Above & Beyond Award Recipient Kevin Toulouse Pinch-Hits at Byron, Illinois, Store

Pinch hitters, who might have the toughest job in baseball, are the unheralded heroes of the sport. Kevin Toulouse, a yard worker and driver at the Spahn & Rose Distribution Center in Independence, Iowa, is a pinch hitter who became an all-star.

A Spahn & Rose employee for two years, Toulouse has quickly learned the ins and outs of lumberyard work. During a typical day on the job, he’ll unload shipments from suppliers, load and deliver contractor orders and keep the yard clean.

When Spahn & Rose’s Byron, Illinois, location became short-staffed recently, Toulouse stepped up to the plate. He drove roughly 160 miles and stayed in Byron for a week to help the store catch up on yard work and deliveries.

“Kevin has a great attitude and jumped right in,” says Byron Spahn & Rose General Manager Tom Anderson. “You’d have thought he’d been working here for years. He was great with customers, and it was a shot in the arm to see his enthusiasm. Kevin’s flexibility is a valuable asset for the company.”

For Toulouse, the weeklong reassignment was an adventure. “I like meeting new people,” he says. “I don’t have any problems talking to people, and I like filling contractors’ orders and helping solve problems.”

In his off hours, Toulouse enjoys spending time with his family; he and his wife frequently go antiquing at flea markets looking for furniture to restore.

When customers submit a review, employees mentioned are nominated for the Above & Beyond award. Employees who earn the award receive a plaque honoring their achievement and a $100 Spahn & Rose gift card.