At Steinhafels we are known for our beautiful showrooms and high quality furniture, but it’s never lost on us that the number one reason for our success is our employees. Without our dedicated, hard-working employees, we would just be another store. It sounds cheesy, but we truly are a family here.
There are many different ways we promote that family feeling–potlucks, team events, internal contests, and an on-site basketball court–just to name a few.
Today, we take a look at an even simpler, more grassroots form of building office camaraderie. It’s one of Milwaukee’s oldest pastimes–one that lets individuals thrive on their own, and as a team. It’s a simple game that anyone can play, but takes practice and patience to excel at.
We’re talking… BOWLING!
A small group of employees gather on Monday nights at the New Berlin Ale House. It’s the team’s first year, so they’re still working out the kinks.
Team Captain, and Steinhafels HR Administrative Assistant Jimmy Eagle Jr., says it’s been a great addition to his weekly schedule. “My number one priority is taking care of employees being in HR, and when you’re out bowling with friends it’s getting to know each other better, so it’s kinda the same aspect.”
Jimmy has been bowling most of his life, so strikes and spares come pretty easy to him. NAS Coordinator Luke Greely is still relatively new to the office, and admittedly VERY new to competitive bowling. He jokes, “I’m enjoying it. I’m learning. Yeah, I’ll definitely continue on bowling leagues.. now that I’ve got my own ball, my own shoes.. I kinda have to!”
Software Engineer Jake Miller admits his sport of choice is golf, but was willing to give bowling a try. He says both take technique and practice, which he enjoys.
He also likes how it encourages building friendships at the office. “It helps to get people talking, makes the workplace more enjoyable, to have people to talk with. That’s one of the things Steinhafels is great for–good people, good company–and a bunch of snacks around the office.”
That is true–there’s never a lack of goodies, thanks to our generous co-workers!
While it may be awhile until they reach the prowess of the The Dude and Walter Sobchak, the Steinhafels Bowling Team is having a good time, and building invaluable chemistry that you can’t always get within the same 4 walls, 40 hours a week!
Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is known for his slick moves and poise on the football field, but it’s what he’s doing off the field that truly has some families in Wisconsin proud to call him their favorite Packer.
Cobb and his wife Aiyda are involved with “Gold in September,” a childhood cancer non-profit dedicated to increasing funding for childhood cancer research.
Gold In September (G9) was created by Annie Bartosz of Hartland. Annie’s twin brother Jack was diagnosed with cancer when they were just 4 years old. Jack died after battling for almost 7 years, and Annie became determined to turn the world “Gold” In September for every child.
G9 partners with Centers of Excellence Hospitals across the country–which can offer Phase 1 Clinical Trials. G9 also works with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for these various hospitals in just a few short years. You can learn more about how to donate to G9 HERE.
Cobb recently joined in the fight, and Annie actually first got to meet him at a recent event at our Appleton store!! To see her reaction when she first met one of her football idols was just priceless.
Annie recalls that special moment. “It was really cool. I was obviously blown away, since he’s one of my favorite football players. I was also blown away by the fact that he’s just so humble and down to earth despite being a Wisconsin celebrity and NFL celebrity. And just…he’s not trying to take credit for anything. He just wants to do his part in helping the world be a better place, and I think that’s really cool.”
The event was a special appearance by Cobb and fundraiser for G9. Cobb, Annie, and her mother Sarah all took a few minutes to speak to the crowd, and Cobb was gracious enough to take pictures with guests. The event was produced by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Wisconsin. Check out this video we produced to hear Cobb’s special message for all of us.
We spoke with Sarah and Annie briefly after the event–about their struggles with losing a brother, son, father, and husband to cancer (Annie’s father John died a couple years ago after succumbing to the long term effects of cancer treatments he had years ago). Their story truly is heartbreaking and inspiring one that we can all learn from.
Steinhafels: What is the G9 message?
Sarah: Gold in September is a very simple concept. Gold (G) is the color for childhood cancer, and September (9) is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I think awareness will drive action, and what we really want people to do is think about Gold in September, in the month of September, as awareness month. But now we have 11 months of action. It is every day–there are children diagnosed every day, there are children dying…every day. That cannot be our reality. We want to make sure kids not only survive, but thrive, following a cancer diagnosis. And when the community comes together, not only are we supplying funding for new research and clinical trials, but really, that’s the hope that families need to be able to put one foot in front of the other, day after day, in the face of something that is so incredibly unbelievable, and difficult to handle.
Steinhafels: How do you do it, after all you’ve been through?
Sarah: I don’t know. There are days I’d like to just lay in bed. I miss my son Jack tremendously, I can’t even put into words. He should be turning 16 and taking Drivers Ed classes. My husband John was diagnosed in his early 20’s, and survived another 20 years, but died in his 40’s. When you ask how do I do this…I don’t want anyone else to feel like this. I don’t want anyone else to feel the sadness and despair that our family feels. We have more laughter in our house than tears, I’m proud to say that. We know that’s what Jack and John would want, and we’re just trying to fulfill the hope and enthusiasm they brought towards life. We can do that for ourselves and help people along the way as we go.
Steinhafels: Annie, you’re just a kid, but you’ve been through alot. What do you want to tell other kids who are struggling?
Annie: I want to let other kids know they’re not alone, and they can do their part in making a difference in the world, whether it’s helping one kid have a smile on their face today, or helping many kids hopefully have the chance to survive cancer. And I just think you can do anything you put your mind to. I never thought Gold in September would be this big–so let your dreams run wild, cuz you never know what will come from them.
Well put Annie–LET YOUR DREAMS RUN WILD! It’s events like these that truly bring us all together as a community, and we at Steinhafels hope this is just the beginning of a long partnership with Annie, Sarah, Cobb, and Gold in September.
We’ve all heard the saying “The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach.” Well, the same can often be said for our co-workers.
Here at Steinhafels we are all about family, and families are all about food. Most days you can find some sort of random communal offering on a table or counter in our offices–cake, cookies, bagels, chips, dips, pizza–you name it, we’ve got it!
So it’s no surprise that our staff in Appleton took it to the next level, and held a Chili Contest!
Sales Manager Susanne Stilwell first got the pot simmering for the idea. She explains, “In the summer we had a potluck, and people liked exchanging recipes.. and chili came up, but of course in the summertime that’s not what you think about.”
But it’s perfect for the fall!
So the store held a Chili Contest for any employees interested in entering. As you can imagine, it was a great success, and even helped with team building. Susanne says, “It brings everybody together and gets them to talk about something other than work. And you might recognize one of your sales co-worker competitors on the floor as a real person.”
It’s also great to see this team-building activity at the newest market to join the Steinhafels family! The team plans to bring the contest back next year, and make it an annual event.
Some of the entries even got prizes! Here’s a list of the lucky winners.
-Meatiest Chili (Cyndi VanLanen)
-Best Overall Chili (Julianne Kanugh)
-Spiciest Chili (Sarah Chaignot)
-Wimpiest Chili (Nancy Sargent)
Are you hungry yet? The temps are falling and it’s prime season for comfort food… and fellowship. If you didn’t take a prize this time, you’ll have plenty of time to practice during these cold, winter months.