Culture Book 2018

Page 1


Culture Book


Table of Contents 4



Food Drive




National Donut Day


Core Values


Employee Incentive Program


Brand Promise


Orlando Trip




Company Kick-Off Event


2018 Top Moments


Own It


Our Year Through Social Media


Company Picnic




Bell Ringing


Community Programs


510 Happy Hour




Jersey Day


Learn. Teach. Grow.


Be Involved


510 Grand Opening




Brithday Celebration


Twins Events


Earth Day


Company Cook-Out


Inspire Smiles


National Beer Day


8th Annual TP Drive


Be Honest & Humble


Walk to San Antonio


Tie Dye Party


Care Committee


Turkey Crafts & Cocktails


Who Rocked It Best?


Happy Holidays


Keep It Simple


Supplier of the Year




Retiree Honorees


Bring Your Child to Work


Employee of the Month


Cinco De Mayo


Employee of the Year


Just Communicate


2019 Theme

Innovative’s Culture Book Welcome to the 2018 culture book! Our fourth annual celebration of culture that captures the heartbeat of Innovative; a culture that thrives on unique thinkers and progressive professionals who live our core values each and every day. Each of you play an important role in creating the contagious energy that allows Innovative to thrive! From expanding geographically to join forces with new talent, to opening an experiential showroom downtown Minneapolis, 2018 was another monumental year of growth and opportunity for both our company and employees. It was a year of learning, teaching and growing together as an organization. It was a year of developing new ways to “keep it simple” to create efficiencies. It was a year of celebrating success both personally and professionally, and it was another year of working hard and having FUN! In 2019, I encourage you to focus on things that inspire you! Continue to challenge yourself daily, live out our core values and brand promise and feel empowered to be the best version of yourself. Do this, and Innovative will continue to thrive and stand out in the market. Each and every one of you inspire me daily and make coming to work so much FUN! I couldn’t be prouder of the way you fulfill our purpose and keep relationships at the forefront when working with customers, suppliers, and each other. I’m honored to be on this Innovative journey with you! Jennifer Smith CEO


2018 edition




Our Core Values


Brand Promise



Customer Feedback I appreciate the personal customer service. Also, when I need

I like that fact that I can save the products I buy to favorites. That

something, someone on the team will get back to me very quickly.

is so helpful.

Absolutely satisfied with Innovative -


I love our rep! Lisa is

I really appreciate the way the

the best around!!

from driver and customer



service reps.

is everyone else I have

been so helpful with hard-to- find

worked with.

and special order items.

Great people to work with and fast!



Very happy

with Innovative.






have I have

sometimes only been able to give

Great service, low prices,

I appreciate all that you do for

You guys are doing a

fast shipping, great product


the community as well as how the

great job.

assortment. Keep it up!

they’ve come through every time!

company is run making my job less

Innovative Office Solutions is #1!




stressful and easy for me to continue

I’m the accounting person that reconciles the bills for payment

coming back.

and the team that supports this area is very fast and responsive. Statements are delivered in a timely fashion which is appreciated.

I always appreciate that customer service sends a order confirmation via email - then I know the order was received and I have the correct

Innovative has been a great addition

Innovative has been

prices. Great job!

to our vendors. Orders continue to run

our supply vendor

smoothly and customer service is great.

for over 10 years.

Would just like to make sure

We love Innovative products! Thanks

Any time I have any questions, the quick

All aspects of the

that you know your customer

for the great service.

response and willingness to help has

company suit our

been outstanding.

needs great.

service group are the best in the business.

The delivery drivers are so respectful, friendly, and courteous!





I’ve always been very happy with the products I’ve been able to find

gear is great. We have used

and the delivery speed and service is top notch. Thank you!

you last several years for an

It is a pleasure doing business with them for many years! All employees

event promo for tshirts and

from Sales Rep to Customer Service, Delivery Service has been great! Please pass along to all our appreciation! Thank you!

polo shirts and they are great quality and delivered quickly!


2018 Proud Moments Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Most Admired CEO Honoree, Jennifer Smith

Women’s Presidents’ Organization, 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50 Honoree for 5 years

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2018 CFO of the Year Honoree, Brooks Smith


MN Business Magazine, 100 Best Places to Work Honoree, for seven consecutive years

Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in America, for the tenth year




Our Year Through a Social Media Lens At Innovative we like to have fun and do great work! Take a look at our year. #allin @innovativeofficesolutions



InSports Foundation $147,062

donated to teams & individuals throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota

#wow Sam! InSports ( your companies foundation) is helping my students. They partnered this summer during summer school and provided sports clinics! So exciting! :) Great company you work at!

32,330 helped get in the game! How many kids we HAVE


Hours kids HAVE participatED in InSports Days

The InSports Foundation is a Non-Profit organization with a mission to help kids participate in sports. InSports Days • Sponsorships • Scholarships 14

#wow Pam Sebesta and Monivone Lamkhamphoui (Sydney) for your Summer InSports Day support!!!!! #beinvolved


Community Programs

MN Football Community of the Year

8th Annual Toilet paper drive

Field Goals for charity

Double plays for charity

Charity of the month

Volunteering Serving loaves and fishes, Richfield, MN

Backpack Packing EvenT Sioux Falls, SD

Being involved is embedded into the culture here at Innovative. We value philanthropic effort and give back to those around us through our local partnerships and charity work in our communities.

habitat for humanity, Minneapolis, MN

Simpson House, Minneapolis, MN


living our core values


What is your favorite Core Value?

Be Honest & Humble 10.7%

Learn. Teach. Grow. 9.5%

Be Involved 4.1%

Own It 15.4% Inspire Smiles 32.5%

Just Communicate 14.8%

Keep It Simple 13%



Learn. Teach. Grow. Jeanne Thompson: She is daily training people in different areas-

Kerensa Tracy: Since she was added to our FAC team, Kerensa

whether it be customer service, jump track or the drivers. Along with

has done an excellent job jumping into the demanding position.

doing LTG’s, training, etc- she also attends LTG’s so she can learn even more. She exemplifies the definition of Learn Teach Grow and I think



Bill Allen: He does a great job helping

she should be commended and recognized for that.

to teach people things

us grow by creating programs that

and see them grow as a

are more time efficient and he is a


great teacher too!






Andrew Leddick : Anytime

to understand and learn things very

I reach out to ANDREW

quickly. For those of us who have a

for a question he always

Kris Winum: Her willingness to share her furniture expertise and

harder time understanding things like


common sense approach to dealing with customers and vendors.

contract pricing, COM entry etc she is

provides me with even

a wonderful reference! She has a lot of

more information than I

patience, she is very well spoken and

asked for allowing me to

has a talent of explaining things to help

learn even more about the

others understand. She is a wonderful

furniture solution!




person to have around!

Much appreciated. Barb Kusilek : She LTGs DeAnn Player : She is always trying to

us in marketing every

find ways to pass on her knowledge

day, but also others in

to the sales teams. She organizes

multiple departments!

