fill the pipeline
golf outing edition
Manufacturing in Full Swing!
Valley industrial Association
Valley Industrial Association
MTH Pumps & 2018
VIA Board Chairman
July 4th or Independence Day as it is more properly called, has always been a day to celebrate our independence from Britain & the birth of a new nation (even though the Continental Congress technically voted for independence on July 2nd, for the history buffs). Regardless, there seems to be no end to the parades, decorations, fireworks, and other special events designed to instill pride in our country on this day. I recently attended the VIA’s Executive Forum on the subject of “How to get your employees to care as much about your business as you do”, and found that one of the central themes was to figure out ways to instill pride in each team member about the company and for the work that they do. While I would not presume to compare the beginnings of a new company to the creation of a new nation, it struck me that if celebrating the birth of our nation could instill pride, perhaps celebrating the birth of our company could do something similar.
For my company, we celebrated our 50th anniversary three years back in a big way with a family lunch cruise on Lake Michigan during the Chicago Air & Water Show. I received many positive comments on that trip and I dare say that I saw pride in many of our team members to know that their company wanted to include their families in such an event. While that was a memorable time for everyone that attended, I realized that we have not celebrated pride in our company on our anniversary since then, even in a small way. Running, let alone starting a company is not an easy task and I think we should all take time each year to recognize the beginnings of our own companies and just maybe it might help instill a little pride in what we each do on a daily basis. While I don’t think you need to book a family cruise for the entire organization, I do believe that celebrating your company anniversary or perhaps a Team appreciation day once a year to help build your culture and connect your team (and their families) with the roots of the organization, just might help them show a little pride in what they do, and in my opinion, that’s a big part of the battle.
The FREE Executive Forum, I mentioned was the best attended that we’ve had to date. A straw poll of the attendees showed there is a large amount of interest on the topic of organizational culture, so we will be attempting to schedule additional culture development programming in the near future. Perhaps even start a Culture Roundtable??? Let us know, we are here to help.
Happy Summer VIA Friends! It's hard to believe that one year has already gone by since my first day in this desk. I feel like we are really starting to gel! We began the year with some revamped programming, new committees and added more resources to the benefits as well. If you need a reminder, check out the website - OR come and get the live refresher at our Member Breakfast that we host every other month. Join us on 7-20-18.
Thank you to all who supported our VIA Golf Outing. I know it was hot, but it was such a great time. We added some extra perks this year to make it worth your $$ spent and got great reviews. We are proud to have had a 10% increase in golfers over last year (of which had a 10% increase from the year before that!). Please give us feedback on how to make it even better for 2019, or better yet - join the Golf Committee in early 2019.
Highlights from the first half of 2018:
We launched a new Website & Database
We held over 50 programs including Spark Awards, Culture Day, Educational Professional Peer Groups, Golf & More
We helped our companies connect with students for just under 400 tours.
Coming up in the 3rd Quarter:
More professional peer group programming to help hone skills,
Awesome free committees to help you collaborate to solve challenges.
Our Women's Luncheon & VIA Member Luncheon you won't want to miss!
I'm a firm believer in telling people your goals in the hopes that they can help... with that in mind:
VIA Goals for the next Quarter:
Recruit 20 new/or old Manufacturing Companies
Have a successful Women's Luncheon on 8/17 and Member Luncheon on 9/20
Revamp Spark Awards Criteria & Get Online
Make our Member Portal on the Website cool/stocked with Webinars & White papers.
Launch our VIA Job Board
Can you help us to achieve our goals? They are designed to make the Association stronger. As a non-profit we are committed to investing everything we can back into the organization; magnifying your investment in us. Please consider joining the mission. Best wishes on a great Q3!
