Culture Book 2021

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Culture Book


*wherever they are! 2

Table of Contents 2 4 5 6 8 9 10 60 62 63

Purpose Some of the Original Innovative Crew CEO Message 20 Years of Innovative Customer Feedback Core Values InSports Foundation Employee Spotlight Supplier of the Year 2022 Theme


10 employees that


have been here since day one! a message from Jennifer Smith, CEO Welcome to the 2021 culture book! Our seventh annual celebration showcasing how we live our core values, brand promise, and our vision of “Inspiring People to Love What They Do and Who They Do It With”. This book captures the heart and soul of Innovative. In 2021, we celebrated 20 years of being ALL IN! Twenty years of making workplaces more productive. Twenty years of countless memories as a team and twenty years of fueling growth and opportunity. This year we welcomed over 100 new team members to the Innovative family and seven new locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We also took a deep dive into understanding our individual strengths and how we can best work together as a team. I am so proud of how each one of you has faced the tremendous challenges of 2021 but remained true to our brand promise and core values to provide an exceptional customer experience. We were recognized as a Top 175 Workplace by the Star Tribune, and that’s a testament to the environment you create, wherever we may be working. As we reflect on 2021 and look to the coming year, I encourage you to acknowledge all you’ve had to overcome and set your sights on how we can be even better together in 2022. I encourage you to find joy in the small moments and celebrate success on every scale. I encourage you to embrace what makes Innovative different, and that’s great people doing a little extra and treating others how they want to be treated. For over twenty years, we’ve proven that “Relationships Matter” to our customers, our vendors, and so importantly, each other. It’s on this foundation we’ll continue to find growth and success as a family, my Innovative family! Cheers! 5


20 years of Innovative


very pleased We are very pleased with the service, ordering, and delivery that you provide.

easy to work with

You do a great job - I chat in when I need help narrowing down filters or finding past regular orders - you rock.

I think Innovative does a great job and the employees in the Jamestown store are terrific!

good work

Keep up the good work. I appreciate the customer appreciation perks!

great experience We had a great experience, from design to installation with Innovative. The Taraflex floor combined with our existing wood floor gives the Sanford Pentagon as good a surface for volleyball as there is anywhere in the country. 8

The service we have received has been excellent! Thank you so much!


With everything that is going on in the world today, Innovative has been very easy to work with.

you rock


customer feedback


over $122,000 raised at our 8th annual golf tournament


One of my favorite memories is being at the InSports Golf Tournament and listening to Max tell the story of the youth sports team that was sponsored with the help of the foundation. Then hearing the coach speak and how appreciative and thankful he was for helping the kids on the team. -Russ Heins

donated $25,000 to teams & individuals throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota

InSports Foundation InS 10

fun and laughter

There are SO many to choose, but some of my favorite memories include: Our team activity of dressing up in our pajamas serving breakfast to all the teams around the office, helping run our InSports Golf Tournaments to raise money to help kids get in the game of sports, all the fun and laughter in our tiny marketing office! -Bridget Smith

Sports Foundation

InSports Foundati

helping 46,928 kids get in the game since 2014


Memories Memories Mem a lot of fun

I was given the opportunity to go on the Hon vendor trip a couple of years ago. It was a lot of fun, but even more so, it helped me have a better understanding of how the furniture manufacturing and logistics process works. -Kerensa Tracy

great years at Innovative


I was pleased to find out that NBP merged with such a strong company. I know many people from Innovative, some of which I haven’t talked to in twenty years. It has been wonderful connecting with so many great people from the past. Looking forward to many great years at Innovative. -Steve Jacob

Memo There are so many memories, it’s hard to choose one. Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army is in my top 5. Usually, Justin, his son Will, my son JJ and I will all be signed up together. This is super fun to do with our kids and allows us to get to know one another outside of the office setting. One year, I was very lucky to do this with Lesa as well. I’m very proud of the various charity work Innovative coordinates for their employees. It’s a great way to give your time, have fun, and spend time with family! -Joy Hagberg

mories energy, excitement and passion

ories Memories Memories My favorite memory is our All Company end of year awards ceremony. We bring everyone in the company together in one spot to celebrate the previous year and to look forward to the next year. It is always fun to see the energy, excitement and passion the employees have for the company. Everyone you meet in the company has a deep desire to do the right thing and work hard for our customers to find the right solutions for them. -Todd Graf

