Honoring EPB&B Family Member Chris Harte In Her Retirement (Thirty Years!)

Dedicated, organized, generous, ethical, inspiring, team player and valued family member are only some of the words used to describe our CFO/HR Manager Chris Harte who is retiring from EPB&B after thirty years. Will miss having Chris as part of the team in the office but she will always be part of the EPB&B family.

Some final thought from Chris Harte:

Since coming to EPB&B as bookkeeper in 1993, two core values have remained constant. The first is FAMLY.  A few weeks into my new position, I got a call from daycare to come pick up my sick toddler. Concerned about making a good impression on my new employer, I was in tears as I left for the day.  When I returned to work, one of the owners, told me “you will never lose your job because you have to care for family.”  I’ve never forgotten how relieved that made me feel. As I grew with the company and eventually became HR Manager, I’ve done my best to create a place where employees do not have to worry about losing their job during family crisis and Marc Baker is always willing to go above expectation showing support when the need is made known.  EPB&B is all about family.

The second core value is COMMUNITY. I was awestruck the first time when owner and founder, Neil Baker, brought a list of two dozen charities to write checks for cash donation. I have been blessed to watch the cash donations grow larger and larger with the growth of the business as Marc Baker continues in his father’s footsteps of generous giving.  A highlight of my career happened this year, I was honored to assist in the creation of “The Baker Family Foundation”, a non-profit where Marc’s family and EPB&B can collect funds for charitable giving to small nonprofits in our local community. Whether taking food to a homeless shelter or raising funds through our open house, EPB&B employees are always encouraged to give to the community with Marc leading by example. 

I am grateful beyond words for the way EPB&B allowed me to grow both personally and professionally in ways I never dreamed possible. In 1993 I came to EPB&B as bookkeeper, one of 12 employees.  Within a short time, I was appointed systems administrator as the computers changed from DOS to Windows to Internet, until now we have a full time IT Manger.  I assisted with HR duties until the need arose to become HR Manager, where I’ve been privileged to help create many of the benefits and office policies that are appreciated by employees today.  And finally, as the agency revenue grew and grew, so did my “bookkeeping” duties until in 2012 I was given the title of CFO to sufficiently represent all the accounting responsibilities I had been performing for many years.  In 1993, I could have never imagined that thirty years later, EPB&B would a multi-million-dollar agency with 52 employees and I would be the CFO/HR Manager. 

As I face retiring this year, I have come to realize how much EPB&B means to me. It is more than my employer, more than a place where I earned a living.  It’s my family and my community.

It has been an honor to have worked with Chris Harte these past 30 years. Her growth at and commitment to Elliott Powell, Baden and Baker have been truly remarkable. Her passion and compassion have been an inspiration to me. To watch a team member start as a bookkeeper and be promoted through the ranks over her career to being our first HR as well as first CFO is very rewarding. I am happy for her and her opportunity to now spend more time with the family!-Marc Baker, EPB&B President

I’ve worked with Chris my entire career with EPB&B and while I will definitely miss her direction and guidance at the office, I wish her only the very best in this next chapter of her life.-Jill Perucca, VP of Operations

Usually when Chris takes me to lunch, it’s to talk biz – but sometimes just because we’re hungry.  Whatever the case, she’d always make sure we spoke about EPBB at least a little bit. “That way I can say this was a business lunch, and I can put it on the EPBB card.” She didn’t have to do or say that.  She could have put our lunches on the card any time she felt like, without saying a word to me about EPB&B.  Nobody but us would have ever known. But she didn’t.  Not once.  It was such a small but endearing gesture and spoke volumes.  Chris Harte’s sense of ethics is bulletproof.-Jeff Bruss, IT Manager

Chris has always been very generous when it comes to employees who have had adversity; Working with them and gifting PTO so that they didn’t feel the pressure of not being able to come in to work. She also is a leader in bringing the team together and always finding fun creative ways to team build.-Jenifer McCormick, Finance Manager

Thaks for an amazing thirty years Chris and we wish you many years of fun, joy, relaxation, travel and pajama days in your well earned retirement.

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