Employee Profile: Steinhafels Manager By Day, Country Star By Night!

We’re lucky at Steinhafels to be surrounded by wonderful coworkers with cool stories and various interests. When you have more than 800 people working for a company across 18 stores and two states, you’re bound to have some pretty interesting background stories!

While the main purpose of this blog is to share design trends, industry info, and community outreach… we also want to take the time to highlight employees who are making a difference, or have a unique story to tell.

One of those employees is Menomonee Falls-based Sales Manager Joell Powers. I recently learned that Joell lives a “double life” of sorts, and thought it would be cool to chat with her about that, and see how those worlds combine to make her an awesome Sales Manager.

Joell’s Double Life: Sales Manager By Day

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Country Star By Night!

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I always think it’s neat when people have interests outside of work that are vastly different from their work roles. While we spend 8+ hours a day at the office, in the warehouse, or in the store… it’s important to remember that we all have other skills and talents that make us a unique piece of the Steinhafels puzzle.

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Joell has been with Steinhafels for 4 years. She’s a Milwaukee native, and was recently promoted to Sales Manager. When she’s not working, you may see her onstage at a local festival or a local bar venue. She’s a singer for the local band Georgia Overdrive. They’ve already performed a few times at State Fair, and you have ONE MORE CHANCE TO SEE HER LIVE AT THE FAIR on Friday, August 11 at 11 a.m. at the Budweiser Pavilion Stage!!

Joell was kind enough to take a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her “double life.”

First off, briefly describe your role at Steinhafels.

As a sales manager, I focus on hiring new sales associates and coaching/training the staff to continue to reach for their goals. Overall, I help in any way possible to make our team stronger and help Steinhafels keep growing!

When did you begin singing/performing? What’s your vocal “specialty?”

The very first time I sang was actually at the State Fair, and I believe I was about 8 years old. It was at the Double K Ranch on karaoke night! I love to sing all types of music, but my main choice is country music. The band that I am currently with is Georgia Overdrive.

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By day you’re a retail manager, and night a country star! How are the two different? Similar?

Singing with a band is completely different from my job. I get to be silly and dance on stage and watch how people react to our performance. I did notice though that there are some similarities between singing and being a retail manager. My job is to make sure that people enjoy their experience, whether it’s listening to their favorite song, or getting delivery of their beautiful new living room set. As a singer, you are only as good as your band members. You must rely on them, and if we aren’t all on the same page, it will be a bad outcome. It’s the same thing with Steinhafels and working with the staff. We set goals and we work together to achieve them. I would be nothing without my band members or my sales associates!

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What do you like most about performing?

When I perform, I feel like I get to show a different side of me. I get to be a little kid again and just be goofy and dance. I remember dancing in my room singing in the mirror with my brush as my microphone. That’s all I’m really doing now, just with a real audience.

Are people surprised to learn you sing in a band?

So many people have come up to me and said, “I had no idea you could sing!” I laugh because it’s not something that I would ever bring up in conversation. I’m not just going to say, “Hey, did you know I can sing?” If I did, someone would probably say, “Sing something right now!” haha.

Is it cool to sing at State Fair?

Singing at the State Fair means the world to me. First off, it was the first place that I can remember ever singing in front of a crowd. Second, I’ve been going to the fair every year since I was little. My grandpa was part of the sheep shearing contests, and is actually in the Hall of Fame for it. You can see his name posted on a board in the sheep barn. (We are proud of that!) We’ve held family reunions there as well. Some might say that we are obsessed, but I just say we are passionate.

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Why should folks come out and see Georgia Overdrive at State Fair, and other local venues?

People need to come out to the State Fair because there is something there for everyone! You get to support local companies and farmers, eat great food, shop in the Expo Center, listen to all types of music, pet animals, go on rides… the options are endless! It’s a great time for all ages, and the best part is you get the enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin weather while doing all of that. Last thing I would say is to come out on Friday morning to see Georgia Overdrive perform at the Budweiser Pavilion. We’d love to see you, and hopefully get you out on the dance floor!

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I don’t know about you, but this post makes me want to get out of my desk chair and start dancing!

So… if you’re off Friday and looking for something to do, go ahead and get down to the Fair to see Joell let loose on stage. If not, you can check out the band’s future performance dates HERE.

Thanks Joell… for being a rockstar not only onstage, but also as a Steinhafels manager!

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Food Truck Thursday: Pig Tailz Owner Excited For Steinhafels Visit!

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the food truck events at Steinhafels Corporate so far this Summer!

We’ve gone from BBQ to Burgers… and now, Tacos & Nachos. Pig Tailz MKE will be rolling in this Thursday, August 3 with all sorts of goodies on the go! Their slogan is Street Food by Street Chefs, because they enjoy cooking food that is both delicious and fast. As co-owner Jordan Stewart tells us, “What good is a food truck on the go, if it is not operating with both speed and precision?”  

