The Hire Vets Medallion Award

Jason Maneke & Russ Dunton

Earlier this fall, our No-Sag Products branch in Kendallville, Indiana, earned the Hire Vets Medallion award – a national recognition for hiring, training, and retaining veterans in the workforce.

Over the past 12 years, the branch has held a company picnic to recognize veterans and commemorate the September 11 anniversary.

Nominees for the award are evaluated on their veteran hiring practices, percentage of veterans in the workforce, training, education and other services offered to veterans and support of active duty veteran employees, among other criteria.

After being nominated by the local Indiana WorkOne Veterans Representative, Russ Dunton, General Manager, and Jason Maneke, HR Manager, accepted the award from Deputy Secretary of Labor Sam Shellenberger in a ceremony at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to everyone at No-Sag Products!

Q&A with a New Flooring Territory Manager

Dana Nevens was recently hired as a Territory Manager for our Flooring Products Division. We spoke with him about his first few months at L&P.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’ve worked in the flooring industry for approximately 12 years. Most of those were spent in the hard-surface manufacturing side, which includes hardwoods and ceramic tile. Most recently, I had a national sales position with a relatively new company. I learned a lot from that job, but the schedule was very demanding for my family. I was looking for a change and learned about L&P. Since starting in August, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the customers in my territory — which includes Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

2. How has the transition gone so far?

I was hired to replace Jon Thierfeld when he retired from L&P. His retailers were very comfortable with him because he’d been working with them for over 25 years. Thankfully, I was able to travel the field with him for several weeks before he left. This allowed him to share the ins and outs of his customers in great detail — I still refer to those notes on a daily basis. It really helped me to earn the trust of my customers and to ensure them I would put in the same effort as he had to make sure their needs are met.

Since Jon left, I’ve found my sales support team here in Fort Worth to be just as accessible. I’ll never have all the answers, but they’re always a phone call away as I learn more about L&P’s culture and the way we do things.

3. What does a normal work day look like for you?

The majority of my week is spent connecting with as many of our customers as possible. I try to meet face-to-face whenever I can, so much of my time is spent in the car traveling to various parts of New England.

I enjoy introducing retailers to new products they’ve never seen before. If they’re an existing customer, I also evaluate their sales programs to determine what’s working, what’s not working, and make changes to increase their profits. The rest of my days are spent responding to calls or emails from customers who need to place orders and get answers to technical product questions. Every day is unique and I really like the challenge.

4. Has anything surprised you about L&P?

From prior interactions with the company, I only knew L&P as a flooring and underlayment supplier. When I learned the scope of our products and everything our company is involved in, it was very encouraging. On my team in the Northeast, it isn’t unusual to talk to employees who have been here for over 20 years — something which is very unique in this industry. It speaks well for the company and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Top 5 Tips for a Memorable Holiday Meal

The holidays are all about spending quality time with friends and family — often while gathered around plates of delicious food. However, feeding a crowd can take know-how and a tiny bit of courage. Sue Balcom, our Food Services Supervisor, has both. She leads a team of 5 dedicated food service staff who prepare meals for up to 500 employees a day, and cater around 300 corporate events per year!

We asked Sue to share her best advice for planning a holiday dinner. These tips will make your meal more memorable — and will leave you smiling once you find your seat at the table too.

1. Keep it simple. This isn’t the time to experiment with new, complicated dishes. When planning, select easy recipes with basic ingredients you can source locally. Driving all over town in search of a rare spice or out-of-season produce will quickly drain your holiday spirit.

2. Plan and prep. Leftovers are much better than running out of food. Find out how many guests you will be serving and plan for a 4 oz. portion of each food per person. Make your grocery lists carefully so you only end up at the store once. Then peel, chop, and prep anything you can ahead of time. This will leave you with more time to mingle once your guests arrive. “I like to prepare as much as I can a couple days ahead, especially my pies,” says Sue. “I just bake them that day, so they are fresh.”

3. Include family favorites. Tried-and-true traditional dishes are a must. For Sue, they include creamy corn casserole and baked sweet potatoes. These recipes are generally less stressful in the kitchen and can be sentimental to your guests. Consider creating a family cookbook to record those memories.

4. Have plenty of options… and a few surprises. “I like to make two entrees,” shares Sue. “That way I know everyone will have an option they enjoy.” She also recommends including a unique vegetarian dish — and finds that usually guests will all try it. If others want to contribute, ask them to bring a special side dish. This allows you to try something new too!

5. Treat your guests! Pies, cakes, and pastries are a sweet way to end any special meal. Sue takes it one step further and sends everyone home with a special jar of her homemade jam.

United Way Agency Spotlight: Carthage Crisis Center

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. One way is through our annual United Way campaign, which has challenged our employees to raise $125,000 this year! Over the course of the campaign, we have featured several incredible United Way funded agencies. Learn more about their stories and the effective work they do to help those who need it most in our communities.

