Employee Spotlight: Kylie Fanning

By Kylie Fanning – Senior Recruiter at Grafton Staffing

Kylie FanningI am a senior recruiter for Grafton, with a strong focus in customer service and slowly working my way into recruiting for the science field.

On an average day, being a recruiter can be hectic. My days consist of calling and screening candidates, conducting in person interviews and presenting potential employees to our clients, and of course… more calling and sourcing candidates for the following day.

How did you get into the industry?

I stumbled into a seasonal recruiter position in 2014 and found the career path I will forever enjoy. When I was first introduced into this industry, I had no idea what I was doing. I was really, really young and couldn’t find the path I wanted to take in life. In staffing, I found a passion I never knew was there. I love coming to work knowing that I get the opportunity to help so many people, whether it’s our clients, our candidates, or my teammates.

Favorite Quotes

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it” – Amelia Earhart

“If the risk is fully aligned with your purpose and mission, then it’s worth considering” Peter Diamandis

How do you define success?

I am a firm believer in setting personal goals and achieving them. There is no greater feeling than achieving your goals and being proud of yourself. But at the same time staying humble and remembering where you came from. Giving your best effort to achieve your goals, overcoming all your fears, and learning to find the positive in any negative situation is how I would define success.

Employee Spotlight: Michael Bollinger

Grafton Companies LogoPeriodically, we’re going to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

Name

Michael Bollinger

Title

Operations & Business Development

How long have you worked for Grafton?

Since October 2017

How did you get into the industry?

I took an inside sales job when I got out of college selling internet advertising. While I was very successful, I didn’t find that line of work something I was truly passionate about.

I had a friend who worked for a staffing company who was kind enough to set me up with an interview with the owner, and after a 2.5-hour interview/conversation, I accepted a traveling position.

Long story short, my first day I was instructed to report to the manufacturing facility 2.5 hours away from home and jumped right into the deep end. I then spent the next two years of my life on the road. I was traveling all over the country, managing onsite staffing with account sizes ranging from 50-1,200 employees.

I found my home and my passion in the staffing industry. It’s hard to put into words the levels of emotions, experiences and rewards I’ve been blessed with on many different levels.

Favorite Quote

  • A kick in the a** is a step forward
  • “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

What values are important to you?

  1. Honesty
  2. Drive
  3. Accountability
  4. Ability to be coachable
  5. Communication
  6. Teamwork
Michael Bollinger

Michael Bollinger

What’s your favorite food?

  • Steak (medium rare)
  • Hot wings
  • My mom’s homemade pizza

What’s your favorite movie?

  • Top Gun
  • Tommy Boy
  • Invincible

Favorite Hobby

  1. Sporting events and concerts
  2. Golf
  3. Playing intramural sports (softball, lacrosse, golf league)
  4. Coaching wrestling
  5. Spending time at the lake

What’s on your bucket list?

Technically my mom took me to Super Bowl XXV in 1991, as I was about 6 weeks from being born. I would really like to return the favor and take her to attend a Super Bowl… hopefully watching the Chiefs!

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

Treat the job search like a professional fisherman. Before any fisherman hits the water, they make sure to research the lake, the weather, the tackle needed, etc. A lot of people will go on job sites and blindly apply to jobs without even doing any research.

It’s important to do research on companies, positions, values etc. That being said, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Make sure to have as many lines in the water as possible. When interviewing, always be positive and let your personality shine!

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

I hit a hole in one on a 179-yard par 3 with a 5 iron on the 2nd hole at the Shawnee Mission Country Club golf course. For anyone who has seen my golf game, I’m sure this comes as a pretty big shock!

What was your favorite vacation?

I have a very large family. There’s about 30 of us and we always take a family vacation once a year. We went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina a few summers ago. The level of chaos is exactly what you would imagine, but I don’t regret a second of it.

How do you define success?

I believe that true success is defined in many different ways. There are obvious measurements like financial, social status, etc. For me, success comes from achieving true happiness via internal fulfillment through my career and family life.

I was once told that, as long as I do the things I’m supposed to do to ensure that I meet my responsibilities in my professional and personal life, that everything will be okay. I’ve found this to be 100% accurate and it’s become a part of my life motto.

If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?

Mark Wahlberg. I admire Mark on so many different levels. It would take several pages to share the reasons for this. It really comes down to the fact that Mark has overcome so many different obstacles in his life to get where he is. Even with those obstacles, he still continues to push forward to better himself and to make a difference in the world. I love the fact that Mark never allows himself to become comfortable or take his success for granted.

If you could witness a historical event, what would you want to see?

