Changing Times During a Pandemic

Sales meeting during Covid-19
Our fearless sales team, from left to right: Tom Moore, Vance Haugen, Justin Erkenbrack, Kendal Kalamaha, Janae Witte, Jason Deiter, Rhonda Remer, Eric Thovson, Frank Sterner and Staff Sterner.

Our meetings at SJF are looking quite a bit different these days…

Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, most of the office staff, including sales, worked remotely from their homes for almost 4 months. We’re happy to report that we were given the go-ahead to bring employees back into the office, but with important safety measures in place, including wearing masks and social distancing.

As a safety precaution, we’ve moved our sales meetings from the conference room, where everyone comfortably sat elbow-to-elbow, to the lunchroom. We’ve also conducted full company meetings in the shop area, where everyone can spread out safely. It’s been a bit of a change, but one that we know is important.

I think we’re all wondering how long this is going to last, or if it will become our “new normal.” But in the meantime, it sure is funny looking at people wearing masks all day and wondering if they are smiling underneath them!

Lumber Racking Solution for Lake Russell Building Supply

Lake Russell Building Supply Cantilever Set Up

Lucas Brady, President of Lake Russell Building Supply in Elberton, GA, had a need for storage solutions for a pole building they were enclosing in order to protect their product from the elements and better service their customers. In October 2019, Lucas contacted SJF via their “live chat” feature (that is, in fact, answered by a real live professional). Solutions Specialist Jason Deiter answered the chat and began discussing the application.

They wanted to rack out 2 walls of their pole building to allow for storage of treated lumber in various unit sizes. For this application, we chose 5′ brace sets to accommodate the various unit lengths and 4′ heavy duty arms that would work for dimensional and sheet goods. The result was positive and it has really changed and improved the way that they handle materials.

Knowing that they would need more, in February of 2020 Lucas reached out to add on another 90′ section to store yellow pine, tongue and grove, staged loads and special orders.

Lucas writes: “These racks have made such a big impact on every aspect of handling lumber. We will definitely be adding more in the future. Thank you. I’m as happy about having them as you were in selling them.

Jason and our other solutions specialists are available to help you find the best solution for your individual space. They are trained to “think outside the box” and have excellent ideas to help solve your problem.

If you have a project that you’d like help with, feel free to call Jason at (320) 485-4961 or email him at jdeiter@sjf.com. He’d be happy to help with your project!

Employee Spotlight – Tom Moore

Tom Moore, SJF Solutions Specialist
Tom Moore, SJF Solutions Specialist, recently caught this 17+ lb. Northern. That's quite a fish!

Today in our Employee Spotlight is Tom Moore, Sales & Solutions Specialist here at SJF. He’s been with SJF for several years, so he knows the material handling business inside and out.

Tom is a relatively quiet guy… until he has something to say. I think he likes to save his daily allowance of words for important stuff, not just random chatter.

Even though Tom isn’t a big talker, he is, however, well known around the office for his clever remarks and interesting theories. It’s not unusual to hear him say something that stops everyone in their tracks and cracks them up. He keeps us laughing, often when we least expect it!

There is one major exception and that is if you ask him about fishing. Then he’s got a wealth of information and things to say about one of Minnesotan’s favorite pastimes. He and his wife enjoy spending time on local lakes or at their cabin, enjoying nature in search of “the big one.


Name: Tom Moore

Title: Sales/Solutions Specialist

When did you start working at SJF? July, 2014

What do you like most about working at SJF? The people here at SJF. We have a great team!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Fishing. If I am not at work, I am either fishing, planning to go fishing or thinking about fishing.

What’s your favorite day? Mondays. I’m ready to get back at it after the weekend.

Biggest pet peeve? Driving slow in the fast lane.

Name something about you that people would be surprised to know: I’m an open book so if you want to know something, just ask.

What question would you like to answer that you didn’t get asked? What’s my favorite lake to fish? Long Lake.

