Culture Book 2020

Page 1





Core Values






Silver Linings


InSports Foundation


GivIN’ to the Community


2020 Proud Moments


Team of the Month


Supplier of the Year


2021 Theme


A MESSAGE FROM Jennifer Smith, CEO: Welcome to the 2020 culture book! Our sixth annual celebration of the culture that is the heartbeat of Innovative. 2020 was unlike any other year, and each of you played an extremely vital role in living out our purpose of inspiring people to love what they do and who they do it with, wherever they are. This past year has presented us with countless moments that were challenging, disruptive and unpredictable, but I’m so incredibly proud of how we’ve all taken them in stride and remained loyal to our core values and brand promise. We’ve used these opportunities to re-imagine and reinvent by finding new ways to support our customers, our teams, and ourselves. You have all worked harder than ever to source new solutions, develop new tools and create new processes. Through all of this we maintained our culture and stayed true to who we are at our core, and that’s Innovative. As we reflect on the past and look to 2021, I encourage you to find hope and focus on the silver linings 2020 has provided us. I encourage you to lend a helping hand in the community that surrounds you, support your friends and family, and take time for yourself to be the best version of YOU. I am hopeful forwhat’s ahead and I am humbled by your strength, perseverance, and gratitude. Stay safe, stay strong and stay IN!



*wherever they are!




Laura Adelmann I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate Innovative’s attention to detail and GREAT customer support! Your Customer Service professionals always work hard to help our company get what we need. Your delivery team is dependable, hard-working and so helpful! Thank you so much!! OLYMPIC STEEL

ROSEMOUNT-APPLE VALLEY-EAGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS Coordinator of Project Management and Purchasing 2020 has been crazy and I’m so grateful for the support IOS has provided to our district. The trust I have is second to no other vendor I deal with. Reed and every single person I deal with at IOS from the InSync Team, Rob and Tucker to Lisa, DeAnn, Debbie and Denise, your installers, delivery team, provides services that are rooted in creating trust. Thank YOU for shifting your sails to provide additional products when we needed it most. IOS continues to be an important partner in the work we do for our learning community. GRAND PRAIRIE FOODS, INC. Senior Accountant I would like to give a big shout out to your delivery drivers. They are always so wonderful!! You have some good ones! Please give them an extra pat on the back today.

Janice Danielson I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how very happy I am with Innovative Office Solutions! Your deliveries, and the drivers, are on time all the time and are very friendly. Your customer service is second to none. They are exceptional – It has really been my pleasure to work along with your company. Thank you. STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA Steven Berg, Director It’s been a pleasure and a blessing to partner with Innovative Office Solutions over the years. You and your staff have done an awesome job ensuring that the state receives first-class service and high quality supplies at a competitive price. Have a great day! INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT 917 Concord Education Center Thank you so much! We really appreciate it- you have the best customer service!



What’s your best silver lining from this year? SHELLEY STRAMER I have realized to take nothing for granted. Be kind and thankful for everything you have. Inspire Smiles. LAURA BURGESS I’ve been able to spend more time with my family. Our schedules have been cleared, we’ve slowed down, spent more time together playing games and enjoying the outdoors. MIKE GUGGENBERGER Working for a company that has the vision and leadership to be able to adapt in these challenging


times while still maintaining our core values with always keeping the focus on the customer.

BELINDA DOWER My silver lining this year is that I am still employed with the Innovative family I love. I still have my home, my family, food on


the table every night and a clean bed to sleep in.

The amazing attitude and positivity of my fellow employees, managers, and our customers to work to get through this year of un-precedented times.




Looking back on 2020 my Silver Lining has been the support of my Innovative

It’s not about how hard you can

family helping me and others get through this unprecedented time. Together we

hit. It’s about how hard you can

can get through any situation that may come our way. We are all IN it together!

get hit and keep moving forward. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. We appreciate you for believing in us and sticking with us. Our Innovative team is truly amazing showing they can pivot and take a punch. We appreciate your business and thank you!

