Proud To Be Part of Sam’s Club History

Celebrating You

Ramon Garcia, club manager, looks back at his journey to the first Sam’s as we gear up for the big 4-0!

Ramon Garcia is the club manager at Sam’s Club 8241 in Midwest City, Oklahoma. And that’s not any club: It’s the club, the very first Sam’s Club! Ramon and his team are excited — and honored — to celebrate Sam’s 40th birthday. Walmart World caught up with Ramon to learn more about his career (and what it’s like working at the original Sam’s).

It all started in 2011, when Ramon started at Walmart after graduating from high school. “When I moved to Guymon, Oklahoma, to go to college, I applied everywhere in town, except for Walmart,” he confesses. “And then after about a month, I kind of ran out of money and I applied at Walmart. I ended up getting hired the very next day.” 

Ramon started in produce, but picked up work around the store. “I like to stay busy!” He eventually took an asset protection position, and later became the asset protection manager for that store.

From Walmart to Sam’s

After graduating from college in 2015, Ramon transferred to Sam’s to help open a new club in Amarillo, Texas. He was there for almost five years before moving to Houston and becoming the co-manager of a club there. But Texas was far from family, so in 2021, Ramon transferred to the Sam’s Club in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he served as club manager. 

When Ramon started at Club 8241 in October 2022, he found himself meeting associates who have been with Sam’s longer than he’s been alive. “It's really cool to see the tenure here. People just love their jobs and have stuck with it for so long.”

Sam’s Club pride

Take Manuel “Manny” Velasco (pictured above). He’s one of the forklift drivers at the club, and he was the first driver hired in 1983. He’ll be celebrating his 40th milestone right along with the company. Several other associates have been with the store for 37 or 38 years.

Both the town and the store are very proud of their place in Sam’s Club history. Some of the first club members Ramon met even made sure to mention that Club 8241 was the first Sam’s Club. That pride extends to the associates. “They know what they're doing really matters, and they know what the end goal is,” he says. “They're happy to help anybody.”  

Happy with his path

Ramon is “as happy as can be” with his Walmart and Sam’s Club career, which has brought the former quiet guy out of his shell.

“I was a young kid just trying to go through with a business degree in marketing and didn't really know what I wanted to do with my career path,” he explains. “Going up through the culture and meeting great associates and great leaders influenced me and made me pick something that I love to do.”

Ramon says Sam’s Club works on a smaller scale than Walmart, and is a little slower. “But it gives me a huge opportunity to visit with my associates and build those relationships,” he shares. “That's been something that's important to me. I make sure I talk to everybody every single day and check on how they're doing.” 

To celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary, Ramon is pulling together a list of original club members and inviting them to the store. They’ll be joined by market managers, executives, city officials, longtime associates and other club members to mark the birth of Sam Walton’s experiment — an idea that grew from one location in Oklahoma into hundreds of locations across the U.S.