inc.
Julie Paine-Miller is the Vice President of Paine’s Inc. Rubbish and Recycling and is involved in nearly every aspect of the family business. Finance, marketing, customer service, long-term planning – Paine-Miller does a little bit of everything.
But the work she is most proud to do? Your efforts to demystify the often invisible and sometimes thankless task of picking up and taking away people’s trash.
Paine-Miller never misses the opportunity to put their drivers and their jobs in the spotlight, be it by posting their photos on Facebook, giving away coloring books and t-shirts through the company’s Junior Enthusiast program, or ahead of COVID. by reading to children at a Touch-a-Truck event.
She said the public health crisis has made it easier to connect with the community in some ways, with more people home to see the drivers on their routes. Some have written notes or left chalk messages on their driveway so that key workers can thank them.
“Before, I think a lot of people would just take out a full barrel, go to work, then come home and bring an empty barrel,” she said. “You never thought about it much.”
With her uncle and current company president, Mike Paine Sr., now approaching retirement, 38-year-old Paine-Miller is poised to become the fourth generation of her family to run the business.
Although she didn’t take on the assignment (she initially studied to become a teacher), the company is at the center of her earliest memories.
She remembers spending long summer afternoons playing in the truck yard, making innocent mischief with her brother and cousin, and remembering the number of evenings workers come by her house to “just say hello”.
“I’ve always watched, listened and studied here,” she said.
Paine-Miller’s great-grandparents, Albert and Mary, founded the company in Simsbury in 1929, collecting scraps of food from local schools to feed the pigs on the family farm.
Her grandfather Don moved it to East Granby in the 1970s and it grew from a single truck into what is now the garbage and recycling company.
Serving more than 50,000 residential and 1,400 commercial customers each week in Greater Hartford and Northwest Connecticut, Paine has 73 employees and was the first in New England to introduce automated roadside collection and recycling.
Paine-Miller said she began imagining a future at the company when she was 23, after taking her first “official” job in the customer service department. She was surprised how much she loved the role.
“If the question [about her long-term commitment] was officially asked, I just knew that I wanted to be here, “she said. “I wanted to take this company into the next generation.”
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