CHRISTINE DEGRAMMONT The biggest silver lining for me is the ability to leverage my strengths as a sales leader and do it from our cabin in the woods. I love leading a remote team and I feel blessed to have the flexibility and technology to do whatever needs to be done!

JOY HAGBERG For me, being a part of how my department (Facilities) has adjusted to the new work environment. This entails a more extensive way to increase communication within my department & with other departments. I have learned more about how other areas within Innovative work and how my role can impact their daily functions. The biggest bonus has been getting to know my co-workers on a


deeper personal level. This has occurred within my department & other areas of the company.



One of the best silver linings from a company

It was amazing to me our

perspective is how all of our employees

ability to pivot and act

have gotten fluent in using virtual meeting

quickly to support our

technology successfully, and not being scared

customers. Understanding

of it. Another big silver lining from a company

the immediate needs and

perspective is the fact that monitoring

the new priorities of our

inventory has become an important part of

customers and how to

our business. I couldn’t get any interest from

support them.

anyone in this topic earlier since we didn’t

ANONYMOUS Celebrating positives of the day no matter how small.

stock much inventory, but it was much more important even then than most people realized. From a personal perspective, I just feel like I


have much more time in my own day without

Seeing the relief on customer’s faces when we were able

the commute!

to supply them with product they couldn’t find anywhere else has been gratifying!



I have a better focus on what

Learning New Things! I think

really matters in my life both

everyone on the team has

personally and professionally.

learned how to do something

Personally, it’s that time is truly

new to make sure we could

precious and my time matters with

meet all of our customer

those closest to me, especially

commitments. I love that some

my husband and daughter.

employees did different roles

Professionally, its my productivity

throughout the year to adjust

at work and how I can make a

to where we had the greatest

positive impact with my fellow

needs for help. This will make us

coworkers and customers.

an even stronger team for 2021!


INSPORTS FOUNDATION The InSports Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to help kids participate in sports. InSports Days • Sponsorships • Scholarships

over $76,000 raised at our

7th annual golf tournament


InSports has helped

44,232 kids

get in the game since 2013!

$22,950 donated

to teams & individuals throughout minnesota, south dakota, and north dakota



CHAD BLAHA There were situations that occurred during the past few months that necessitated me working in conjunction with team members in Sioux Falls that I rarely had instances to work with previously. I enjoyed getting to know some of them better

active solutions check presentation

and strengthening those relationships.

MEGHAN LANE 2020 has had its downs that’s for sure, but the ups have been so much more important. With everyone being quarantined and away from their loved ones for so long it really put into perspective how much we love and appreciate human contact. Hugs, handshakes, and just a close intimate conversations are so rewarding now, and I feel like we all took advantage of that before this year. THANK YOU 2020 for


helping me to see how much we, as humans, need and rely on physical touch and connection.

DEBBIE POPE-GARNER My best silver lining this year is I have learned what gratitude really means. I am so thankful for our culture at Innovative and the understanding of our CEO in such difficult times. We are all woven together and help to make an awful situation feel as normal as we can with the help of our teams and coworkers. This has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, but remain hopeful that we will see normalcy again one day soon.

MN football community of the year

81 BOLD community

members joined the virtual town takeover

MN viking players

c.j. ham

& harrison smith

made a guest appearance


KAY EDMONDSON My best silver lining from this year would be Microsoft Teams and Zoom! Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual conversations, meetings and even Happy Hours were minimal or non-existent KRIS WINUM

and honestly, I was not real great at fielding my way around in

Coming to a greater realization that no

either. By the end of 2020, that changed for me as Teams and

matter what obstacles we are faced

Zoom became the new “Normal” way to communicate virtually.

with there are others that have greater

I hear from many friends now how they attended their family’s

challenges than we do. Finding a way

holiday call, a virtual birthday party or even a virtual Happy Hour!

to harness our strength together for a

Teams or Zoom, another notification sound.

greater good. Developing a positive outcome from an adverse situation. Discovering how to make a difference


in someone’s life. Taking a crummy

I’ve been most impressed

year of circumstances and learning and

this year with our Team’s

improving our overall outcome.

willingness to pitch in wherever and whenever needed to help their fellow employees, and to work together to meet and exceed our client’s expectations. Teamwork -


that’s Innovative!