Cantilever Rack for Vehicle Storage

Cantilever Solution for Car Storage

Justin Erkenbrack, Solutions Specialist at SJF, has been working with Lee C. Parts out of Massachusetts to come up with a solution for storing cars that are being parted out. The customer needed a way to keep the cars out of the way and off the floor, while still making them easily accessible. With Justin’s help and expertise, a great workable solution was found… Cantilever racking.

Justin and the rest of our solutions specialists will work with you to find a solution to your problem. Whether it’s storage or more complex warehouse operations and automation, they have the training and experience to help.

If you have a problem or need some ideas, feel free to contact Justin directly at (320) 485-4962 or jerkenbrack@sjf.com. He’s happy to help!

Employee Spotlight – Matt Johnson

Employee Spotlight - Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson, SJF EngineerAfter 14+ years, we finally decided to feature Matt Johnson, our resident SJF Engineer, in the SJF Spotlight. Matt is our Lead Engineer at SJF. He is involved in various stages of the sales cycle and is often called in to assist customers during and after product implementation. He also works with all departments and can definitely be called the “Go to Guy” for SJF.

Family is a priority for him. He has a wife, Alisa and two kids, Callen and Ella. In the summer, he does camping and family trips. In the winter you can find him back in his hockey skates while coaching his son. He’s also a football fan, although his loyalties don’t lie with the Minnesota Vikings but with the (gulp) Green Bay Packers. We’re working on forgiving him for that, however therapy may be required… 😉


Name: Matt Johnson

Title: Engineer

When did you start working at SJF? 2004

What do you like most about working at SJF? Every day is different. There are always new challenges.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Spending time with family camping, fishing and skating or playing hockey.

What’s your favorite day? Friday. I look forward to the weekend.

Biggest pet peeve? When people don’t listen well enough to retain information. Or people who complain about something but are not part of the solution.

Name something about you that people would be surprised to know: I had hair down the middle of my back in Jr. High School.

What question would you like to answer that you didn’t get asked: Do you like being in the Spotlight? No. I don’t.

Employee Spotlight – Ed Salonek

Ed Salonek, Controller & HR Manager

Ed Salonek, SJFToday in our Employee Spotlight is Ed Salonek, Controller and Human Resources Manager. Ed is a busy guy but always seems to have a smile on his face and something to joke about.

It’s not unusual to see him here in the office on a weekend or an evening and even then, he’s smiling. Having one full time position is enough for most people but Ed takes care of two departments, and important ones at that. I’m sure he wonders occasionally what he’s gotten himself into as “Ed the HR Manager,” but what keeps us on the straight and narrow is that we know he’s also “Ed the Controller,” who makes sure all of us employees get paid. 🙂


Name: Ed Salonek

Title: Controller and Human Resources Manager

Years at SJF: 11 years

What do you like most about working at SJF? I enjoy the mixture of accounting and programming\customization with Epicor.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Camping, watching Wild hockey, hunting with Mocha

What’s your favorite day? Saturday

Biggest pet peeve? Lazy people.

Name something about you, that people would be surprised to know: I like to work, got it from my parents.

SJF Christmas Celebration and Awards 2017

Every year, SJF likes to treat our hard-working employees to a catered meal and awards ceremony to commemorate the accomplishments of a year’s worth of dedication. The year 2017 has been a particularly successful one for SJF, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all our employees, who work together each and every day to make sure our customers are our top priority.

We are who we are because of the men and women we call our SJF family!

Sales Awards

SJF had some outstanding sales in 2017. All of our sales people sold over $1 million dollars worth of material handling equipment to our loyal customer base.

Winning the top sales award this year was Eric Thovson (ET) for the second year in a row, followed by Kendal Kalamaha and Jason Dieter. Way to go!!

Stafford & Eric (ET)
Stafford & Eric (ET)


Anniversaries

Dave Kieper, 25 years
Dave Kieper, 25 years

We also like to celebrate anniversaries with the company and are proud that the majority of our employees have been employed with SJF for 10+ years. This year marked an important anniversary for one of our long-term employees, Dave Kieper, who has been with our company for an impressive 25 years. Thanks for all you do Dave!


More photos of our celebration

 

 

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