As Formaspace continues to grow rapidly, we are adding more team members. We’d like to introduce you to some of the new faces here at Formaspace.
Here We Grow Again!
Back in December 2017, we predicted that 2018 would be a banner year for Formaspace.
We’re happy to report back, it’s true — during the first half of 2018, Formaspace has set a new growth record, with our sales increasing to the very high double-digits.
We’d like to thank YOU, our customers, for our success. On the industrial and laboratory side of our business, we’ve seen sustained growth for our specialty furniture applications in all of our key markets, including manufacturing, health sciences, government, military, and education.
In the office furniture market, our Formaspace Office business is also growing rapidly — thanks to efforts of our expanding independent rep and dealer network who have found a receptive audience among architects and designers who’ve been seeking custom office furniture solutions that set them apart from the competition.
You may recall that, in December, we introduced eight new Formaspace team members. Today, we’d like to introduce you to a few of the twenty-eight new faces that have joined our team over the past few months. All of our new team members are dedicated to working hard for you, our customers, by making more of the innovative products and services you’ve come to expect and to provide you with the high level of customer service you’ve come to depend on from Formaspace.
Meet Angela Shaw, Formaspace’s New Human Resources Manager
With the all the growth at Formaspace, we’re very fortunate to have Angela Shaw join us.
As Formaspace’s new Human Resources Manager, Angela brings great expertise, enthusiasm, and energy to her role. “I’m very excited to be here and humbled by the opportunity to add value to our leadership team and staff. I hope to show everyone that there is good HR in the world and that we can work together in an environment that we all enjoy.” The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) has recently awarded Angela their top level certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Outside of work, Angela serves as the President-Elect of the Austin Human Resources Management Association and is a former President of the Williamson County HR Association. Angela also teaches an Essentials of Human Resources class at Austin Community College, where she is working to groom the next generation of HR leaders.
Recently, Angela began giving public presentations that motivate people to take action in promoting diversity and inclusion. “I believe in life-long learning, not judging books by their cover, and treating everyone with dignity and respect. I also firmly believe that each person among us can make a difference to the life of someone else by including them.”
Angela has been very busy since starting with Formaspace; she’s brought on more than a dozen new Formaspace team members, and she reminds us to mention there are more positions open on our Formaspace Careers page. Be sure to check out these opportunities!
Next, we’d like to introduce Mark Proffitt, who has joined us as our new Vice President of Operations, where he has responsibility for overseeing Production, Industrial Design & Engineering, IT, Supply Chain, Customer Service and Shipping Operations.
What drew Mark to join Formaspace? “I see Formaspace as a company with an exciting future. A combination of the product line, enthusiastic employees, and future growth were all attractive to me.”
Mark started his career in the military; he’s a service-connected Disabled Navy Veteran with service medals. With more than 20+ years in the manufacturing industry, Mark worked his way up from the shop floor as Maintenance & Production Team Leader through positions of increasing responsibility to become the customer and quality-focused operations leader he is today. His level of focus and professionalism is reflected in his goals for Formaspace. According to Mark, “It’s important to me that we are an employer of choice by making our workplace an invigorating experience. I also want to improve the customer experience by engaging employees to exceed expectations in quality and on-time delivery.”
Outside of work, Mark enjoys weekend getaways, where you can often find him hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and site-seeing. He’s also an avid movie-goer and loves to barbecue and cook. Welcome aboard!
Say Hello to Kevin Caldwell, Formaspace’s New Production Supervisor
Here at Formaspace, we like to say, “If you imagine it, we can build it.” True to our word, we not only offer standard product lines that can be extensively customized, we’re also known for building bespoke, one-of-a-kind products here at our factory headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Given the dual nature of our standard and customized products, the production department is critical to our success. That’s why we’re pleased to introduce Kevin Caldwell as our new Production Supervisor. Kevin will be overseeing all of the daily activities of the production area to ensure that we meet our high standards of safety, quality, cost, and delivery.