DEBBIE LAZCANO-STAI I think the best silver lining from 2020 was slowing down and taking those extra few minutes to take a breath. Also, I was able to reconnect with old friends from far away over Zoom calls. It is amazing how much those connections got me through the worst of the lonely months.


2020 PROUD MOMENTS tips, advice, and guidance to help employers navigate returning to the office

DEANN PLAYER The silver lining that has come from 2020 is that I have learned to be much more flexible! The unknowns in March were scary but as the year has gone on I have learned that you can’t expect anything to go as planned. I have learned to adapt, prepare for the unknown and talk through different possibilities so we are better prepared


for whatever comes next.

JENNIFER ROSENZWEIG When we rang in the New Year 2020, who would have thought the year would be like this? I know that there have been so many negative things that have occurred this year. And, I know that some people have had some good things that have happened this year. I had the pleasure of attending two weddings. As far as Innovative goes, of course we had to make changes to adjust to the new norm. I am so proud of my teams and how they adjusted to the new norm and took on the new challenges. They are now working from home, which was a big change for them. They were used to working next to each other and bouncing ideas off of each other, training each other, joking and laughing. Now, they are at home by themselves but they made use of the Teams platform and let me tell you, the Teams thread is always moving and I love it! There is a Work Chat thread for questions and Super Funny Chat thread for the not so serious stuff and boy, they can chat all day long in GIF’s. :) The connection between the team members is still there. They are all still working close together and helping each other out (while having some fun) to make sure we are providing

julie owen, COO, recognized as a 2020 minneapolis/ st. paul business journal women in business honoree

the best customer experience in the world!

LORA SCHWALBE I’ve learned so many new skills this year. From learning how to manage a team remotely, to changing our whole AP system so that we can work from home. I’ve gained new team members that have done an amazing job learning remotely and I’ve found fun ways to get to know each other more.



TONY BETSINGER Friends, family, co-workers, vendors, customers, and people that were affected by the riots, we were there to help. Innovative wanted to be there in any capacity to make sure people were feeling safe in these uncertain times. As the rules changed, Innovative adapted to these changes and tried to be in front of it the best they could.


MIKE SEVERSON I think it was great how quickly we were able to mobilize the majority of our team to remote work in such a short period of time. Having the technology and resources (especially the awesome IT Dept!) already present, made for a quick transition.

going for gold


SUPER BOWL & team jerseys NATASHA SPEAKE To be able to spend so much time with immediate family. Although it’s been A LOT of time, there hasn’t and probably won’t be another time that we get to be together for such an extended time. So it’s something to be grateful for!

soup & chili was shared TIM MOODY When times were tough in 2020, the employees at Innovative did what they do best. They stuck together like a family, found the positivity from our Leadership, and continued to serve and give their customers the best experience possible! Innovative stood by the brand promise and was there for their customers.


KERENSA TRACY Despite not being physically together with our team was challenging at first but now that we have adjusted, I feel like we all have been really good at connecting via Teams, particularly with those who were remote pre-COVID. The playing field has leveled out nicely in that regard, no one feels the separation any more or less than anyone else.

CARMEN CHASTEK Being reminded of the basics and what truly matters. Not running around with a crazy schedule, but rather family time at home, enjoying each other’s company.


WFH our new work set-ups


we all moved to our homes to work mid-march KATHY HOVDE My silver lining from this unusual and challenging year, would be slowing down and taking time to appreciate the little things. Learning new ways to do things, creative cooking, spending time at our cabin with family while social distancing, and the best silver lining is we will be welcoming our first grandchild in mid-December! A great blessing and wonderful way to end this crazy year!