LTG’s and tries to make sure everyone


is armed to do their best job everyday.

knowledge :)




Ryan Kelley: Ryan has one of the best attitudes I’ve every been around at work. He is always smiling and no matter what his day has for him,

Tammie White: Tammie embodies LEARN at its most highest

he goes out and does an amazing job!

point. She has been thrown a lot of challenges over time and she

CORE VALUE WINNERS Jeanne Thompson DeAnn Player Christine DeGrammont Amy Beasley

Ann Dalhoff: Ann is always

has learn so much so fast and has an amazing attitude about


it, and with the learning came the growing. She is not above




methods of Technology for

teaching others and is such an amazing person.

the company. When you go to Ann and ask a question

Bob Nelsen: Bob is always eager to share with the reps new

she always is kind and willing

products and information that will help in today’s school learning

to help. She always is willing

environments. He goes above and beyond in helping us succeed

to help us and our customers.

and brings great value to our customers.

Alyssa Kriz: This has been a great tool for the employees

Kennedy Bunkers: Learn. Teach. Grow. Is my favorite core value

to learn new things that we normally wouldn’t if we

because I am a new employee and the amount of training,

didn’t have LTGs. It helps you to grow within your

information, and mentoring from other members of our team

position and the company as well.

has been an incredible experience. Not only do I feel I am in a

Collin Nelson: I love to learn, I’m happy teach, and ready to grow!

coach high school football and youth basketball, I used

learn so much from the people that work here, everyone has been amazingly helpful, kind, and enthusiastic about what we do.

Ken Ledeboer: Learning enables us to improve. Nate Ullrich: When I used to

position to constantly learn and grow in my field but I also can

Mary Wencl: There is always that opportunity to learn new skills which you can use in your job as well as to pass on to fellow coworkers and family. Maria Baker: Since Innovative is

Amy Beasley: My favorite core value is, “Learn.

growing so must each employee

Teach. Grow.” because it begins with improving

it important that we learn new

self - and ends with improving the company as a

processes and procedures and have

whole. It reinforces *people* as important assets

the ability to teach them.

to the company.

in life. If you aren’t improving,

Abbey Hoisington: I am always

Trish Barg: Learning inspires me, Teaching

your competition is. The

excited to learn new things that

excites me, and they both help me to Grow as

first time I saw Learn. Teach.

make processes more efficient, and

a person. “Learning is the only thing the mind

Grow. It reminded me of those

love to teach others how they can

never exhausts, never fears and never regrets.”-

chats I had with my teams and

benefit from it, as well!

Leonardo da Vinci

to always tell my kids “Be better




were today.” Whether it be practicing your craft, studying for school or really anything

that stuck out to me. Amy Meinerts: I think you should learn something every day and share your knowledge with others, then you can grow yourself and help others grow.

Pam Sebesta: Innovative

Saija Lowery: I love learning new things because

is about solutions! As we

it helps me grow as a person and employee.


Whenever I learn something new I want to tell




we learn in solving our customers needs, we all

Timothy Martin: Continual education

grow in a positive way! Our

will always be beneficial in both work and

customers love it when we

personal life. Teaching helps reinforce

say it isn’t a problem, it is a

what we currently know. And both of

solution waiting to happen!

those help us grow as individuals.

others, so we can all grow as together. Lois Ackley: I love that Innovative encourages their associates to continue to learn in all aspects of their positions. They provide training on many topics on a regular basis. This also translates into being the best at our jobs.

Learn. Teach. Grow.

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why?


510 Grand Opening Favorite core value and why? Jennifer Rosenzweig: Inspire Smiles I believe that inspiring smiles at work with co-workers is a very important part of our culture. It makes us who we are and that carries over to the way we inspire smiles with our customers and with the charities and community work that we do. :)

Favorite core value and why? Bill Allen: Inspire Smiles I do what I do for the smiles I see when I tell someone I’ve made their job easier by simplifying something they do everyday!


“We love having a place to show all our newest stuff. It’s a great place to showcase new trends in the geographic center of our industry’s local thought leaders.” -Jennifer Smith

100+ Attendees

Favorite core value and why? Stephanie Robinson: Inspire Smiles I love this core value because it shows our culture! At Innovative we work hard, but we have fun doing it and Inspire Smiles shows it to coworkers, vendors and customers!


Birthday Celebration Favorite core value and why? Kerensa Tracy: Keep It Simple Enough Said :-)

Happy birthday Innovative employees! “IN�joy your special day!

Favorite core value and why? Shelley Stramer: Own It I feel I need to Own the things I do to make me learn from my mistakes.


Earth Day Favorite core value and why? Lynn Dee Bowers: Just Communicate Communication is important because everyone has a different personality and works differently, so good and effective communication helps people work smoothly together.

Favorite core value and why? Marie Conway: Inspire Smiles My Innovative Family is amazing. If I can make a coworker smile with a simple gesture or a smile that makes them smile in return, it makes my heart happy!

Favorite core value and why? Lester Hayes: Inspire Smiles Happy team members and happy clients make everyone’s job easier!


Inspire Smiles Beth Braa: Beth not only inspires smiles but

Scott Rollings: He can make any moment a funny

Robin McMullen: If I’m having a rough

she represents all the core values!

one and makes the drivers laugh in the morning,

day, I know I can go to Robin and

which helps speed things along for everyone.

she’ll make me instantly smile. She

Debbie Garner: Debbie always greets me with

always has a funny pun that makes

such a great smile and genuine kindness. She

Katie Bowell: She is


brightens my day when I come in the office

always cheerful and can


and she is happy to see me. :-) She also makes

do attitude in taking

feel like she is so

Tony Betsinger: Tony is always willing

customers on tours feel very welcome!! She

care of any requests!

happy to see you.

to help, is cheerfull and encouraging.

lights up the room in every situation with a

Hagberg: makes

She you

me laugh or gives me a big hug. :)

smile on here face! Never change Deb and

Joel Eisland: Joel always has a smile

Todd Swanson: Both Todd and I are committed

continue to Inspire Smiles!

on his face which only produces

to high quality work, but like to have fun while

smiles in return. Joel makes an effort

we are doing it. I work in Customer Care and

to have positive conversation with

frequently communicate with our drivers about

everyone he comes in contact with

returns and other issues. Whenever Todd, or

which only produces smiles.


Swanny as we call him, calls in I end up laughing

has embodied this culture code long

so hard. He is a total daymaker and I know our

before those of us in the Dakotas

customers really like him too!

Kathy Hovde: She’s always smiling herself & puts on a happy face regardless of what she’s going through. Is always quick to compliment someone else, exploit someone’s good work/ efforts, and put others up when possible. She’s the kindest, sweetest person around! Certainly always makes me smile! :)

were aware of it. :)

Mike Severson: Mike is the definition on Inspire

Jen Rosenzweig: Jen is the

Smiles. He will go around the building to say good

most positive person I have ever

up a small chit chat when she sees people.

morning almost every morning and he is so upbeat

met. She goes out of her way to

Very friendly and kind hearted.

and happy all the time. not sure how he has that

make sure everyone is in a good

much energy that early, but it gets me started in a

place and if they are not, she

good mood right away. When he walks in the room

puts them there.

you cant help but smaile back. He can also be quite

Leah Halvorson: She always smiles and starts

CORE VALUE WINNERS Robin McMullen Jen Rosenzweig Becky Goetz

Bob Galetka: NO matter

the jokester and will keep you on your toes at all time.

the occasion or whenever

Lisa Steele: Lisa is always in

Becky Goetz: Accounting’s Fearless

we are together he always

a good mood and loves to

Leader! Becky always has a smile

is upbeat and positive!

make you laugh.

on her face and it’s contagious!

