Blog

Tee It Up for a Cause With J&M

The 2018 Give Pack Golf Classic is right around the corner, and this is your last chance to make a lasting memory with J&M Strategic Consulting! Join us on June 18th at Cranberry Highlands Golf Course as we support local children in equipping them with important school supplies to guide them towards a bright future!

Give Pack is an outreach of Giving Back to Cranberry Township (501C3), an organization focused on improving the lives of people across Cranberry Township and the surrounding communities. Together, we will ensure that over 2,000 economically-challenged K-12 students are ready to excel in the 2018-19 school year! You still have time to bid in our online auction, which offers a chance to play in a foursome with professional hockey players!

Last June, J&M contributed over $10,000 to this event, which helped equip over 1,300 students with new backpacks and supplies. This year, our goal is $20,000, as together with Victory Family Church, we look to make this event larger than ever. The 2018 event has already attracted more golfers than ever before, and there isn’t much room left! This is your last opportunity to be a part of something special!

More than 30 million students nationwide are currently enrolled in a free or reduced lunch program. By coming together, we can improve the lives of many families in our local community! You can learn more about the event and sign up your own foursome by visiting the Give Pack website!

J&M remains committed to assisting the local community and creating opportunity for those in need. We hope you’ll join us on June 18th as we look to establish a better tomorrow, today.

Over 30 Million Students Need Your Help

As noted in a previous post, J&M is proud to be supporting K-12 students as the named sponsor of the 2018 Give Pack Golf Classic on Monday, June 18th. All proceeds will benefit students that are enrolled in free or reduced cost lunch programs at Seneca Valley, Ambridge, and Ellwood City School Districts, as well as residents of Glade Run, Mars Home for Youth, and Pittsburgh youth connected to mission-based organizations.

We are excited to be a part of helping out such an important and nationwide initiative. According to the USDA, 30.4 million K-12 students across the United States were enrolled in their National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in 2016. Established in 1946, the program provides nutritionally balanced, low or reduced cost lunch programs for students of public schools, nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions.

The USDA claims 7.1 million children were enrolled in NSLP in year one, and as it expanded, the number of beneficiaries increased substantially. By 1970, 22.4 million students were on free or reduced cost lunches and that number has continued to climb. The goal of this program is to provide children with the best opportunity to learn by enhancing their learning experience through the use of healthy, balanced lunches.

J&M Strategic Consulting is committed to the cause in allowing these students to fulfill their potential. We encourage you to join us as we aim to equip over 2,000 of these students with new backpacks and essential school supplies. You can be a part of the event and create an amazing memory by placing a bid in our online auction. To learn more about the initiative or to sign up your own foursome, visit givepackgolf.com.

Thank you in advance for your remarkable generosity! We look forward to meeting you at the event!

Golf with Professional Hockey Players in Support of Give Pack

Would you or someone you know like to hit the links with professional hockey players? Visit our Auction Site today and bid for a chance to fulfill a hockey fan’s dream!

You could win a twosome of golf for you and a friend to play with two hockey pros with ties to the Pittsburgh area.

Players include:

  • JT Miller of the Tampa Bay Lightning and John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks
  • Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars and Matt Bartkowski of the Calgary Flames
  • Vincent Trocheck of the Florida Panthers and Eric Tangradi of the Detroit Red Wings Organization

Enter your bid and benefit a great cause today!


Event Details

The 6th annual Give Pack Golf Classic event is being held at Cranberry Highlands Golf Course (5601 Freshcorn Road, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066) on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 8 A.M. This event will take place rain or shine.

All proceeds will go to Giving Back to Cranberry Township (501C3), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living in Cranberry Township and the surrounding areas.


Why Give Pack?

Every student deserves an opportunity to better his or her future, but not every student has the tools to make this possible.

You can join Giving Back to Cranberry Township (501C3) as we equip more than 2,000 economically disadvantaged school students in grades K-12 with essential tools for the school year. Through Give Pack, students in the Seneca Valley, Ambridge, and Ellwood City School Districts, as well as the residents of Glade Run, Mars Home for Youth, and the Pittsburgh youth connected to mission-based organizations, including Light of Life and Urban Impact, begin the school year ready to excel.