9th | IT Lunch and Panel Discussion
14th | VIA Captive Lunch and Learn
15th | Safety: MSD's & Ergonomics
17th | Women of the VIA Luncheon
23rd | HR: Onboarding and Upward
24th | Sales: Information
members $650 - non-members $800
Safety & Substance Abuse
in the Workplace
*regisration is required
16th | Fill The Pipeline Committee
17th | Sales Success Training Workshop
18th | Engineering Meet Up
20th | Member Breakfast
23rd | Fill The Pipeline Committee
24th | Tours on Tuesday @ Precise Stamping
26th | HR: Employee Handbook Update
Labor Law & Legal
in Partnership with:
Early Bird Rate until 7/17
cocktail and beer sponsors
meet and greet sponsors
goodie bag sponsors
driving range sponsors
visit facebook.com/via.makers page for the full album
says panelist Jennifer Quinn Morales of United Scrap Metal on how to change a company culture.
At this year's Culture Day, VIA members got together for a panel discussion about how to create and sustain a culture of excellence within their organizations, featuring Spark Award Winners sharing their inspirational stories.
President and Owner of Pioneer Service, Inc., Aneesa Muthana presented with her signature passion for manufacturing, inspiring our members to "Show your team you care about them, otherwise they’ll be clock-watchers." Her biggest takeaway for success? Empathy is paramount.
A young and welcome perspective came from our panelist, Zachary McDonald, Quality Supervisor at Smith & Richardson, who encouraged our members to host many tours for aspiring manufacturers, with the caveat, "Be prepared for anything, and be flexible" when plans change. Relationships with educational institutions are built over time.
Unanimously, our panelists were in agreement about how important it is to be involved with your community, and give back. Smith and Richardson's niche is youth outreach, United Scrap is very involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, among others, and Pioneer hosts toy drives, and Aneesa participates in humanitarian missions abroad.
The keystone of a great company culture? It all starts from the top. A healthy culture doesn't happen overnight, and sometimes, cultures need to be revamped. Minds need to be changed, people need to adapt, or perhaps find a company with a culture that is a better fit for them.
No matter where you are in the culture-formation process, when trying to change culture there needs to be buy-in from the decision makers and trendsetters in order for a new culture to be sustainable.
A special thank-you to Maria Moran from IMEC for her tools presentation, which emphasized the importance of knowing what's going on within your organization, using tools such as Engagement Surveys. One key take-away was to conduct “Stay Surveys” on regular basis, instead of just Exit Surveys when it’s too late, and a team member has already decided to leave. How to be successful with your team? Maria recommends that you “adapt your style to the people that you’re working with.”
VIA is full of inspiring members, and we are already looking forward to next year's stand-outs!
In Partnership with IMECCulture Day Sponsor: K+L Storytellers
We will be digging in a couple different ways here - One will be on how we can help broadcast a consistent message for the industry and the other will be on how our companies can market themselves better by using storytelling, local economic development connections, testimonials of a happy workforce and more.
The VIA Job Board has been disassembled and is ready for a big refresh. What services are you looking for? How can we make this a tool for your tool box that will help you recruit and hire? Please join the discussion on how we can make this a great resource for our companies.
VIA Job Board
There's funding to support many initiatives: from incumbent workers to apprenticeships and many things in between. In this meeting we plan to create a comprehensive list of ways our companies can help fund workforce initiatives.
Marketing for the Industry
We will be discussing ways our VIA companies can be working with Education Groups (Administration, Counselors, and Teachers) within; WCC (and other Community Colleges), VALEES (and other EFE centers) and even JR High Schools in order to promote a strong future workforce
It all started when one of our VIA Board Members, Gail Hernly, from TekPak was invited to accompany Suzette Murray, AVP of Career & Tech Education from Waubonsee C.C to the Business Leaders United National Council of Workforce Ed in DC. The purpose: advocate for policies that support mfg jobs and address the skills gap. Gail had asked our VIA local Executives for feedback to bring to this event. It was a great opportunity to collaborate on one of the biggest challenges that our companies are facing. And knowing that this problem won't be fixed overnight - a VIA Committee called Fill the Pipeline that focuses on Workforce Development Mfg Skills Gap & STEM Development was born. Here are a few of the breakout sub-committees that are launching on July 16th/ 23rd:
No one needs to calculate the ROI on Retention vs. acquiring a new employee... it's clear. But how can we do it? Some ways identified at earlier committee meetings were; Increasing the social purpose of an organization, looking at how to understand the language of the younger worker, ways to increase the flexibility the employees crave & ways to increase the variety of work/cross training.