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why? Justin Siebenaler: It’s a lot more fun to come to work when

if I have a hand in making it happen it brightens my day!

everybody is having a good time and happy to be here!

Andrew Leddick: Hard things are easier if you are funny.





contagious, easy to share, and


can brighten someones day!

makes me want to come to

Ashley Stuntebeck: My



day is all about inspiring





core value because work


people happy. I work at

should be fun and if you

inspire smiles, it’s contagious.

the front desk and my

are smiling then hopefully

smile is the first thing

you are having fun!!


people see when they walk in the door. I think it is very important to have that happy face for our customers,



sets the mood, and starts off your conversation with a bang. “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite.” -Elf


Inspire favorite







know when someone is having a sad or bad day.......a smile

Smiles means spreading

goes a long way. It makes my

the joy, and what’s life

day when someone smiles at

without a little joy? We’re

me, so I know I am making



someone feel good when I

help, and we want give

smile at them. Smiles make


everyone happy-pass it on!

be else

here a


happiness, too.

Jennifer Smith: I love them all but Inspire Smiles is one of my favorites. If you love what you do it will definitely inspire others to do the same. If you take the time to make someone smile it is infectious! Take the time to make someone smile and you will get as much joy out of it as they do!


Marjorie Laney: Inspire


Jim Martin: Smiling and being a



work each day. DeAnn




amount of time we spend at work it is important to Inspire Smiles. We are with our coworkers more than we are with our family and everyone I so much more productive and happy when we can work hard and play hard and smile and laugh! Matt Steever: When you smile,

Macklin Smith: I think Buddy

other people smile, therefore

the Elf said it best when

everybody has a great day.

he said “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!”

Joleen Davis: Because it’s great to see people happy & smiling!

Casey Yorga: This is my favorite core value because I believe a smile can go a long way whether it is over the phone or in person. One simple smile can totally turn a persons day around!

Cory Gullickson: I like a good laugh, and if you can’t laugh and have fun at work, where you spend a good chunk of your time, you need a new job. I like having fun with my customers and get them laughing, weather it’s with me, or at me. hopefully with me. I also try to smile and laugh with my co-workers, and try not to make everything business.

Inspire Smiles

Janet Tschida: I love to see people’s beautiful smiles and

Debbie Garner: The atmosphere is infectious at Innovative and there is always time for good laugh and smiles. We really enjoy each others company. My co-workers are a great bunch! 27

8th Annual TP Drive Favorite core value and why? Darcee Neudecker: Inspire Smiles


Rolls of toilet paper collected

I think if you can Inspire Smiles in people it can turn a bad day into a better day or better day into a great day for someone, whether it is one of your co-workers or a customer! Smiles are catchy...spread them around :-)


Families given a year supply of toilet paper

All donations benefited Second Harvest Heartland 28


Walk to San Antonio Favorite core value and why? Dale Bloem: Just Communicate I love “Just Communicate” as a core value because its so simple and yet so difficult but without good communication no matter the medium we won’t succeed. As a core value it tells me that we are an organization that is always working to be better communicators leading to greater success!

56,616 total miles walked

Favorite core value and why? Michael Hatton: Be Honest & Humble I believe you have to be honest with yourself and others to really succeed and be humble so you can continue to learn and grow as an individual.

Favorite core value and why? Reed Walhof: Own It When we all “Own It” and everyone does their part, it makes the end result much better. If we all “Own It”, we’ll always be taking care of our customers.

174 Participants

44 Teams

Annual walking challenge! 31

Care Committee 516 Combined volunteer Hours Favorite core value and why? Connie DeLair: Inspire Smiles I love it when you can make people smile, it makes them feel good and that they are welcomed and appreciated.

27 Events held


28 committee Members

Who Rocked It Best? Favorite core value and why? Jo






Be kind to each other, smile often, and never stop learning!



Keep It Simple Jerod Zimmer: Jerod has a VERY complex job that


not a lot people understand, so that fact that he

streamline the furniture ordering

can simplify and explain info for us is AMAZING!

process constantly. He looks at the





variables on new issues and then

Jason Player: Calm, cool and collected, Jason does a great job of keeping it simple! Dave Furey: Dave is very easy going, easy to

adapts them to the current process.

manage, easy to get along with. Liked by all

resourceful, knowledge and exceptional asset to

Pearlee Coty: Pearlee takes the

issues come up, keeps it simple and works

Innovative and our customers!

customers requests and runs with

through the problem.

Don Helgager: Don is a perfect example of “Keep it Simple”!

He is a no nonsense, hard working,

Dave Nybo: Dave is a master of keep it simple! There is no problem too big or too small for Dave, and he helps keep perspective! See Yang: He just has a smile he gives me when

them making it very simple for both

in our department. Never get’s excited when

myself in sales and the customer!

Stephanie Robinson: With all the rules, forms

Keith Kleinschmidt: He is always

general practices; Stephanies attempts to

willing to help out and his attitude is

make all of it easy (simple) as possible to the

grounding in the midst chaos.

everyday person.

and procedures involved with payroll, medical,

I am complicating things, I know immediately to Jack McGrane: Jack is a true example of keep it simple, easy and quick. Easy to work

rethink it. See is super awesome.

with, customers love his great attitude and he is SIMPLY the best! Aaron Rust: Aaron deals with a lot of situations with many moving parts. He focuses on the end result and makes decisions accordingly.


Dallas Williams: Dallas is super organized and always knows everything that he has worked on. He makes it very easy to discuss projects, and go back to previous work!!

Rachel Larsen: Rachel’s studio is

Chad Blaha: Chad has made a concious effort to elimate

newer to the K-12 process, she is

unneccesary paperwork on his desk and within our

taking a fresh look at how and why

department, keeping surfaces cleaner and less cluttered.

Stephanie Robinson

we do different thing with the goal

Jason Player

to simllify and speed up the process.

Rick Copeland: Rick is always looking for way to simplify a process. He has

Aaron Rust

Melissa Dryer: Melissa is so quick to find solution and

furniture billing down to a science. He

Ann Dalhoff

figure out new ways to tackle complicated processes.

can manipulate the open order report

She has been such an asset to the Promo Team and

so he can find missing vendor invoices

serving our customers.

to post so we can complete the billing.

Jack McGrane

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why? Tony Betsinger: Sometimes you just don’t need to outthink

Max Smith: My favorite core value is “Keep it Simple” because

your common sense to get the answer you need.

there are so many things in business that you can do that make

it simple you involve all of our core values, it’s as simple as that! Plus, I helped create it, so that is an added bonus!

things confusing and overwhelming. I love that everyone at Innovative tries to keep things simple because it helps every person make their jobs easier and more productive.