LINDA DANSMAN-NICHOLS 2020, wow what a year! I believe this year, for me, has truly brought back the golden rule, do unto others as you want done unto you, be kind. 2020 has also brought some new vocabulary into my world, what day is it? Blursday :)

cutest: paul carter’s dog auggie

funniest: renee holland’s dog walter

best dressed: mike severson’s dog captain ASHLEY CASPARIS I loved seeing everyone’s compassion come out this year! We’re all in different spots, physically, emotionally, mentally. Kids, pets, and spouses are everywhere. In the office, work from home. Distance, hybrid, and in school learning. Pandemic and riots. Seeing people support each other through this year, acknowledging and appreciating our unique situations, and understanding that we all deal with things differently has been the best silver lining from this year!


spirit WEEK may the 4th be with you

BILL LONG The quality time we got to spend with our teenage kids. Our lives were going 17 different directions and all of that stopped. Thankful for the opportunity to have more conversations and together time.

LEANN BINKERD Even though I started with the company 2 days before everyone was sent home, I have never felt so included as I have here! 2020 may be looked at as one of the crummiest years ever, but I’ll always look back at it as the year I made the best decision of my life by joining this amazing group!

MARIE CONWAY Gift of Time! More time for family meals, game or movie nights. I had Extra Time on weekends, to get away and BE together -with my boys and family up North at our Camper!

LEAH HALVORSON We’ve all learned A LOT about ourselves and our family! Meaning, how resilient, creative, and inventive we can be. It’s been interesting to take on new “hobbies” or “Covid talents” as I’ve been calling them to amuse ourselves, our kids, our friends and family. Whether it be new activities for children, how to make a whole Thanksgiving meal, going hiking or treasure hunting. It’s been the year of resiliency,


creativity and inventiveness.

cinco de mayo TAMMY LEE We are all in the same boat whether you are an Innovative Employee, a customer, a vendor, a friend, family or your neighbor. We all feed off of each other and are there for support to give or to receive. It brings out the best in some of us to be that rock.


LAURA NAGEL Being able to work from home, spending all this extra time with my children!

favorite sports team day

BRIAN HOWELL Seeing how our teams banded together during uncertain times. Everyone being flexible and adapting to changes we didn’t even know were possible.


IN shirt day & crazy hat day



This year, my biggest silver lining was learning

As challenging as this year has been,

to appreciate the little things that happen on

I have found that our team is stronger

a daily basis. I learned to find happiness when

than ever. We are all in this together

positivity in the world may have seemed scarce.

and help each other like I have never seen before. I am grateful that we are always there for each other.

tiger king day

LAURA VOGEL I was hired by Innovative Office Solutions just weeks before the COVID stay-at-home order happened in March of 2020. We had no idea at the time what was happening with this novel virus and it was concerning to say the least. Then just months later, our Twin Cities and surrounding metro area was bombarded by the ripple effect of racism at its worst with the death of George Floyd. Through all the trauma our community and families were experiencing, I could not have been at a more fantastic workplace to ride the roller coaster of 2020. My silver lining of 2020 was joining the team at Innovative! I have felt a great sense of inclusion and connectedness and I am proud of how everyone works together to support our customer’s needs and each other.


CARE COMMITTEE ERIC OKERSON I’m so proud to work at Innovative because of the way all employees navigated together, working during a global pandemic, to better serve our customers!

28 committee members DANA CRUZ It was a great opportunity to reset, try a new way, an INnovative way! I feel like there is a better work-life balance. Being able to work from home makes it worth paying rent or a mortgage. Because if you were like me you only spent a couple hours a day at home for such a high payment. No longer having to commute saves you money and time. I get more done working from home. We might be able to get more sleep. There is not as much stress to get to work, fight rush hour traffic or worry about being late with snowy weather. I can work out for longer and take a shower! I even can eat heathier! It has made me more conscious of the preciousness of life. Overall, my mental health got better. Make no


mistake I do miss laughing with co-workers!

MATT STEEVER As the pandemic hit us this year in 2020, many businesses were forced to close their doors. Here at Innovative our Leadership cares about the employees. They worked very hard to find ways to keep the doors open and the team to still have a job. This makes our vision meaningful. “Inspire People To Love What They Do And Who They Do It With”

TOM KALLMAN Spent more time with my family.

REED WALHOF It has been great to see the leadership, poise, and forward thinking from our CEO and upper management. This trickles down to all our employees and makes our company and culture who we are. Ultimately, this is what sets us apart from our competition and lets us give our customers the best experience possible.