"How do you
at a time,"
While there is an unemployment rate of just over 4% there are potential workers that aren't in those numbers. The under-employed and returning citizens are two of those groups. Discucssion will be centered on ways to find these networks and what needs to be in place to find and support them.
Partnering With Education
Our May Member Breakfast brought prospective members, current members, and new members out to the VIA for one of our biggest Member Breakfasts to date.
During this hour and a half gathering, current VIA members had the opportunity to welcome and meet our newest VIA members. While our prospective members got an inside glimpse as to what its like to be part of the VIA. President, Kathy Gilmore presented VIA 101 which provided everyone with a brief VIA history, details on upcoming events and a quick refresher on Member Benefits.
If you haven't been to a Member Breakfast before, or just haven't stopped by in a while, this is one event that we know you will not want to miss.
“Are you here to save the earth or put some money on your bottom line? "
New Committee Launched
We look forward to seeing you at the next Member Breakfast on July 20.
said facilitator Ian Hughes , Sustainability Specialist from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
On May 16th, VIA members gathered for a roundtable discussion on how sustainability in business can actually save you money. Members shared who they were and talked a bit on how sustainability fits into their business, along with initiatives their companies focus on. Participants left with new knowledge to bring back to their business.
There are many different ways to define sustainability but Senior Scientist Gerry Trzupek, from Huff & Huff, an environmental services firm, presented a simple and clear definition, “It is meeting your generation's needs without impeding the needs of future generations.” Gerry stressed that your business needs to be sustainable itself before it can focus on the environment.
“Sustainability is about something bigger than making widgets,” Ian said, encouraging members to focus on the different ways sustainability can enhance their companies. He pointed out how that outlook can create and strengthen employee culture.
Everyone at the roundtable agreed on the importance of sustainability. The big question was where to start. One starting point that was suggested was by simply tracking your utility bill. One can reduce environmental impact by simply paying more attention to the bill.
Building on that idea, the discussion turned to installing smart thermostats and light bulbs, rebates and incentives. These are simple ways to improve efficiency and the energy use of your business. ComEd was present to share current programs and opportunities that businesses and individuals can benefit from.
The Sustainability Committee was inspired by VIA Chairman, Tim Tremain, whose company, MTH PUMPS was the 2018 Spark Awards Winner for Sustainability. His initiatives led to the scheduling of an Executive Forum where the group visited Clarke Environmental, a LEED Inspired facility and also listened to an informative program by Tim Montague from Continental Electric Construction Company on the benefits of Solar Technologies.
The Committee closed out by completing a list of topics that they would want to do a deeper dive into. The list included:
Carbon Footprint / Wastewater, Storm/Rain Water Harvesting/ Recycling Programs and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
The next meeting will be on August 22nd from 3-5pm at Aurora Specialty Textiles Group and one of the primary themes will be ISO 14001 EMS.
member breakfast recap
learn something new
free for via members
Call (630) 210-3077
Call (630) 684-4426
Environmental hot line
The HR Hotline was established to provide members with a place to find answers for human resource issues and questions. All VIA members have access to the HR Hotline, Monday to Friday, during regular business hours .
The HR Hotline is committed to
responding to your requests within
HR Legislation Updates
ISO Updates & Auditor Training
OSHA 10 & 30 Hour & Updates on Regulations
joiN A COMMITTEE
If environmental issues arise, contact Gerry Trzupek, VIA’s Environmental Partner, at Huff & Huff, Inc. A leading environmental firm since the late 70s, Huff & Huff can answer your questions on a wide-range of topics, such as:
Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Water Quality Assessments; including providing baseline data prior to wastewater projects
Wetlands Characterization and Permitting, including Threatened and Endangered Species Studies
Remediation and Environmental Site Assessments
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management
Air Quality Management
Regulatory Compliance Reporting,
such as Form R, Annual Emission
Reporting, Tier II
Air Permitting, from ROSS sites to
Title V facilities
State and Local Noise Ordinance Issues
Fill the Pipeline
Programming for the VIA
to promote your business
Call (877) 60S-AFETY
4 free calls a year
promote your business
Get your brand in front of 1,000 contacts with an Email Blast!
