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Employee Spotlight – Shawn Heaver

Shawn HeaverHello, readers!  We are going to try out something new today.  We have decided to take one of our employees and shine the spotlight on them so that you can better understand who we are and what makes us tick.

We also want to thank the incredible people we have working here who fill orders, load trucks, refurbish equipment, do paperwork, and all of the other messy jobs that come with running a successful material handling equipment company.

That said, our first Employee Spotlight falls on Shawn Heaver. He runs the day to day dock operations as well as works in the yard fulfilling orders from time to time.


Name: Shawn Heaver

Years at SJF: 9 years

What do you like most about working at SJF? I get to work with all different kinds of machinery.  I’m a big machine guy.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Relaxing and Gaming.

What’s your favorite game? God of War (PS3)

Do you have any other hobbies? Bike Riding and Walking.  I try to ride my bike to work when the weather is nice.

What’s your favorite day? Friday, because it’s payday and the weekend is just around the corner.

What is your biggest pet peeve? When people smack their lips when they’re eating.

Name one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to know. Nothing – I’m a pretty low-key guy.

SJF in Winsted Gives Employees Room to Grow

This article was originally published in the Herald Journal – Volume 95, Number 44.  The author and photographer is Starrla Cray.


What’s to like about working at SJF Material Handling in Winsted?

“Everything,” according to Marty Zitzloff, who has been with the company the past 24 years.

In both 2013 and 2014, Minnesota Business Magazine named SJF as one of the state’s 100 best companies to work for, based on an in-depth employee satisfaction survey. “We sort of break all the traditional rules of how business is run,” said president/sales manager Stafford Sterner, whose father, Gerald Sterner started the material handling company in 1979.

Employees are often promoted from within, and have the freedom to transition to different departments.

Zitzloff, for example, originally started at SJF as a welder.

“It was a lot of on-the-job training, and a few outside classes,” he recalled, adding that he later became the shop and yard supervisor.

Six years ago, Zitzloff decided to get into sales. He didn’t have any formal sales experience, but was familiar with the products SJF offers.

“Marty has had a lot of success here,” Stafford said. “We find opportunities for anyone who wants to apply themselves.”
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Featured Client: Maglio Minnesota

Maglio Minnesota is an approximately 25,000sq.ft. produce wholesale facility located in Oakdale, MN. Maglio Minnesota, specializes in receiving raw produce from growers throughout the country and sanitizing, sorting, and packing that produce into finished usable product for customers and consumers.

Vance Haugen was initially called out to Maglio to take a look at one of their cooling rooms.  They wanted to look at expanding available storage space to manage the increasing number of product that they needed to store. Vance informed them about a new flow rack product we carry (ExGlobe High Density Horizontal Flow Rail) and they expressed some interest.  The manufacturer’s rep accompanied Vance on another meeting and Maglio liked the product.
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Featured Client: Metro Mold and Design

Metro Mold and Design (MMD) is a Rogers, MN based, one stop shop for rapid mold manufacturing, custom plastic injection molding, thermoset plastic molding, extrusion blow molding, and precision CNC machining.  With an expanding operation, they contacted SJF in the fall of 2013 to assist in a layout and move into an new shipping warehouse.  MMD was at the time occupying and older warehouse with little lighting and low ceiling, and was planning a move to a newer building with a 32′ ceiling.

The plan was to install very narrow aisle (VNA) rack to max out warehouse space in the new building.  After discussing it with SJF, MMD decided on a different plan altogether.
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SJF Among 100 Best MN Companies for 2014

SJF today was honored to be named to Minnesota Business Magazines “The 2014 100 Best Companies to Work For.”

2014 marks the 2nd consecutive year SJF Material Handling Inc. (SJF.com) based in Winsted, Minnesota has been named to the “Top 100” list published each year by Minnesota Business Magazine.

About the Nomination (From MN Business Magazine)

People spend about one-third of their lives at work, so for a company looking to attract top talent, it helps to score high marks in employee satisfaction. Businesses featured in our 100 Best Companies to Work For Awards have done just that. This award salutes Minnesota organizations setting the standard for employee well-being. The 100 Best are chosen using data gathered from an anonymous employee satisfaction survey administered by an independent research group. Only the top Minnesotan companies, as judged in areas such as work environment, employee benefits, employee happiness, and leadership, are selected for inclusion in the list.

Event Details: A celebration of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Minnesota will be held June 5, 2014, 6 p.m. at the Saint Paul RiverCentre

SJF Kicks off the New Year Fit as A Fiddle

February 28th concluded SJF’s 2 month Fit as a Fiddle contest.

11 eager and motivated participants entered, but in the end the overall results were mixed. Five individuals lost a total of 65 lbs. while 6 hapless souls actually gained weight.  (Really??)

Marty Zitzloff shed 22 pounds!

Marty Zitzloff shed 22 pounds!

On Feb 28th, Marty Zitzloff was officially announced the big winner.  Marty managed to shed a very impressive 22 lbs!

Marty generously purchased Subway sandwich gift cards for all the participants from his winnings. (What a guy!)

A special shout out has to be given to Rhonda Remer for spear-heading the contest.  Rhonda set the ground rules, collected money, attended the weigh-ins, calibrated the scales, and also policed any and all attempted cheating.

Thanks to everyone who ponied up and participated.

We’re looking forward to posting another challenge soon.

A year in the Life of Material Handling Sales

December 20th marked my 1 year anniversary in SJF fully commissioned sales.  I have to say – It was a year that flew by fast. I learned an enormous amount about our different product and service offerings and was introduced to the fast and furious world of fully commissioned sales.

At the end of the year, when all things were tallied, I’ll admit I was a bit deflated. Although my end of year grand total was nothing to sneeze at ($700K+), the monies earned weren’t where I was hoping they would be.  But to keep a little perspective, I still have a roof over my head and food in the fridge, so I decided to stay on course for year 2.

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary

As luck would have it, in the very first month or 2014, I reached a personal sales goal of over $100K sold in one month.  This one winning month provided me hope, inspiration and a new drive to see what else I can accomplish in wild world of material handling sales.
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Featured Client: Putco

PUTCO is a world leader in Automotive Accessories such as Trim, Lighting, Mud Flaps and Step Bars.  Putco has literally thousands of products for all major makes and models of car and truck available in a nationwide dealer network. If you’re looking to spice up your ride, look no further than Putco.

When Putco contacted SJF, they were looking for a lot of racking at a savings. They needed to fill a new 127,000 sq. ft. facility so used equipment was definitely on their radar. SJF had just secured two large used inventories that could have filled PUTCO’s needs but with new pricing being very competitive and not subject to availability issues, they turned to new. SJF supplied new Mecalux Interlake Pallet Racks and MECO Cantilever racks as well as the installation while meeting PUTCO’s timeline and pricing requirements. Jason Deiter was the solutions specialist on this project.
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