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Rod Sturtridge President, Carlton Cards

Exit Interview
Rod Sturtridge retired as president of Carlton Cards February 2024 after 41 years with the company.
Rod Sturtridge

What kept you with the company for your entire career?

For the first half of my career, I was either promoted or given a new assignment every two years. I was always learning new skills. I never got bored. In the last half of my career, while I was in my positions for a much longer time, the retail market was constantly changing, along with numerous changes within our company. When you are dealing with constant change, the time flies by and it keeps you engaged.

Perhaps the most important thing that kept me with the company my whole career was the great people I worked with every day. Early in my career, someone told me that I would spend more time working than anything else in my life, so I better enjoy it. I have been so blessed to have worked with a great team for 41 years.

What will you miss the most?

The people. This sounds like a cliché, but for me it really is true. Many of the customers I worked with over the years have become good friends. I know I will keep in touch with them, but I will miss the daily interaction. I will think back on all the conversations we had over a meal, at an industry event, in the boardroom or on the golf course, and a smile will come to my face; this is what has been so rewarding to me.

Do you have a career milestone you are most proud of?

Forty-one years with one company and I was never unemployed.

What’s on your bucket list post-Carlton Cards?

I am looking forward to spending more time with family. I have travelled so much of my life I am going to enjoy and appreciate being grounded for a while. My wife Karyn and I have four grandchildren and I will be spending more time with them, going to their baseball games and school events.

I started a retirement list about six years ago, and every time I thought of something I might want to do in retirement, I added to it. If I wake up one day and have nothing to do, I will check off something on that list. It includes everything from books I want to read, to going fly fishing, taking a carpentry course, and playing new and old golf courses with friends. I have close to 100 things on the list. I recommend everyone in their last 10 years of employment to start a list. It makes the transition much more exciting as you look to the future.

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