Crystal D held their annual WOW Day to show appreciation for all of their employees on February 5, 2016. We honored a great group of individuals for their dedication to making the company succeed.
Our event was Hawaiian themed this year, and it was a blast! We got to learn how to hula dance, and we had a hula contest too. Each table competed against each other, and the best dancer from each table competed as well. Brenda Peralta, Kyle Nordby, Valisa Fair, Fong Lee, and Jen Jezierski from Table Five won the competition, and Valisa was crowned the best hula dancer at Crystal D!
We handed out a bunch of awards to some very deserving people too!
Our attendance award, called Never Fear Always Here, was given to: Paula Doll, Mike Irvine, Becca Delaney, Adam Leonhardt, Joe Christensen, Travis Brynness, Ann Kirch, Terikay Thein, Thomas Nutty, Jason Herlofsky, Liz Thill, John Stefani, Toua Yang, Lee Yang, Audra Lehnert, John Nelson, Jen Contreras, Mike “Zito” Vitali, Richard Denn, Vantha Khou, Todd Zimmerman, Pisenny Xiong, Xai Lee, Sarah Chang, David Saatzer, Kale Wallner, Tom Warkel, Benno Klotz, Cheenou Thao, and Bridget Dahlgren.
Our Rookies of the Year were Cheenou Thao, who works in the warehouse, and Becca Delaney, who is Chuck’s executive assistant. The Rookies of the Year have worked for Crystal D for at least five months but no more than one year, have aligned themselves with our values, and are leaders in the company.
The Above and Beyond award is given to the person or people who puts Crystal D first by putting in extra hours without being asked, not letting their team down, and goes out of the way to help others. This year, we awarded Tom Warkel, who works on special projects and award design, with this award.
Darlene Sheetz, who is our purchasing coordinator, was presented with the Expect Excellence award this year. This award goes to the person who is always looking out for our customers, they have a “not good enough” attitude and go the extra mile, and they demand the best all the time.
The Kick Ass Attitude award went to Liz Thill, who is our Solutions team manager, this year. The award goes to the person who positively influences their coworkers, has identified problem areas and has actively worked to make a change for good, and doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
Pisenny Xiong, who works in production, was awarded with the Rising Star award. We give this to the person or people who have been with Crystal D over one year who has shown significant development and outstanding performance over the past year and will keep growing with the company.
Our Step Up award went to Xai Lee, who works in production, and Kale Wallner, who is part of our business development team. This award is given to the person or people who steps up and takes responsibility, even though it is not their responsibility. They don’t give excuses, they don’t accept failure as an option, and they give solutions to problems.
The Leadership Award went to Terikay Thein, our blank and sample manager. This award is selected by Chuck after nominations from managers. Coworkers follow their lead, and they lead by example, being selfless and keeping promises as well as providing an incredible customer experience.
We had a brand new award this year. Our first Partner Award went to Mark Willcox of Data Helper. Mark helps with our product database and is a big help to our IT and marketing departments.
We crowned our new Value Champions and Grand Value Champion at WOW Day. These people are nominated by their coworkers and ultimately selected by the management team. They embody the core value they were nominated for, and the Grand Value Champion embodies all five of our core values.
To become a Value Champion, an employee must have worked for Crystal D for one year or more, and they can be nominated by any employee, including management. In addition to peer nominations, winners are chosen because of their impact on Crystal D, their positive attitudes and energy, and their solutions and teamwork.
The Commitment Value Champion award went to Kyle Nordby, who works in the art department. This award goes to the person who embodies the Commitment value: “We are dedicated to the ongoing viability of the company.” The winner maximizes their efforts to assure Crystal D will be profitable and works in the best interest of Crystal D. “It’s good to see someone dedicated to what they do like Kyle,” said Adam Leonhardt in the art department. “He believes in what he does and is completely in charge of his station. We should all strive to be as good at our own responsibilities.” Kyle is dedicated to the success of Crystal D, especially the success of our 3D art where he excels. “When it comes to 3D questions, Kyle is the go-to guy and is constantly fielding questions from everyone,” said Mike Blees in the art department. “He is always making progress, leading, guiding, and doing whatever is best for the company and the customer.”
