VALDOSTA – Arthur Barham has devoted 50 years to Miller Hardware, having worked for three generations in the company.
Originally from Early County, Barham started working at Miller Hardware Sept. 1, 1971, after relocating to Valdosta for college. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from Valdosta State.
Barham was neighbors with W.L. Miller Jr., who was owner at the time and offered him a part-time job "doing whatever needs to be done," he said.
Following W.L. Miller's retirement, Barham began working as store manager under Dutton M. Miller Sr. Now, he works part-time for current owners Richard Miller and Jonathan Miller.
"I just enjoy doing what I'm doing," he said. "I plan on staying here for a few more years."
Barham said while he has had offers to work for other companies, he remained at Miller Hardware because he loves working there.
His current responsibilities are training staff members and being a liaison between the owners and employees. He said the other staff members look to him for advice.
Jonathan Miller said he believes Barham has made a significant contribution toward Miller Hardware's growth and sustainability.
"Arthur's ability to serve the customer sets an invaluable example in regards to customer service expectations. I have been beyond fortunate to grow up witnessing countless examples of selflessness, humility and respect through Arthur's relationships with others," he said.
"I value the impact he has had on our company, but even more so personally. Fifty years of commitment to our customers is a mark worth duly celebrating. However, ask Arthur his perspective on the date and he'll likely provide a short, humble remark as he moves onto the next customer waiting to speak with 'Mr. Arthur.' It is this extraordinary ability to serve others that makes Arthur Barham the epitome of Miller Hardware Company's customer service."
Serving customers relates to Barham's fondest memories while being a Miller Hardware staffer, he said.
"It's nice when they come back and tell me they appreciate what I do," he said.
Whatever needs customers have, Barham said he'll listen to them and try to address those needs.
He is husband to Betty and they have two children.
Visit millerhardware.com for information about the store.