Christina Boerigter: Keep It Simple means not to over

Kay Edmondson: I found myself saying, “If I only had more

complicate things, focus on the basics like communication,

time!” I LOVE our core value Keep It Simple; incorporating this

positivity and follow-up and do them as best as you can.

in to my daily work has definitely given me more time.

Brooks Smith: If you keep it simple, you

Taylor Zea: Most systems work

Joe Axmacher: I have found that the

can learn it, teach, duplicate it and perfect

best when kept simple, rather

easiest way to develop processes is to

it. When you don’t keep it simple, things

than over complicating things. I

Keep It Simple. Innovative has a unique

break down, employees get frustrated,

think that’s one thing that sets us

practice of acceptance to processes

vendors can’t respond and customers

apart from other companies, our

if it is simple, scalable and easy to

find another alternative.

ability to keep most things simple.

participate in. The people at Innovative

Barb Kusilek: Too often things are over-complicated. If you Keep It Simple you will be more productive, feel better about the decisions you make, and keep everyone happier, including yourself.

are go getters, and like to move fast. The change culture is amazing. It’s what I like about working at Innovative. Dwana Seratte: Simple is great. More

Gary Feichtinger: Sometimes we get caught up in all the cool trends and things


going on and often times if you focus on the basics, a lot of really great things

fewer words are better!

can happen - that’s how and where we build our foundation. Carol Roesler: Life today is complicated

Rob Savini: Had a professor that

enough. Keeping it simple for our customers

KISS was his motto. “Keep It

and co-workers will inspire smiles which is

Simple Stupid” just make sense

my other favorite core value.

to make things simple and not too

Mitzi Enns: I like to repeat this core value to myself so I remember to listen, not overthink or “overdo” a solution.

over complicate things.



Keep It Simple

Lesa Page: It is my favorite core value because if we keep


you over complicate too many variables get in the way. 35


Funniest: Ron Bearden

Scariest: Tony Betsinger



Most Creative: Sharon Wagner • Dan Schwendemann John Tate • Melody Faber • Cory Gullickson Patrick Wenker • Collin Nelson • Eric Johnson

Best Group: Bill Allen • Monivone Lamkhamphoui Mitzi Enns • Steve Kusz Marie Conway • Gayle Zabel Janet Tschida • Justin Siebenaler


Bring Your Child to Work Favorite core value and why? Leah Halvorson: Inspire Smiles There isn’t a day where I don’t laugh at least once. Who doesn’t want to Love What They Do and Who They Do It With?





Favorite core value and why? Dean




I believe that whatever your role is you should OWN IT.

Favorite core value and why? Monivone




Life is too short! You need to enjoy it, live it and appreciate it. Spread the love and joy by being kind and Inspire Smiles while you are doing it! :) 38

Cinco De Mayo Favorite core value and why? Hayley




Communication is key in any relationship, no matter if its a customer or coworkers. Speaking up and being precise is very important for the success of this business and all personal relationships.

Favorite core value and why? Mike




Happiness in the work place creates an




Inspiring others to smile helps to keep focus on the real value of life.

Favorite core value and why? Linda




Smiles are a universal “Hello” and are infectious. It is an easy way to spread a little cheer and brighten someone’s day :) 39


Just Communicate Raina Wendt: I know some may think she over communicates and there is no such thing! Raina wants to get it right the first time, not only for external, but internal customers as well! Christine DeGrammont: She embodies the culture at Innovative and works relentlessly to improve how we communicate with one another. Christine loves coaching and seeing each of us prosper and grow as professionals. Dawn Miller: Dawn always makes it a point to go out of her way to share any gained knowledge or information with the team, when applicable. Her customers love working with her, because she is prompt and follows through with her commitments to them. Her co-workers love working with her because she always finds a way to keep us all involved in various happenings.

Alyssa Kriz: She follows up on everything she touches. She expresses herself well. Bridget Smith: Not only is communication a


strength of Bridget’s but she uses communication

attention to detail, she pushes

to connect, relate and create conversations that

communicate everyday. Cant

are important for Innovative!

do your job if you don’t know

Samantha Romero: Samantha does such


the details of a job.

every week. She’s the best!


Max Smith: Max is always very thorough in his communication and does a great job of providing details and info. :) Andrew Deters: He always keeps me on top of what’s going on in his world and with his customers. He does a great job with his customers with providing them

it comes to handling emails and issues. He will work to solve the problem and help communicate

Bridget Smith


Joy Hagberg: Without Joy’s extensive

JR Deobald: JR always clearly communicates what needs to be done and is very responsive when



a good job of sending out the newswire

appropriate expectations.

what needs to be done or what was done.


Marie Conway: She’s so good at communicating with people that she work with and keeping them in the loop and want to be in the loop so she can assist her customers.

JR Deobald

Macklin Smith: He is proactive in communicating and

Joy Hagberg

takes it a step further to keep the process moving along more efficiently.



would be much more chaotic than it already is. She keeps it all in line! Karen Clabo: Karen always reaches out to customers or back to the sales team to make sure we are entering orders correctly so we don’t have mistakes after the fact. She’s also outstanding



updates to customers. Finally, if she’s not sure what to do she picks up the phone to discuss. Amanda Vogel: She is always quick to come to you in person and discuss a job with you if she feels you will have questions. beyond orders she is very good at addressing issues by talking them through.

Laura Nagel: I think communication is a key

Tami Adams: I am a very collaborative person and value that in others. I see

factor in business relationships & personal

it as a way to learn and find solutions to problems. I use this every day to get

relationships, for this reason it’s my favorite

my job done more effectively by having a strong work and personal network.

as I feel it’s the most important.

Maxine Oelker:

If everyone





Jan Orton: When you communicate what is

would take just a few minutes

paramount in every category within

going on with an order, a problem, anything.




Innovative. Customer service sets us apart

Whether good news or bad news, it cuts




from other companies. Reaching out

done on future issues. Just keep people

would be less stress!! As a

via email, phone call or in person shows

in the loop as to what is happening on an

sales person the customer is

our clients that we want to develop a

issue and that alone solves problems and

depending on your answers!

connection, have a relationship and make

keeps everyone happy. Matt









negative situation into positive. Lora Schwalbe: I think it’s extremely important




Brett Bahrenfuss: If we have

many positive outcomes happen with communication.



throughout the organization. When you don’t have good communication, there can be a lot of problems that stem from it..

good communication in all of our area’s questions or concerns are taken care of right away and problems can be solved or avoided all together. We also will feel more comfortable and confident in our job duties and hopefully work more efficiently when



communicate the


and goal

sure everyone is on the same page which results in a positive outcome for all! Kevin Johnson: Because everyone is willing to help you with any issues you may have or if you need help with getting a task done as efficiently as possible. Communication is key! Melissa Nelson: Just Communicate is my favorite Core Value because I feel it brings peace of mind to everyone

Keeping people informed makes one feel

everyone is working towards.

they are respected, trusted, and important.

Tracy Roeder: Just communicate

communicate the chance of frustrations

makes it easier for the customer

and misunderstandings are eliminated.