Your partnership provides each student with a new backpack and necessary school supplies, including graphing calculators for those in advanced math classes (STEM).

We believe that having a vision for tomorrow requires us to invest wisely today. Invest with us. Let’s equip our future leaders together.


For more information, email info@givepackgolf.com or visit www.givepackgolf.com.

J&M Raising Money for Local Children

In partnership with Victory Family Church and Giving Back to Cranberry Township (501C3), J&M Strategic Consulting is committed to providing opportunity to over 2,000 economically challenged K-12 students in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. The sixth annual Give Pack Golf Classic at Cranberry Highlands Golf Course on June 18 will raise money to provide those students with backpacks full of necessary school supplies. In 2017, J&M helped raise over $10,000 for the cause, and we are looking to double that for this year’s event!

With your help, we can turn the 1,300 backpacks donated last summer into over 2,000 this summer. Participate in our live auction for your chance to join us at the event and play a round of golf with two NHL players! This is a great opportunity for you to meet some of your favorite hockey players while jumpstarting the future of our youth!

At J&M Strategic Consulting, we strive to make a difference in the community, and the Give Pack Golf Classic provides us with yet another opportunity to get involved. We are beyond excited to be a part of the event once again and look forward to seeing you there! Thank you in advance for your generosity and support!

Professional Development in a Small Company

by Natalie Miller

Starting out with J&M around two years ago, Jen and Mike gave me the exposure to different parts of J&M so that I could choose what I liked best and run with it. They provided guidelines on how they wanted me to do things, and they gave me free range to make it my own. Through all my experiences here, it has taught me that I can feel confident in anything that I do by just trusting in myself and withstanding J&M’s Vision & Values. I never knew what to expect as I jumped into all kinds of new tasks, but I was motivated to find my forte.

Project Management is a large part of J&M and the consulting industry, and I gained exposure to this right away with the task of building the website. This project introduced me to all sides of Project Management and the different people I would be interacting with to successfully complete it. At first, I was uncomfortable in this role, but the people I was working with were very supportive and wanted me to succeed. It was difficult at times, especially because of J&M’s commitment to excellence, but this experience provided me with tools to excel as a professional.

  • Timeline planning and budgeting
  • Communication skills between client and company
  • Determining project scope

Now, I wanted to strengthen my people skills, and the opportunity to manage J&M’s summer intern was the perfect experience. I wanted to inspire both of us to be our best and this experience put my leadership skills to the test. It taught me the importance of patience and gaining an understanding for how different people manage their own workload. At first, I found the experience intimidating, but I discovered my comfort zone through the knowledge I gained:

  • Providing feedback and encouragement where appropriate
  • Project mapping
  • Interpersonal communication

I also wanted to try my hand at marketing and sales because I had some creative and fresh ideas thought to enhance the J&M brand as well as my own experience. Although some of these ideas were very effective, I was never crazy about this type of work. It tested my integrity by requiring a lot of tedious solo work, and I felt as if I would be beneficial in another place. However, I am still thankful for this experience, as it expanded my creativity and communication skills.

  • Production of marketing materials
  • Creating new slogans and campaign initiatives
  • Analyzing trends of potential clients – what they want to see
  • Learning how to sell the J&M brand through social media and marketing tools

I believe that each of these experiences have brought me to where I am now and have made me successful as a recruiter. It is my job to maintain communication with people and develop strong professional relationships. Recruiting is way more than just selling a brand; it is selling people. I quickly found a passion in connecting with new people and exploring each new gig to see how we can create a fit. I have pride in this position and providing excellent people with great opportunities, and I would not be here without Jen and Mike’s flexibility at the beginning.

 

J&M Stepping Up Involvement in 2018

by Koby Uhrig

Last summer, J&M Strategic Consulting sponsored the Give Pack Golf Classic, an event supporting economically disadvantaged K-12 students by providing them with essential school supplies for the year. We are proud to announce that we are extending this partnership, and will be a major contributor once again this season as the event’s name sponsor for the first time. For last year’s event, J&M raised over $10,000, and we are looking to raise over $15,000 for 2018’s fundraiser.

