Kathy Johnson, William Anderson, and Lisa Mickunas celebrate milestone anniversaries working with Vaillancourt in Sutton, MA.
Last week, three local employees celebrated longstanding work anniversaries. William Anderson of Holland, MA and Lisa Mickunas of Millbury both celebrated 20 year anniversaries while Katherine Johnson of Douglas celebrated 30 years with Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA.
In a world where many employees jump from job to job, Vaillancourt takes pride in creating an environment where a job feels more like a family reunion—five days a week. “We’re a true two-generation family business, but when you consider everyone who’s worked with us over the years it’s great to see that most of them stay. Our average employee has been with us for nearly two decades—an average that was reduced due to a new hire in 2017,” says Gary Vaillancourt who owns and runs the business with his wife, Judi.
“Our product is dependent on being fine art quality, which means our employees need to not only be the best at their job, but must also genuinely care about the product they are producing. You can’t work anywhere for this long and not be fully invested to maintain that high standard of quality—it’s a reflection on everyone in the company,” says Luke M. Vaillancourt, Vice President of Operations and son of Gary and Judi.
Ms. Mickunas started her career with the company in 1997 in the finishing department. Over the years, she worked in shipping, operations, and now Since then, she moved to the shipping and now paints in the studio on a daily basis. Gary reflects, “Her dedication and adherence to quality make her indispensable.”
Mr. Anderson, a formally trained master painter, also joined the company in 1997 where he proved quick to adapt and learn Judi’s ever-changing designs. “Working in the studio for 20 years, Bill has mastered oils. He is efficient, concise, and able to do the most difficult pieces.” Gary continued, “When Judi designs the intricate limited editions, Bill gets first crack.”
Mrs. Johnson started in the shipping department when she joined Vaillancourt in 1987. “Since then, Kathy has blossomed into one of our more valued painters. She’s been adding the finishing touches to production Chalkware for years,” says Gary. “Although she is not formally trained, her eye for quality and detail are outstanding and vital to our success.”
When asked about their contributions, Judi stated, “We’re an American business that has been selling fine art quality Chalkware around the world—we wouldn’t be able to reach the number of people that we do if it wasn’t for our quality. We are quite fortunate to have such talented individuals that not only produce, but are here to train our new employees.”
Vaillancourt Folk Art has been operating out of Sutton, Massachsuetts since 1984. Their mission is to create a fine art quality collectible that will withstand the test of time and be passed down throughout generations. Judi Vaillancourt’s timeless designs instill a feeling of youthful wonderment through the joy of Christmas and help to start a tradition for family and friends. At Vaillancourt Folk Art, they painstakingly believe in the traditional methods of creating art from Judi’s inspirations—history, tradition, values, and community—to create contemporary chalkware to be admired and cherished.