30 events held PAUL KAMINSKI We had the opportunity to help customers develop solutions to manage entry into their workspaces with security and temperature scanning products that made their lives easier. It’s been fun learning and working on these solutions with them. Each of the customers agreed and understood that this is uncharted territory and will work together to ensure a successful implementation.




I believe one of the

It seems this year brought even closer

silver linings of the

loyalty between customers, vendors, and co-

Covid-19 crisis is

workers. The levels of kindness, patience and

that it has led to a

working together has brought an even higher

look into work-life

appreciation for those I am privileged to work

balance. Innovative has

with and serve each day. My heart is full.

successfully devised innovative solutions to accommodate employees needs and in how we work and interact with coworkers.



JERRY SJOBERG While 2020 has been an unprecedented year, many customers have realized the trickle effect and challenges presented in every industry. Understanding these challenges has created a great opportunity for communication and collaboration. This collaboration and communication have morphed into an attitude of “yes this is challenging but we are IN this together so let’s find a solution together.”




That me, and my family, are happy and healthy. At

Focusing on the silver linings has been essential

the end of the day that’s what really matters to me.

for me in getting through Covid. It can be easy to spot the “negative” impacts or the things that aren’t

KEITH KLEINSCHMIDT My commute time to work has been greatly reduced, I literally walk down some steps and I’m at work!

normal or what they used to be. It can be a little harder to flip, look for, and focus on the “positives”. They can be small or large, it’s the mindset that


matters. I don’t know how to pick a “best” to share

All the smiles inspired but not always seen.

other than to say I think the best silver lining is learning and getting to practice an approach to get through any challenge or difficulty. When you think


of a negative impact or situation, I immediately try

Innovative is stronger

and find the positive in it. There’s always at least one,

together with

usually more. At first it may not seemingly equate

everyone’s willingness

to balance out the negative but its a place to start.

to help each other out!

Invest your energy, and with time you might be surprised what you find.

KEVIN CLOUSE Even though I have only been here a short period of time, the positivity and the help that everyone has been providing is simply amazing. I am looking forward to an awesome 2021!!


JUSTIN SIEBENALER I have had the opportunity to work closely with people I typically did not work with in the past. I feel like the distance has actually brought us closer together as a company as we learned how to work and interact differently! MACKLIN SMITH I think this year has shown us how adaptable we are. We were able to continue to work while implementing a new system all from home. STEPHANIE ROBINSON Spending more time as a family! SARAH JOHNSON 2020 was quite the year! The silver lining of this year was how Innovative came together to support and be there for our customers. We have quite the family at Innovative - I am proud of how we stepped up to the plate.

NICOLE HOHMANN It has been a rough year but we, as a team, have

KRISTEN MORAAL To be more present.

really pulled together to get things done and still


give our customers the ultimate service with a smile.

Family and Friends!


HALLOWEEN JAN ORTON I get to sleep in later. I love the commute. I have

most creative

learned how to use Teams. I have decided not to retire fully but go part-time. I can handle working from home for a while longer as a part-time employee.


best group ANONYMOUS Realizing that relationships I cherish with my working family are truly as strong as I thought they were and, that because of our situation seem to be even more so. The virtual hugs, smiles and encouragement go so very far!


PUMPKINS best overall



I found during the lock downs that I had a unique way to connect with my customers. As so many of us still met via Zoom or Teams, often times my customers dogs, kids, or spouse might randomly appear during our meetings. I used that opportunity to ask questions and learn more about them on a personal level and made many great connections over

most creative

our love of sports, dogs and


other hobbies.


KID & PET costumes




BARB KUSILEK 2020 gave me the opportunity to focus on my family and myself! With being home all of the time I cook more, exercise more, sleep more, and even work more, but most importantly, I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family!




I am so grateful to be a part of the

This year has undoubtedly been a tough one, but

Innovative Team, and knowing that

there are a lot of positives that came out of this

innovative is that for me. Just knowing

year too. I’ve been able to spend quality time with

all the terrible things that have happened

my family. I’ve also flexed my creativity muscles

throughout this last year, it is nice to

by coming up with fun, new ways to host activities

know that I work for an amazing company

and keep IN touch with my Innovative family.

that still cares about me, about the community, and about their customers.