Shannon Marek: Just communicate is my favorite because communication is one of key components to any personal and professional relationship. It helps to create trust, respect and build relationships.

and everyone else involved. Dave Nybo: The power of speech can make or break anything and everything. The greatest words are words of kindness.

involved in the project.

When we

Carmen Chastek: Communication is a huge part of success for all of us! Doug




helps make complicated issues simple.

Just Communicate

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why?


Food Drive Favorite core value and why? Amanda Davis: Inspire Smiles I love this core value because it truly applies to all facets of what Innovative does. We all

All donations went to our local food shelters

have opportunities every day, whether internal or customer facing, to make someone’s day a little brighter and we jump at the opportunity. I absolutely love working for a company with such a positive culture and that inspires me to smile :)

627 Pounds of food

Favorite core value and why? Tim Moody: Inspire Smiles Everyone at Innovative inspires smiles! The moment you walk into the office you are immediately greeted with people who want to be there and enjoy their job! 42

National Donut Day Favorite core value and why? Kris Winum: Just Communicate I believe that we can overcome small and even larger obstacles if we just keep everyone informed, No one likes surprises when it comes it work issues/strategies/updates. Our society has become much more transparent and I believe that needs to happen at Innovative as well.

Favorite core value and why? Maria Redman: Own It My favorites core value is “Own it�! Own it with your customers, staff and yourself and good things will come for all involved! 43

Employee Incentive Program Are you all IN? Our Employee Incentive Program was designed to engage each Innovative team member and reward them along the way!

Favorite core value and why? Christian Donovan: Own It Having all team members empowered to make decisions to take care of our clients enhances their overall experience with Innovative as a whole.

Favorite core value and why? Amy Hoepfner: Learn. Teach. Grow. I love learning new things and also being able to teach new things! It’s great to be able to problem solve and collaborate with my team to get the customer what they need, all while learning in the process! 44

Orlando Trip

Favorite core value and why? Ann Speckman: Just Communicate Communication in a company is so very important and has a positive impact between departments and with our customers. When we communicate it helps us to understand the needs of customers as well as other employees and departments. Through good creative communications not only do we meet or exceed customer’s expectations, we also work better as a team. Innovative does a very good job of communicating and uses many resources that can be accessed by employees to keep the lines of communication open.

Favorite core value and why? Paul





It is to easy to complicate things or




complicated. Keep it simple! 45

Company Kick-Off Event Favorite core value and why? Angela Knauf: Be Honest & Humble This is my favorite core value becasue the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.

Being honest & humble

fuels an effect of kindness & trust, which is something I get at Innovative everyday!

Favorite core value and why? Gary Weidler: Inspire Smiles Give a smile. It just might make someones day! It may be just what they need!!

Favorite core value and why? Mike Brisson: Own It When I own it I set a goal for myself, Â and then when it is accomplished I can see and feel the reward of the completed task. Â Makes me feel good! 46



Own It

Ann Speckman: She makes sure

Tammy Lee: She owns everything

Carmen Chastek: When Carmen is on a project there is no

everything that she has in her email

she touches. I NEVER give it a

question it won’t get done. She really owns every project!

or on her notebook is always taken

second thought when I give her a

Keeps it on track, communicates progress and problem

care of in a timely manner. She is very

task to handle.

solves to get the job done!

thorough and detailed and will make sure the loop is closed on everything

Ashley Stuntebeck:

Dale Bloem: When we hand a project to Dale he takes the time to

that she is working on. I always have

She is the EPIDEMY

understand it and he ensures it gets completed on time. You do not need

the confidence that anything that


to double check that it’s getting done you can count on it being done.

she is working on will be taken care

has taken on many

of timely and accurately.

rolls and anytime

Joe Rustad: Always willing to do

John Kay: John is very in tune

anyone needs help

the extras required to complete

with all of his customer’s and

Dan Donaldson: Dan “owns it” by

or gives her a task,

installations on time and complete.

takes care of them well. And,

owning his role in the company. He

she attacks it full

may be a more recent hire but he


embodies the Innovative culture well.

always trust her to

He owns his route by delivering all

get a job done!

goods packages in a timely and safe






Taylor Zea: Taylor is amazing with all she does & is always ready to take on

Mark Marek: Mark is always

something new!

She’s been a great

owning his own. If he makes a

help to me, even offering to take more.

mistake he will call and say what

manner. He owns up to his mistakes

Scott Ravenscroft: Scott always has his teams back. When I

which are few and fear between. He

need something he really does own helping me. He recognizes

owns being a participant by always

and owns his knowledge and experience and we own our

asking for more and always happy

strenghts in our sales cycle. Rachel Hovde: She’s great by taking ownership

Paul Kaminski Tammy Lee Taylor Zea

of the opportunity in following up and going after the business that I pass on to her. She’s a great support in our specialist categories!

he did and how he fixed it. Paul Kaminski: He is always very responsive on any requests and truly owns the projects from start to finish everytime!

when it comes his way.


he always asks many questions!

Tom Johansen: From going to the job site to help our installers, to gathering information on product for CTQ; He always does whatever it takes to get the job done.

Mark Segovia: He is so good at helping and following up with requests! If I ask him to help with a project and then don’t do my part he’s there to remind me! :)

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why? Samantha Behr: This is my favorite Core Value

Amanda Vogel: My favorite core value is ‘Own It’, because passing the

because it allows people to be accountable

buck causes more harm than it does good. To ‘Own It’ applies in so

for things that happen and everyone is always

many ways; holding yourself accountable, seeing a situation through

understanding, because we are only just human :)

to the end ensuring the end result was satisfactory, taking charge,

Sabina Abasov: Creates a culture of accountability

and doing whatever it takes to get a job done. The list is endless... Julie Meger: Personally, I feel it is a best

Melissa Dreyer: I think

make mistakes, and having the openness of raising

practice to own it at work and in your

when you are assigned a

my hand to say I own that mistake helps us refocus

personal life! Whether it’s good or bad,

task or project that you

on a solution rather than dwelling in the negative

you should own who you are, the things

should own it all the way

space. Ultimately, you learn and grow from it.

that you do and who you aspire to be.

through! Customers sure appreciate that too.

Kristin Huber: I believe we

Ashley Casparis: As someone who likes to achieve goals, Own

each have a responsibility

It allows me to take on a project, give it my best attempt, ask

Holly Smith: I love this

to ourselves and to our

questions, own my mistakes, and own my successes. Own It

core value because we

customers to strive to do

allows me to learn from my failures so that I can produce an

all make mistakes - but

the best and be the best, this

improved result the second time around!


includes, but is not limited




and acknowledging you

to, taking on challenges and

Laura Brunner: Owning it gets it done.

Doesn’t matter if

made a mistake makes

situations regardless of if

it’s a project, problem or party, if I say I will do it, it is my

everything better. It’s also

it’s yours to tackle.

responsibility to complete that action. If you are upfront with

great when you’ve done

people you gain their respect, even if it is a hard conversation.

something well - just own

Jason Player: When you fully

the praise! :)

embrace own it, you gain a

John Townsend: At the end of the day it is my

completely new perspective.

job to make sure my customers understand



the value a partnership brings to the buying

everything within your sphere

equation. The success of my business is

of influence fosters a no

tied to making sure that all who touch my

excuses attitude to getting

customers understand and live by our core

things done and overcoming

values. When we live by the Innovative Core


Values, our customer will feel the difference

Aaron Rust: If you Own It, whatever it is, you

the minute they engage with us!

have a vested interest in it being successful.