Kevin’s background working in high-tech manufacturing at leading semiconductor manufacturers, such as Texas Instruments, Phillips, and Samsung, as well as his role in performing environmental testing of the navigation and telecommunications systems aboard Air Force One, makes him a good fit for helping to take Formaspace’s production to the next level. “I want to assist with building a world-class manufacturing facility, by enhancing our Lean Manufacturing efforts, creating stable processes, and continuing our focus on customer deliverables,” says Kevin.
During his downtime from work, Kevin likes to relax by playing golf as well as working in the garden and doing yard work.
Shannon Perry joins us as our new Supply Chain Assistant; in her role, she will work with our vendors to make sure we have precise levels of material and supply inventories on hand to ensure short lead times for our manufacturing team and customers. “My priority is to assist my co-worker’s in any way I can to achieve our daily goals. I hope to develop relations with vendors offering top products and materials at lower costs, so we can all retire wealthy. :)”
Shannon has always been a self-professed “numbers” person. ”I have a relationship with numbers that goes way back to the start of my career in accounting and purchasing in the automobile dealership world (most recently with Lexus of Austin). Two is my guiding number,” she explains. “I’m a twin, born on my mother’s twentieth birthday, and now I’m a grandmother to two two-year-old twins. Is it any wonder my house number is 222?” After work, Shannon dotes on her kids and grandkids, who live with her at home. “It’s music, arts, and handicrafts at home for me now. This past week the grandkids and I created a playspace covered in neon paint; the girls get so excited when it glows under neon light!”
What attracted Shannon to change careers by moving into the manufacturing world? “I found the company’s innovativeness very intriguing. People spend 40+ hours each week at work within their ‘space.’ I’m a firm believer that the work atmosphere should be positive, comfortable, and user-friendly — a place where people want to work. And so I’m excited to join a company whose mission is to build these kinds of environments for their customers.”
Formaspace is known for its unique, engineering-driven solutions to difficult problems. That’s why we’re pleased to welcome Luke Jaroszewski aboard as our newest Industrial Design Engineer. Luke is a recent graduate of Texas State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Manufacturing Engineering. While at Texas State, Luke organized the school’s first-ever Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) racing team (named ‘Bobcat Racing’ after the school’s mascot). Bobcat Racing designed and built Texas State’s first ever entry in the 2017 Formula SAE Michigan competition. Driving fast is not the only thing Luke likes to do quickly; in his spare time, he also volunteers his time as an auctioneer (where he talks fast) for local charity benefits.
“My decision to join the Formaspace team was very easy after meeting the team,” says Luke. “The warm welcome and modern work environment made me feel right at home during the interview process. With the rapid growth that Formaspace is experiencing, I believe that there is a vast amount of experience to be gained, making it a very rare and exciting opportunity to grow with the company from the start of my career as a young engineer.“
Next, let’s turn our attention to the new faces in the Sales and Marketing teams here at Formaspace. First up is Brooke Turner, our new Marketing Associate. Brooke works with the Formaspace team on the industrial furniture side of the business as well as for Formaspace Office – on the contract office furniture side of things.
Brooke comes to us from Texas A&M University, where she recently graduated with a degree in corporate communications and a minor in business administration. In her role, Brooke manages the production of the articles on our websites (such as the one you are reading now), as well as product photography and content on our social media platforms. (You may recall Brooke’s name in a recent article, where she gave us her impressions of new emerging trends at the NeoCon contract furniture exhibition in Chicago.)
Brooke says, “I joined Formaspace because the marketing team is truly a ‘dream team.’ I could see how much they valued the work they were doing and how much they cared for one another. Formaspace has the most amazing atmosphere, and I felt very much at home.”
Outside of work, dance is a major part of Brooke’s life. “I’ve danced since I was a child, and when I moved away for college, I joined the #5 collegiate Hip Hop/ Jazz dance team in the nation. I also help coordinate weddings on my weekends. I love being a part of what most people consider ‘the happiest day’ of their life. (I just recently got engaged, so this means double the wedding planning!)”
Moving over to Formaspace’s IT department now, we’d like to introduce you to Bayansuren Bayarsaikhan, our new Full Stack Developer who works for the marketing department to develop our website and related applications. Not familiar with that term? In plain English, it means Bayansuren has the programming skills necessary to develop and manage code on our website (and web associated applications) – using all the building blocks of software (e.g. the ‘stack’) used to deploy modern websites, from the back-end software to the front-end user interface components.