I accepted my new job at Innovative in October of 2015 - my start date was scheduled to be the week of Halloween. My soon to be new manager reached out to me prior to my start date to see if I wanted to be a part of the accounting team’s group Halloween costume. She even started to make parts of my costume for me before my first day. Coming from a more formal corporate job it was such a breath of fresh air, it was a great welcome to a new job, and I immediately felt very included and part of the team. Since then, Halloween is always something I look forward to, seeing everyone dressed up and celebrating together. -Laura Burgess 13


2021 Kickoff Event 2

Brooks Smith spilled his coffee at the start

incredibly grateful

Since helping put the company together in 2001, I’ve had 20 years of incredible memories. It would be impossible to pick a favorite as it feels like a mini-lifetime. Its feels like I’ve grown up at Innovative with every new year bringing new challenges and personal growth. I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity Innovative and the other employees have given me to continually grow and feel fulfilled. What a ride, and its not over yet! -Jason Player

new & wonderful Meeting so many new and wonderful co-workers from Innovative that make you feel so welcome and supported. -Penny Watczak

2021 Kickoff Event 2021 K 15

chat with the team

Getting together as a furniture team and cleaning out the library/organizing while chatting on all things work related or not. Always nice to take a break and chat with the team while still getting things done! -Rachel Jouwstra

I have many favorite memories. The All-company meeting when the leadership team dressed up like characters from Clue was SO fun. Brooks in his gold pants LOL. I have loved the summer walking events we have with teams. Everyone has such funny names for their teams. I always like it when Tony grills out back and we have potato salad and other picnic goodies in the summer. Beer Fridays are super great--love seeing Aaron coming down the hall on Friday afternoons with his little cart. My team is another of my favorite things about IOS. We laugh so hard! -Tami Adams 16

I have so many great memories with Innovative. Most of all my favorite memories come from all the activities that we do. Halloween, Christmas, potlucks, happy hours, end of summer walking party - there are so many that it truly is hard to pick just one. My general feeling about Innovative is that I just love what I do - and who I do it with. Couldn’t be a better place to work. -Robin McMullen

ies Memories Memorie humbled & amazed

I have two distinct memories. Being adopted into the Innovative Family in 2016, I wasn’t sure what/who Innovative was all about. My first memory was my initial visit to the Burnsville office. It was eye opening and exciting. You could literally feel the enthusiasm, and one of their core values coming to life, and seeing the vision come to life, “Inspire people to Love what they do and who they do it with.” The energy/people there were awesome. My second major memory is working on a larger project with many experts in various fields that I hadn’t had the privileges to work with up to that point. I was humbled and amazed at the level of expertise, knowledge and ability of those in key roles. My level of confidence and excitement to be part of this company went through the roof. Innovative Office Solutions is truly awesome in every way. -Lois Ackley


od Drive Blo d D


nice coworkers

Blood Drive Blood Drive B

Best memory is all the nice coworkers. Everyone likes to help. I’m not in the office much, but every time I stop in it’s a fun memory. -Tom Kallman

Blood Drive Blood Drive fun, exciting, game changer

many favorite memories

Working with Jennifer and Joel bringing on the people from Heartland Paper. It was fun, exciting, and a game changer! -Dale Bloem

Many, many favorite memories. One of my favorites was our catalog kick off meetings. The one we had at Stephano’s, Jennifer invited Wayne Scott from Essendant. -Belinda Dower


Memories Memor


Vikings pre-game 2018! Enjoying a game with customers, what an amazing experience!! -Ginger Tieszen



One of my many highlights of working at Innovative was the opportunity to participate in the Business Connect Program where Innovative was chosen as one of the top 40 vendors in Minnesota to network and provide products and services to companies for the 2018 Super Bowl LII. Kathy Hovde and I had soooo much fun networking, attending events and just soaking in all the craziness and festivities for a once in a lifetime event! #BOLDNORTH -Pearlee Coty

ries Memories M

couldn’t stop laughing When Pearlee fell off her chair during an executive promo meeting with Kraus Anderson Insurance. We couldn’t stop laughing the entire meeting! Ha it was super funny and I am sure, embarrassing for Pearlee. -Kristen Moraal

