We have so many unique and talented people at Clickstop.
When not busy at work building marketing campaigns, making sales calls, balancing the books, or turning out ratchet straps, they are at home with their families, hanging out with their friends, or having fun with hobbies. And we have so many different activities and hobbies that our employees excel at. So today, we will feature an employee that somehow, between work, planning a wedding, and sleeping, still has a million different hobbies. That person is Nate Merrifield.
Nate poses for the camera after an awesome performance of the Toxic Avenger.
Nate has worked at Clickstop for just over 2 years. He works in the small shipping department and his high energy and enthusiasm keeps him ready for anything.
Nate’s hobbies include writing DnD campaigns (for those who do not know, DnD stands for Dungeons and Dragons), singing and songwriting (Nate is in a couple different bands), theater, and is pretty big into the Final Fantasy series. The thing about all of these hobbies… if Nate is interested in stuff, he gives it his all. He spends a lot of time nurturing each of his hobbies, becoming better and more enthusiastic every time he dives in.
This past weekend, a couple months of practices, singing, and hard work finally were presented to the masses. Nate co-stared in the musical The Toxic Avenger. This was Nate’s third performance on the MMU stage, so he had worked with the director, Jason Alberty, a couple times before. As soon as the show was announced, he listened to the soundtrack and was sold immediately.
The Toxic Avenger, in short, is about world pollution. It brings light to the subject that we aren’t taking as good of care of the earth as we should. In the show, a small town has become the victim of toxic waste. The corrupt mayor thought she could earn a couple extra dollars by subjecting her town to pollution. The hero, Melvin Ferd the Third, takes it upon himself to save the town to impress the blind librarian. After an unfortunate turn of events, Melvin is thrown into a vat of toxic goo and turns into the Toxic Avenger. Many songs and terrible jokes later, the hero saves the day and wins the heart of his true love.
One of the great and fun things about Clickstop is the amount of recognition we like to give each other. Whether you notice a co-worker stepping up their game and present them with a nice note and gift card, or if you are noticed by leaders as a quarterly Rock Star, we love seeing employees be recognized for their achievements. For going above and beyond and living like a true Clickstopper.
So last week, and the end of the first quarter of 2017, Tim surprised us with a new award program, the Quarterly Core Value Recognition. Together, the leadership team worked to decide which employees truly embodied the core values.
“The discussions we had about the core values and our teammates were incredible.” said Monica Steffeck, Co-VP of Talent Enrichment. “It was so fun to hear about all of the things our employees do everyday, going above and beyond to live out the values. So many good vibes during our discussion, it was awesome.”
Paired with comments from the leaders and seeing these employees embody the core values everyday, Tim set out to surprise 6 people with a custom t-shirt and a $100.00 bill.
The winner of the first quarterly recognition for the core value Make Time for Fun & Family was our very talented Web Developer, Wesley McElwee.
Wesley has been with Clickstop for 3.5 years and works on the Technology team.
“Wesley is great to have on the Technology team.” said Tom Altman, VP of Technology. “He has so many things that fit well with our core values – and he acts them out every day. Wesley is the first to jump into an issue or problem – and makes sure to bring the team along with him. And Wesley expects greatness in himself – he loves to learn and this ties into everything. When you use the core values to guide the way you work, it just super-sizes it all.”
“Having core values paints a clear picture of what it’s like to work at Clickstop and what is important both personally and professionally.” said Wesley. “I think for a business it is easy to disregard having a mission statement and core values and put emphasis on the culture of a company. If you don’t intentionally define the culture and values, you can suddenly become a place that isn’t so great. I’d be shocked if any truly great place to work has a good work culture by accident. It must be deliberate.”
Wesley is someone who takes the core values to heart and shares the desire to make Clickstop a great place to be for everyone. One of his favorite parts about working at Clickstop is being with great people. His colleagues keep him pushing himself to have the biggest positive impact he can.
“Make Time for Fun & Family means that putting emphasis on your personal life will make you happier, more engaged, and more productive at work.” said Wesley
“Clickstop knows that by defining the company culture and putting an emphasis on work/life balance it will create a more successful company and make each employee individually happier and more successful as well.”