The truck will be here from 11-1:30pm!!! 

Stewart says he is excited for this opportunity. He explains, “It allows us to connect with a different population of people who have never had the opportunity to taste our food. Pig Tailz may not be the super expensive food truck you are use to seeing, but our cooking skills and passion for food can be appreciated in every bite.  Between the two owners, there are over 30 years of food service experience. After taking a look at our menu, it will become clear that we enjoy creating food that is both delicious and always uniquely different.”

(All pictures courtesy of Facebook)

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Check out our special menu (Warning–Your mouth may start watering!!)

Mexican Steak Pita ($8.00)— Marinated Steak, lettuce, queso fresco cheese and pico served on a warm tortilla and drizzled with a Pig Tailz Chipotle sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos (2 for $5.00)— Buffalo chicken, lettuce, shredded cheese and drizzled with ranch. Served flour on tortillas.

Braised Pork Tacos (2 for $5.00)—Braised Pork, BBQ sauce and southern coleslaw served on flour tortillas.

Steak Tacos (2 for $6.00)— Marinated steak, chimichurri sauce, queso fresco cheese and red onions served on flour tortillas.

D.T.E. Nachos ($7.00)—  Braised Pork, nacho cheese, giardiniera peppers, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Served on Tortilla Chips.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos ($7.00)— Buffalo Chicken, nacho cheese, giardiniera peppers, and a drizzle of ranch.  Served on Tortilla Chips.

The Rodeo ($5.00)— Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog topped with braised pork, BBQ sauce and grilled red peppers and onions.

El Chapo ($5.00)— Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog topped with pico, queso fresco cheese and drizzled with sriracha mayo.

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As usual, cash and credit card will be accepted.

A friendly reminder… This is not a company-sponsored event. Please punch in/out as you would normally do for your lunch break. Pig Tailz has been made aware that service needs to be as speedy as possible!

Folks on Facebook are raving about PigTailz! Check out what people are saying:

– “Best steak tacos of my life. First time having them was last night at 2am, might go back today for more!”

– “Yesterday you guys catered a car show my club held and not only was the food great but the service was AMAZING, the people working the tent all had great personalities, were helpful, and knew how to put food together in a way that resembled art. Also, I heard nobody complain about the food, prices, or portions. Keep up the good work!”

– “Outstanding tacos. Flavor explosion. Will definitely eat here again.”

– “Tried the pork, steak and buffalo chicken tacos… so awesome. Will definitely have it again when we come back to the Milwaukee area!!!”

See you outside on Thursday!

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Loosen Your Belts… Fatty Patty Food Truck Coming to Waukesha!

Last month it was BBQ… this month, Burgers and Gyros!

Food Truck Lunch at Steinhafels is back, and this time The Fatty Patty will be rolling into the Corporate Store parking lot on Wednesday, July 19, serving up its wide array of gourmet homemade burgers, gyros, and delicious side dishes. They even have veggie burger and chicken options. The menu is so big, we have to present it to you in 4 parts!!

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The Fatty Patty has quickly become a staple at Milwaukee events like Chill on the Hill in Bay View and Street Eats in Catalano Square. Next week, the crew will be hanging out here in Waukesha… serving lunch to our employees, and any local residents who’d like to come by and try a little something different for lunch.

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You can find the Fatty Patty’s page right HERE on Facebook for more information. In addition to mouth-watering pictures, there’s a bunch of rave reviews on the Facebook page, including:

Impressive burger! I love burgers and couldn’t be happier that we randomly found this truck! This may be my favorite burger spot now in a city that has many great burgers.”

“This was literally the greatest thing of all time. 10/10 recommend this fantastic burger food truck. Friendly staff give a welcoming feeling and are quick to help decide which burger to indulge into. Phatty patty will NOT disappoint.”

“Awesome Gyro! Will definitely stop anytime.”

The Fatty Patty Food Truck will be at Steinhafels Corporate on Highway F on Wednesday, July 19 from 11-1:30pm. Cash and Credit Cards are accepted. Hope to see you there!!

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Lessons Learned in Riverwest Helped Steinhafels Grow

Steinhafels is proud to have its roots firmly planted in the Milwaukee area.  But did you know some of the company’s core values were first established in one of the city’s most eclectic and historic neighborhoods?

Today, Riverwest is known for its trendy shops, restaurants, and bars.  However, the neighborhood boasts a rich history of generations of families growing up in its homes, local parishes and corner stores, and lively parks for children to play.

As you’ll see in the article below… the neighborhood also helped bestow on John E. Steinhafel some of the core values the company continues to cherish today.

Check it out!  Click HERE for a higher resolution version.

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UPDATE: Generosity Overflowing!!!

