Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Wild Time!

The Culture Club has outdone itself this time. I vote this event the best Costless event so far.
Have a look at the WildPlay pics and video, and you can see why.

I want to personally recognize all the staff who came out, it was an incredible team building event with the confident ones helping the less confident climbers and everyone shouting encouragement from the tree tops to each other. One person in particular who stood our was Chris, as she was quite nervous at the whole idea of swinging through the trees and zip-lining from platform to platform, but she amazed us all by completing the entire course, including the black diamond (most difficult) section. Woot Woot to everyone!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Culture Club strikes again

Let me stand up here and give a round of applause to our Culture Club. Staff who volunteer their time to put on cool and fun events for our company. Kudos for all your hard work!!

The Culture Club recently posted an upcoming event at WildPlay September 29th, and just finished pulling off an awesome Panini Party in the Parking Lot. Last few months included Italian Soda Days, Driver Appreciation Pancake Breakfast and pizza days.

The Panini Party in the Parking Lot was in appreciation of our Purchasing department, who work so hard to keep our warehouse stocked to the brim with all the great stuff we sell everyday. The purchasing department was also decorated and the gals were given tiaras to wear. I loved the selection of meats, cheeses and other fabulous ingredients ready to make paninis. The Culture Club keeps out doing itself with unique events and everyone can't wait for the next one - WildPlay!!


Friday, September 14, 2012

End of Year All Hands Meeting

Today was a very special quarterly All Hands Meeting.
Not only did we have Mary and Brian, our two newest managers in attendance, we were happy to see Lucas from our warehouse, who's been off with an injured knee. It really felt like a big family party with music, drinks and lots of food. The energy was fantastic, decorations were super fun and the games and prizes were just plain crazy.

Calvin, back when it all started!
Our All Hands Meetings are held each quarter to share where we have been and where we are heading. I took the stage for a fun trip down memory lane of where we started 24 years ago from my 1-bedroom apartment and rusty truck. Shawn and Nabil covered e-commerce and finance. One highlight was some videos the staff surprised us with that had each person explain what our core values meant to them. For me it was very cool to see the passion and commitment of the staff when talking about our core values. We had recently condensed our core values down to only 4 main principles:  LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, LEARN. I'll talk more about our core values in a later post this year - Secret is we have some big news and projects on the horizon that we will roll out and I'll blog about soon. Stay tuned!

The highlight of our All Hands Meeting was the passing out of our Profit Sharing cheques to each employee. Thanks to everyone for another successful year and sharing a large portion with our staff is very satisfying for Sandy and I. TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More is our saying, and it's true we all worked as a team caring for our customers and delivering a memorable WOW service each and every day. Well done everyone.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There's Something about Mary

Our goal over the summer was to recruit a world class Sales Manager. We used LinkedIn, personal networks and a recruiting firm to find us a candidate who had vast past experience and can take our business over the $20 million mark in sales.

When the recruiting company called a few weeks ago explaining they had a candidate that we must take a look at, I was optimistic, although there was a big BUT. This candidate was, in essence, way overqualified for our company. She had a stellar history, time and again, of building successful teams of up to 600 people in large fortune 100 companies and fast growth companies. Also, she was a trained team building and motivation coach working with successful business executives all over the country.

I agree, the opportunity to add significant growth and sales experience to our management team is exactly what we are looking for, but why would this candidate consider joining our small entrepreneurial (and sometimes kooky) organization?

First, let me jump ahead and say we hired Mary. Now for the explanation of why it was a great fit.

Mary had built a significant and successful career in the large corporate world, and that was where she found her passion for nurturing and building great teams and individuals who had the "will" to be successful but lacked some of the "skill." Mary loved seeing her talents put to use changing the lives of people passionate to learn from her coaching. So she made a very conscious choice to leave the bustling corporate world with all its perks (and bureaucracy) to focus her energy on a smaller organization where she could see the immediate fruits of her labor. She was also very conscious about her personal happiness and life balance (hmm, sound a bit like me and our core values??) And in turn we were looking for someone who has "been to the big show" and could help us become a larger organization with the experience of being there.

In turn, I think we offer Mary a solid company in its 24th year of business, and thousands of customers who love us and a corporate culture that is anything but Fortune 100. A solid foundation with a strong existing management team for her to fit right in with. I know she will be a great fit, and together we are primed for a fun and rewarding ride of building a great new brand!!

Welcome Mary, we are excited to have you write your next chapter of life with us!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Crew

Welcome to Bryan, our new Marketing Manager. His experience at Electronic Arts and as a freelancer will rocket our marketing and social media efforts forward at a frenzied pace. I'm sure you'll be seeing lots of his work soon as he settles into the role. We have some exciting and ambitious goals for our growth and brand expansion, and I personally hand picked Bryan to lead that charge.

Bryan worked his way through our intensive 10 step recruiting process, impressing us all along the way. One memorable moment was when we took him for Sushi during the final selection process. As we ordered "the same old sushi," Bryan challenged us to be adventurous and try something new. So I ordered a different dish that was completely different than I would normally order. When the dish arrived at the table, it was a work of art so amazing in its presentation Bryan whips out his phone and snaps a pic that he immediately posts on his Facebook page and Pinterest account, then proceeds to check in on FourSquare and comment on the dish and sushi spot. His chances of getting the job at that moment were pretty good, and of course as the story goes, we hired him and here he is showing the marketing and social media love to all our customers now.

Welcome Bryan - I'm sure it won't take long 'til we find a nickname for you.