Eye on Orvis–Orvis Dads #3: Wayne Rock

Written by: Laurie Barrett

Wayne and his two-year-old son, Mason, share an educational moment at the Boston Aquarium.

The “Eye on Orvis” team sat down with some of the company dads recently, and we asked them to talk about what it’s like to work for a family-owned organization that focuses on three core values—Surprise & Delight Your Customer, Take Pride in Your Product, and Protect What We Love—and how working for such a company has shaped their own lives and the generations that will follow them.

Our third Orvis Dad, Wayne Rock, always wanted to work in the outdoor industry and recalls how, at 17 years old, he heard the voice message that changed his life: he had been offered the opportunity to interview for Orvis.

He began his career with the company seventeen years ago, and since then he’s worked a myriad of roles, in various locations. He started out by spending nine years at our Service Center in Roanoke, Virginia—two years as a Customer Service Representative, two years as an Outfitter, and five years in e-commerce. Thanks to Orvis’s tuition-reimbursement program, Wayne was able to obtain his MBA while working full-time. It was after this major life goal that Wayne moved to the home office in Vermont and began “the rest of his life.” Since then, he’s spent three years in allocation, two years as a Category Planner, and now serves as a Retail Merchant for the Fish/Hunt division. Wayne says that he wouldn’t be where he is today if the company hadn’t opened its doors.

Wayne and Mason love to spend time outside, whether it’s fishing, hiking, or picking up trash.

Wayne and his two-year-old son, Mason, spend time together outside whenever possible. As long as you pack snacks, Wayne says, “It’s a good day.” You’ll often find Wayne and Mason walking in the park, exploring the yard, or volunteering for clean-up days. Mason is right beside him, quipping “dada…trash!” and Wayne is aware that he is passing on lessons he learned at Orvis and from his parents. Wayne’s Dad was a whitetail hunter, and his Mom took him fishing for the first time. There is a generational love and appreciation for the outdoors in his family, one what Wayne is working hard to share with his son.

Wayne recognizes that Orvis rewards hard work, and he understands that how you deal with challenges is what people remember. His proudest moment came when the pandemic first hit, and he served a key part in ensuring the retail stores had product while navigating stock outages and store closings. Wayne is thrilled to be helping customers succeed in their outdoor adventures—embodying the Orvis core value of “Surprise & Delight your Customer.” And he will be the first to tell you that Orvis works equally hard to surprise and delight its associates. He specifically recalls a retail summit where District Managers and other leadership came together to rally the team. It was then that “everything clicked” and Wayne knew he was where he wanted to be…for a long time.

Laurie Barrett is the National Recruiting Specialist for Orvis.

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