UPDATE:  The Back 2 School Bash was a great success!! Thanks to the generosity of Steinhafels employees and other community members, more than 200 kids received grade-appropriate backpacks, and had fun-filled weekend including music, roller skating, and games. Two kids also won bikes donated by Dreambikes!

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Wow… Steinhafels employees are super awesome :)

A few weeks ago some employees on the Waukesha Sales Team started their annual Back to School Drive.  The supplies will be distributed to inner city children at the 4th Annual Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash.  What started as a grassroots effort has grown into a yearly event.

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As usual, employees have stepped up and donated pencils, markers, backpacks, etc.  Our employees have always been compassionate about the community, and are always willing to give back.

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But this year feels extra special.  In light of the recent events in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park Neighborhood, it seems more important than ever that we come together and support the children and families in our city.

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As you can see in these pictures, the backpacks are starting to overflow!!  Just imagine the looks on these kids’ faces when they open up their new bookbags full of awesome supplies (some of the big kids even get earbuds for their computers!)

The best part–it’s not too late to give!!  Katie and Cheri have more backpacks to fill, and if anyone wants to give money they can put it in the envelope on Katie’s desk in the store office.

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You can also show your support by coming out to the event!!  Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash is Saturday August 27 from 11am-7pm, in the 2500 block of North 38th Street in Milwaukee.

Check out the original blog HERE

Fisher House & Steinhafels: Helping Military Families Find a Home Away From Home

It’s a project more than 5 years in the making, but the Fisher House Wisconsin is now officially open for business!  Steinhafels is proud to have played a part in making that happen.

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The Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.  There are currently 70 locations on the grounds of military and VA medical facilities throughout the United States, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom.  The program began in 1990.

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Steinhafels knew right away that this was a project we wanted to be a part of.  As Marketing Director Dirk Stallmann explains, “The Fisher House is such a wonderful way to give back to the men and women serving our country, particularly those who are recovering from injury or illness.  Providing a convenient place for their families to stay during their time of need provides countless benefits.”

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Wisconsin’s new Fisher House sits on the picturesque campus of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.  Steinhafels was honored to be invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 23.

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It was a gorgeous day for the ceremony, and hundreds came out to recognize our brave heroes.  The program began with a Presentation of the Colors and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.  Distinguished guests included retired military, medical professionals, and Ken Fisher–CEO and Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation.

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However, the most touching part of the morning was definitely an emotional speech by Michael Halula.  Michael’s son David sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2007 during a car crash.  It happened just before he was scheduled to deploy.  After receiving acute care at the Milwaukee VA, David was transferred to the Minneapolis VA for rehab.  He remained there for 11 months.  During that time, Michael and his wife visited David on the weekends, and stayed at the Minneapolis VA Fisher House.  Their story is just one example of the 277,000 families served by Fisher Houses since 1990.

Steinhafels takes part in many community events, but this one is extra special.  As Stallmann notes, “We are in the business to help create the home of our customers’ dreams, and the Fisher House Wisconsin was a perfect tie.”

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But we are just one small piece of this amazing puzzle.  This project truly shows how generous the people of Milwaukee are, and how much we support our veterans.  We are the first community ever to raise enough funds for a Fisher House before construction even began!  This wasn’t all that surprising to those who live here in Wisconsin.  As Stallmann explains, “When seeing the house, my heart swelled with pride for our entire state.  This house was built with the love and generosity of so many donors, and serves as another example of why Wisconsin is so special.”

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The home has a cozy feeling, but measures a roomy 13,000 square feet.  It includes 16 private suites and a communal kitchen and living area for people traveling at least 50 miles to be with family members getting treatment at the VA medical center.  Those who attended Saturday’s ceremony got a chance to get a first glimpse inside the home!

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If the house is at capacity, the Fisher House will pay for those families to stay in a nearby hotel.  This truly shows the foundation’s commitment to our community, our veterans, and their families.  We are so proud to be a part of this fantastic mission!

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Click HERE for a full gallery of photos from the ceremony and house tour.

Click HERE for video of the ribbon-cutting.

Click HERE for behind-the-scenes video from the house tour!

 

2015 Year in Review: A Year of Giving and Growing!

2015 has been a big year for our company.  From continuing long-standing partnerships with local organizations, to making new friends in the community, to breaking ground on a multi-million dollar warehouse expansion… there’s never a dull moment here at Steinhafels.  We’d like to now briefly share a few of our favorite moments with you — as we look back at the year that was, and look forward to the new adventures 2016 has in store.

