STAFF SPOTLIGHTS

Trent Wilcox

Q: What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

A: 1. The Official Boy Scout Handbook - 9th Edition. This book taught me about solid values, hunting, fishing, first aid, how to survive in the wilderness, to be prepared, and so much more. When I was a younger fella, this book was definitely a favorite. 2. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig. I read this book in high school. It gave me a whole new perspective on life and a new appreciation for art, technology, motorcycles, and made me deeply consider the meaning of quality. 3. The Bible. One of the oldest texts known to man, it is an extremely complex book that contains what I believe to be the most essential guidelines for living a virtuous life.

Patrick Sullivan

Q: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?

A: 

Rachel Schwindt

Q: How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

A: I would say my plan of not going to college was probably my favorite failure, or in my case, an avoided failure. It just wasn’t something anyone in my family had ever done. I was the first one out of my three older sisters to finish high school, so I honestly figured it just wasn’t for me. A few months before I was supposed to graduate, one of my friend’s moms actually forced me to fill out an application. I was accepted and ended up just tagging along with her to go to school. By being late to the game, this also meant that I missed all those nice scholarship deadlines. So, I am still paying a pretty penny for my education, which adds to the pain of this failure… ugh, student loans.
All in all, it’s taught me a ton about hard work and that if you push yourself, you can do things you never thought you were capable of. Here I am, two degrees later, and have my eyes set on my PhD someday. Even though it was a hard failure to endure and I am literally still paying for it, the experience has brought so much to my life. I cherish my education and the opportunities I’ve had to absorb knowledge from so many profound people over the years. I’d never take that back.

Lindsay Meyer

Q: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph

A: If it takes less than 5 minutes, just do it now. Most of us live in a world full of procrastination, constantly putting things off until our to-do list reaches an all time high. I once listened to a podcast that if something takes less than 5 minutes to do, just do it now. Once it's done, even if it's something as simple as making the bed, folding the laundy, or putting the dishes away, you'll feel acomplished. 

Caitie Cornelius

Q: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?

A: I recently got an app called ‘Calm’ and I use this app every single day because a little self care can go a long way. It has a ton of both lead and not-lead meditations. Some of them are thematic and some are just generic. Life has been so busy and hectic that I’ve needed help slowing down and clearing my mind. Each meditation is about 10 minutes and they even have some specifically for your commute. Taking 10 minutes for myself each day helps me feel refreshed and I know I have plenty of  different meditations for any kind of day I’m having.
‘Calm’ also has a feature called sleep stories where it tells you a story to help you fall asleep. The reader gradually gets slower and softer and just lulls you to sleep. To be honest, I  don’t know how a single story ends.

Matt O'Gorman

Q: What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

A: One of the best investments I have made is in my hobby of fishing. While being a dad and husband is my first priority, fishing gives me moments of space and relaxation that are needed to slow down from my day to day responsibilities. It’s easy to focus on the responsibility you have to others, whether it is at work, with family, or friends - and getting a few hours of my own space each month has had a great impact on me and others. This also feeds my desire to continually learn, I'm currently learning nany other ways to fish such as kayak fishing, fly fishing, river and lake fishing. I also enjoy the strategy behind it like understanding the conditions and changing tactics.

Fronia Miller

Q: What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

A: My greatest investment is in myself.  Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time developing myself personally and professionally. I learned a long time ago that accepting all the things in life, the good and the bad, is the foundation to a successful future.  Investing in myself is something that happens every day and I’m always trying to learn something new or better myself in some way or another. “Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.” – Warren Buffet.

Nick Christensen

Q: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

A: A lot of people listen to music to pump themselves up during a workout. I, on the other hand, listen to language learning. Nothing feels better than knocking out a full mental and physical workout. It started as a goal to improve my Spanish speaking before my honeymoon. I had planned to use my workout as an excuse to keep up with my lessons, but after returning from my trip, I instead found myself eager to go to the gym SO THAT I could listen to more lessons. There are some great podcasts out there, with great personalities giving the lessons (s/o to the Coffee Break podcasts). Whenever I get on the treadmill or pick up a dumbbell, and I turn on the next lesson, it feels like I’m hearing from close friends again. I have since expanded my language learning to Spanish, Italian, and German, and although I may not be fluent in all of them yet, I can look forward to a lot of language-filled workouts to come. Que excelente!

Claire Crawford

Q: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

A: I believe that staying open to the possibilities over the past five years has allowed me to experience opportunities I would not have been aware of otherwise. It can be easy to subscribe to the idea that your life is set to follow a predetermined path of your choosing. However, the best opportunities and experiences arise out of being open to different pathways in life. Whether that means learning a new skill, taking a spontaneous trip, or something else, the unexpected can be a positive surprise.

Scott Claypool

Q: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

A: Be Humble, realistic, & hungry
Humble - This is a quality everyone should have. Understand at any job you will be surrounded by people that will inspire you daily. Be approachable and the type that people want to help. Understand those that you work with have forged a path and be respectful of that.
Realistic - We all want to achieve great things, but understand the process takes time. Ask questions, absorb knowledge from those around you. I often get asked how much money will they make. Love what you do and the money will follow.
Hungry - This is the most important. Never settle! Be a perpetual learner and continue to learn each and every day. Be the first to volunteer for a task, help with a project, develop a new process that benefits the company. Keep your eyes open to new opportunities.
As for what I would ignore?  It would be naysayers. There are negative people in this world and do your best to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Be the type to stand up for your thoughts, but also know when you need to listen. It’s an acquired skill.

Kurt Naeve

Q: What are the bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

A: 

Mike Losee

Q: In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

A: Over the past several years I've become better at prioritizing my time outside of work. To do this, I've had to learn to say "no"...mostly to myself. I realized that I was spending too much time on unfulfilling things like social media or mindlessly flipping through television channels. That left less time for important things like spending time with family and friends, reading, and exercising. Ultimately, I started to say "no" to those unproductive, time-suck activities by actively scheduling time for the things that were most valuable to me. At first it seemed strange to reserve time for things in my down-time, but it has really make that time more enjoyable, more productive and fulfilling.

Caleb Wiedel

Q: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

A: When overwhelmed the first thing I do is change up my music. Music is hypnotizing in itself, it enforces the mood you’re in while engaging what’s at hand. Walking away from the screen allows you to physically change spaces so you’re able to process your surroundings differently, which will get your brain working again with the small break you’ve given yourself. Playing foosball helps get my mind off of what frustrating problem I’m currently handling. Small breaks are important to continue to strive for the best possible product. Constant stress = constant struggles.

Tom Duong

Q: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

A: When I feel overwhelmed or unfocused, I will typically turn to my team and get inspired by what they are working on and their projects. We are very supportive of each other's work and always try to improve and develop our talents to stay relevant and motivated. That’s important to me, to keep up with design trends and stay motivated.  We also have a large variety of mediums to work with. Some days I can jump from web design, to print, to video. It can be overwhelming at times but it also keeps your brain working and keeps things feeling fresh, which is important.