Own It

in a welcoming environment. We are humans who

Dallas Williams: To me own it empowers employees to take charge of a task or project and follow through to completion; secure in the knowledge the company trusts their judgement.


Company Picnic Saint Paul Saints Favorite core value and why? Keith





Today, I am drawn to the core value of “Keep It Simple” we are all busy and bombarded with requests, ideas and other visual and auditory stimulus. We want software and technology to

Favorite core value and why?

do more for us in less time. Sometime I need to just keep it simple to get through the day.

Todd Graf: Be Honest & Humble It is the only way to live your life!!

Favorite core value and why? Bob Galetka: Learn. Teach. Grow. Learn. Teach. Grow. is my favorite core value because it is so uplifting for everyone in our organization. You can visually see as coworkers learn new skills and take on new challenges, they get excited and take new pride in their job, and genuinely love sharing their knowledge with others. As they get accustomed to the role of a teacher, they also become mentors in educating customers. In this way our whole community grows together organically.

Favorite core value and why? Tonya




I like to see others smile. I am a happy person most of the time and want others to be happy as well. I once told someone on a dreary day I will be your sunshine and gave them a big smile and so then they smiled as well. 50

Bell Ringing Favorite core value and why? Joy Hagberg: Inspire Smiles This Core Value has always been my favorite one. I truly believe if we communicate with all parties involved, this will ensure a smooth transition towards making a very happy and satisfied customer/vendor/partnership!

Favorite core value and why? Julie Owen: Own It I love Own it because it’s a constant reminder


raised for the salvation Army

that anyone of us can make it happen for our customers and employees.

When we

have good ideas or something needs special attention all it takes is one person to Own it and get it started!

Favorite core value and why? Raina Wendt: Just Communicate Information is usually helpful, even when we don’t think it is helpful to others, it can be. JUST COMMUNICATE so we can all be on the same page. If you LEARN it, TEACH it, we can all GROW by just communicating it, which will KEEP IT SIMPLE if we just communicate it. Best way to OWN IT is by communicating it, which involves you, so you will BE INVOLVED. All of this will keep you HONEST & HUMBLE and most certainly it will INSPIRE SMILES :) 51

510 Happy Hour Favorite core value and why? Chad Blaha: Inspire Smiles Be cognizant of all the good things you have as well as all the bad things you don’t and take neither for granted. You will find greater satisfaction in your personal life and in your work. You will experience more good days than bad. Walk through the hallways with a smile, give someone a reason to laugh. Exude an optimistic energy that will impact others and you’ll find you’re having fun and the daily complications that you face aren’t quite as daunting as they once seemed.

Favorite core value and why? Christine DeGrammont: Just Communicate I believe when we learn how to communicate effectively by understanding our own biases as well as others, we can accomplish anything! Without it, we risk missing a lot of great opportunities to build relationships.

Favorite core value and why? Ron Bearden: Own It This is my favorite core value because it is one of my own core values. Owning it means taking responsibility for your actions right or wrong. I believe this helps build trust in relationships.

Favorite core value and why? Joel Eiesland: Inspire Smiles I enjoy the daily interaction with our team and try to inspire smiles every day! A smile goes a long way - help make it a better day for your team! 52


Jersey Day Favorite core value and why? Bridget Smith: Inspire Smiles I like ALL of the Core Values, but this one in particular because just one smile can go a LONG way. Science states, the more you smile the happier you are, so let’s keep smiling!!

Favorite core value and why? Eric Johnson: Own It I believe if you have an issue, you need to take the responsibility for it and get it resolved. When you own it and resolve it you learn to not let it happen again.


Favorite core value and why? Janie Westbrook: Own It

Favorite core value and why? Chris




It’s a toss up. But I think it keeps us all accountable



Because it promotes responsibility and accountability and once that is achieved the sky is the limit!


removing resentments or confusion. It’s also one of the most challenging for me. I want to be open, honest and careful not to offend.

Favorite core value and why? Heather Nemer: Inspire Smiles Inspiring smiles is the Innovative way. We deliver a unique and personalized approach to everything we do for our clients, their smiles mean we are doing our jobs the right way. Their laughs mean it’s now a business relationship:-)

Favorite core value and why? Duane Tader: Inspire Smiles People tend to feel better when they smile!



Be Involved Janet



Joleen Davis: Even though Joleen lives further

Trish Barg: Trish is always in the

Innovative, her customers, our business and our

away, she volunteers/joins as many Innovative

mix whether it’s for fun or those

Culture. She is extremely involved with customers

activities as possible. Joleen loves to be involved!

pesky work situations requiring




and communtity events. Janet exemplifies ‘Be Involved’ at our Innovative events, from baking patriotic cakes to her cowgirl IN belt buckles!

Tami Adams: She is always excited to be see her co-workers. In and out of the office!

a few more hands on deck. “No” is not in her vocabulary. Samantha Behr: Samantha is a

Kay Edmondson: No matter what Kay has going on, if you

great example of Be Involved

Justin Seibenaler: Justin embodies

ask her for help, she will always there to be involved! She is

since the first week she started!


such a great communicator at telling you what she has going

She’s participated in our events,

on and what she can help with!

helped with coordinating, and





wholeheartedly. He doesn’t hesitate to volunteer for any and all of our events. He also brings his kids showing them how important (and fun) giving back to the community is.

Karla Gunderson: Pick an event and

Melinda Kroeger: Not only

matter the event, Monivone

is she always involved in



everything that we do in

volunteering with enthusiasm,

work, but she is the one

take on a new task. She is truly

high energy, and a bright smile.

planning the whole thing,

involved in all processes.



Karla is usually at it, whether she has

Ashley Casparis: Ashley is

a customer there or not.

involved with EVERYTHING.

She has

has been a team player!

Monivone Lamkhamphoui: No

been doing that for 17 years and I





don’t see her slowing down now.

committees, opinion groups and volunteering. You go Girl!

and making sure it gets planned, but also she is setting




down. She is always getting ideas




making sure they happen.





always willing to jump in and

Gayle Zabel: Gayle is always excited & always participates. She spends a lot of energy and time trying to make sure that she includes others and participates in all activities!


Dawn Miller: To me, being involved doesn’t just mean someone doing everything they can to

Karla Gunderson

of your way to encourage others to be involved, to participate, to have a little fun. Someone

participate in every little event. To me, being involved is a little more than that, it is going out

Monivone Lamkhamphoui

that makes people feel like they are part of the team, which makes them want to participate as

Marjorie Laney

opposed to feeling forced to do so. That is Dawn Miller’s specialty. She finds a way to make people feel good, and makes people want to do the fun (what they may view as silly) things.

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why? Nicole Hohmann: Be Involved is my

Sue Wentzel: Being Involved gives everyone

involved in the community and

favorite Core Value because being

the opportunity to get to know other

Innovative does a wonderful job

happy is infectious. If you’re in a good

individuals within the company that you

of keeping our name and brand

mood or being funny, more and more

would otherwise have little connection with.

promise out there to show that

people will follow.