My favorite memory was volunteering at the InSports Annual Golf Tournament. It was so fun working as a team and getting to meet other Innovative employees that I had not had a chance to meet yet, customers, and vendors. My favorite part of the day was working the Putting Contest. Lots of laughs, smiles, and cheering on the players all while raising money for the Kids! -Brianna Samuels


trick’s Day St. Patrick’s 22

Patrick’s Day S

knew this is where I want to be

The culture and energy I saw at Innovative the first time I walked in the office made me want to be a part of this company. My first “on the job experience” that solidified if for me was during one of the first weeks I was at Innovative. We had a Friday afternoon happy hour. Jenn and Brooks both ran into me early on and mentioned they’d like to talk catch up later and get to know me a little better. I’d never had a senior leadership team, let alone the owner/CEO approach me like that before. After a bit, we sat around a high top table, had a drink and just talked for an hour or so. We didn’t even really talk about work. It felt like we were just hanging out getting to know each other. It was so great for me to have that time and conversation with them. I was newer to the company, so to have them share some stories and personal history, they made me feel important and showed me they cared about me as a person not just an employee. I probably shared WAY too much about me, but after that, I knew this is where I want to be. -Aaron Rust


St. Patrick’s Day St. P


ies Memories Me

I have so many, but I would have to say, dressing up for Halloween, Beer Friday’s, PJ day, blood drive, pretty much any all-company group event. :) -Jessica Underwood


I would have to say being a part of the Innovative catalog cover photoshoot “In the News”. Little did we know that would be the last one we would officially do for a couple of years. I loved seeing an Innovative delivery truck pulled into the huge studio warehouse and everyone hop on it. We all had our matching gold Innovative t-shirts. Jenn and Brooks sitting on the top of the truck. It was a blast! -Christine DeGrammont

ories Memories Memorie love the culture

Love the culture and the people I’ve met so far. :) -Bill Grillo 25

here IN the W

look at how cool My favorite memory was actually prior to starting at Innovative. I was working at another company, and we had switched over all our office supplies to Innovative when I saw the catalog with the Innovative employees and I said to one of my coworkers, “Wow look at how cool this is, they let their staff be the models for this.” The coworker I was talking with was friends with Jennifer and Brooks and she started talking about the Innovative story and Jennifer and Brooks and I was so amazed. I said to myself, one day I will work for someone like that, hopefully it will be Jennifer. Little did I know it would come true, here I am 5 years later. -Carmen Chastek

World Where IN the W



Where IN th

smile to my and our customer’s face.

My favorite memory with Innovative is being part of an organization and the superior level of customer care with our customers. The response time and support is and continues to be head and shoulders above any organization I have previously worked for. It adds a smile to my and our customer’s face. -Christian Donovan

entire company

My favorite Innovative memory is a catalog kick off meeting a long time ago. It sticks out to me because we could fit the entire company in the back room of a restaurant. -Justin Siebenaler


One of my favorite memories is the Twins Roofdeck party when we were small enough that we could still fit all of our families as well! -Stephanie Robinson

Around the Offic

our families

always a fun experience Taking customers to the Innovative Vikings suite at US Bank Stadium. Always a fun experience for our customers and the atmosphere is great. -Reed Walhof


outs Workouts Workouts 30

MATTER Packing


efforts that everyone puts into everything With so many great memories (Halloween, walking parties, kickoffs...), it’s hard to choose!! One of my favorites is the 2018 Golden Globe kickoff event. Getting all of our employees together and seeing the fantastic and creative costumes everyone came up with that year was great. But the best part of the evening was working backstage during the leadership presentation. From enjoying a bottle of bourbon to watching how hard leadership worked to get their presentation right, it was a bit chaotic but also really fun. To this day, it makes me appreciate the efforts that everyone puts into everything they do. -Barb Kusilek



Innovative story

Years ago when one of the very busy reps asked me if I ever needed help that he would love to help because he loves telling people about our Innovative story. I realized then that this is a team. -Tracy Roeder 32

lasting memories with my friends/co-workers

One of my favorite memories over the years has been participating in the annual Halloween costume contests. It’s so fun to see the amount of creativity my co-workers come up with every year! The year me and my besties dressed up as the “Golden Girls” and won the “best group contest”, has to be one of my all time highlights! -Gayle Zabel

ONE of my favorites Memories is from our Innovative Halloween- costume contests. Dressing up with my friends and walking around the office and playing theme music to the Golden Girls, Wizard of Oz, and the Brady Bunch to the Adams Family! These moments not only leave me with lasting memories with my friends/co-workers, they let us all be kids for a day! I love these moments with My Innovative Family- winning multiple years in a row, was an added bonus!! -Marie Conway