Bayansuren, who holds a Masters in Computer Science from the Maharishi University of Management, decided to leave his previous home in cloudy Seattle (”I was bored with the rain,” he says) to join Formaspace in warm, sunny Austin. He aspires to grow with the company and become a Senior Developer, as well as helping expand the IT team here.
“I’m originally from Mongolia, the land-locked country located between China and Russia,” Bayansuren explains. “We are the only nomadic nationality in the world. It may surprise you, but, like most of my fellow compatriots, I can ride a horse AND a camel, both of which are traditional forms of transport in the vast grasslands the Mongol Steppe. But here in Austin, I like to play basketball, and I’m a workaholic as well, always wanting to develop something or learn a new technology.” We can attest that Bayansuren is a workaholic, and we’re very pleased to welcome him to the Marketing Team.
We’d now like to say hello to Joe Sorrels, our new Sales Operations Manager. Much of Joe’s career has been in the in the contract furniture industry, including many years with the McCoy-Rockford office furniture dealership. “I’ve been a Direct Sales Representative, a new business development Sales Manager, and a Sales Operations Manager. These experiences have allowed me to learn all the different facets of the contract furniture industry and the importance of having a proper go-to-market strategy.”
“I’d hope to transform our selling efforts to become more proactive, for example, by making better use of use of analytics and “up front” input to create more accurate sales forecasts. By fine-tuning our processes, I also hope to develop a highly professional relationship with our customers that will, in turn, increase their comfort level and desire to work with us here at Formaspace.”
Outside of work, Joe is very involved in his church and in serving the community. He also likes to spend time with his family and dotes on his grandkids. Joe also has a lifelong fascination with understanding how things work. Joe explains that, “My father was a very talented electrical engineer and engaged me in his passion from an early age. I really like to tinker with things, fix things, and create things. As for hobbies, I am a long-term boater. I’ve had a boat or access to one ever since I was 12, so that is a lot of boating hours. I also enjoy fishing, both salt water and freshwater fishing. I suppose I enjoy freshwater fishing a little more because I can do it more often, I don’t need a pole, and I always catch something… one ‘can’ at a time!”
If you’ve worked with Formaspace before, you know the important role our Design Consultants play in listening to your needs and working with you to come up with the ideal solution for your space planning needs. That’s why we’re very excited to introduce you to Karen Januski, our new Design Consultant for Formaspace Office. Karen brings with her nearly twenty years of experience in the office space industry, working with companies such as the virtual office giant Regus. “I chose Formaspace because I really liked the people I met, and I thought the culture looked really fun. I also really like our products, and I’m excited to be a part of this growing company.”
“I really enjoy working with our Formaspace Office dealers to help their customers design the right furniture solution. Whether it’s a case of up-sizing, down-sizing, right-sizing, or starting with a blank canvas, I hope to provide the best customer experience possible by helping people envision and design the perfect workspace for their employees.”
Outside the office, you’ll have trouble keeping up with Karen, who loves pretty much anything outdoors, from hiking to paddle boarding, to skiing. “I love to travel, and I try to get to the mountains as often as I can. I spent a month in the Alaskan wilderness hiking and camping and would love to see Mt. Everest one day.” Karen is also an avid cook and very passionate about wine. “I just took my first level wine certification exam last summer, and I’m looking to get my second level certification soon.”
We’d like to welcome aboard Evelyn Benavides as our new Design Support Specialist for Formaspace Office. Evelyn is a recent Texas State University graduate with a BA in Psychology. “I chose to join Formaspace Office because I wanted a position that was going to challenge me and advance my professional career.” Evelyn will be working directly with Design Consultant Karen Januski, providing quick answers to customer sales questions and following up on customer orders.
Evelyn doesn’t keep still outside of the office. She explains, “I have a tremendous passion for outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, fishing, and sunset-watching at wineries. Anywhere I can take my Great Dane is a must do! I’m also a thrill seeker hoping to experience the most roller coaster rides I can!”
Next, we’d like you to meet Chris Heil, our new Design Support Specialist who supports Design Consultant Mike Triche in our West Coast and International sales territories.
