As you have noticed, we have some really fun and unique people working at Clickstop.
We strive to hire the best of the best in every department. Whether you are making sure our websites are working behind the scenes, like the Technology team, or you are busy sewing straps and cargo nets, each employee plays a vital role in making us a success. We have said it many times before, but it is important enough to say it again… Our employees make us who we are. You spend 8 hours a day with your co-workers. Can you imagine how long a day would seem if you hated the people you work with? Can you imagine how fast the day goes by at Clickstop?
Over the past year or so, one of our teams that has seen a LOT of changes is the Creative Marketing team. Creative Marketing is filled with really focused people who know how to make work fun. This team is behind the scenes making sure the content on US Cargo Control is up-to-date, informative, visually appealing, and most importantly – accurate. They work on USCC print material such as our flyers, postcards, and catalogs. They shoot photos and upload copy to each page. This is a busy group of women.
So, let’s meet the ladies making it happen, the Creative team!
Rachel Neve – Marketing Design Specialist – 5 years
Kerry Trenkamp – Director of Creative Marketing – 4 years
Tina Hinz – Marketing Content Writer – 1 year
Bri Else – Graphic Designer – 8 months
Amanda Morgan – Marketing Content Writer – 7 months
We have a lot of awesome employees at Clickstop.
Actually, we have so many great people, we often hear from employees that their co-workers are the best part about their job. How amazing to be part of a workplace that has such high amounts of camaraderie. When you find a career that allows you to feel accomplished in your work AND be surrounded by people you like, you hold that close. It is definitely something special at Clickstop. With so many high achievers here, it is hard to decide who to write a blog post about next! (a good problem to have if you ask me.) But not to worry, this time another Clickstop employee suggested we feature April Kress!
When we think about hard working team players, April definitely fits the bill.
April started at Clickstop in August 2016. “I was looking for a new opportunity and my “cousin” Austin Dopp (one of our talented sales guys on the Bing team) reached out to tell me Clickstop was hiring.” said April. “I knew a couple of people that worked here and knew they were happy and really enjoyed the atmosphere. So I decided to give it a shot!”
It was a move we are all happy that April took, because now she is making waves in our manufacturing department, specifically on the cargo net team.
“April always has a great attitude. She loves to see the team succeed and is a huge contributor to our overall goals of the team and company.” said Dean Vrba. As a long time member of the cargo net team, Dean works with April closely. “April is someone who Promotes a Winning Team Spirit as she works throughout the day. She believes in working hard and playing hard, making her the kind of employee Clickstop wants, that the cargo net team wants.”
April’s biggest goals at Clickstop are to learn, keep meeting goals, and to keep growing. These goals shined bright at the beginning of the year when she was working on a unique cargo net for one of our customers.
Nothing But Net!
In early 2017, the cargo net team had one of their biggest nets to sew yet. The team was tasked in making a 26′ x 22′ net for a company that specializes in creating obstacle courses for fitness. This net was a challenge that April was up for. The net ended up weighing about 180 lbs.
“The biggest challenge was the weight of the net – I broke 3 or 4 needles just because it was so heavy.” said April. But what a feeling to get it all completed and shipped out. “I was relieved once it was finished; I felt very accomplished. But most of all, I wanted it just to be shipped out of here!”
“I was very confident in April.” said Dean. “April had been sewing plenty of stock nets, so she had the confidence. In my mind she was ready for a bigger challenge. With the help of Holly, we gave her positive support, so she was not going to fail.”
Be Adventurous – Embrace and Drive Change
April is a big proponent of the core value Be Adventurous – Embrace and Drive Change. When she got this huge order to sew, she knew being adventurous was part of taking on such a massive challenge. “Change is good and life is easier if you roll with the punches. Changes bring great opportunities!”
As a company that wants to see employees grow and reach further than they thought possible, it is very exciting to see people like April step up. We love to see employees learn, set and meet goals, and just become better versions of themselves. Without those who Think Big and Make it Happen, Embrace and Drive Change, or Promote a Winning Team Spirit, we would not be where we are today. Finally, we asked April where she sees herself in five years.
“Hopefully still working with a great team like Cargo Nets, and possibly in a new role – five years is a long time but I will definitely still be within the company. Who knows where we will be by then!”
We are getting SO CLOSE to being completed with our building expansion.