I would’ve loved to have been able to witness Brett Favre’s Monday Night performance on December 22, 2003. Brett’s father had passed away on Dec. 21, 2003, and he showed up the very next day, in the national spotlight, and passed for 399 yards and four touchdowns. I’d already been a huge fan of his, but that moment showed me how a champion and leader responds in time of hardship and adversity.

What three words best describe you?

  1. Leader
  2. Humorous
  3. Fearless

Employee Spotlight: Rich Lewis

Grafton Companies LogoPeriodically, we’re going to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

Name

Richard Lewis

Title

Vice President-Sales/Operations

How long have you worked for Grafton?

Since June 2006

How did you get into the industry?

Funny story actually. We moved from Texas to Kansas City early in 1998 and I was circling ads in the Sunday KC Star. Before the internet, ads didn’t tell you much.
I answered the ad and they never contacted me. I was the perfect fit for the five bullet points they listed.  I sent them a comparison letter by fax and interviewed the next day.

At first, I thought I was going to manage a lab, etc. based on what they were looking for. To my surprise, I ended up in the Commerce Bank building on 87th street. I went to a suite on the 3rd floor and asked the receptionist what they did, and she said, “Scientific Staffing”.

Look, I’m “a hick from the sticks”, so I had no idea what staffing was or even what she was explaining to me. However, since I was in the room, I thought I should give it a listen. Long story short, it ended up being my career match. I started March 1, 1999, and have never looked back or second guessed my decision. I was home in the staffing industry.

What values are important to you? 

  1. Integrity
  2. Wisdom
  3. Compassion
  4. Honesty
  5. Commitment
  6. Loyalty
  7. Service (family, community, etc.)
  8. Belief in others
Rich Lewis

Rich Lewis

What’s your favorite food?

  1. My wife’s swiss steak with mashed potatoes
  2. Sushi
  3. Just a good ole Rib-Eye (medium rare)

What’s your favorite movie? 

  1. Adult Drama – The Power of One and Shawshank Redemption tie. (Both Morgan Freeman)
  2. Kid Drama – The Harry Potter Series
  3. Comedy – The Water Boy
  4. Adult Comedy – The Hangover
  5. Animated – The Lion King & Hotel Transylvania are a tie.

Favorite Hobbies

  1. Golf
  2. Attending concerts/sporting events(football/baseball)
  3. Fantasy Football
  4. DIY Projects
  5. Shooting Trap/Sporting Clays
  6. Coaching baseball

What is your favorite quote(s)?

“Immature is a word boring people use to describe fun people.” – Will Ferrell

“The world is more impressed with the power of our example, rather than the example of our power.” – President Bill Clinton

People do not plan to fail, they fail to plan!

We must educate to motivate!

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d really like to take the family to Hawaii. In addition, I’d love to take all the boys to the Netherlands so they could learn about their mother’s (Annika’s) heritage.  She immigrated to the U.S. when she was 16 and now we’re a family of five (three boys -18,16,13).

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

  1. Plan your search
  2. Research the organizations you’re interviewing with.
  3. Prepare for your interview. Questions to ask, clarification of position, etc.
  4. Accept offers that are written and signed. Get all details in writing. If anything isn’t included in the offer letter, you should assume it’s NOT included in the offer.
  5. Be wary of organizations or agencies that demand/require you to resign your current position without notice.
  6. Divulge any future vacations, appointments, etc. before you start your new position.

What’s something about you that would surprise people? 

  1. I was an active member of Crime Stoppers when I was in high school. I would re-enact the crimes (as the criminal) for the nightly news. I robbed a jewelry store, ran a meth lab, vandalized a school, etc. (I was a bad man…LOL!)
  2. I was a top swimmer growing up and qualified for Junior Olympics and the Olympic Trials. I missed my shot because I broke my foot playing basketball..barefooted.  I was told not to, but unfortunately, I learned many things the hard way when I was younger.

What was your favorite vacation? 

Annika and I traveling to Jamaica for a week. Just the two of us.

How do you define success?

Success is defined by who you are and the person you aspire to be. Success is when what you’re doing allows you and others to lead better lives. Success is creating/leading a business that empowers its employees and customers alike.

If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why? 

Chameleon. It’s important to understand your surroundings and what’s important to others. We’re all unique, have different personalities and diverse and interesting backgrounds. It’s good to walk, and understand, the path others have traveled.

If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?

I would interview Morgan Freeman. He’s an extremely talented actor, has had many experiences in life, and made movies about a host of divisive subjects. The Power of One is powerful and about apartheid in South Africa. Inspirational. He’s always been a person I enjoyed watching in movies or listening to in documentaries about science, religion and nature. He’s used his celebrity to do good for many people. I would love to meet him.

If you could witness a historical event, what would you want to see?

