For this edition of our

Employee Spotlight,

get to know Chalew Mekuria

“Chalew started working on the Smith System Team in July 2016 and has been an integral part of the Smith System production team since April 2019. Chalew is productivity oriented and uses both consistency and persistence to prevail over the rigorous daily challenges the top production lines present. Chalew has a stern supervision style, however his defining quality is humility; it is truly an honor to work with him.” – Doug Lewis, VP of Manufacturing


Discover the most challenging aspect of Chalew’s job, his favorite vacation spot, and why he chooses to be a member of the Smith System team.


How long have you worked at Smith System?

About 4 years and 2 months. I started in July 2016.

How did you end up working at Smith System?

I moved here from East Africa (Ethiopia) because my wife decided she wanted to move here. When I got here, I had a friend that was working at Smith System. He told me that it was a very nice company and that I should apply for a job. I applied here with my sister and was hired.

Why do you choose to continue to work at Smith System?

I love working at Smith System. I love the company and how they treat people. It is a great place to work. I have always enjoyed working here, I do not even look for other jobs. Enjoying where you work and enjoying coming in everyday is so important.



What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job can be managing people. Especially people who do not want to work. I have learned so much from Doug Lewis and how he manages and deals with people. I also love observing and learning how he handles different situations and different people. I have grown a lot by learning how to handle people and the different personalities.

What was your biggest culture shock when moving to America?

My biggest culture shock is the lack of respect for elders. When I lived in Africa, even if someone was only two years older than you, they deserved your respect. I think that is lacking here.

What’s your favorite thing about working here?

My favorite thing about working here is the company and the people.

Now it’s time for some fun questions! If you were stranded on a deserted island – what three items would you bring? 

Hmm… I would bring a safety item, a tent and a camera. I love photography especially landscapes and portraits.

What has been your favorite vacation?

My favorite vacation was Bora Bora. We stayed right on the water.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I love being with my son, Noah, on my days off, taking photos and watching movies together. Noah is 3.5 years old.

Photo by Chalew Mekuria.

Photo by Chalew Mekuria.

Photos by Chalew Mekuria.