060624 Jerry WarehouseBy David N. Krough, Communications Specialist

After overseeing massive changes at TJJD/TYC over 23 years, Jerry Forrest is moving on.

Forrest, Inventory and Store Specialist, started at the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in May of 2000. That was just seven months after it opened in September of 1999, as part of the then-Texas Youth Commission. 

Forrest has been instrumental in helping close three other campus warehouses and setting up the workflow to allow the Mart Campus Warehouse to support four TJJD facilities, warehouse manager Timothy Pickerell said. In addition to the facility warehouses, Mart also provides service to a few district offices, and one halfway house.

Forrest had previously worked as parts manager, shipping out parts for a mobile home repair business. 

“A friend of mine that was working at the Mart TYC facility at the time told me about the opening in the warehouse and I was very interested,” he said. “My wife and I had just had our first child and I needed a job that would provide more flexibility, plus the bonus of being close to home. So 24 years later and here I am.”

Forrest was one of the warehouse inventory specialists selected to travel to Austin once a week over the course of several months to learn how the system worked and to help customize it for the warehouse needs. 

The recent consolidation of warehouse functions centered on the conversion to the CAPPS system.

They manage hundreds of items for both youth and staff for hygiene, clothing and shoes, linens, recreation items; school, cleaning and office supplies, Pickerell said.

“Jerry listened to the campus needs and changed set standards to meet the new requirements resulting in new policies, forms, and protocols,” Pickerell said. “Jerry also assists the purchasers by ensuring products meet the agency guidelines for youth care and adhere to the Texas Model.”

“When the system went live, it was a bit crazy and there were lots of people with lots of questions. I created instructional files that had screen-prints and directions for handling all warehouse duties related to the CAPPS system. Donna Miller from Giddings later printed all of the files and made binders to hand out to all facilities so they could refer back to my instructions when needed.”

That binder and all of the information later became known as the “bible” to everyone who used the CAPPS system in the warehouse.

“As the months went by, I could start seeing the vision come together and realized it would work going forward,” Forrest said. “Following Tim’s leadership and directions made everything fall into place.  The highlight was seeing it all come together so that each time we added another facility (to the system), the addition went flawlessly.” 

Forrest said each facility will receive anywhere from 8 to 12 pallets every other week, which can add up to 60 or more orders needing to be pulled and palletized.

Forrest said that the successful conversion of that warehouse system at Mart was among the highlights of his career – along with being able to work with so many good people.

“Jason Holle has been here almost as long as I have and Tabreena Sedillo has been here 12 years working alongside me as well,” he said. “Our business services department that included Mari Kubitza – my boss for the longest time, Vicki Koen, Kay Robertson and Nicole Brewer – my previous boss, and Mary Harris. We were all like family and I really enjoyed working with each of them.   Even though some of those individuals are no longer here, I’ve come to appreciate the connections I’ve made with new people.”

“Mr. Tim Pickerill, has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and to embrace change, all the while knowing it was taking me time to like him and accept his methods. His knowledge and wisdom have been instrumental in helping us shift to a centralized warehouse,” he said.

Forrest said that among many to whom he was grateful to be working with, was purchaser Deb Baize. They’ve worked together since 2012.

“Deb is someone who has kept me going through the years…she’s been like a rock to me.  I have no doubt that our warehouse would never have been as successful as it is without her on board.  She is truly a gift to this agency and I’m so glad to have her as my friend and co-worker.” 

“I have enjoyed working with Jerry, his candor and demeanor make him easy to work with. He is always seeking ways to help others even outside his work areas. Jerry will be missed by all.”

Although his time at TJJD is ending, Forrest is by no means done working.

Running a football website called PigskinPrep.com in what started as a hobby back in 2001, took off into a second job. Forrest spends a good amount of his time managing the site, along with providing rankings and predictions for Texas Football Magazine each season.

“I’m a history guy when it comes to high school football,” Forrest says. “Any extra time not spend working on my website or with Texas Football will be spent gathering and compiling historical records for my history website.”

“I look forward to only having one job to do.”