BRIDGET SMITH Spending extra time with my family and meeting new awesome neighbors! I am also so proud of the Innovative team and all the hard work each department has accomplished in 2020!



best view/background




BRIAN PURKAPILE My best silver lining is through everything that has happened this year I found a new opportunity with a great company and a chance to grow my career with you all.

RICK COPELAND The birth of our second child, David Julius Copeland. Having a newborn during a pandemic certainly has not helped relieve any stress but, he has been amazing and we are so blessed to have him in our lives. His smile brightens our days and reminds us that everything will be OK.

TRACY ROEDER Innovative is always there for the customer even in the worst of times. They try to find whatever the customer needs no matter how they have to source it and then learn from that going forward. They are very proactive. I appreciate that skill.


HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES PAM SEBESTA The silver lining is being a part of the Innovative team that provided a fast response to customer’s needs during this crisis, with an emphasis on caring about how people are doing. Working with our customers it has been wonderful to see people respond coming together lifting each other up and finding solutions.


christmas sweater winner

KARLA GUNDERSON The way all of categories partnered to support each other. It was an amazing tag team effort sourcing PPE, furniture, technology and facilities products. Also, the amazing response we were able to provide to our customers from the very beginning. This helped me expand my category offerings to many of my clients who had not previously purchased these additional category products from us.

decorated desk winner SARAH SODERGREN Spending more time with my family! BOB NELSEN That I truly value my job, coworkers and long for the day when I can travel to see our customers once again! I appreciate Brooks & Jennifer for their genuine concern for all employees and their generosity to each one of us in our IN work family!



AARON RUST Our adaptability and self-awareness continues to drive our business. We were able to engrain ourselves into new categories of business and product assortments to meet the needs of customers in the new covid environment. This provided opportunities for us to be introduced to new customers and gain proficiencies in new services. We pushed ourselves to take on large scale kitting and fulfillment projects which we may not have been mature enough to work on in previous years. Not only are we growing our capabilities, we’re making them strengths.

over $700

raised for the Salvation Army KENNEDY BUNKERS Despite it being a very tough year in many ways, I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with Innovative in October and I finally feel like I found my stride. It was a very successful year of projects for me and I am just so thankful for everyone helping me learn and grow every day! Also because of this year, I know people on our team even better than before because of how this year has played out.



TEAM OF THE MONTH - february -

- march -


all departments



They have faced a lot of challenges in the past few months

The AEs have really been working hard to keep business

and they have come through stronger on the other side.

coming in during the pandemic. They have really breathed

There is so much that passes through them and they all

life into the company during this challenging time and we

handle it with grace and have a great time doing it.

are all better for it!



There have been a lot of changes lately and every person

They expanded their support to include project

in the department has been willing to help and pitch in

management of installs during this busy season! - Kris

wherever they can. If one person is behind, they all chip in to help and get them up to speed. There is no need to feel overwhelmed when you know if you ask for help, you’re going to get it! ACCOUNTING 2020 has brought tremendous change for the accounting team. They have embraced the changes and have jumped in with a “How can I help” attitude. I feel honored to be part of a team so willing to pitch in, learn new tasks, and


Winum - Lead Architect designer at UM Academic Health Center said Kris was very thorough and great to work with as PM on the PWB project. Interstate wall project Laurie appreciated Kris responding in a timely manner and verifying all information in a concise manner. LEADERSHIP Throughout all the world’s chaos they have all worked tirelessly to make sure we evolve into what we need to, to stay viable in these times. They prove time and again that staying true to our core, no matter what we face, is what

do it all with a positive demeanor. Expect Relief, Inspire

makes us who we are and that we are more than just a

Smiles, Learn Teach Grow, Relationships Matter!

business, we are a FAMILY!