But no matter how close it is, there is still a lot of work that is happening right now. We can hear the construction throughout the building, smell the sometimes not so pleasant smells, and see changes happening every day. Dare I say the count down has begun? Maybe not quite yet, but I can barely contain my excitement. So let’s dive right in and show you some of the most recent changes!
The kitchen construction is really coming together!
The kitchen wall has opened up to the bistro.
As you can see, the equipment is almost completely installed in the kitchen. Chef Zach is truly counting down the days to occupancy. On the left is the salad and soup bar, the right is the full service line, and if we were to do a 180, you would see the beverage bar, and a (healthy) dessert bar. This space will lead out to the grand room, or if you went through the brand new opening (that area in the center that is in plastic) you will be in our current bistro.
Right now, the space smells dusty and drywally (is that even a word?) but soon we will be smelling hot soups, freshly grilled lunches, healthy sides.
The Pub is taking shape!
The pub is getting the first coat of paint.
Construction workers are getting the framework together for the pub.
This is looking so cool! At the end of our grand room, there will be a pub! If you look carefully, you can see where the booths will be going in along the back wall of the space. There will be windows all around, and a really dark, moody, atmosphere within. This will be a great space for socializing, eating lunch, or even to have team meetings. This is a really unique feature of the building we are excited about.
You will also notice some stairs in the upper left hand corner of the photos, outside of the pub walls. The construction on the stairs started last week. This is our second set of stairs leading to the second floor. There is also an elevator that was installed as well.
The Grand Room stage is almost complete!
The grand room stage is starting to pull everything together.
The stage can be viewed from upstairs. The wood wall is tied into the accents throughout.
This is looking so cool, and is one of the things that I get excited to see finishing touches happen on during construction. As you can see, we have this cool wood plank around the TV wall on the stage. That wood has been tied into the steps leading up to the stage, the outside of the sky box, and the railing along the second floor.
With that big wall of tvs, and the audio being wired throughout, employees will be able to sit upstairs or down on the main floor during meetings.
There will be a lot of natural lighting throughout the building.
This common space looks over the grand room.
This common space also leads to the new Technology space, the game room, locker rooms and therapy room.
As you can see, the natural lighting really brightens up the space, even in the areas with darker walls. In the left hand picture, you can see the side of the sky box on the left. The right hand picture shows the hall to the locker rooms, therapy room, game room, laundry room, and the new Technology space. Outside of the photo frame to the right, is the atrium, which also lets in a ton of light.
Did someone say Therapy room? I thought this was a top workplace?!
The therapy room has a nice calming grey color to help relax employees.
Yep! You heard right, a therapy room! But this therapy room is going to be mainly used for massages! Every month Clickstop has a massage therapist on site so employees can purchase 15 or 30 minute massages. Nothing says relax and be happy like this in the middle of the day! We currently have to do these in a conference room, which is in a high traffic area. Not that relaxing! This space will be perfect for those moments of deep relaxation. Additionally, it will double as a room that we can do wellness exams or weigh ins during our thrive competitions!
Speaking of wellness, the gym floor is being installed!
The gym will have space for cardio, weights, and video workouts.
The floor is being installed in the gym.
The last time you saw the gym, it was a bit of a mess. Well look at it now! The gym floor is being installed and soon it will be in its final stages of completion! Although we really appreciate that we have had a small workout facility the past five years at Clickstop, we are anxiously awaiting this larger, ventilated, and non-carpeted area to work out in. We LOVE that Clickstop looks out for our physical well-being!
Holy Smokes! THAT is what we call a patio!
The GIANT patio has been poured. Now we just need grass instead of all that mud!
Looking out the gym windows, you will notice a LOT of mud. But look closer, there is a slab of cement out there! That is our new patio! Wait. Strike that. This is our new MASSIVE patio! I can already see employees enjoying their lunch outside, competing in wellness activities, playing bags, and even shooting some hoops. Who knows exactly how we will utilize this space, but the options are endless!
So there you have it, a quick look at our construction progress. Make sure to check back in the next few weeks to see even more finishing touches!
We have many teams through out the company. Marketing, Sales, Finance, Manufacturing, Shipping, LTL, Purchasing… The list goes on. But there is one team that sticks out because it has some of the funniest and quirkiest people in the company. Our Technology team. The team consists of five guys, all completely different from each other, but with one commonality, they are technology nerds.
