Left to right: Pat, Dick, and Alan Turanski continue to raise bees as a hobby, staying in touch with the humble origins of their company, GloryBee.
In 1974, Dick Turanski ’65 was the owner of a small company that bought and sold rare coins. One morning, he read the story of Jesus and the tax collectors in the temple. In that moment, he decided to shutter his coin business in order to co-found a company with his wife, Pat Marchewka Turanski ’66, that would offer something more healing and wholesome to the world. Their part-time hobby — beekeeping and honey harvesting — would become a new venture. They would move their company from solid gold to liquid gold.
Over the past four decades, GloryBee has become a trusted name in the health food and beekeeping industry. At the beginning, Dick and Pat sold hand-harvested honey to friends and neighbors in Eugene, Oregon. Now, GloryBee’s line of products includes everything from California orange blossom honey to beekeeping supplies to royal jelly — a bee-created substance used in dietary supplements and skin-care products.
Pat, who met Dick while they were students at Seattle Pacific College, is proud of the company’s mission statement: “Glory Bee Foods is built upon a foundation consisting of a belief in God and educating people about healthy living.”
She says their faith shapes GloryBee’s operations at every level. Not only have they committed to operating with the “highest possible ethical and moral standards,” but they’ve also committed to running their business with the “three Ps” of sustainability in mind: people, planet, and profit. They’ve installed solar panels on one production facility, and they’re seeking out ways to add more organic and fair-trade products.
These days, the Turanskis are preparing to transfer company leadership to Alan Turanski ’99, vice president with his sister RaeJean Wilson. Sister Carole Walls also sits on the company’s board.
Dick and Pat credit Seattle Pacific for much of their spiritual growth and maturation. As students, Dick was an economics major and Pat was a family and consumer sciences major.
“I spent four years at SPU learning everything about the Christian life,” Dick says. “I always knew I’d be in business, but it was the spiritual experience that truly shaped my life. I received training through Campus Crusade and even had the opportunity to lead my mother to the Lord at the World’s Fair in 1962.”
Alan, who studied business administration, also relies upon the skills he learned from SPU faculty members such as Professor of Business Ethics Kenman Wong as he leads GloryBee in his parents’ footsteps.
“What really solidified my interest in business and management was a class called Business Ethics,” he says. “It was earth-shattering for me to think about how to integrate business and faith — to walk the same walk at work as you do at home and personally.”
As Dick reflects on 38 years of GloryBee history, he is most proud of a single program: Lunch with the President. Each one of GloryBee’s 170 employees is invited to make a one-on-one connection with him over lunch, as often as the rotation of employees allows. No matter the position, each and every member of the GloryBee staff has a voice and knows their value.
“This has grown to a tremendous team of employees that really keep this alive,” says Pat. “It’s not Dick and Pat and their children. It’s a team that God has brought, and they have a strong voice in how the company moves forward.”
The journey to GloryBee’s success has been long and challenging, as many small-business owners will understand. But Dick and Pat, and now Alan, maintain that the business has provided more opportunities than they ever imagined to bear witness to the goodness of God.
“When you receive blessings, you’re not supposed to stow them away, you’re supposed to share them,” Alan says. “Everybody’s important, nobody is more important than somebody else, and that’s how we strive to lead GloryBee.”