Meet the head of all of our Yuletide Folk, Chris Miller. His father, Paul Miller Sr., started the company in 1972, after seeing a need in the community for a trusted local source for office supplies. Over the years, Yuletide has seen growth in unexpected times and Chris has been able to make Yuletide a driving force for helping businesses throughout the Memphis area. Here’s a little more background with Chris, along with what he enjoys outside of the office.
Through The Years…
Before joining Yuletide, Chris’ father worked as a publisher in the hardwood industry. He added that Memphis was once the capital of America’s hardwood flooring industry, and that flying over Memphis, you would see a sea of green. He saw a need for a local office supply dealer and came up with the vision for Yuletide: An office supply company that could inspire good feelings and memories of family.
Paul had his children work for Yuletide throughout high school, to train them how to sell and eventually work full time. “I moved out when I was 19, and continued working for Yuletide,” Chris said. On the side, Chris would wait tables at various restaurants.
At 24, Chris decided to put all of his concentration into the family business and would become the President of the company. “I changed my outlook and decided to put all my efforts into Yuletide,” he said. Determination and putting energy into Yuletide helped it to take off. I made a commitment and… overall, most have been good. I’ve had my ups and downs from stock markets getting involved to learning about buying groups.”
He says that the service he provides sets him apart from his competition. “People in the Mid-South area love to buy local, and we’re proud to be their local trusted source. People will still come to us for localized service.”
A Typical Day at Work
Chris is an early riser, and likes to create a plan for his day. He’ll then get to the office around 7 a.m. to work on some projects, before going out to meet customers. Chris is a people person who loves spending time with his team. “I’ve got one hell of a team, and I’m very thankful for that.” After business hours, Chris can usually be found supporting the community at an event, or attending events with the Greater Memphis Chamber.
Spreading Cheer Throughout Memphis
Chris’ commitment to the community comes from someone very close to him:
My Grandmother was a saint. She was very involved with the church and helping others. I saw what she was doing and that kind of laid the groundwork for me. I felt like helping others was an important part of what I wanted to do. I just kind of picked it up and rolled with it. Whatever you put out there that’s good, it comes full circle. Continue doing good deeds and it all comes back.
Through his own volunteer work, he was contacted by Meritain 18 years ago to have Yuletide sponsor their Midnight Classic Bike Tour. Chris says that this was the first event that Yuletide got involved with.
Chris was also able to get involved with Church Health, an organization that offers insurance plans for those who cannot afford them. Businesses can sign people up and get employees insured for $50/month. Chris has also been a proud supporter of their event “Walking as One,” which raises awareness.
Porter Leath’s Toy Truck is the biggest event Chris has gotten involved with. A few years ago, the main sponsor dropped due to a merger with a national organization. Yuletide was asked to help keep the event going.
Personally, Chris is a Master Gardener, which is part of the UT Extension program. Every year a Master Gardener must be recertified up to 10 years and those hours include volunteer time towards city projects. He also is the Head of the Binder committee for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and is on the Programs Committee for the Greater Memphis Chamber Small Business Council.
He also will be the secretary for the Memphis Botanic Garden’s Executive Board starting in August.
Outside of the Office
Outside of work, Chris is a water sports enthusiast, and loves to jet ski at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “It’s a peaceful space where everything just flows,” he said. He also enjoys tending time out in his garden, where he is sometimes able to hear concerts that happen at the nearby Memphis Botanic Garden.
When at home, he enjoys watching the Golden Girls, Gracie & Frankie, and Big Bang Theory. He also loves holiday-animated specials like Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty The Snowman.
Chris also loves the diversity that Memphis offers. “I love the four seasons we get here. I love the roots of Beale Street, and being on the Mississippi River. The Blues are a big part of the city, including all of the wonderful outdoor venues.”
His three favorite places to visit in Memphis are the National Civil Rights Museum, The Memphis Zoo, and the Memphis Botanical Garden.