At the same time, we are learning (LTG),

we are more than just a supply store, that we are genuinely and actively involved in making a difference to others.

Ginger Tieszen: It takes Team Work to make the Dream Work!! :-)

Inspiring Smiles and Communicating. With our many opportunities to be a part of giving back to our communities there is no better way to warm the heart!

Kellie Heazlett: The more involved you are the more ownership and pride you take in the company. This also allows you to grow relationships with your coworkers. I honestly feel like it opens the door for the other core values, The more you get to know people the more you learn, communicate, and hopefully inspire smiles along the way!

Be Involved

Taunia Schmeling: I love being



Favorite core value and why? Laura Burgess: Inspire Smiles A smile can always help to brighten someone’s day, and it encourages us to have fun at work!

Favorite core value and why? LeAnn Dreyer: Inspire Smiles Smiles make everyone feel good!

Favorite core value and why? Alan Schlaikjer: Own It If you own what you are doing, then the only person you need to judge the outcome is yourself.

Favorite core value and why? Meghan Lane: Inspire Smiles Inspire smiles is my favorite because I love to LITERALLY do just that. I want all those around me to smile and by doing my job well and going the extra mile, I feel that it makes other feel special and important. Whether its a client or a fellow co-worker, I want to always find a way to help in the best way I can and to INSPIRE SMILES along the way.

Favorite core value and why? Linda Roehl: Be Honest & Humble Always enjoy what you do and share your knowledge with others and always be honest and humble. 58

6 participants

Our 2018 Movember Winner: Russ Heins

Twins Events Favorite core value and why? Paul Kaminski: Inspire Smiles It’s always easier to go to work when you’re laughing and having fun. Inspiring smiles means that you’re keeping it light but ensuring everyone’s happy with the work you’re performing in the outcome.

Favorite core value and why? Jeanne Thompson: Own It It is great to work for a company who empowers you to make your own decisions and the power to Own it and make it an exceptional experience for our internal and external customers. :)

Favorite core value and why? Karen Clabo: Inspire Smiles My # 1 Clifton Strength is Empathy and I believe in lifting others up. I try and do this by Inspiring Smiles.


Favorite core value and why? Lyle Dabbert: Own It Knowing and being involved to be able to handle a project/task from start to finish to see the beginning to the end and to take satisfaction in a project/task when it is completed or put in place.

Favorite core value and why? John Tate: Keep It Simple The more complicated things get the more problems. Keeping it simple solves most.

Favorite core value and why? Rick Buranen: Just Communicate Communication helps everyones abilities! 61

Company Cook-Out Favorite core value and why? Eric Okerson: Inspire Smiles I like working at Innovative because I like working with a great group of people who are always so nice.

When I started

working at Innovative 3 years ago, I didn’t think everyone being so nice was going to last. I soon realized “Inspire Smiles” is truly engrained in our culture and we all have fun while accomplishing our goal of doing what it takes to make out customers love us. A big smile goes a long way with me keeping me motivated to love what I do and love who I work with. Smile a lot and have fun! :)

Favorite core value and why? Angelina Shonka: Inspire Smiles Being in the furniture department, we have projects that our deadline based. With these deadlines, at times, comes added stress. I enjoy inspiring smiles and keeping a positive atmosphere around the office, hoping to encourage others to do the same.


National Beer Day Favorite core value and why? Jeff Krier: Inspire Smiles It’s nice to see customers smile and happy to see you.

Favorite core value and why? Lisa Lindemann: Inspire Smiles A smile can go a long way, we do not realize the impact a smile can make on the day of a fellow co-worker or even a stranger that we meet. Acknowledging another person with a warm smile, can change someone’s day. We can make a difference by spreading kindness, with the simple gesture of a smile.

Favorite core value and why? Kendall




To brighten up someone’s day makes me feel good about myself. The smile I create might be the best part of their day!



Be Honest & Humble Kimberly Erickson: She LIVES by

Brooks Smith: Brooks nomination for the Most Admired CFO is well deserved. He is so smart

this. She will always be honest no

and caring, but never boastful. He truly embodies Honest and Humble.

mater what. She is very humble and

Christian Donovan: Christian approaches each of his relationships with his customers, fellow

takes on anything you through at her.

employees, and vendors with genuine humility that embodies this core value.

Casey Yorga: Casey lives be honest and humble every day! If she

Diane Von Skike: Diane is always pleasant to work with, handles all

makes a mistake she is the first to admit it and will do whatever it

situations with honesty and sincerity; does whatever is requested

takes to correct it and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again! She

and would never expect recogniton. She is a true example of

has a true passion for helping those around her and our customers!

honest and humble.

Steve Kusz: Steve is always able to help

Lisa Lindemann: As she is newer to the

you out, work or personal, and will be

FAC position, she has been up front and

has provided advice on product matching

truthfully polite about it.

straightforward about her experience and

for Herman Miller to help us with an existing

Julie Owen: Julie is the real deal. She

Eric Johnson: Eric has been a wonderful resource to more than just his branch. He

customer, he has provided advice when product was coming in late, and he speaks up about and is honest about issues he’s experiencing and works to find solutions for everyone. Laura Brunner: Always there to help out with an honest opinion. Has a ton of experience to share in an humbling way.

is always open and I know I can get an honest answer or feedback from her no matter what the topic is. She also comes across as very humble when in reality she is instrumental in countless initiatives to ensure Innovative remains a thriving company.

Alex Neumann: Alex has been an intern in our Fargo

CORE VALUE WINNERS Lisa Lindemann Casey Yorga Diane Van Skike

office and has owned Be Honest and Humble. He’s taken in this learning experience in stride, and has been great to work with. He’s been honest and quick to respond when issues pop up, and humble when projects were won (and it was his design that helped win them).

is always looking for feedback. Sabina Abasov: In Sabina’s short time with the company, she is already making a major impact. The time and dedication she is devoting to our technology exploration and evaluation is greatly appreciated. She’s a Rockstar, and I think she knows it too :). Her humbleness shines through by her just rolling with the punches like it’s no big deal, when in reality the work she is doing IS a big deal. Additionally, she is always open to discuss various points of views, and handles potential conflicts objectively vs. skirting around a subject that others aren’t agreeing on (insert honesty here).

Tom Kallman: Being Honest and Humble are

Melody Faber: Being honest is a virtue I’ve always thought to be very

building blocks in developing your integrity. It

important in life. And, I like the Humble part because I really do NOT

takes a lifetime to build your integrity and that’s

like people who think they are “all that and more”.

what people will remember about you.

Tom Traetow: In personal life as well as business, I can’t think of a more

Russ Heins: Honesty and being humble build

important trait than honesty. Without it, there is no trust and no ability

trust and integrity. Usually when you are humble,

to form a relationship to work toward a common goal.

you know your limitations and are more helpful to others because your ego does not get in the

Patti Rondestvedt: I believe all of the above core values will piggy

way. A team is better when you can trust and

back with being humble and kind as in such quality will bring out by

rely on each other.

learning teaching and growing communicating will make you involved and keep it simple and owning it can only bring on and inspire smiles.

