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Meet Carolyn Lewis, Our New Strategic Consultant

J&M Strategic Consulting is excited to announce the addition of Carolyn Lewis as a Strategic Consultant. Carolyn is a quality-focused professional that adds 25 years of experience to the team. She has spent the last 15 years in various management roles focused on problem resolution, project management, workforce development & planning, client management, and more.

Carolyn is a detail-oriented individual who is naturally organized and is focused on the betterment of the team. Her positive attitude coupled with her tremendous listening skills enable her to resolve all conflicts with the best outcome for her and those around her. Carolyn is a true team player that we believe is a perfect fit with J&M.

When asked what appealed most to her at J&M, she explained it was about the atmosphere and the emphasis on the Vision & Values. “It feels that some places I have worked, everyone has just been treated like a number with no personality or individuality,” said Carolyn. “J&M seems different in that it displays a family-type atmosphere where we all rely on each other to be great as a team. We hold each other accountable according to the Vision & Values and there is a sense of openness that allows each of us to comfortably display these traits.”

Mike Dodge has this to say about Carolyn joining J&M,  “When you meet someone that fits the J&M Vision & Values, you know instantly, and I knew instantly that Carolyn would be a good fit for our team.”

During her free time, Carolyn enjoys traveling and finds the beach to be one of her favorite destinations. She is a Pittsburgh sports fan and prefers to take advantage of good weather days by playing a round of golf at a local course.

It is a delight to have Carolyn join our team and we know it will lead to great success for J&M as well as all of those she crosses paths with. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Carolyn Lewis as she joins us on this journey!

Favorite Vision & Values

October marks the birth month of J&M’s Vision & Values. By now, you are probably familiar with these terms as they are the backbone for all things J&M. To recognize its significance, we are dedicating the entire month to the Vision & Values and how important they are to each of us as well as how they came to be. Today, we share with you our favorite Vision & Values and why they mean so much to us. We encourage you to get involved in the conversation and mention your favorite.

Scott Schramm, Wellness Coordinator

“My favorite part of J&M’s Vision & Values is commitment. Commitment hits close to home for me. Every good thing I have going for me can be attributed to staying committed and seeing it through. From my current job situation to my weight loss and weightlifting success, I owe it all to keeping myself committed. To me, commitment encompasses all of the other Vision & Values.”

Natalie Miller, Director of Recruiting

“My favorite is teamwork. I remember when J&M meetings were just a call with me,  Jen, and Mike. As the years have passed, J&M has changed a lot and in a very positive way. We have added a ton of employees and in better words, teammates. This group of people we have are on all different types of projects in all different settings, but they all find time weekly to come together as a team to support, motivate, and inspire one another.”

Cheryl Wilson, Senior Strategic Consultant

“My favorite Vision & Value is faith. Sharing faith with Jen, Mike, and Natalie was a big reason I felt confident taking the step I did to become a consultant. Just over a year ago, we all stepped out on faith and worked through everything as it came up. I believe it is faith that led me to where I am today and what continues to lead J&M towards growth and success. Faith provides me with hope on a continuous basis and gives me someone to rely on in the form of God. I don’t need to separate church and work because I am working with people of faith. That foundation builds trust. This is something I haven’t seen in other companies because it is risky and may be viewed as politically incorrect. I love that we boldly proclaim faith as one of our Values!”

Joseph Nabity, Strategic Consultant

“I truly appreciate J&M’s emphasis on transparency in all aspects. I have been a part of organizations that are less transparent in their decisions, and it leaves individuals guessing their intentions and benefits. I have found that the best way to be successful is by being honest and transparent. In meetings, it is better to share as much information as you can so all parties involved can make informed decisions and effectively participate in discussions. Transparency has inspired many people I have interacted with to trust and collaborate with me, whereas keeping individuals in the dark has led to a cessation of communication and a lack of willingness to collaborate.”

Terry Langholdt, Senior Strategic Consultant

“Inspire – make everyone better. Take a moment out of your day to give someone a written or spoken complement or something as simple as a high-five. These little things can help someone take that extra step that they need to accomplish a goal. Encouraging the people around you by cheering or openly showing your commitment or support will create a great return on investment.”