Tom sees a lot of potential in Wesley and knows he will make waves at Clickstop. “We need top notch developers and I can see Wesley growing into a role where he can be a leader and a teacher. Wesley is a good listener and very well-liked by everyone he interacts with. I always describe Wesley as quiet-confidence. He knows what is right and wrong – he just handles it. You can see that is also the way he parents. It is not a lot of talk – just quiet confidence.”
The great thing about Clickstop is EVERYONE has the chance to be successful; to be the best versions of themselves. Having work/life balance is critical to this success.
“I’m going to borrow something that a former pastor of mine would say in church. “Keep the main thing the main thing”. In this context, it means don’t neglect your personal life for the sake of work. Yes, we all want to be part of a successful company and want to make as big of an impact as we can here. But the main thing is your personal happiness and family life. Neglecting that will over time lead to less value here at Clickstop as well. Balance is the key and doing well at one will make you better at the other.”
Finally, we had to ask Wesley how it felt to be the first ever recipient of the Make Time for Fun & Family award. “Each and every core value is important to the long term success of the company. Being recognized as fulfilling this value, or any of the core values for that matter, is a great honor. I want to give a big “thank you” to Tim G for being committed to such a great place to work. Also, my co-workers who also embody the six core values and live them out every day… I’d like to thank everyone I have ever met and while I’m at it, all the people I haven’t met yet. That is all.”
The Clickstop expansion is so close to being complete, we can barely stand it.
Everyday as employees drive into the parking lot, we can see the progress being made. Siding is going up on the building today. Construction workers are continually coming in and out, and (as annoying as this is) alarms keep being set off as things are being tested and adjusted. But we all know that annoying drone of the alarms just means we are getting that much closer… right?!?
So, it has been awhile since we have shared a photo update. Check out the progress for yourself!
First, let’s take a look at the outside of the building. If you have driven past on 380, you have probably noticed some of the construction. Well here it is from a different angle. On the right hand side, the grey part of the building is some of the office space and conference rooms. The windowed side of the red section is the new Clickstop gym. Directly below this space is the new training room. The font part is the grand room and pub area. Behind all of that is also the rest of the office space and more conference rooms. As you can see from the left side of the photo, the expansion really dwarfs the old part of the building!
Now let’s take a look inside…
Second Floor common space
This is probably my favorite view in the whole building, and you can definitely see why! Impressive! The open space below is the Grand Room. The orange, blue, and green rooms are conference rooms. The room with the glass front on the right is the Skybox. The Skybox is where interviewees will come and talk to us about their potentially exciting new career. We love how open and modern this all feels. Can you believe this is in the middle of Urbana?!
The staircase in the atrium.
If you come visit us, you will notices wonderful touches to tie everything together. The re-purposed wood is tied in throughout the building, from the staircase, to the plant boxes on the ground, to the railing on the upper floor. The stage has the same wood, as does the pub floor.
The Grand Room Stage
Here is the incredible stage. This is going to be the setting for all of our company meetings, rock star awards, and possible future talent shows. The floor, though in need of a good cleaning now, is stained concrete. As you can see, there is a TON of natural lighting throughout the building. This space will be filled with seating and will be an excellent space for employees to meet, eat lunch, or even have special gatherings after work.
So now, let’s turn the camera around and check out the pub.
Inside the Pub
Now this is what we call awesome. The Pub is going to be another great place for meetings, lunch, or just hanging out. When you walk into the space, you notice the rich colors, the beautiful wood floors, and soon there will be custom tables and booths. This space is wired so you can hear exactly what is happening on stage. We are completely in love with how this is coming together.
There you have it. This will more than likely be the LAST expansion update until we have it all put together and furniture in place. We have lots of cleaning to do, touch ups to finish, and LOTS of furniture to piece together, but we are getting there. Soon the building will be filled with Clickstop employees enjoying the extra space, collaborating in conference rooms, and enjoying lunch from our custom kitchen. So check back soon and we will hopefully have a finished building to show off!
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!