At Innovize, we have outstanding associates that are passionate about our purpose of creating a culture and products that improve people’s lives. This passion drives our associates to do some pretty incredible things in their work. Each quarter, four (or in the case of a tie like this quarter, five) associates are selected by their peers for a recent outstanding achievement in areas of Improved Product Quality, Increased Profitability, Revenue Growth, and Living our Values.
ASCENDING ASSOCIATES – Q3 2021
Mike Wrona – Increased Profitability
Mike was recognized for working his maintenance magic and turning an “unusable” press into a power house that saved Innovize from purchasing $500,000 worth of new equipment.
Mike says that one of his biggest motivators that gets him up and going for work each day is that he genuinely enjoys what he does at Innovize. Some of his day-to-day activities as an Automation and Maintenance Technician III include interacting with others to help solve equipment and operational issues, helping to reduce frustration when things aren’t going as expected, and providing support to help other associates succeed.
He says, “I believe I make a difference and have the opportunity to impact lives. One saying I like to live by is ‘learn something new every day.'”
One of Mike’s favorite projects that he’s worked on so far was early on in his Innovize career. It involved robotics and the dispensing of an ink-like substance. He learned a lot about the capabilities of our robots, programming, and development of dispensing fluids.
“Something that most people don’t know about me is my passion for camping and the great outdoors. Camping is something that my wife and I have the opportunity to enjoy together. I also love watching my family grow and succeed, while sharing their same enthusiasm throughout their journey.
Congratulations on your recognition Mike! Well deserved!
Deb Merchant – Improved Product Quality
Deb’s co-associates recognized her outstanding work when she combined two operations into one. This resulted in not only in a huge time savings, but also improved product quality.
Deb’s main job at Innovize is lamination, where she will typically add adhesives to the back of different types of materials. She loves what she does, and likes to tell people that she makes big stickers!
One of her favorite projects at Innovize is a foam disc used to prevent infection around a catheter.
She says, “The reason it is probably my favorite is because I have been involved with it since development and seeing the improvement to the production of this due to input and knowledge of [my own and] fellow associates.”
A fun fact about Deb is that you can find her in the medical books at the University of Minnesota:
“They were looking at putting me on a continuous pump to help with my pulmonary hypertension (PH), which would have been extremely expensive. Instead, my doctor put a stent in my pulmonary artery in my lung and my pressures in my heart immediately dropped in half. Medicine has vastly improved the life expectancy of those with PH. 25 years ago, I would have been given 2 1/2 years to live but now people are living up to 20! I am at 10 years with no medicine.”
Way to go Deb! Innovize is extremely fortunate to have you on our team!
Cory Kueber – Revenue Growth
Cory showed his commitment to living our values and stayed until late afternoon to finish a couple of hot jobs, despite already having some personal time off approved. Because of his dedication to our team, and our customers, we were able to make the shipments of these products on time. That added additional revenue to our sale that day, but most importantly, we kept our promise to our customer.
Great job Cory – your sacrifice of personal time did not go unnoticed!
Jake Lynch – Living Our Values
Innovize associates recognized Jake for his exceptional work in finishing and job review! He does a fantastic job of supporting the team, planning and executing the jobs, and reviewing and completing jobs. His hard work allowed another associate to enjoy a relaxing vacation knowing that he and the team had everything under control.
Excellent job Jake! Keep it up!
Pablo Ayers – Living Our Values
Pablo made a great catch when he noticed a metal base roller was in one of our presses instead of a nip, which pushes the parts through to seal a pouch so it holds. Because of his attention to detail, we were able to correct the issue and complete the job with minimal interruption. Pablo was recognized for this and his amazing work troubleshooting on other presses throughout the night shift to keep everything afloat.
Amazing work Pablo! We are so lucky to have you here with us!
Check back in January to meet our Q4 Ascending Associates!