In the Spirit of the Season, We’re Sharing Four Heartwarming Team Member Stories

November 16, 2018 - Article reads in
A team member smiles next to Bullseye the dog, near a large Target bulleyes overlaid with text

Here at Target, we’re getting into the true spirit of the season with feel-good holiday spots, memory-making traditions and above all, giving thanks for what we’re most grateful for. We couldn’t do what we do each day—namely, spreading joy to our guests—without our incredible team across the country and the world. To say thanks, we’re sharing the love and good cheer by spotlighting some of our amazing team members telling their stories in their own words.

Bronson Toliver
Warehouse Worker, T-3802, Amsterdam, New York

"Target gave me a second chance at life." --Bronson Toliver

After a debilitating motorcycle accident left him hospital-bound for three months and on disability for two years, Bronson wasn’t sure he’d be able to find fulfilling work again. But everything changed when he applied for a distribution center job at Target—and got it.

“I’ve been doing warehouse work since I was 19. I love the pace and the challenge. But when I applied, I’d been on disability for two years,” Bronson explains. “To my surprise, I got [the job]. But I wasn’t as fast as I used to be. That’s where my manager, Matt worked with me. Matt helped me find a job that was easier on my body. Today, I’m a packer on weekend overnights, and between the job and the gym, I’m getting stronger each and every day. Target gave me a second chance at life.”

Sunita Venkatachalam
Senior Engineering Manager, Karnataka, India
Sunita, in a blue top with red and white details, smiles with her arms crossed.

"I am most thankful about the high standards that my leaders have always set at work, as it helps me set the same bar for myself." --Sunita Venkatachalam

“I am most thankful about the high standards that my leaders have always set at work, as it helps me set the same bar for myself,” Sunita says. Since returning to the workforce after staying home to raise her young children, she has hit her stride on Target’s stores outbound team, engineering important order fulfillment and shipping capabilities.

“Some years ago, my husband, Vijay, quit his engineering job to pursue his true passion—sports, and he became a tennis coach. I was a homemaker at that time. My children were young and I was on a long break. It’s not that my career was not important, it’s just that my children needed me more. Now that Vijay had more flexibility, I could finally restart my own career. It wasn't easy to go back to work, but I had the best role model in my mother,” Sunita explains. “I lost my father when I was seven. My mother not only began working outside the home, but also raised us by herself.”

“I had the inspiration and support from my family, and it all came together when I joined Target. My journey may have been different, but with a clear purpose and the support of leadership, it has been successful. After all, it shouldn't matter where you come from, it only matters where you want to go.”

Pamela Phelan
Director of Construction, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pamela, in a red dress, poses with Bullseye the dog.

"I am exceedingly grateful for the support Target has provided for my family and me through the years." --Pamela Phelan

“My team has a really cool job. For so many elements of our strategy—from small formats to remodels and merchant projects—we literally create the spaces where all of us bring Target’s purpose to life. Now, in a sense, we’re all here building on the work of generations, decades spent building a brand and growing a company that guests love,” she says. And for Pam in particular, the Target legacy runs through her family.

“My grandfather built some of the first Targets outside of Minnesota. He knew the bond we’d created with guests here at home and he felt that to bring Targets to new guests was to build something special. My dad was on the Properties team from the early nineties until he retired this May. He built and remodeled hundreds of Target stores across the country, during our coast-to-coast expansion, when Target became a household name. Like anyone, I love to see Target growing again, and I love it because it honors our legacy while keeping us focused on the future, on building something special and joyful for guests.”

Haresh Haridas
Senior Art Director CGI , Karnataka, India
Haresh smiles in a black sweatshirt with a white bullseye logo.

"Target is a place that provides amazing opportunites to those who seek them." --Haresh Haridas

In January 2018, Arabinda Pramanik approached Haresh and said, “sir, I want to learn CGI [computer generated imagery].” Haresh agreed, and the two quickly struck up a mentoring relationship that ultimately led to Arabinda’s hiring on Target in India’s CGI team.

“My role in helping Arabinda become a part of the Marketing team today is aided by the deep culture that Target has,” Haresh explains. “Arabinda was a security guard at our office, who had the intent to learn and grow when he asked me to help him learn CGI. I am grateful that my leaders trusted me and Arabinda, and gave him the chance to prove his mettle.”

Haresh explains: “We began working together on evenings, weekends, in-person sessions, WhatsApp conversations and phone calls. Learning CGI from scratch is incredibly difficult, and he pushed himself without ever giving up. In just six months, he achieved what usually takes at least a year of formal training to learn. Arabinda’s story is one of grit and resilience. It is also a story about Target, and the amazing opportunities available to those who seek them.”

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