Employee Spotlight: Marsha Hill Pouppirt

Grafton Staffing: Marsha PouppirtBy Marsha Hill Pouppirt, Office Administrator at Grafton Staffing

Who am I:

Mother of three, Dog Lover, Believer in staying Positive, Love of the Native American Indians and Southwest, Dedicated to Success

I am a Mother of three girls but working as the Office Administrator at Grafton I feel that I am the Mother of THIRTEEN. Yes, it’s true we work very closely as a team at Grafton. That being said, we’re like a family here.

I’ve been told I am the glue that keeps the days running smoothly. From greeting applicants, running backgrounds, screening calls, reviewing documents making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, “Paper Patrol” and encouraging a positive environment.

Favorite quotes:

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow” ~ Helen Keller

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us be thankful.”~ Buddha

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill

Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better” ~Harvey Mackay

Call to Action

Be SIGNIFICANT

Never think that you have no influence whatsoever. Your trace, which you leave behind with even a few good deeds, cannot be erased.

Employee Spotlight: Jeff Hagen, President of Grafton Staffing

By Jeff Hagen – President of Grafton Staffing

Jeff HagenHow long have you worked for Grafton?

Just 19 years. It’s been a great place for me to grow in my career. I started out filing and working on reports for our accounting department. Eventually, I settled into the CFO role for a number of years. I was asked to be President in 2010 and started getting out of the office more.

I’ve been able to focus on some community and regional initiatives. We’ve built a successful training program. We’ve helped community leaders prioritize talent development programs. That was quite a change for the introvert I am/was. It’s been fun.

It’s difficult to believe how far I’ve come when I think of the young(er) man I was 19 years ago.

What advice would you give to a job applicant?

Obviously, I’ve seen a lot in my days here. If I had more time I would write a book on the subject. So here is my answer… If I ever needed to find another place to work, I would spend as much time interviewing the company as they do interviewing me.

Do some research. Ask questions! A paycheck is important, but enjoying your work and who you are working for matters a lot. You can’t learn those things without asking good questions across multiple interviews.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

I’ve started to use Star Wars LEGO as nick-knacks in my house. I love Star Wars. I love LEGO. (I just have to be vigilant when younger kids come to visit.)

What was your favorite vacation?

The first time I took my two daughters to Nashville.

Neither of my daughters were big country music fans. We got tickets to the Grand ol’ Opry. They must have been 10-12 years old at the time. Each had a dress to wear that night, but once we got to town they decided they needed cowboy boots to wear with them. It was so much fun to see them run around trying on different boots. They wore the boots out of the store and wouldn’t take them off the rest of the night!

Little Jimmie Dickens was the host back then, and the girls just fell in love with his bright blue sequin jacket and sense of humor. We had a great time, and both have been country music fans ever since.

How do you balance your career at Grafton and family?

My teenage daughters are still talking to me, so I think I’ve done OK.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to make their events a priority. We also find time to spend with each other one-on-one. I’ll take one of the girls out to dinner while their Mom takes the other. Thankfully they both like baseball so we’ve spent a lot of time out at the K.

Of course, working on a laptop while watching TV or after they went to bed was fairly common. My goal was to be present with them when they were around, and work when they were doing other things. I enjoy working and they understand that. I’ve been fortunate my family understands and supports that.

Employee Spotlight: Scotti Mizner

By Scotti Mizner – Senior Recruiter at Grafton Staffing

Grafton Staffing: Scotti MiznerMy name is Scotti Mizner, and I’m a Senior Recruiter at Grafton Staffing. I started working here in August of 2018. Last year, I’d been laid off of my first recruiting position in January. After working 3 different jobs in those eight months, I was still looking to find a job I enjoyed. That’s when Matt called me asking if I was still looking for a position.

Matt Delair had been my boss at my first staffing company. He’d left that company and was now at Grafton. I met with him and the President of Grafton, Jeff Hagen. We talked about what I was currently doing and what I wanted to be doing. After talking about how I would like to be in the staffing world again, I was offered the position!

How did you get into the industry?

I’d been let go from a banking position. I called my wife to let her know, and her co-worker had known someone looking to hire a recruiter for a temp agency. I spoke to that individual the next day, and then met him in person. And I started working for my first staffing agency position the next week. I’m a completionist and I do better with deadlines. Believe it or not, I like to be put under pressure because that’s when I excel. The world of staffing is perfect for me.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’m a big baseball fan (Go Cards!) Eventually, I would like to be able to visit every ball park. I haven’t made a big effort towards completing that goal, but I’ve been to Kauffman (Kansas City Royals) and Bush Stadium II (St. Louis Cardinals) multiple times. I’d love to start adding to that list and see some of the “classic” stadiums that have so much baseball history in them.

Favorite Quote

“Show me a gracious loser and I will show you a failure.” Knute Rockne

“Yesterday’s home runs, don’t win today’s games” Babe Ruth

This one is a big one. Every day is starting back over from zero. Just because you had a great day yesterday doesn’t mean you can ride the coat tails into the rest of the week. Keep going forward every day and trying to “win” the day.

Favorite Vacation

Every summer my wife and our friend group take a vacation somewhere. It has turned into something we all look forward to, be able to relax a couple nights and enjoy each other’s company. Last year, we decided to stay somewhat local and go to The Lake of the Ozarks. It was nice to just be able to drive a couple hours and be somewhere for the weekend, complete relaxation. We spent most of our day on the lake just relaxing and not doing much at all. We came back with lots of stories, and I hope we are able to go back again soon.

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.