- may -



WAREHOUSE The TC Warehouse Team is being nominated because

MARKETING They really worked hard on their Return to the Workplace

a lot of people do not realize how much work goes into

Resource Guide. They really reinvented the way that we

running the warehouse. As someone who works with them

go to market in this crazy new world. All four of them

on a daily basis, the knowledge, processes & procedures

embody all the ideals that the culture of Innovative was

are incredible. ALL of these guys have always stopped

founded on. They inspire smiles daily and can be counted

what they were working on to assist me with any orders

on to “own it” in every way. I can’t think of a more

that I was putting together. They also help by using the

deserving team. Great job friends!

forklift to get pallets down or letting me walk through a convoluted order with them. WAREHOUSE The biggest help is knowing that I can count on them to assist with getting any facility and dispenser orders ready for delivery and/or installation. Since a vendor provided dispensers at no charge, some of the dispensers in the facility are not considered a stocking product. Because I work so closely with this team, I can guide them to where or what box the dispensers are located in.

MARKETING The current pandemic has only underscored the importance that companies have the ability to adapt. From putting together the Return to the Workplace Resource Guide, creating PPE flyers for account executives to share with their customers, to hosting Zoom trivia sessions for employees - Marketing has had a tremendous hand in making sure that we’re able to adapt to our new situation.



- july -

nebraska team




Nebraska schools epitomizes what Innovative Office

They have worked their tails off sourcing product, bringing

Solutions is all about. When a project of this magnitude

in inventory, staying on top of where product is and when

can bring together several departments to get this job

it is due in. Anytime I have reached out to them with

done while doing it in a creative and efficient manner, it

questions or inquiries on ETA’s I have gotten a super fast

truly shows how remarkable everyone is that was involved.

response. They are so deserving!!

Each year that we do this project we continue to get better and provide solutions for the schools in Nebraska.


Except Response, Except Relief, Expect Reduction.

For providing our customers with PPE equipment and keeping our reps posted as to when we will be receiving


these products. They are keeping their cool even though

The Nebraska School project is a big undertaking - from

they are 100 times busier than what they usually are.

the bidding process to coordinating the item numbers in our system, to sorting of all the products and orders in


the warehouse so they are organized and shipping out in

I can’t thank them enough for the collaborative approach

a timely manner. It’s easy to summarize in one sentence

we take with the Facility Partnerships. From involving the

but this project is coordinated over multiple meetings and

vendors to always showing up and picking up where the

over several months and multiple hours of work. Because

other left off. They are stepping it up!!

of the coordination, planning and efforts of this team, the project flows rather smoothly with very little hiccups!


TEAM OF THE MONTH - august -

- september -

supply studios + purchasing




The teams that supports me and my accounts- You all

They have been continually making HUGE upgrades both

do such a fantastic job day in and day out! Everyone is

internally and for our customers. (Customers first, which is

always willing to help with any request and does so with

great). The customer site is working great and has been a

very prompt response, all with a positive can-do attitude.

big positive from our customers’ perspective, and I DON’T

You are the backbone of our excellent service and I feel

hear about issues, which speaks volumes. Next, bringing

lucky to have you all on my team! You all Rock! Of course

on the new promo site, and how great that link is. The

our entire Customer Care team is wonderful as well!

value of the process inside that site is wonderful. Then,

Thank you for everything you do!

came the new Power BI, and all the information much

PURCHASING Purchasing is killing it! Between keeping track of PPE products coming in, keeping up with the never ending stream of backorders and out of stock product, summer school orders and the additional backorders with those orders. They are doing amazing and not skipping a beat. Any time I have had to reach out to them for anything they have a positive attitude and never feel like I’m asking them for “one more thing”.

more easily at our hands. In digging in a little further this week, I find so much more information easily and readily at my fingertips - both overview and detail within an easy click. It makes it much easier to have a good pulse on business, open orders, etc. It’s been incredible to see all the technology upgrades and updates now in place. Lastly the final updates to our website for the sales team. Clearly, they have been working super hard and diligently for a long time, and it shows! THANK YOU!


