Back to School with Bicycles

MARCH, 21, 2014 —

On any given day, the Storm Copper manufacturing facility is abuzz with the sound of phones ringing, clunks and ker-chunks of industrial manufacturing equipment shaping custom parts, and the humming of forklifts carrying material to workstations and the shipping dock. However, last week the executive offices at 240 Industrial Park Lane were filled with shy giggles and innocent laughter, and were bursting at the seams with pre-teen smiles. Four youngsters, two boys and two girls, along with their parents were invited to be special VIP visitors at the copper components facility.

The annual Storm Copper Sales Summit served as the perfect opportunity for the management team to gather and participate in a team-building event that had a dual purpose, work disguised as play and philanthropy. In partnership with The Leader’s Institute®, an international seminar and team building company specializing in the “soft-skills” side of business, and Give a Kid a Chance, a local Meigs County Charity,  Vince  Schreiber , Chief Executive Officer at Storm set out to accomplish two things in the Build-A-Bike Team Building Workshop®.   Schreiber’s goal was to first build camaraderie among the management team through a shared experience, and second, to allow a local charity to benefit from the event.

During the half-day team-building workshop, Storm leaders across every department, from technology to quality assurance, ‘played together’.  “We’re a growing management team with many new faces and varied professional backgrounds,” said Schreiber. “On top of that, we don’t see each other every day. Some of us work remotely, in the field with customers, or at the plant. Our ability to effectively communicate and cultivate trust among one other is critical to our ability to grow the company.”

T[KK1] hroughout the event, the group worked through a variety of fun yet challenging exercises that focused on communication styles, building trust and rapport, managing conflict, gaining cooperation, and building strong leaders around the company. After an afternoon of instruction, the group was put to the test in the ultimate bike build. Divided into four teams at separate work stations, the mangers were tasked to build four bikes. What started out as fierce competition to see which team could finish first and take home coveted bragging rights, quickly turned into an “a-ha” moment for the group. They weren’t four teams with four bikes. They were ONE team, Team STORM,  with four customers counting on them. With that knowledge the four separate teams combined into one large cohesive workgroup. Togther the managers successfully finish the four bikes faster and more efficiently.

To the managers’ surprise, at the conclusion[KK2]  of the build, four youngsters walked in, beaming with smiles. The bikes weren’t just representative workshop props, they were back-to-school gifts for four lucky children!  Give a Kid a Chance, a ministry of the Cottonport Road Church of God that helps families in Meigs County prepare for school, nominated four children to be recipents of the shiny new road racers with matching helmets.  Amanda Pritchett, outreach coordinator for Give a Kid a Chance, said “We appreciate the gift of bicycles. Storm Copper has made four local youngsters very happy!”

Figure 1 Amanda Pritchett, Give a Kid a Chance, along with bicycle recipients and their parents.

”We are committed to ensuring the future of our Meigs County students, supporting local programs for math, science, and technology education, so that everyone here grows up ‘job-ready’, said Kimberley Kelly, director of marketing. "Donating the bikes will help youngsters have a healthy balance of academics and play as they go back to class this fall.”

For more information on The Leader’s Institute® and the Build-A-Bike® Workshop please contact http://www.leadersinstitute.com/. To support the work of Give a Kid a Chance, please contact Cottonport Road Church of God.

 [KK1]Vince  Schreiber , Storm Copper CEO, opens the team building workshop.

 [KK2]Figure 1 Scott Moon, Director of Engineering with Mike Kisner, Director of Purchasing work together on a girl’s bike.