Carthage Crisis Center

The Carthage Crisis Center is a faith-based shelter committed to helping homeless individuals in the Carthage, MO, area. Their services provide compassionate support to those entering their doors, including employment assistance, clothing, food, and a warm bed to sleep in at night. Each day, their facility provides housing for up to 20 males, 20 females, and 4 families. The location operates as a recycling center and uses profits from that service to maintain their facility. They also developed a food network of 70 organizations, which distributes about 500,000 pounds of food annually.

Their work has touched the lives of many individuals in our community — often giving families the support they need to put their lives in order. Here is just one example. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Comfort Food Cook-off

Today over the lunch hour, our Corporate Headquarters held a huge Comfort Food Cook-off — all to benefit United Way!

Departments competed for the title of “Comfort Food Champion” with their best soups and chili. We also had a dessert raffle and baked goods for sale, and many of our executive management team helped to greet and serve meals to our employees.

Here are a few favorite pictures from the day!

 

United Way Agency Spotlight: Joplin Family Y

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. One way is through our annual United Way campaign, which has challenged our employees to raise $125,000 this year! Over the next few weeks, we’ll spotlight several incredible United Way funded agencies. Learn more about their stories and the effective work they do to help those who need it most in our communities.

Joplin Family Y

Recently, Feeding America found that every 1 in 5 kids goes to bed hungry. The Joplin Family Y regularly sees children who lack access to nutritious foods and come through their doors hungry. As a service to our community, the Y seeks to help kids develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

The YMCA knows that kids are emotionally and socially impacted when they have access to food and healthy activities. Just one of the Y’s programs – “Fuel Up, Stay Fit” – provides meals to local children, including after school snacks at 15 elementary schools, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the summer months. During the past school year, the Y served an astounding 77,997 healthy snacks and 19,733 nutritional meals to 700 children!

One of the students in the YMCA’s program, Aiden, is just one success story. Aiden had fallen into bad habits. He didn’t like eating fruits and vegetables, was eating fast food multiple times a week, and he didn’t have much physical activity in his routine. Through “Fuel Up, Stay Fit,” Aiden started eating healthy snacks and meals and had lots of options for both physical and social activities. Before long, Aiden began to love everything on his plate, including vegetables! As a result of the Y’s program, Aiden ate better, felt better about himself, and adopted a far more active lifestyle.

The Y is creating change in our community by creating change in our kids. As a proud supporter of the United Way, we can also be proud to know we have helped kids, just like Aiden, become healthier members of our community.

For more information about the services available at Joplin Family Y, visit joplinfamilyy.org

Do Some Good

It feels good to do some good!

Our Pegasus team collected 225 pounds of food for the Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown, CT, and they’ll continue their giving efforts through the holiday season.

#giveback #dosomegood

United Way Agency Spotlight: Lafayette House

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. One way is through our annual United Way campaign, which has challenged our employees to raise $125,000 this year! Over the next few weeks, we’ll spotlight several incredible United Way funded agencies. Learn more about their stories and the effective work they do to help those who need it most in our communities.

Lafayette House

There is a safe place in Joplin, MO, where women, children, and families can go to seek refuge. Programs, resources, and support are readily available for those living in fear and at-risk situations due to substance abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault. Last year, the Lafayette House served over 1,300 people in our community. Every woman, every child, and each family are forever changed by the help they receive.

“Lafayette House gave me my life back.”

Susan’s entire life was impacted by the assistance she received at Lafayette House. She was in an unhealthy marriage with three children, each of whom had varying degrees of special needs. Her family lived in a remote area with no electricity or running water. She reported that her spouse was controlling and emotionally abusive; he often threatened to leave and take the children. Susan didn’t drive, didn’t communicate with anyone outside of her home, and she felt isolated and alone. In an effort to protect her children, she filed for a divorce. However, she had nowhere to go and the abuse continued to increase.

When Susan first came to the Lafayette House, she couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. She spoke very softly and had no sense of self-worth. Immediately, a case manager offered her individual counseling and assistance in connecting to community resources. Susan was able to gain access to the resources she desperately needed: housing, transportation, food, utilities, clothing, as well as advocacy to navigate her ongoing divorce, school communications, and custody issues.

Susan’s Lafayette House story began in 2016. Today, she continues to participate in programs offered by the Lafayette House. She has gained self-confidence and is learning to feel positive about herself. Susan now laughs and is making friends. With full-custody, she is also able to provide a healthy home for herself and her three children.

Susan’s story now has a different narrative, one that includes hope for a happier ending due to the CHANGE the Lafayette House helped to create. She is forever grateful and so are her three children.

For more information about the services available at The Lafayette House, visit lafayettehouse.org