TEAM OF THE MONTH - october -

- november -

print & promo




Pearlee and Debbie have been killing it getting quotes

They have been working super hard to meet everyone’s

back and things set up for the Holiday season.

needs, customers and staff. They really go above and beyond for everyone. They will make sure the customer’s


items are in great condition, get replacements sent out

Everything I send their way gets immediate attention,

before the customer can call it in.

response, detailed ppt with product options etc. Pearlee and Melissa always follow up with customers, get them


samples and make my job so easy! It’s a great team effort.

They are our front line right now more than ever. They

They are crushing it!!

are in the public, not safe inside. Every day they deal with special instructions - buildings are closed, call ahead,


deliver to a certain spot, etc. It’s been so much for them

They had A LOT of e-stores going on and off the last few

yet they are professional and so accommodating for our

months, so many I can’t even list them all. They are all

customers. They are the best!

killing it! Between getting the items picked, working with the client on products, store set up, converting orders,


and not skipping a beat. Everyone is working very hard to

They have never skipped a beat. There are changes to

make sure the customer is having a great experience.

deliveries, home deliveries, changes to delivery days, they just take it all as it comes and have been so awesome! We appreciate the drivers!!


SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR 3M team members are always there for us. Bringing innovation at every invitation that we create together. Thanks for being true partners. Years of strong relationships really matter. When we were in the process of bringing on Heartland team members, we had a very big opportunity that we needed 3M’s help with. Their top management came through immediately and made it happen. Thanks for being IN for us.


MARIA BAKER Being able to camp with family during a pandemic and staying connected with coworkers on Microsoft Teams while we work remotely. RACHEL SWAN My best silver lining to come from 2020 was getting engaged & being able to share such a happy experience during a global pandemic! LISA LINDEMANN This year has made me realize what matters most in my life. I realize life is fragile and precious and to savor the moments with those we love.


SARAH PARRISH Everything slowed down and I got to spend more time with my family. JANET AUNE For me being given the opportunity to work from home is my biggest Silver Lining. I love it. I find I am much more productive when working at home. While still easily being IN touch and supported by everyone. The whole group at Innovative is a very close second. Innovative has assembled a great group of people that I am proud to be a part of.



This past October I packed up my office and drove to

I think the silver lining of this year was showing a united

South Carolina to spend 10 days with my daughter for her

front and working together to help so many be able

birthday and to see my grandkids This was certainly a silver

to work in a safe environment. We had many people

lining to me since I had not seen them since March other

working around the clock to make sure we could source

than FaceTime. Thankful to have the opportunity to work

things and get safety items to those in need, it shows our

remotely and being able to do this on a spur of a moment.

love and commitment to our clients and our community.

JOHN TOWNSEND I believe this year really speaks to our brand promise of Expect Response, Reduction and Relief. As the world spiraled into chaos we dug in, looked at all possibilities and made decisions that ultimately helped us deliver for our customers. What was even more fulfilling was that our customers really did understand what partnership really means. They worked hand in hand with us to make sure their associates and staff were protected! I couldn’t be more proud of who we are as a company and the loyalty from our customers/partners. JEANNE THOMPSON Our customers! They have been so understanding and loyal this past year with COVID and the lack of PPE items at this time. They always seem to put a smile on our faces here in Customer Care and they go out of their way make sure we know how much they appreciate us. Honestly, it’s our customers who need the appreciation, because without them there would be no Innovative :) ANGELA COLLINS My silver linings have been my productivity and focus in a different work-life environment. I feel as though even with the changes we’ve had to adjust to, I’m still able to love what I do and who I do it with!

ANONYMOUS The best silver lining I experienced this year was the opportunity to RESET. To really hone in on WHY and being intentional about what my focus is at work and in life.


virtual meetings? working remote? workplace culture?


PRODUCTIVITY? employee engagement ?



2021 THEME As the workplace evolves, so will needs of the office, and keeping employees engaged and

productive will be key. From newly designed

workspaces and virtual meetings to health and wellness and employee morale, together we can help companies and their teams navigate the future, wherever they are!

2021 marks the 20th anniversary for Innovative Office Solutions! Let’s reflect on our successes, share joyous memories, and continue to live out our purpose! Cheers to 20 years ALL IN!




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