125 Years of Family Serving Family – Michelle Brandley, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
One in a series of honoring the Exchange’s 125 years of family serving family
Michelle Brandley started working for the Exchange 25 years ago as a cashier when her husband, SSgt. Timothy Brandley, was assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. He retired in 2013 after 20 years of service, but Brandley continues to serve the military community, now at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Madigan Express as a receiver.
“I like serving for the cause of the military,” said Brandley, who has been at JBLM for 11 years. “And I like getting to meet different people.”
Brandley’s responsibilities include ordering products for the Express. One day, a regular customer named Mr. Ballew came in for his daily cup of coffee and found that the Express had a different brand of creamer from what was normally stocked. He wasn’t happy with the switch and spoke to Brandley about it.
“I told him from here on out, I will make sure we have his creamer available,” said Brandley, who has lived up to her promise since that day about three years ago.
That’s how Brandley’s friendship began with the couple she now fondly calls “Mama and Papa Ballew.”
“They’re a very, very nice couple. He comes in here for his coffee every single day, sometimes Mama Ballew’s with him, and we chat,” Brandley said.
The connection with the Ballews is indicative of Brandley’s service to shoppers, says Express manager Brenda Tolle.
“Even as a receiver, Michelle is active on the floor assisting customers,” Tolle said. “She greets customers and builds relationships with them. She’s always been a team player.”