Meet Walter Brown
Pictured Above: Walter Brown with his significant other, Jennifer
The word “awesome” should be used sparingly, but in the case of Walter Brown, it applies. Walter has one of those engaging, charismatic personalities, seemingly always wearing a big smile that tends to let him connect with everyone he meets. Walter has been a member of the Vantage Plastics Team for about eight years. Initially, he came in through a temp agency, and caught on fast, and worked his way up to an Operator 3 status. He now serves as a Cell Lead, overseeing and facilitating crews working on several machines within an area of the manufacturing facility. Since his second year at Vantage, Walter is often selected to travel to customer locations to address any product quality issues that may arise in the field. Customers at these locations rave about how great it is to have Walter work with them. Walter says, “I really like working at Vantage Plastics because I like to learn something new every day. A lot of plant jobs involve the same old stuff every day, but at Vantage Plastics, things are always changing because we are a custom manufacturer. That requires us to continually figure out how to best manufacture new stuff all the time. I also enjoy working with the people and leadership that are on our team.”
Walter lives in the area near Vantage Plastics with his significant other, Jennifer. He has two sons, Elijah and Xavier, and a younger sister named Shay Mixon. His father, also named Walter Brown, lives in Ohio, and his mother, Bertha, very unfortunately passed away from Lupus in 2008 at age 41. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports, grilling out, having gatherings with friends and family, and doing things like shooting hoops with Jennifer.
Life always fascinates and brings twists and turns. In Walter’s case, this is very true. He was born in Michigan but moved from Saginaw with his mother and sister to Elizabethton, Tennessee, at age five. They moved in to live with Walter’s grandmother, Nannie Virginia Terry. After a period of time, his mother and sister decided to return to Michigan, but Walter’s mother felt he was doing very well in school and had made a lot of friends, so decided to have him continue to live with his grandmother and stay in the local school. Nannie Virgina had disciplined rules and required Walter to do a number of chores before he could play or spend time with his friends. She also required Walter to attend church services with her every week. Walter attributes these disciplines to making him the man he is today.
One day, while in sixth grade, one of Walter’s best friends, Vince Redd, was over playing, and Vince’s mother came to pick him up to take him to football practice. She asked Walter if he would like to ride along and watch. After asking permission from Nannie Virginia, Walter climbed in, and away they went. While watching the practice, the coach approached Walter and asked him if he would like to come to the next practice and participate. Walter checked with his grandmother, and she okayed it as long as the chores continued to get done and the grades stayed good. The coach of The Elizabethton Cyclones happened to be Ryan Witten, whose younger brother Jason Witten, a future player with the Dallas Cowboys, was also a football player in Elizabethton. Walter was at practice the next day, and the coach had him try the running back position. Walter was a natural at the position. As time went on, Walter became very serious about football along with his best friends. He was moved to the varsity team as a freshman and spent a great deal of time in the weight room in addition to playing basketball and running track. Jason Witten was a senior playing at tight end, which gave Walter a good challenge during practices. As his playing time went on, Walt became somewhat of a local celebrity as he was featured in a newspaper article after article for his game highlights. Walt set the school’s single-year rushing yardage record at 1,670 yards! He also set the touchdown record at 34! During high school, Dave Rider, who was the head coach of the varsity team and happened to be the grandfather of the Witten boys, would pick Walter up and take him to college football games. Given Walters’s playing stats, Universities took notice, and calls started coming from Tennessee, Michigan, Clemson, Vanderbilt, and Georgia. These turned into three official visits. Coaches began sending him workout plans and admonished him to stay healthy and not participate in the basketball season. Unfortunately, Walt decided to participate in basketball, and tragedy struck in the form of a torn ACL. The phone calls from the major universities also stopped. Walter ended up playing football at Charleston Southern University. His good friend, Vince Redd, whose mother took Walt to the first practice session, ended up playing at Virginia and went on to play a season in the NFL with The New England Patriots. It is very probable that had it not been for a torn ACL, Walter could have also had a career in the NFL.
During his time at Charleston Southern, Walter studied business in addition to playing on the football team. However, in his second year, his mother, back in Saginaw, Michigan, who suffered from Lupus, became very ill. Walter decided to leave the university and return to Michigan to care for his mother and younger sister. In order to provide support, Walt first took a job with a cleaning service and worked there for one and a half years. He then took a job with The Williams Cheese factory in Pinconning, Michigan, as a high-low driver. During this time, he started hearing about nearby Vantage Plastics in Standish. An acquaintance also told him it was a great place to work and had exceptional benefits. Working through a temp agency at the time, Walter gained entry into Vantage Plastics, where he excelled working under the leadership of Eric Southworth, who Walt describes as a great trainer.
Walter says his grandmother instilled this saying into him: “No matter what happened yesterday, make today a great day!” Walter says that every day when he awakes, he takes the time to reflect on his grandmother’s advice and “Thank God” for another day to make great. We are very grateful to have Walter Brown as a member of our team. As a member of the Vantage Plastics’ Team, Walter Brown has certainly been helping fulfill the Vantage Plastics’ Mission of Forming Better Lives, Forming Solutions, and Forming Sustainable Futures.
Experience the thriving work environment at Vantage Plastics, where positivity and professionalism flourish. Our exceptional team is the cornerstone of our success, and we invite you to be a part of it. Don’t miss out—apply today and join the Vantage Plastics team!