Bob Nelsen: Honesty is true to my beliefs, and humility keeps me grounded.

Rick Wahl: I have always

Beth Braa: Its always important to be

believed that honesty is

honest - not only with other employees

Jamie Wissink: The old adage that “honesty is

the best policy in building

but clients as well. If there are times I

the best policy” is an important life skill to master.

strong relationships. Be

don’t know the answer to something-I

I believe that being humble goes hand-in-hand

humble, just be who you

will be the first to admit that, and try

with honesty.

Sometimes honesty requires a

are and don’t try to be

to find out the answers. And humble is

person to humble him/herself, knowing there may

someone your not and

important. You need to remember its the

be repercussions, yet maintaining the character

don’t think that you are

clients that keep you in business, as well

to do what is right. We are all only human and

better than others.

as the employees. Everyone matters.

mistakes are made.

I believe solidifying these

values are of the utmost importance. Natasha




Ann Dalhoff: I feel that honesty is at the foundation of ALL successful based


relationships. Whether it be in our personal life or work life, honesty and being humble are keys to developing thriving and successful partnerships.

relationships and directly impacts every interaction that we have with our co-workers, customers, and vendors. It allows for building successful, long-term business partnerships that can withstand any challenges that come up.

Kimberly Erickson: Be Honest & Humble is my favorite Core Value because I believe strongly in being trustworthy, truthful and in having integrity. I think it’s important for a company’s success especially in the customer service industry. I love that this is one of Innovative’s Core Value’s. It shows how much our company cares about our employees and our customers.

Be Honest & Humble

What is Your Favorite Core Value & Why?


Tie Dye Party Favorite core value and why? Gaylen Quam: Inspire Smiles I believe a sense of humor creates a work place environment that brings coworkers closer and translates to office teamwork. Customer’s also are put at ease and enjoy the working relationship that much more.

Favorite core value and why? Melissa Staebell: Own It Holds everyone accountable & accomplished!

Favorite core value and why? Robin McMullen: Inspire Smiles There hasn’t been a day in 6 and a half years, where I haven’t smiled, laughed or full out bust a gut here at work. I work with truly some of the best, most kind-hearted, genuine people that I could ever imagine having the privilege to work with. How lucky am I? 66

Turkey Crafts & Cocktails Favorite core value and why? Lisa Weber: Inspire Smiles What I love about visiting with my customers is that I often hear that my smile is infectious and it makes them smile in return. I also love to hear my customers tell me how they have very few, if any, issues and their orders arrive so fast. Their smiles shine when they tell me how wonderful they think we are. :)

Favorite core value and why? Kathy Hovde: Inspire Smiles A smile is worth a thousand words! I believe that a smile is welcoming and sets the tone of a positive and enthusiastic attitude and upbeat frame of mind. Smiles also help to develop trust. Innovative was







“Relationships Matter” and Innovative employees go the extra mile to take care of our customers, to delight them with our outstanding service, bringing them smiles. A smile is contagious so when you smile the world smiles back!


Happy Holidays

Supplier of the Year Congrats!!

Congratulations to Essendant on being voted Innovative’s Supplier of the Year for 2018!

Essendant has been a fantastic partner since we opened in 2001, always believing in and supporting the Innovative vision. 2018 has been another year of remarkable growth thanks to the partnership of Essendant and the diligent work of Carol Schroeder as we onboarded two new acquisitions.

For 17 years, Essendant has been at the heart of the Innovative success story; a true strategic partner who has been with us every step of the way. Our Account Executive, Carol Schroeder, in particular has been a pioneer for Innovative. She has worked tirelessly to break new ground and evolve Essendant in creative ways to support our growth.

Essendant is always there when we need them. We throw a ton of “innovative “ stuff their way and they always figure out how to get it done!


Retiree Honorees Kathy Zafft • Tammie White • Toni Tebben • Al Rutherford • Al Nickels • Bill Nelson Ken Ledeboer • Donna Hetland • Bruce Engstrom • Lynda Angelos • Jerry Mickelson


Employee of the Month






Keith Kleinschmidt

Ann Speckman

Jerod Zimmer

Rob Savini

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Debbie Jones

Stephanie Robinson

Carol Adamietz

Becky Goetz

Tami Adams

Todd Swanson

DeAnn Player

Casey Yorga

Mark Marek

Carmen Chastek

Brett Bahrenfuss

Duane Tader

Barb Kusilek

Dallas Williams

Katie Bowell

Don Helgager

See Yang

Chad Blaha

Darcee Neudecker

Ann Dalhoff

Paul Kaminski

Gary Feichtinger

Aaron Rust

Tonya Zimmer

Justin Siebenaler

Sue Wentzel





Kristin Huber

Al Rutherford

Tammy Lee

Maddie Smith

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Ashley Casparis

Sheryl Smith

Raina Wendt

Rick Copeland

Todd Swanson

Nicole Hohmann

Brian Betsinger

Jeanne Thompson

Al Redberg

Ammy Nadeau

Rachel Larsen

Lucho Eckert

Mark Segovia

Tom Traetow

Bridget Smith

Amy Hoepfner

Amanda Vogel

Matt Steever

Ashley Stuntebeck

Samantha Romero

Joy Hagberg

Mike Brisson

Janda Blue

Christina Boerigter

John Bruning

Andrew Deters

Todd Graf

Reed Walhof 73

Employee of the Month






Taylor Zea

Carol Roesler

Janda Blue

Joy Hagberg

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Robin McMullen

Laura Burgess

Taunia Schmeling

Melissa Staebell

Lester Hayes

Ben Putman

Nicole Hohmann

Jan Orton

Bob Nelsen

Dave Furey

Dan Donaldson

Ron Dixon

Bill Allen

Dale Bloem

Samantha Cox

Angelina Shonka

Michael Bolton

Bailey Meyer

Tom Traetow

Mark Hoglund

Jay McGuire

Nate Ullrich

Judy Wirkus

Hayley Helfant

Maria Redman

Mike Pitzen

Laura Brunner

Leah Halvorson

Employee of the Year Keith Kleinschmidt Keith keeps the customer first, in all things. When he’s working long hours making sure nothing is left behind in St. Paul or forgotten about in Burnsville. When he’s talking one of his designers through some difficult solutions, or when he’s cracking us up with his sharp wit, everyone around Keith can Expect Relief. He makes Innovative a fun place to buy furniture and a great place to work.

#wow Keith Kleinschmidt for his willingness to help under all


circumstances. Be it, design, MBS Dev, accounting, Giza, spec #wow to Keith Kleinschmidt for

checks, you name it. I obviously need help in all of the above areas,

waiting ALL DANG DAY at the

so thanks for stepping in as needed Keith! Expect Response

Westgate location for a Hon

and Relief!

Express order that we were told would be in Friday and never showed up. I appreciate your

#wow Keith Kleinschmidt Thank you for taking the time to meet with

patience and willingness to help a

the customer on his future plans. He was very impressed with your

girl out! THANK YOU!

knowledge and your response after the meeting to his questions. 75



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