Give Pack is an outreach of Giving Back to Cranberry Township, whose goal is to provide better lives to the people of Cranberry and the surrounding areas. For this year’s initiative, proceeds will benefit students from three school districts and several not-for-profit and mission-based organizations.

J&M maintains its commitment to the community and developing lasting relationships with people who share similar Vision & Values. Our entire team will be at the event on Monday, June 18th at Cranberry Highlands Golf Course, and we would love to see you there! For more information on the event including how to register and donate, visit Give Pack to learn more. 

Olympic Caliber Consulting

by Koby Uhrig

The 2018 Winter Olympics are coming to a close, but our team is still at the top of its game and ready to take on any challenge ahead. For the last two weeks, the nation has come together to watch our best athletes test their talents on the world stage. At J&M Strategic Consulting, we too are celebrating team spirit and placing our abilities on full display.

Similar to Team USA, Our Team at J&M has spent their entire careers preparing to be a part of this team. We all have different roles, but we march together under one symbol and each resemble a specific set of traits. These traits are the J&M Vision & Values and are the backbone for everything that we do. While our experience and expertise may vary, our commitment to the team is unwavering.

Our team is successful because we each understand our roles and support each other in those different roles. Here’s how we view ourselves as an Olympic contingent:

  • Coaches – Executive Team. They inspire us to always be better and constantly encourage us continue down the path to success. We may hit some bumps on that path, but they are there to motivate us and keep us focused on the task at hand. No matter our role, they are focused on us and guiding us to achieve our goals.
  • Biathletes – Strategic Consultant Team. These dedicated individuals are in it for the long haul. They understand that it may take time to reach the objective and are ready to adjust to any setback that may occur. Their experience and professionalism is loud via their ability to multitask and determination to get to the finish line.
  • Curlers – Business Development Team. These individuals utilize their unique finesse to guide and support J&M as it hits the button and approaches its goals. They are always looking ahead and taking advantage of opportunities to allow J&M to grow.

We view each of these roles as equally important and continue to motivate and evaluate each other on how we are tracking. Like Team USA and their fans, we support each other. Through this support, our focus will keep us on top of the podium. 

Trust Yourself

by Koby Uhrig

J&M’s consultants have over 100 years of combined experience and have worn several different hats with many different companies. It is their expectation to excel in every project they oversee and that starts well before the first meeting with a new client. Confidence is everything when opening fresh, and preparation is the first major step in developing a mutual trust that will maximize productivity for the entirety of the relationship.

Our consultants agree that researching the client and learning as much as you can about everyone you will be working with is key to your success as a team. “Typically, when I first meet someone, I am shy, introverted, and timid,” admitted strategic consultant Joseph Nabity. “As I get to know the people and the company within the first few meetings, I find myself capable of standing out in future meetings, and this knowledge influences me to make better recommendations.”

Do you really know their initiatives and goals or are you just guessing? Get an idea for this BEFORE you embark on this new chapter so you can focus on the task at hand with everyone being on the same page. President Jen Dodge defends Joe’s stance, adding “It is dangerous to walk into a new project by just assuming you know everything.”

Now that you know the ins and outs of the company you will be working with, you can focus on the people. Develop interpersonal relationships early and build on them as you move forward. Engage with the team continuously and make it a priority to offer your input. Ask questions when needed, as this is one of the best ways to ensure everyone is on the same page. Provide feedback where appropriate and compliment team members for good ideas. Give them credit for their contributions even if they weren’t entirely their own.

Once your relationships are in place, it is time for you to deliver. Take initiative and drive the project before it drives you. Trusting in yourself is as important as anything, according to Vice President Mike Dodge. “Trust in your abilities,” Mike stated. “Your experience has led you to that client for a reason and you are there to make great things happen. You may not know what those great things are right now, but you will soon realize them through hard work and commitment.”

Provide suggestions that prove why they brought you along in the first place. Be clear and concise with goals and consistently report how you are tracking towards said goals. Respond to any problems that arise in a timely manner and stay focused on the task at hand. Any form of these three is adding value to the project in the form of information or results.