Kathleen Conklin, Strategic Consultant

“My favorite Vision & Value is definitely passion. I have a lot of passion in everything I do. Passion is the driving force that allows me to naturally incorporate the other Vision & Values into everything that I do.”

Briceon Mundt, Strategic Consultant

“Balance. ‘Work hard, play harder’ is the mantra constantly used at J&M. Here, life is more than just a job. This does not mean that J&M is not producing the highest quality of work possible. It means that J&M promotes that work should not consume life, and that is something that has always resonated with me.”

Linda Vance, Sales Associate

“The Vision & Values that I admire most is faith. Everyone at J&M is committed to our faith discussions and it brings us closer together as a team. I appreciate how everyone is always available to discuss faith and other topics at a personal level.”

Koby Uhrig, Social Media Consultant

“Without a doubt, my favorite is teamwork. I have been on a countless number of teams in my life. Some have been dysfunctional and some were like family. None fit that family label quite like J&M. These people are the easiest I’ve worked with and together, we embody every piece of the Vision & Values. Each of us stay committed to the Vision & Values and it creates a positive work environment for everyone we encounter.”

Mike Dodge, Vice President

“My favorite Vision & Value today is passion. When you are passionate about your work and the people you work with, that passion becomes contagious. At J&M, we talk about our Vision & Values everyday, and we measure each other based on how well we live up to these Vision & Values. Across the board, I believe that when you are truly passionate and that passion spreads, the other Vision & Values are naturally elevated in everything we do.”

Jen Dodge, President & Founder

“Definitely faith. I give 100% credit of where I am today to Jesus. I didn’t have the best childhood. I chased sports to stay off the streets. I earned okay grades and had no grandioso plans of building a consulting firm. I have no business being here…a president of a million-dollar company. But, God had a plan for me. All along, I had thought God paved the way for my boys’ dreams, but his plan is much bigger than just hockey.”

The J&M Hat Trick: People. Process. Technology.

by Koby Uhrig

Hockey holds a central role at J&M Strategic Consulting in that it is the reason why we are here.  You may recognize our slogan “People. Process. Technology.”  At J&M we refer to this as our hat trick, and all three are key to implementing a winning IT strategy.  When these resources align properly, success is sure to follow.  Allow us to break down the importance of all three.


People

People are the most valuable resources to any business.  When your people are placed in the right positions with positive engagement and healthy relationships, your business will reap the benefits.  J&M will ensure that you have the right people in the right positions doing the right things to maximize their skills and potential.  When you maximize the human potential amongst your team, it will be realized collectively as you push each other to achieve the overall goals.

Process

Your business is unique.  Your process should be unique, too.  You have your own way of doing things and J&M is not going to change that.  We simply analyze your current processes and work within your methodology to accomplish your goals.  Once we completely understand your processes, we can implement effective, long term improvements.  Often, there are several ways to reach the same goal, but we will be your GPS.  J&M will find the most efficient way to get to your destination.

Technology

Without the latest updates to technology, your projects could be coming up short and your business might be falling behind.  What technologies do you need right now to help you complete the upcoming projects?  J&M can help assess which technologies are guiding your projects and which ones are actually costing your business money.  If your people and processes are aligned, it’s time to complete the hat trick by updating technology.  With the proper tools and training, your team is ready to take on any challenge ahead of them.


People.  Process.  Technology.  It’s more than just our motto.  It’s the focal points of any successful business.  When a company has all three on the same line, they are due for continued success.  J&M Strategic Consulting will commit to getting you on the path to long lasting success.  Get in touch with us today to set up an assessment!

A New Path Emerges

Part One: The Culmination

by Scott Schramm

Imagine a time in your life when you were on the cusp of a big, life-changing decision and pulled the trigger. Why did you make this decision? What events occurred in your life that led you to make this choice? For me, this life-changing decision was to start my own personal training business. When I left my training gig at a national fitness chain at the end of October 2016, I only had a few clients to my name and was nowhere near busy enough to survive off my training business alone. I worked hard to make ends meet for a few months, but I still wasn’t close to having enough clients to maintain a stable business.