Chris has a long track record in sales, with over 18 years of experience. He started his career in the telecommunications market, then transitioned to religious software sales. From there, Chris sold office products to government accounts and later sold online sales marketing solutions. Explains Chris, “I have always (and continue to this day) love what I do in sales. I love helping people, and I’m very excited to be here. I hope to grow in my role here at Formaspace, to become a Design Consultant and stay with the company through to retirement!”
Outside of work, Chris loves spending time with his 16-year-old daughter as well as his three nieces and nephew. “I love family time,” says Chris. “But when not with family, I love chilling on my couch playing Call of Duty on my PlayStation 4. And I’m hoping to take my first trip abroad soon, perhaps to meet one of our Formaspace international customers!”
We’d like to introduce you to Annie Bryant, another one of our new Design Support Specialists. Annie works directly with Chris Heil to support the West territory/International Sales Team led by Design Consultant Mike Triche. Annie recently graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Sociology. According to Annie, “I chose to join the Formaspace Family because of the atmosphere amongst co-workers, the company’s rapid growth, and the prime Austin location.”
“I was really involved in activities while at university, and I hope to become as equally involved in my career now that I’ve graduated. I always hope to work to the best of my abilities while learning to navigate the new world of sales.”
Outside of work, you’ll find Annie exploring Austin and environs with her peeps. “Family and friends are my world,” explains Annie. “When I am not working, I am spending time with my immediate family or catching up with close friends! Being in Austin, I can’t wait to explore the city to find more fun and interesting hobbies!”
Please say hello to Andrea Mullaney, our new Design Support Specialist working with Design Consultant Debbie Zack. Andrea’s territory covers the Texas region and surrounding states, and she comes well prepared, having worked at a manufacturing company here in Austin, where she wore many different hats in her role in customer relations within the sales department.
Andrea has an Associate’s Degree in Engineering, and she hopes to pursue more education in the future; she’s also keenly interested in mathematics and psychology. “I’m hoping to achieve a better understanding of technical furniture and how it is designed and produced. While I came from a background in highly technical products, it is interesting to see how simple, yet complex, Formaspace’s workbenches can be. I hope to grow and flourish professionally here at Formaspace and become an expert in how technical furniture works and all the related applications.”
These days, Andrea enjoys spending time with her husband Tom and their dogs, Jazzy, and Luna. She also enjoys music, especially singing. “I sang throughout high school and made it to State Choir Competitions several times; now I sing in my church choir every week. Like Brooke Turner, I have a background in dance; in my youth, I had the amazing opportunity to dance in several performances of the Nutcracker Suite with the Moscow Ballet! In my free time, I also like to read books and go to the various lakes and parks in the Austin area. I also love a good road trip, and I jump at any chance to hit the road!”
Please welcome Brian Smith, our Design Support Specialist who is now assisting Design Consultants Robert Furrer and Valencia Dussault; whose combined territory covers the entire East Coast. Brian attended Fullerton College in Southern California and has a wide range of sales experience across different market sectors, including Financial and Life Insurance, Office Supplies, Marketing and Advertising, and Precious Metals.
Why did Brian choose Formaspace? “I made the switch because I liked Formaspace for its unique product designs, and I felt my past experience in Office Supplies/ Sales would be an asset to the company. I’m hoping to grow with the company and become a Design Consultant or be part of the Marketing team sometime in the future.
Brian’s hobbies range from the technical (he enjoys creating Shopify eCommerce websites) to the natural — he really enjoys spending a lot of time outside in nature. He also professes to enjoy watching Netflix. He also occasionally likes to show off his ambidexterity — as well as his ability to invert his earlobes. We’ll have to see this trick at our next office party!
Our Formaspace Team Members are Working for You
We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting the new faces at Formaspace and Formaspace Office.
Our team members are dedicated to the design and manufacture of unique furniture solutions across multiple markets, from industrial environments and laboratories to government and educational institutions, to sophisticated office environments.
If you can imagine it, we can build it – here at our factory headquarters in Austin, Texas.
It’s simple to find out more.
Contact of one of our friendly Design Consultants, such as Karen Januski, today.
You’ll be glad you did.