How will you react when taking on a new project or starting with a new client? Are you confident in your abilities to deliver results? Our consultants are ready to guide your next project to its fullest potential and develop a relationship that sparks the efficiency of your business.


Carolyn Lewis and Cheryl Wilson also contributed to this blog. Learn more about our strategic consultants.

On Solid Ground: Making the Jump From a Corporate Job to Consulting

by Cheryl Wilson

Packing a 28-year career into a few banker boxes – knowing I would not be employed the following Monday – was more than I was emotionally prepared to handle. Lost and vulnerable were foreign feelings that forced me to acknowledge how much of my personal identity I had tied to my career. Coaching and a sincere desire to learn and quickly adapt led to a solid foundation and propelled me into a rewarding experience. 

Interacting with various consultants during my career always peaked my interest.  I often wondered how their careers began and found them to possess great knowledge, drive, passion, and energy. New clients, new projects, setting goals, and working as a team towards a shared vision was something I always enjoyed. Finding a company that shared my values was imperative. When I began discussions with J&M about consulting, I felt confident this was a place I could succeed and grow.

It didn’t take long to realize the transition into consulting required a different mindset than the corporate world.  Through trial and error and networking with my peers, I found a few fundamentals to be successful:

  • Perception is everything –  Clients will quickly form an opinion about you and your ability to successfully manage their projects.  Be mindful of this short window of opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression; deliver quality results quickly.    Make sure the way you present yourself conveys the right message.
  • Build trust quickly –  Your resume and interview may have opened the door, however, you will not have years of shared experiences to lean on.  You are at ground zero with every new client; establish positive relationships right away.
  • Exceed client expectations – anticipate needs and take the pressure off of your client.  Let them know “you’ve got this” and deliver on time.  Overcommunicate your project status and volunteer to take on those additional tasks to keep the project on track.  Address all risks swiftly.
  • Be transparent in all areas – be sensitive to client culture, but transparent in all activities and perceived roadblocks.  Be candid and solution oriented.

While my journey into consulting is still very new, I have learned these simple, but not always easy, concepts to be successful.  They lead to valuable client relationships and often times, extended contract engagements.  Building trust and delivering superior results for each and every engagement will help drive your success in consulting.


Read more about Cheryl Wilson, and check out the rest of our consulting team.

 

Starting Off on the Right Foot

by Koby Uhrig

Time is one of the most valuable resources to your business, so it is important to make the most of it when planning a new project. Part of this process may involve familiarizing oneself with the leadership team for that project. This is a step that should be done well before the project commences, as it will maximize your time and also reduce the pressure one might be facing with regards to project deadlines.

Upon gaining knowledge of an upcoming project, take note of the project manager and any other individuals responsible for a leadership role on that assignment. If you are unfamiliar with anyone in these roles, send the leadership team a quick email:

  • Introduce yourself and explain how excited you are to get started.
  • Include some of your skillsets and decide where you believe you should be positioned to create the best outcome.
  • Carbon copy the entire team to create an avenue that brings everyone together and encourages others to do the same.

Now you have taken initiative to get to know everybody and are leading in your own way by creating conversation. This will allow your first couple meetings to run smoothly without taking any unnecessary time to introduce each other any further than a name. It also helps the leadership team in placing everyone in their best positions to succeed. This will ensure the team can live up to its full potential and over-deliver on results.

Once the team is organized into different roles, the knowledge of each other’s skillsets comes into play in minimizing pressure. You know what you excel in, and that’s why you are in the position you have been placed into. You also know what some of the strengths of your coworkers are as well as their areas of improvement. Do not hesitate to ask questions or offer help to any of your teammates if you think one of the parts of the project would benefit from a bit of collaboration. This will solidify the trust between each member of the team, reducing the pressure and concern of deadlines.

Take the initiative to get ahead on your projects today and build that much needed trust with those around you. Your meetings are valuable and limited, so it is important to maximize that time by starting off on the right foot with your team to avoid future conflict.