Justin McGhee—The (Nick) Name Says it All
Justin McGhee is fondly referred to as “Bleader” by his coworkers at Pearl. While many of us may have garnered office nicknames, Justin’s carries a particularly inspiring meaning.
“‘Bleader’ actually started when I got my team lead role,” Justin says. “The staff told me the reason for the name was that I am not just a leader but someone who would do anything for his staff (even bleed), hence ‘Bleader.'”
“Bleader” isn’t the only nickname Justin has accumulated over the years. In high school, Justin became known as “McGoo” after he sprouted nearly a foot in less than a year. The result? “This made me clumsy,” Justin explains, “and if you combine my last name with the movie Mr. Magoo, you get ‘McGoo.'”
A “Bleader” by Example
Although “McGoo” may be a nickname of the past, Justin consistently lives up to his “Bleader” title. Before starting at Pearl, Justin worked at a quality of life company, where he helped individuals with special needs.
Justin assisted a variety of complex, and often difficult, clients and was known as “the guy who could handle any situation.” Justin says the “experience changed me a lot (for the better), and I am very thankful I was able to meet those individuals.”
Justin brought that same reliability and adaptability when he started at Pearl three years ago as a customer service representative. He eventually moved to a lead operator role and now serves as a team lead.
Justin’s progression through these roles highlights one of his favorite aspects about working at Pearl: growth. “There is so much potential to learn something new every day at Pearl, and it is constantly changing,” Justin explains. “This gives a constant chance at progress and knowledge, which is something I appreciate.”
Justin is also grateful for the mutual appreciation between the Pearl leadership and their employees. “I have worked for a few companies, and Pearl is the first one that I feel wants their employees to be happy—that is an amazing thing.”
Family, Four Wheelers, and Fastballs
Outside of work, Justin likes to keep active with his fiancée, Jaime, and his two boys, Hayden and Izaeah. A recent move to Mackinaw has brought about a new hobby for the family—four wheeling! Even if he’s not riding one of the many trails along the river, Justin always tries to keep moving.
Staying active is a priority for Justin, partly because he is a former athlete. “I was a baseball player for about twenty years,” says Justin. He earned a college scholarship through baseball, which helped get him through school.
“I started out as a catcher, but my coach saw me as a pitcher. Freshman year as a pitcher, I was throwing 79 mph. By sophomore year, I was reaching 90 mph and reached 95 mph as my max.”
Nearly ten major league teams scouted Justin in college, until an arm injury cut his athletic career short. Justin ended his baseball career on a high note, however, getting his team to the playoffs in his last regular season game. “I actually threw three no-hitters in a row (which is very rare).”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty it brings, Justin likes to keep his mantra simple and grounded in a positive mindset.
“I like to have fun, listen to music, be active, and try to be funny. But overall, I just try to enjoy life (we only get one shot).”