Claudia Lepe, Accounts Receivable Clerk
Do you want to know what was going on with Holloway in 2008? Claudia can tell you. Do you want to know how much Holloway has grown in the last decade? Claudia can tell you. Do you want to hear some fun stories about old-school orders done in triplicate? Just ask Claudia!
Our Accounts Receivable Clerk, Claudia Lepe has been with HM Holloway for 16 years. She is one of our most tenured employees and has seen first-hand the company’s growth in products and services for the farmers of the Central Valley.
Claudia was introduced to Holloway by her identical twin sister, Carrie who was working with the company in the early 2000’s. Prior to joining Holloway, Claudia was an active member of the military’s army branch and was stationed in Germany before returning to the United States. When Carrie left Holloway in 2006 to pursue a medical career, she suggested Claudia interview for her old position. Needless to say, she got the job and just celebrated her 16-year anniversary in July of 2022.
“I kind of fell into it!” Claudia jokes. “I had a background in accounting from my days in the military, but when I started at Holloway there wasn’t an official accounting department, per se – we all just did what needed to be done. But now we have grown so much and there are six on our team.”
When Claudia started with Holloway, we were mainly selling sulfur and gypsum. It would be a few more years before Holloway was offering more than 20 amendment products, agronomy services, logistics and our landfill in Lost Hills.
“I have seen so much growth and change over the years, it’s crazy,” Claudia says. “Our customers have grown with us. Some have been with us forever and added products or services, and our newer ones really like that we offer complete solutions for growers.”
In her role, Claudia talks with customers daily whether it is to discuss an invoice, answer a question, or follow-up on an outstanding item. Some customers she has been working with for so long that she knows their phone numbers or addresses by heart!
One of the many positive changes Claudia has seen the company make during her time is switching to modern accounting software in 2012. Prior to that, orders came to her to invoice on old-school triplicate carbon copies.
“I remember when I first started and for several years after, I would get to work and there would be a big stack of triplicate orders on my desk that someone from the mine dropped off the night before,” Claudia says. “We would have to separate them and manually do everything! Our new system is much more efficient and accurate and cuts down on any errors to the customer.”
When asked why she has stayed with Holloway for well over a decade, Claudia answers without question: “It is the people. The people I work with are like family. Even though most of the people I started with have retired or moved on, we still keep in touch. And Vard [Terry] is especially like family to me.”
Claudia remarks that when she started, there were about 30 employees and she knew everyone by name. Holloway has since grown to more than 90 employees, so while she may not know everyone personally anymore, she does recognize everyone’s names because of her responsibilities with payroll. But the relationships are what has made her stay and grow with the company.
“The best thing about this company is the relationships,” Claudia says. “This really is the best company. Everyone takes care of you, looks out for you. They also take your ideas to heart. I have built some very long-lasting friendships within this company.”
While Claudia is excited about all the products and services that have been developed for our customers over the years, her biggest thrill about the future has to do with software.
“We are getting a new accounting program that will help streamline the billing process and increase accuracy,” she beams. “It is going to streamline so much of the accounting stuff, which I am so excited for! It will help us keep pace with our growth and expanding services.”
When Claudia is not busy with accounts receivable, you can find her in a variety of activities. One of which is exploring the paranormal with her twin.
“We love to visit haunted places and anything paranormal,” She smiles. “We try to go somewhere together every year. Most recently we did an overnight tour of the Waverly Hills Asylum in Kentucky, which was a five-story hospital that is supposed to be super haunted!”
Other than chasing ghosts, you can find Claudia spending time with her husband, Eric, who works as a crank operator and truck driver in the oil fields, or her three children ages 20, 17 and 12.