Employee Spotlight: Rosemary | Driving Growth and Making a Difference at Tough Stuff Recycling

Tough Stuff Recycling – TSR, Operations Manager Rosemary started out as a temporary employee, Rosemary’s dedication and enthusiasm propelled her to become an integral part of TSR’s success. As the Operations Manager, she oversees the entire operations in Massachusetts which recycles over 12,000 mattresses a month! Let’s explore her journey from an enthusiastic temporary employee to a resilient operations manager.

Rosemary’s First Months at Tough Stuff Recycling 

When Rosemary first stepped into Tough Stuff Recycling’s empty Massachusetts warehouse, she couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and uncertainty. The magnitude of the task ahead was both daunting and exhilarating. It was a challenge and an opportunity to build from scratch one of the largest mattress recyclers on the east coast and provide Massachusetts with a much-needed outlet for mattress recycling. 

Rosemary’s journey with Tough Stuff Recycling started out small. She was first hired as a temporary employee in California working as a mattress recycling cutter, one of the hardest jobs in mattress recycling. Her versatility and determination day to day shone through as she tirelessly took on any role required of her. It would be these challenges and seeing the growing opportunities with this new business of mattress recycling that would spurn her on to try to achieve more as an employee.

“I believe challenges are what has helped me grow not only with the company but within myself,” Rosemary says.

Hard Work Pays Off

Along with her versatility and determination, she had an unwavering sense of dedication and passion which could not go unnoticed –  quickly becoming a part of Tough Stuff Recycling’s core management team. When offered an expanded role at Tough Stuff’s East Coast facility in Massachusetts, Rosemary jumped at the opportunity. 

“It’s easy to say Rosemary goes above and beyond because she takes pride in what she does and it shows.  She genuinely cares about the work and the company” – Debbie Boyd, Corp. Controller 

In our newest mattress recycling facility, Rosemary leads the most important function of Tough Stuff Recycling – Transportation and Operations. This responsibility is huge as it ensures every customer order is processed, is executed smoothly, and the driver and helper teams are safe as they provide the highest level of professional customer service.

If that’s not enough, it is also Rosemary’s responsibility to make sure all units are received, accounted for, and recycled. This herculean, or should we say Athenian, task includes the responsibility of overseeing a warehouse staff of 30 individuals whose responsibilities include receiving units from customer drop-offs, recycling units that come in the door, baling, staging, and shipping out all of the recyclable materials to sites that need them. Rosemary is a trailblazer and an example for women who seek to grow and become successful in a male-dominated workforce and industry.

Her passion doesn’t stop with operations. She embraces high-tech and industry-changing recycling techniques to ensure that TSR ground operations run smoothly – taking recycling to the next level by finding ways to pull more reusable materials and other hard-to-recycle products from mattresses. Her deep-rooted passion for what she does drives her to contribute to the company’s growth and make the world a better place, one mattress at a time.

“Rosemary’s journey is a testament to the strength of her spirit, a beacon of resilience and dedication. From a temporary employee deconstructing mattresses to managing operations at one of the biggest mattress recycling centers on the East Coast, she exemplifies the transformative power of hard work and tenacity Not only seizing opportunities, but crafting them herself, building her path brick by brick, challenge by challenge. She’s not just an operations manager, she is the embodiment of the Tough Stuff spirit – persevering, innovative, and unwaveringly committed to making a difference!.” – Mike Gurnee, CEO, Tough Stuff Recycling, LLC & Xtraction, Inc.

Just by reading this, you can see that Rosemary’s journey hasn’t been a walk in the park. Throughout her time here, she has learned to step outside her comfort zone. But, as Rosemary says, she’s used these challenges as opportunities to step forward and grow. Embracing these challenges and opportunities has allowed her to fulfill her aspirations of becoming an operations manager. A team leader whom her team chooses to follow because she leads by example, with dedication, passion, and an understanding of what it is like to start at the bottom.

“I would say, ‘That will be me one day,’ and here I am today running a warehouse as an Operations Manager,” – Rosemary Arteaga 

Looking Toward the Future

Her growth and progression wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the entire TSR team.  

“They [the TSR Team] saw something in me that I couldn’t see… that is what keeps me wanting to grow and move forward,” – Rosemary Artegea

Their unwavering support and guidance continue to inspire Rosemary to push her limits, learn from her experiences, and embrace new opportunities.

When reflecting on her path thus far and her accomplishments, Rosemary admits she’s still in awe of her journey.

 “To be honest I still can’t believe it – I run a company! – Rosemary Arteaga

“It’s amazing to see her growth in her role and her successes over the last year, her humility and grounded perspective are testaments to her character and the genuine passion she brings to her role.” 

  • Rodney J Clara, Director of Sales and Business Development

In the future, Rosemary hopes to mentor others with what she has learned through this amazing journey.  As she strives for growth her future goals are to become the next TSR General Manager and continue the expansion of up-and-coming Tough Stuff Recycling facilities across the country.

“Rosemary’s story inspires us all to not just dream, but to chase those dreams, no matter how big they are. After all, in her own words, she ‘keeps this company running.’ That’s not just a job description, that’s a declaration of capability, a promise of continued growth, and an example of extraordinary leadership”  Mike Gurnee, CEO Tough Stuff Recycling

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