So many great memories but my best memories are when a prospect takes a leap of faith and signs up as a customer and becomes our partner. There is nothing more rewarding than when they come back a few months down the road and tell me the vision I outlined for them actually came true. That Innovative really is different than the other players in the market and we really are that good. That doesn’t happen unless you have a great team of folks supporting the vision of what a world class organization means. I am so proud to be a part of the Innovative family! We really are that good! -John Townsend

employees welcomed us

es Memories Memories M My favorite memory would be the way the Innovative employees welcomed us when we joined the Innovative team. I know they were patient with us as we learned a new system and a totally different way of conducting business. The staff always took time if I had questions and really made the Sioux Falls employees feel welcome in a time of transition. -Brett Bahrenfuss


So much fun

arth Day Earth

I will never forget the many opportunities we’ve had over the years to have fun together - One of my favorites was the Innovative Olympic-style theme that we did one year. We were assigned to teams, and had all kinds of fun office productsthemed competitions, such as office chair relay races and canned air hockey, culminating with a food event, where each team made foods and presented them in a way that represented their team’s country. So much fun! -Ann Dalhoff

h Day Earth Day Earth 34

laughed more My favorite memory is when I interviewed with Jen R and Robin. I usually have different (odd, fun) interviews it seems, but I think I laughed more in that interview than any others. True fun with HR and manager... what?! :) thanks for making my last interview the best! -Raina Wendt

worked hard

One of my favorite memories is the weekend we came in to load all the sales orders from our old system into MBSDEV. We worked hard and long hours to get it all done and we got a little silly. Becky put on her pig ears and nose and held windmills in her hands as I pushed her down the hallway in her chair and she squealed “WEE” the whole time. It was just the silliness we all needed to break up the work. Who still has their “I survived the INsanity” shirt? -Brian Howell

arth Day Earth Day Ear 35

design re asked to e w I d n a r n e t was unde a Rachel Lars th e c a p s a lutions for ith furniture so . Working w s w o d in w with no da utilized and and installe d te a re c e er w are the custom that people e c a p s l a n functio rejuvenated ebesta iles. -Pam S m s g in ir p s using, in


emories Memorie

so happy

There are so many, but one that stands out is the huge vendor show we hosted at the Vikings Stadium, with all of our special vendors and manufactures and of course, all of our customers. We had a huge turn out of guests who were so happy to experience the spirit of Innovative. They were all so thankful. -Chris Foss

great event

When COVID first became a thing, employees didn’t get to see each other all that much. Innovative came up with a great idea to have a Happy Hour Bonfire for those who could attend. Turned out to be a great event and to get some of us back together again in a different way! -Tim Moody

I have been with Innovative since we started the company in 2001, so all 20 years! Wow hard to believe, the time has flown by. I have many wonderful memories I cannot choose just one. Overall it is the people, camaraderie, and culture that we have at Innovative that has made these 20 years so special. The fun events from catalog kick offs, dressing up in costumes, sports events and just every day working with all the wonderful people at Innovative. I cherish all of the relationships I have developed with fellow Innovative team members as well as with my customers. Our founding principal is “Relationships Matter” and that is truly how I live my life both personally and in my work. Cheers to 20 years at Innovative! -Kathy Hovde 37

Welcome Back Ha


a lot of fun

Our anniversary parties. When we all come together to celebrate another year of being Innovative. One of my favorites was in the back parking lot when we set up a carnival complete with carnival games like a kissing booth (with temporary lip tattoos), dunk tank, fishing game, etc. We were divided into teams and had to come up with a booth to fit the theme. It was just a lot of fun! -DeAnn Player

enjoy what you do

One of my favorite memories is meeting Robin and Jen R during my interview. They were so fun and upbeat. I had never been asked in an interview “How do you like to have fun at work?” or “Tell us about a time when you played a joke or trick on someone at work.” I really had to think about that because the companies or positions I have had weren’t like that. Yes, there were some laughs but not to the degree they were talking about. We spend so much time at work and it’s important to enjoy what you do and the people you work with and I truly do. -Ann Speckman

come Back Happy Hour 39

M mories Memo

One of my favorite memories at Innovative was participating in IIDA’s Fusion + Fashion in 2019. We created an outfit out of building materials to display on a runway show at First Avenue, representing our chosen music icon, Freddie Mercury (modeled by Mark Segovia in IT). It’s always a super fun, creative, and collaborative project- I love connecting with the furniture team and seeing our ideas come to life on stage. -Maddie Segovia