The end of the American Revolution (Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution). Of course, seeing the first man on the moon or Apollo 11 would have been cool too.

What three words best describe you?

  1. Loyal
  2. Accountable
  3. Humorous

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was 14, I wanted a go-cart I could race, so I asked my stepdad and mom if they would get me one or build me one. They said no, but I didn’t hear them. I kept asking. I was either going to be successful or get grounded for asking all the time but the reward was worth the risk.

My stepdad said “I have a job for you. You will do this over the next 3 months. You will work on the farm and pull weeds from the soybean fields with the farm hands/workers. You will pull all the potatoes and process them from your mother’s garden. (literally the size of a football field) You will reload shotgun shells for my shooting competitions.”

Not an ideal job. Not an easy job. But I got a YES and I could get my go-cart if I just worked hard every day. So I did. I showed up every day, did my job the right way and earned my go-cart. My dad built it from the ground up. It was awesome and I won some races. I think it did about 55-60 MPH. Pretty fast, especially when you’re four inches off the ground.

It was a weird job but it was WORTH IT!!

Employee Spotlight – Todd Hickam

Grafton Companies LogoPeriodically, we’re going to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

Name
Todd Hickam

Title
Account Manager

How long have you worked for Grafton?
3 years as of October 2018

How did you get into the industry?

I worked in the newspaper industry for 17 years. Once the internet came along, that industry wasn’t doing well so I decided to try staffing. I’ve loved it ever since.

Favorite Quote

“It’s all practice for the big game!”

What values are important to you?

Loyalty, trust, and honesty.

Todd Hickam

Todd Hickam

What’s your favorite food?

It would have to be a toss-up between Mexican and Italian.

What’s your favorite movie?

Hands down….Rocky!

Favorite Hobby

I love to play golf.

What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to travel the world someday.

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

Always keep your resume current.
Research the company you’re interviewing with.
After every interview follow-up with a handwritten thank you note.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

I love old Kung Fu movies.

What was your favorite vacation?

Maui, Hawaii

How do you define success?

Happiness. You must find a balance between life and work.

If you could interview one person who would it be and why?

Bill Murray, because he just cracks me up.

If you could witness a historical event, what would you want to see?

I would’ve loved to have been ringside to watch Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman when they fought, ”The Rumble in the Jungle.”

What three words best describe you?

Loyal, funny, and loquacious.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked as a bellman for two years at the Adam’s Mark Hotel when I was in college.

Employee Spotlight – Teri Amyx

Grafton Companies Logo

Periodically, we’re going to use our blog to highlight some of the awesome employees who work for Grafton. It’s our way of giving you a “behind the scenes” look at the people who make us what we are.

How long have you worked for Grafton?

14 years. I started in the Executive Recruiting Division and spent 5 years there…and then I moved to the Scientific Division.

How did you get into the field?

While living in Alabama, I went on an interview for a Finance Manager role and ended up working for the recruiting company that was sourcing for the position. I love what I do, and take a lot of pride in bringing the right candidates to my clients.

Favorite Quote

“If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got.” (But if you ask my co-workers they would say they constantly hear me say “Recent and relevant.”)

Teri Amyx

Teri Amyx

What values are important to you?

Honesty, integrity and loyalty.

What is your favorite food?

I truly think I could live off chips and salsa, so I guess Mexican food would be my favorite.

What is your favorite movie?

I have so many favorites but the one that comes to mind is ” Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. Growing up I would watch this movie with my Mom and we would sing along to every song. My Mom made sure my sister and I watched all the old classical musicals. To this day we can still “belt” out a few show tunes.

Favorite Hobby:

Refinishing furniture, and making home decor or crafts. I love making vs. buying so that each piece has a story.

What is on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to pack a bag and take a one-week adventure with no plan or destination in mind. Go down those roads you’ve passed so many times and see where they take you. Find a few Mom and Pop Diners, no GPS, just pull out the atlas and go. Imagine the stories and people you would meet.

What advice do you give to a new grad?

You won’t know what you really want to do until you actually do it. It may not be the first job or second job, but you will find it. Be patient. Use the first few years out of college to learn what it’s like in a structured work environment and be open to new challenges no matter how scary they may seem.

Oh, and put the cell phone away and start using an alarm clock. HA HA!

Something about me that would surprise people?

I’m a bit of a hermit. On the weekends you might find me reading, gardening, lounging poolside, or rocking my new grandson Easton. I rarely make plans. I just see where the day takes me. And I’m a huge “car singer.” If you pull up next to me I could be rocking to old school Earth, Wind and Fire, Styx, Maroon 5 or anything that’s on the radio. Yes, I’m that person you’ve laughed at.