March 2015:  House of Hope Donation with the Kuhn Family

A home.  It’s something most of us take for granted.  For some people, finding a place to call home is a daily struggle.  The ‘House of Hope’ in Green Bay is hoping to change that.  Steinhafels is still new to the Fox Valley market, and we are excited to partner with The Green Bay Press Gazette, and help House of Hope in its fight against homelessness.  On this particular day we donated various pieces of furniture to help update the House, and make it more of a welcoming environment for those who need it most.  Packers Fullback John Kuhn and his wife Lindsey were also on hand for the event!

WATCH VIDEO FROM THIS SPECIAL DAY

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April 2015:  “Five Words on Freedom” documentary premiere

Steinhafels is proud to partner with the Journal Sentinel and Pick ‘n Save in supporting the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  The Flight honors all vets by flying World War Two, Korean War, and terminally ill vets to D.C. to visit their memorials.  A documentary crew followed the vets and special guest, Brewers star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, on a recent flight.  The documentary premiered at Steinhafels’ Corporate Center in Waukesha.  Here’s a behind the scenes look at the big event!

WATCH VIDEO OF THE PREMIERE!

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May 2015:  “Keeping Tradition Alive in Pewaukee”

Fireworks on Pewaukee Lake have been a tradition for more than 25 years. However, due to the strained economy and funding challenges many communities are facing, the city’s hands were tied and leaders weren’t sure they could fund the annual event.  Steinhafels joined in Pewaukee’s ‘GoFundMe’ project to help save the fireworks.  Steinhafels pledged to match the final donation amount, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.

Boaters on Pewaukee Lake watch a distant fireworks display to the west while waiting for the annual July 4th fireworks at Pewaukee's Lakefront Park on Thursday, July 4, 2013.

July 2015:  Groundbreaking for New Warehouse

As business continues to grow, Steinhafels is expanding its headquarters to match.  This July we broke ground on a more than 100,000-square-foot expansion at our Pewaukee facility.  An increased demand for quality furniture has led to this need for more space.  We’re constantly looking for more hard-working, dedicated people to join our team!  The expansion will take place in two phases, and ultimately add hundreds of employees to our company’s workforce.

“We’re breaking ground to accommodate the growth we’ve experienced, both with same-store sales with the economy picking up, and with the stores we’ve opened through the purchase from American (TV and Appliance),” president Gary Steinhafel told a local media outlet covering the event.

WATCH VIDEO OF THE GROUNDBREAKING!

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October 2015:  Design for a Difference

We can’t forget our community neighbors to the West!  This was our first year taking part in ‘Design For a Difference’.  Steinhafels was one of many local companies to help with this Extreme Makeover-style redesign at the ‘Center For Families’ in Madison, which helps families in crisis.  Thank you Floor 360 for inviting us to take part in this wonderful event.

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October 2015:  Kathy’s House Donation

We were excited to partner with Kathy’s House in Milwaukee for the first time this Fall.  Kathy’s House provides rooms for families who come from out of town and have a loved one in the hospital.  Thanks to some help from Tempur-Pedic, we were able to supply Kathy’s House with new mattresses and frames… so family members have a comfortable place to sleep during a traumatic time in their lives.

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October and December 2015:  Condella’s Coats for Kids

Steinhafels, Fox 6, and the Salvation Army team up every year for ‘Condella’s Coats for Kids’.  This year we held two coat drives at our Corporate store.  The community’s generosity was overwhelming, as volunteers collected hundreds of coats that will cleaned and distributed to children who need them throughout Milwaukee.  Those who donated also got 2 free tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters on New Years Eve!!

WATCH VIDEO OF FOX 6 NEWS COVERING THE EVENT!

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December 2015:  CBS 58 Toy Shop

Families in Milwaukee continue to struggle during these difficult economic times.  This is especially evident during the Christmas Holiday Season.  The Salvation Army ‘Toy Shop’ provides an opportunity for parents to choose from donated new toys so their children will have presents on Christmas Day, even if the family cannot afford to buy toys.  Barrels to accept toys were set up at all Steinhafels stores in southeast Wisconsin.

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As we look ahead to the next year, we are constantly working to update our retail stores and our online services, to make your shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.  We want to hear from you!  Please, feel free to comment on our blog at any time, or give one of our friendly customer service agents a call.  We wish you and yours a wonderful New Year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!

The Hottest Dining Room Trends

Steinhafels is proud to be a partner with OnMilwaukee for “Dining Month 2015″.

The month has included various articles about local restaurants and bars, and has also featured the #dineinwinbig contest that Steinhafels is taking part in.  One lucky winner will get a new dining set and a meal cooked by a professional chef!

As we wrap up the month, we wanted to take a look at some of the top trends when it comes to furnishing the dining space in your home.

The formal dining room is something of the past, but enjoying a meal together in the comfort of your home is something that is still cherished.

Our blog post this week can be found on the OnMilwaukee website.  Check it out!

http://onmilwaukee.com/sponsored/articles/6diningroomtrends.html