good laugh One of my favorite memories was last year, I had a bid review meeting with a few people on the team but most notably was Lindsey and when she logged on to Teams her voice was distorted somehow sounded like a robot/ batman voice and she could not figure our what was wrong and had to have IT help her fix it, but it really gave me a good laugh in the middle of our crazy pandemic online meeting world. -Kennedy Dvorak


teams call

mories Memories Memor The Teams calls that we did when we were working from home. Oddly enough we got to spend more time with each other on those calls than we do in the office. -Janet Aune

Memories Memori so much fun

It was back in March of this year, and we had customers coming into the K-12 showroom for a tour. We did the proper protocols with masks and distancing, temp taking etc. but I was so excited to be in the office and do a tour with “live” customers, it was hard to let them leave the building- I even told them it is difficult to let you leave it was so much fun to have them in the office. For me it was a great feeling to have some degree of normalcy. -Bob Nelsen

I have always loved our kick off parties! It’s a great opportunity to engage with others outside our immediate departments and the leadership team puts on an incredible show. -Ashley Casparis

ries Memories


St. Paul Saints TP Drive 42

My favorite memory is getting all of the employees together for a picnic at the MN Saints game. It was so fun to connect with everyone and meet their families. -Eric Okerson

became good friends

Canaries Night Can

so fun to connect

I would have to say landing the Minnesota Timberwolves as a customer would be one of my favorite memory’s. At the time I was the driver for the Downtown area so that stop was on my route. The first time I delivered there I met with Susan, she was in charge of all the ordering for the office. I introduced myself as their delivery driver, and the first thing she asked me was do I like basketball. I let her know that basketball was my favorite sport. After I dropped off the product in the copy room Susan gave me a tour of the target center it was pretty amazing. We became good friends and we still talk to this day. -Lucho Eckert


very pleased

Memories Memories Mem I often think about a make-it-right that I helped Pam S with. We had a furniture order being dropped shipped to the college of St. Catherine’s. The semi driver had difficulty backing into place and ended up driving over a flower bed full of freshly planted flowers, the flowers were crushed and the customer upset. The next morning I met Pam on site at like 6:00 AM she had a trunk full of replacement bedding plants. the customer was very pleased that her problem was taken care of. -Keith Kleinschmidt

There are more than 1 million favorite memories over the last 6 years. Seriously, I could name almost 5 a week. One of my favorites and something I look forward to each year is “Bring Your Child to Work Day.” I absolutely love seeing the children of my friends and seeing them grow each and every year. I love seeing how proud they are of their parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, brothers, sisters or even friends that work at Innovative. The energy in the office that day is contagious, it’s just such a happy day. It truly is a family friendly company and Bring Your Child to Work Day is such a great example of that. -Leah Halvorson 44


mories I have loved telling our ever evolving Innovative Story over the past 20 years. Most especially our commitment to supporting hundreds of Minnesota non-profits through our community giving programs. One of my favorites is the MN Twins Double Plays for Charity started in 2013. -Karla Gunderson

My first week at Innovative I was assigned an Innovative U with Sarah Johnson. I was called into our conference room where Pearlee and Sarah were there with a bottle of wine and 3 wine glasses. Mind you, it was 3:00pm during the workday. Sarah Johnson said “WELCOME TO INNOVATIVE” and then proceeded to pour the wine into our glasses. I was really nervous because it was my first week and thought, what if Jennifer walked in! Long story short Jenn did walk in and said “isn’t it a little early to be drinking?” I thought for sure I had lost my job! Fast forward a week and Sarah came up to my desk and said Jennifer would like to talk to you. I turned red and thought I was going to be ill and knew this was it. I was getting ready to figure out how I would explain this to my husband! I walked to her office to find Robin in HR, Jenn and Sarah with a huge bottle of wine on her table, They yelled - see we DO drink in the afternoon, Welcome to Innovative!! :-) -Debbie Garner

Memories Memories Me 45

Walking Party Walking 46

Bloody Mary Hour

super excited

Years back we had the Innovative carnival (back parking lot-Burnsville location) there were so many fun activities and good food! My son Gavin (who was pretty young at the time) was super excited to throw a ball at the dunk tank, 1st throw he hit the target and Jason Player was dunked. The look on Gavin’s face was priceless he was so proud of himself he talked about it the WHOLE way home and days after. Thank you to Jason Player for being such a good sport :) It was a fun day. -Laura Nagel 47

love the IN family

I enjoyed the Catalog Kick Off! Being in a branch location we get to put faces to names and we were all together having a blast! Love the IN Family :-) -Shelley Stramer

