What path brought you to start this business?
I started in the business on the supplier side first as their accounting/secretary, then for 4 years as the sales and marketing director and I would travel to national and regional shows to exhibit our products. But I was very intrigued and interested in the wide variety of products available to promote a business and reward employees creatively. Due to the travel and long hours I was working, Ryan and I felt that we could be good partners in a business with my accounting and promotional products background and his desire to be in sales and meet with people. We gave it time and thought and then an opportunity presented itself that gave us our initial start - for that check out the rest of our story in About Us on our website!
What is your title and a few of your responsibilities at Corporate Recognition?
CFO/Business Manager: I oversee all general and financial operations of the business as well as delegating and leading all research and projects.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
I would say Im known for persistence, attention to detail, and on time details.
What is the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
Everyday generally brings a new challenge of one sort or another but probably the most frequent one is short deadlines. Promotional products are often the last thing a customer remembers when they are planning an event.
Give an example of one of the hardest problems you had to solve (Present or past job)?
This one goes to my very first customer (who is still my customer by the way) Called at 5:15 on a Thursday and without me even knowing what she was looking for asked Whats impossible? In a nutshell, she chose some nice polo shirts, digitized a new logo, embroidered, and delivered in 3 business days in time for the event.
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
I enjoy the variety of possibilities that can help businesses grow, expand, and reward customers and employees. Every order, every customer, every day is new and different; it is never dull or slow. There are always more opportunities and ideas around the corner.
I am proud to be a business woman in Owatonna and to contribute to its vitality.
What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What cant you stop talking about?
Personally - my family always has been and continues to be my passion. I have 3 adult children Im proud of and thankful for. I enjoy anything that involves activity with them or just general family time.
Where can we find you when youre not working? Whats your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
Ryan and I enjoy long bike rides and checking out different bike trails in Southern Minnesota.
Because of the busy-ness at the office just taking care of things at home on weekends and relaxing with a bike ride, a hike through the woods, going to see our kids, or just watching a movie is how we enjoy our free time.
What is your favorite Hobby?
My kids revealed to me that I dont have a hobby and should take one up (besides them)
How long have you been doing what you do?
17 years in our own business, 22 all inclusive.
Where did you grow up and why arent you there now?
I grew up in Yorkville, Illinois where my parents had their own business for 30 years, but left when I was in college. I went to Alaska for an internship, met Ryan and stayed there 2-1/2 years before moving back to Yorkville for 4, then here to Owatonna 24 years ago where Ryan was raised.
Any volunteer activities youre crazy about and/or nonprofits you love, & why?
We are involved in a variety of Christian organizations.
Ryan and I are Bigs in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Steele County program to an 11 year old boy we enjoy spending time with.
Our whole family works to keep the Straight River clean, on our own free time as well as in conjunction with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Eating - I need my brain to work well each day to put out the work we do!
What is your favorite color, favorite food, and favorite time of year?
Fall - love the colors and the fresh cool air!
Who is your favorite singer or band and why?
Song: In Christ Alone (My Hope is Found) by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
What is your favorite Movie or Movie Character?
Something sentimental: UP - what a wonderful beautiful story with great life lessons.
Something fun & exciting: Sahara
What is your motto or a code you live by?
But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
How do you want to be remembered?
First as the proud mother of Kate, Rebecca, and Adam and loving wife of Ryan; then as someone with integrity that did everything with commitment and excellence.
In a few words, how do your coworkers describe you?