By Devon Clasen
Forty years; 2,080 weeks; 10,400 days; 83,200 hours, give or take a coffee break or two.
That’s how long it’s been since Connie Hopkins first joined Gap Inc. in 1973.
This month, Connie celebrates 40 years with the company. She is also the longest continuously tenured employee in the company’s 44-year history.
Today, Connie is a senior business systems analyst in the IT Department, but her career with Gap began when a friend in HR suggested she consider joining the then 4-year-old apparel company (which boasted a modest 40 stores at the time).
Familiar with the catchy “Fall into the Gap” slogan, Connie liked the idea and was soon hired as a cash audit clerk.
“When I started, everything that I worked with was on paper,” Connie said. “We used ledger paper and a pencil to put in all the information that, as you can imagine today, is all automated. We put it on paper and used the adding machine to add it all up and book it to the general ledger manually. Not much technology!”
Connie has garnered a lengthy roster of coworkers and collaborators, which she counts as one of the most rewarding aspects of her job.
“Because of my work at Gap, I’ve made friends all around the world and I cherish all of those interactions and opportunities.”
And like company co-founder Don Fisher, one of the things that she is most proud of is the integrity of the company.
“Ethics are also important to me,” she added. “Each day, I see living examples of how employees are doing the right thing, above and beyond running a corporation.”
Of the countless company milestones Connie has witnessed over the years, the international growth and brand acquisitions like Banana Republic and the launch of Old Navy are some of the most exciting moments, as are events like local AIDS Walks and the “IT Day of Action,” where portions of the company volunteer together.
Company Co-Founder Doris Fisher, one of the few people with more institutional memory than Connie, sent this note of praise: “Congratulations…it’s a remarkable achievement and a true honor for Gap Inc. that you’ve chosen to build such a lasting career with the company. Gap Inc. would not be where it is today without the dedication and passion that long-tenured employees like you bring.”
Connie says the same excitement for seeking out and learning new things has been a key part of helping her build such a long and successful career at Gap.
”I’ve never been bored. There’s always something new to work on. I always seem to have something on my to-do list that I say, ‘I still want to do this.’ There are things that I want to accomplish here and ways that I can contribute. I’ve never felt that I didn’t have a way to contribute.”