My favorite Innovative memory would have to be the walk to Texas party. Everyone dressed up, and the decorations, and themed food was spot on, and it was so much fun. -Ashley Stuntebeck


e ing tim d n e p s It I loved amily. f 6 y 1 m 0 er ille 2 th consid I Nashv e l ips wi p h o s e n p o i he lat w with t the re w an gro o c h e g d n i i s z ong an is ama ork al w ore th u o m y g e n l thi peop some o t n i k n r y wor M and tu . s r ke t, o-wor just c hones e r a , they d family lly, an i s , g n orki hardw ic! thent u A y l most e ’t trad n d l u I wo e for th them :) world ne -Jean pson Thom

es Memories Memo

Surprising a customer with his own parking spot, Hanna’s 15th Birthday party- we had a lot of customers come in that day to wish her Happy Birthday. Then when we got Skunked which is a fund raiser for Alpha Opportunities. OMG fun memories. -Connie DeLair


laugh for hours

My favorite memories are always from Halloween. Halloween is such a fun holiday at Innovative. Everybody is encouraged to dress up and have some fun with your costume. We have so many creative people at Innovative, and when the teams come together to present their ideas, we can laugh for hours. -Lora Schwalbe

Halloween Hallowee

best group


harry potter

most creative steam punk



en Halloween Halloween funniest urinal cake


I will never forget walking into Innovative during its first year (2001), I was 9 years old at the time. The office was in the loft of a warehouse with people wearing suits, ties, and dresses. I remember my Mom walking up the metal stairs in her high heeled shoes. There were cords everywhere trying to power 21 computers. We had drivers, but no trucks. Sales people, with no customers. And I thought to myself at 9 years old...what is my mother thinking?! Fast forward 20 years and Innovative has over 300 employees, 15+ locations, and thousands of customers. I am so proud of my mom (Jennifer Smith) and all that she has accomplished. She beat all of the odds: Being Women Owned, Starting a business right before 9/11, Reaching $100 million in revenue, Beating Cancer TWICE. I am so proud of her, I am so proud to work for her, and I am so proud to be her son. I love you Mom, and Congrats on the last 20 years! -Max Smith


emories Memori

Memories Memories Mem

mories Memories Memor One of my favorite memories was the 2019 Company Kickoff in Sioux Falls. It was our first kickoff celebration with all of the South and North Dakota Teams. So many of the employees dressed up in amazing and clever costumes for our IN the News theme. It was wonderful to meet some people for the first time in person. The energy was high and optimistic in the Washington Pavilion - a fantastic way to kickoff 2019! -Julie Owen

I have so many memories at Innovative, but this is fresh from the 2021 InSports golf tournament. Barb, Angela and I were driving around in a golf cart to ensure everyone was having a good time and had everything they needed, especially a cold beverage! While far out on the course we pointed out a large dark cloud but laughed because we thought is was headed away from us. Minutes later it was a full on down pour. Through the wind and horizontal rain, we made our way to the clubhouse. We took a rainy day and made fun out of it, belly laughs and smiles as we reached the clubhouse. This memory is a great representation of the employees and culture of Innovative, fun, positive, and friend/family oriented. -Kelly Link


Pie Potluck Pie Potluck

enjoyed the ride

My favorite memory is the day I was hired on as an actual employee. I had been a contractor for 6 years installing furniture for Innovative. That was 17 years ago and have enjoyed the ride ever since. -Tony Betsinger 54

we laughed

The first experience with the Innovative culture after S&T was purchased by Jenn and Innovative Crew. Coming from where I was at S&T it was rather stoic and dull. No offense to S&T but it was old school business. Picture the scenario - We were having our final meeting with a potential large facility customer in Burnsville. (Walser Automotive) Our leadership team and the Walser leadership team were all sitting at the high tables in the glass meeting room going over pricing, website who and what and all the particulars that go into switching over a large high profile facility customer. Everything was going great and at 11:30 the lights go on in the big conference room behind me - Bridget closed the glass sliding doors and about 20 employees walk right by us. AC/DC Thunderstruck started blaring through the room and Bridget started leading the daily exercise/aerobic class. I looked at Ryan and he looked at me and I said to him “I Don’t Think We Are In Kansas Anymore” We laughed the customer laughed and they have been awesome customers ever since! -Rob Savini