The Integrity Value Champion award went to Adam Leonhardt, who works in the art department. This award goes to the person who embodies the Integrity value: “We do what we say we will do.” The winner fulfills all obligations, is reliable and trustworthy, and admits mistakes and fixes them. “Adam is very diligent in his work,” said Ann Kirch in the art department. “He is always trying to do things the ‘right way’ and do his best for the customer. He makes tough decisions, even if it means that he has to do more work.I trust the commitments he makes and know that he will follow through.” Part of this core value is admitting mistakes and fixing them, and Adam does just that. “An error was made on an art proof, and Adam felt that he maybe misinterpreted the art,” said Paula Doll in accounting. “He is quick to jump on art disapprovals. He always pleases the customer with his quick turn times.”
The Passion Value Champion award went to David Schaeppi, who works in production. This award goes to the person who embodies the Passion value: “We have the burning desire to achieve in all we do.” The winner takes pride in all they do and never gives up. They are always doing their best and looking for a positive solution. “David never stresses over a problem,” said Sarah Chang in production. “He will always find a way to fix it. Even when I have a problem and ask for help, he gives me ideas on how to solve my problems. He always maintains a positive outlook on a problem, regardless of how bad things may seem.” David’s enthusiasm is apparent when he works. “He loves what he does and knows what to do,” said Fong Lee in the warehouse. “He taught me that nothing is impossible as long as you know how to prioritize what you do. He never gives up and is a very capable person.”
The Quality Value Champion award went to Sarah Chang, who works in production. This award goes to the person who embodies the Quality value: “We have the unyielding persistence to improve.” The winner continually pursues excellence, encourages purposeful change, and sweats the details. They are always asking how we can do better and exceeds expectations. “Sarah is not only one of the strongest players on the team, but she has hawk-like eyes for catching errors,” said David Schaeppi in production. “We had a splash file come through that looked correct, but Sarah could see the colors were a little pale and could be better. She cleaned the pieces off and changed the white value to make the colors pop more, resulting in a better looking product for the customer.” Sarah takes pride in her work, and her coworkers see it regularly. “Sarah has taken full ownership of the Illumachrome™ and wood plaque areas,” said Mike Irvine, VP of Operations. “She is making time on the job and off to study and learn more about the machines. She wants to be the master of that area.”
The Respect Value Champion award went to Lee Yang, who works in IT. This award goes to the person who embodies the Respect value: “We treat people the way we want to be treated.” The winner knows respect must be earned and treats their coworkers, customers, and vendors in a considerate manner. They say “thank you” and lives by the Golden Rule. “Lee is always calm and polite when working with me,” said Paula Doll in accounting. “He quickly makes me feel comfortable about what he is fixing for me. He always responds so quickly to help desk inquiries and always finds out when it is convenient for me for him to come over.” Lee is consistently wonderful to all of his coworkers, and we are all appreciative for that! “Lee has systematically earned the respect of all employees at Crystal D by the way he handles his job and by his great attitude,” said Pam Bandali, human resources manager. “No matter what the problem, Lee handles it with the utmost discretion and makes me feel valued because of how quickly he resolves the problem!”
Our Grand Value Champion embodies all five core values. They must have worked for Crystal D for two or more years, they must be a past Value Champion, and they must show leadership throughout the company. Their dedication and loyalty to Crystal D is never in any doubt, and they must be a unanimous decision by the selection committee. This year’s winner was Joe Christensen, who works in the art department. Joe’s past value champion wins came in 2007 for Commitment and 2013 for Quality.
Here are just a few things that make Joe worthy of our Grand Value Champion:
“Joe works the most hours in the art department,” said Ann Kirch, art department manager. “He comes in on the weekend whenever we need him, he trains our newbies and does a great job, and he is very committed to the success of the art department and Crystal D.”
“Joe has a firm grasp of not only every aspect of the art department but also the meaning behind why we do things the way they are done,” said Adam Leonhardt in the art department. “Any time I have a question, I know he will have the answer. He’s a great support to us newer people which improves the quality of the entire department.”
“Joe is always patient and kind, even in times of high stress,” said Ashley Caraway in customer service. “He takes time to listen and ask questions to ensure that our customer is heard and that they receive the quality product they expect from Crystal D.”
We had an awesome time at WOW Day, and we love celebrating our amazing employees!