We wanted to get to know them a little bit and find out what they find rewarding about their career, what they like about Clickstop, and what they look for in a co-worker. First though, let’s introduce you to the guys!
From left to right; Wesley, Tom, Ben, Keith, and Brad
Tom Altman – VP of Technology – 6.5 years
Wesley McElwee – Web Developer – 3 years
Keith Shaffer – Web Developer – 2 Years
Ben Heims – Project Coordinator – 1.5 years
Brad Jackson – Senior Developer – Just shy of 1 year
Earlier this month, Clickstop had the opportunity to attend the Planning for Your Future – Career and College Fair; hosted by Workplace Learning Connection and Marion High School. Forty Five Workplace Learning Connection business partners and 12 colleges were in attendance, including Clickstop. 200 area high school students and their parents were able to get their questions answered and seek out career opportunities for the students close to graduating.
Clickstop was represented by Sandra and Summer. Sandra works on our Manufacturing team and Summer is part of the Talent Enrichment team. So, let’s find out what they thought of the experience.
Summer and Sandra getting ready to speak to students at Planning for Your Future
What did you think about your experience at career day?
Sandra: I thought it was awesome! It was the first one I have been to with a company and enjoyed it a lot. We had some pretty great students who asked really well thought out questions and seemed really interested.
Summer: It was wonderful! The event was very well organized. The students and parents were very engaged and interested in learning about Clickstop. We got asked some great questions and had some awesome conversations.
What advice would you give students who will soon be entering the workforce?
Sandra: I think the best advice given to any high school student or anyone about to enter the workforce is to find something you truly enjoy and to find a company you enjoy working for. The more engaged and connected you are with your company, the more fun and awesome work is going to be. On average, we spend about 30 percent of our life working, so it’s important to find something you’re going to enjoy doing.
Summer: Be curious and be honest. Ask lots of questions, businesses love to see people who are curious and engaged in what the role is and what the company does. Remember that an interview is two sided; you should be evaluating if the organization is a fit for you, just as they evaluate if you are a fit for them.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying at Clickstop?
Sandra: Be sure to look at and know our core values and our code. Be sure that Clickstop is going to be the right fit. We want to find not only the perfect fit for our company, but for you as well.
Summer: Be yourself. We are looking for people who naturally operate within our values. Be enthusiastic. We are looking for people who want to drive change and create momentum, so seeing applicants that get excited over the task at hand shows the kind of enthusiasm we are looking for.
What type of people does Clickstop look for when hiring?
Sandra: We look for people who are not only going to be incredibly hard working employees but who also follow the code and core values. These factors are important within Clickstop and we want people who value them as well.
Summer: At Clickstop we look for people who align with our values and code, which are extremely important to us. Values coupled with high achievers makes for very fun and fulfilling work!
What is the most rewarding thing about working at Clickstop?
Sandra: The most rewarding thing about Clickstop for me, is knowing there are endless opportunities for those who want them. Clickstop isn’t a company where you have to stay doing the same thing for the rest of your career. If you want to pursue other opportunities they support you 100%.
Summer: Do I have to pick just one? I would say being able to work alongside so many passionate people who are driven to be excellent at what they do.
When people ask me about Clickstop, they always ask the same questions. What do you guys do there? (We are an e-commerce business that owns and operates 7 online businesses. US Cargo Control is our biggest brand, supplying products we manufacture to truck drivers.) What do you do there? (I work on video, communication, and social media.) And finally, the one people are most shocked about… YOU DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO URBANA TO WORK?!? Well yes. When you find a place that you fit in, enjoy, and can do what you want for a career, the commute is not that big of a deal.
This is not just the way I feel. This is the way a lot of employees at Clickstop feel. Urbana may not be a thriving metropolis, but it is the town Clickstop is proud to call home. We have employees that commute from Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Solon, Ely, and even Tama and Guttenberg. That says a lot about the community Clickstop has built in our little corner of Urbana. We are able to attract people all over Iowa because of our reputation as a company that does well by their employees.
With our new expansion, we will also have even more amenities that draw people in. We will have a gym, a game room, and probably the most anticipated, a full kitchen. You see, Urbana does not have a lot of options for places to enjoy your lunch. So, in order to make our employees lives more balanced, nutritious, and convenient, we are launching our new food program, Fuel. We are moving up! The head of Fuel, and a very talented culinary artist, is Chef Zach.