movember winner

Movember Movember M 55

creativity & energy

One of my favorite Innovative memories was from our GoldIN Globe company kickoff event. The costumes were hilarious and it was so fun to see the creativity and energy at the event. I also enjoyed hearing all of the company updates, watching the games they incorporated throughout, and allowing our vendors to be present to strengthen those relationships. It’s a wonderful way to kick off the year. -Lindsey Chavez

ies Memories

Memories Memorie 56

Christmas 2014 Decorating contest. I think this is the year that it really started to be a competition between departments. We even had judges this year. Our group tried to persuade those judges with hot chocolate and a nip. -Tammy Lee

Right around Kick-Off time, my Grandmother passed away and her service was the same evening as our Kick-Off party so I wasn’t able to attend. Jason Player called me out of nowhere that day after someone in the office heard me mention that I wouldn’t be at the party that evening. He said he had something to tell me, but asked me to leave my desk & made me swear to secrecy that I wouldn’t say anything. When he told me I won Admin of the Year, I started crying like a baby. I had never won anything - and now I was voted on by my peers AND won a trip to New Orleans?!? I was SO excited! Our Vadnais Heights IT guy Steve Kusz got to hear about it and video my acceptance speech. It was the greatest day! -Joleen Davis

great time

able to grow

One of my favorites was a company outing in the VIKINGS suite when they won a game. It was a great time. -Rick Buranen

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I have so many memories that I can’t narrow it down to a favorite one. I love that we are one team and all have the same goal, whether it is helping a customer or just having a good time! We are truly a family that laughs and cries together. We started at the smaller facility up the road, working crazy hours and enjoying every second of it! Because of all that hard work we were able to grow and add more people and locations, which is simply amazing. I have so many wonderful stories and memories, from my little Maddie coming in and sitting on my lap (us eating Nutter Butter’s together) to coming back in after the crazy Covid year and hearing all the laughter and the I miss you’s! Innovative is a true family! -Lesa Page


ories Memories Memo

fun, joy, laughter, and smiles

We held a carnival at Innovative in 2011 and it was so fun!! We put everyone on a team and each team had to come up with a carnival game and a carnival food to serve. Each and every time we do something like this the creativity of everyone amazes me!! Everyone was told that they could invite their families to the carnival and that they could have prizes for their carnival games. It was so fun to watch people and especially their kids play the games and win prizes. They could fish, throw darts to break balloons, football toss and break the bottles and there was even a dunk tank! We enjoyed mini donuts, cotton candy, popcorn and other sugar loaded carnival treats so all of the kids left on a sugar high. :) I believe we even had someone walking around on stilts!! There was so much fun, joy, laughter and smiles had by all. These events are my favorite when we all come together and have fun and enjoy each other without worrying about work for a bit. -Jennifer Rosenzweig

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Holiday Activites 58

Activites Holiday Activite fun holiday keepsakes

One of my favorite memories is Christmas Crafts and Santa at Innovative. It was such a magical experience for my 4 year old. To get to meet Santa, and some elves as well create fun holiday keepsakes. -Natasha Speake


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bailey nagel

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meghan lee

tammy kay




Employee Spotlight Emp

jess see roesler


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jessica thompson

katie chapman

jake lisa




ployee Spotlight Employ



They constantly have come up with new product solutions for us to sell. Often allowing us to be first to market! -Jennifer Smith










Supplier of the Year



Employee Spotlight Emp

valued partner Thank you, Midwest Resource Group and Steven Glass, for being a valued partner during these difficult times. Steven and his team have helped Innovative over the last year or so secure PPE items such as gloves, masks and now Antigen/Covid Kits. He has been a valued partner and always willing to go above and beyond and help IOS secure new opportunities. THANK YOU, MIDWEST RESOURCE GROUP! -Rob Savini

ployee Spotlight Employ It’s taking the extra step to create relief for the client!

It’s treating others the way you wish to be treated!

It’s doing a little extra to make it right for the customer!

it’s the little things It’s lending a helping hand in the community! It’s leaving an encouraging note to inspire smiles! It’s responding quickly and efficiently to live up to our brand promise of “Expect Response”!

2022 Theme




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