For more than thirty years, Florida-based Nutranext (originally known as Nature’s Products Inc.) thrived on a company culture of healthy living—both for its employees and its customers. When Clorox announced its intent on March 12, 2018, to acquire Nutranext, there might have been some thought as to whether that culture would change at the hands of such large global name. Vickie Brint, Nutranext’s vice president of human resources, says any concerns related to such thoughts were quickly allayed.
“We share many of the same values around community, sustainability, and wellness,” she says. “Nutranext was a small, family-owned business with heart and great potential. The acquisition afforded us the opportunity to achieve our full growth potential. What’s really important is Clorox didn’t just buy us to build its bottom line. They bought us because they believed in the brands and want to continue expanding their presence in the health and wellness industry.”
For Nutranext, which produces a range of dietary supplements, the merger supercharged the company’s ability to increase the presence of its products throughout the country. The growth was something that Brint says was “thrilling” for what had traditionally been a small operation, and she serves as a key figure in helping transition the company’s employees to a larger national stage.
“We had to be very strategic about the pace of change as it relates to people integration,” she says. “From integrating talent from Clorox into Nutranext to merging benefits and payroll, everything has to be done in a thoughtful and inclusive manner. Although employees would like some things to happen sooner than later, we must be mindful of the resources and time constraints inherent in many of the change-management initiatives to execute such a large-scale plan.”
Although the average Nutranext employee’s job functions may have changed a bit in the wake of the acquisition, Brint notes, the transition has been relatively free of turbulence thanks to a shared vision with Clorox and the collaborative nature of the integration team. “The humbleness of the leadership within Clorox surprised me,” she says. “We have the benefit of working with some of the industry’s best thought leaders, in their respective functional areas. They are eager to share best practices to help us move forward.” Equally important, Brint noted, is the fact that the knowledge transfer is reciprocal, and Clorox has embraced the learning from the Nutranext team in the vitamin mineral supplement business and natural channel.
The learning curve shouldn’t be too steep. Both Nutranext and Clorox take pride not only in the quality of their products but also in the quality of their employees. “With happy employees, we make happy customers,” Brint notes. In integrating employees from both organizations, Brint says, she’s focusing on people and culture to align the companies’ policies, procedures, benefits, and operations.
Core to that culture is an emphasis on wellness, inherent in the foundation of both companies. “Wellness is not simply what we do; it’s who we are,” Brint says. “We take pride in knowing what we do makes a difference in the lives of our families and the community.”
That core value won’t be going away anytime soon, and Brint says that, if anything, since the Clorox acquisition, the employees she works with have been instilled with a new sense of hope. “As a small, family-owned business, we didn’t often reinvest back into technology, systems, and facilities,” Brint adds. “Consequently, we were lacking in a lot of areas.”
What she saw when she first arrived were the possibilities. “It was a diamond in the rough,” she says. “Now, Clorox has provided the resources for those investments, and we can feel secure knowing they’re in this for the long haul.”
The company’s Sunrise, Florida, headquarters has already undergone a complete renovation of its first floor, a new roof, and upgrades to various facility equipment and machinery—and, next year, a renovation of the second floor is scheduled. On the personnel side, in addition to revamping the healthcare benefits package, there are new career-development opportunities for employees to move up within the company, and more than eighty new positions have been added to the company since the acquisition. Growth is expected to continue over the ensuing year.
External partners Brint works with have come to expect such achievements from her and her team. “Vickie’s ability to comprehend operational details and understand and support the corporate goals of her employers makes her a significant asset to the organizations she supports,” says Mike Meredith, executive vice president and senior benefits consultant at Lockton Companies. “It is no surprise that Vickie has been pivotal in the success of the Clorox–Nutranext partnership.”
Such progress and growth is also important to Brint herself, who notes that she spent most of her career in aviation, where she dealt with the cyclical nature in that industry of hiring and building people up, only to have contracts end, resulting in layoffs and plant closures. She says working for Nutranext fulfills her desire to build strong processes and people for the future.
“I derive satisfaction from building things—from helping companies achieve organizational excellence and helping employees be their personal best and achieve their career goals,” she says. “I’m a strong advocate of paying it forward. I’ve had the benefit of achieving success in my educational and professional endeavors and want to give back to the profession that has brought me much joy.”
For thirty years, SageView Advisory Group has been proud to partner with forward-thinking individuals such as Vickie Brint to drive success within an organization through collaboration and innovation in retirement plan design, investment consulting and financial wellness. Vickie is a trailblazer in organizational development and has the unique ability to strategically integrate all stakeholders to work together for the common goal of enhancing employee benefits, resources, communication and overall experience.