We have Sponsorships for every budget that range from $100 - $7500.
Join us for our Events to network with your peers and potential business connections.
Help with many topics included but not limited to:
Effective Safety Management Systems
OSHA Inspection Response
Job Hazard Analysis
Safety Culture Development
We want to share member company "good news" and ask that you keep us informed so we can do so.
When you've got news or kudos to share, please drop us a note or call our office hotline at 630.892.4228.
VIA HEALTH PLAN CAPTIVE
new member welcome
Get real insights on how the NEW VIA Health Plan Captive can help your plan:
Demonstrate effective plan designs that can reduce employer and employee costs by 20%
Understand how to use True Claims Data to generate specific solutions to control costs
Empower your employees by providing them with healthcare pricing information before the services are rendered-- saving you money!
Illustrate prescription drug programs that reduce costs for employers and employees!
NEXT Captive Opportunity:
July 24th Webinar & August 14th Lunch & Learn
We are pleased to present these new member companies who have joined since May 2018:
As the 10th President of the Valley Industrial Association, Kathy expands on her previous role as Membership Manager to work for the brightest future of the organization, so that the VIA can continue to best serve area manufacturers and the businesses that serve them.
Kathy brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the VIA having 20 years' experience as an upper level sales director for a Chicagoland kitchenware company. Rounding out her sales experience with an MBA from Aurora University in 2017, she has some fresh ideas and enthusiasm for the 115 year-old organization.
Trish Overturf has a long history of working in Special Events. In Chicago, Trish found work in the production of large scale Professional Sporting Events. For the past 13 years her hunger and drive for events and meeting management came in the form of working in the education management industry. Trish’s 20+ years of skilled Event Production, Public Relations, Marketing, Customer Service, Fundraising and Public Speaking make her a perfect fit as the Program Manager for Valley.
This is a quote often heard in the offices of United Scrap Metal. USM’s Vice President, Jodi Keller loves to say this (often loudly) as she walks through the cubicles of the company’s front office. Jodi makes sure to lead by example when it comes to having a fun workplace culture.
United Scrap Metal is a very unique company. Founded in 1978 by Marsha Serlin, the family values that were the foundation of the company are very prevalent today. First, United Scrap makes sure to hire individuals who fit the company’s culture. USM seeks high performers who bring unique experience to the table, have shown loyalty and family values and who, like Jodi, like to have fun. United Scrap often describes its culture as “work hard, play hard.” Team members work hard to help the company achieve goals, but blow off steam every so often throughout the day by having fun with one another. This culture allows the team to regroup and destress, so that they can go back to work refreshed and focus on the tasks at hand.
Another concept that makes United Scrap special is its newest initiative, to brand itself as a company with a purpose. United In Purpose is the overall mantra and several new committees have been formed under this umbrella to engage team members in various ways to give someone personal back to the business (examples included Diversity, Operational Excellence, Community, Learning, Wellness, Safety, Sustainability and Happiness.) Participation is voluntary and each team member can lend his or her creativity and passion to a committee where they feel they will have the most impact.
United Scrap prides itself on the focus over the last few years it has placed on workplace culture. Culture is comprised of people. A company needs good people to run the business. Without a dedicated focus to this initiative, United Scrap would not have developed into the purposeful, fun place to work that it is today.
meet the team
Sue’s attention to detail and questioning nature has already proven to be of great service to the association. She is your go-to contact for all things VIA, from registering for a program, getting an invoice or collecting data for one of our surveys. Sue has an extensive background ranging from Insurance to Accounting, Business Administration, Sales, and Construction. Sue has a unique viewpoint and operates with a member-centered acumen. No challenge is too large to tackle, making Sue a boon for the VIA.