One evening in December 2016, I received a personal training request from Jen Dodge for her and her husband, Mike. After about ten minutes, I had already set up a meet a greet for us to work out fitness goals and plans. Meeting Jen and Mike at first was a little intimidating but also a breath of fresh air. I could tell right away that they were very disciplined and driven people, which isn’t always the case with personal training clients, so I was looking forward to testing my abilities on these two highly committed individuals. We reached an agreement in January 2017 and began our sessions a couple days later. It took some finagling to initially get into a groove, but their motivation and feedback made the early morning workouts run smoothly.

Over the next several months, we guided each other to become better people and our relationship grew to a more personal level. They inspired me to continuously put effort into becoming a better trainer. I began researching new exercises regularly that we would later try during sessions together. Both Jen & Mike were excited with the results they were seeing, so we started talking about an expanded role that branches into J&M. This was a big step for me and slightly over my head at first, but I knew I could take on the challenge. I accepted the position as Wellness Coordinator in April and felt right at home because of how well Jen & Mike treated their employees.

Among the first things I learned upon joining J&M were their Vision & Values and how they are the foundation of the company. Right away, I appreciated each of the Vision & Values and how they are placed at the forefront of everything J&M does as a company. It was apparent that Jen & Mike lived their lives with the Vision & Values holding priority. If I wasn’t sold yet, I was at the words commitment, teamwork, integrity, and passion. These are four traits that are critical to my craft as a personal trainer and words that explain my journey in getting to this point today. Reflecting back on that journey made me recognize that J&M is the perfect fit for me.

TO BE CONTINUED…

J&M Grassroots: Community

On Tuesday, October 10th, J&M Strategic Consulting will take part in the annual Light the Night walk hosted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  This organization is committed to saving the lives of blood cancer patients everywhere.  All proceeds will be used to provide patients with support services, advocate for lifesaving treatments, and pioneer the most advanced blood cancer research.

J&M has a long and proud history of serving the community, but LLS is closest to our hearts.  President and Founder Jen Dodge was first introduced to LLS in 1999.  During this same year, Jen met Maureen Durkin, who was instrumental in making the LLS fundraiser an annual commitment for Jen, and eventually, J&M. “Meeting Maureen changed my life really.  I had ‘given back’ before but was nowhere near as committed as I am today,” commented Jen.  “Her energy and passion for bringing people together to fight cancer was contagious.”

At the time, Jen’s oldest son, JT, was six years old.  Jen had heard about the upcoming 10th annual LLS Gelatin Splash, and before long, a few of JT’s hockey teammates were signed up to dive down a slide into gelatin to support the cancer fight. Jen and Maureen talked about another LLS fundraiser that day, Light the Night, and just like that, a tradition was born.  It didn’t take long before both of her son’s hockey teams participated annually.

“What has always impressed me about Jen was her compassion for others and the way she passed along that same compassion, dedication, and determination to her young sons and their friends,” explained Maureen.  “Jen showed these boys that no matter what your age, what you do for others makes a definite impact.  Many of these young men became great athletes – and I think most would agree that they are even greater human beings.”

Jen founded J&M in 2004 as a means for supporting her boys through their hockey dreams but was always dedicated to serving the community.  Every year, she has made it her mission to attend community events, especially Light the Night.  However, in 2008, Jen was out of town on the day of the event and was disappointed to have to miss.  Roughly one month later, while sitting on the patio of a restaurant in San Francisco, LLS Light the Night walked just past her table.  This was an incredible moment of resonation for Jen.  “I had mixed feelings watching Light the Night walk past me that evening.  Guilt for missing that year, joy in watching people on the other side of the country embrace the fight, and a sense of pride knowing that the entire country was in this together.”

Over the years, Jen and J&M have continued to support LLS in more ways than just their events.  In 2011, over $2,000 was collected for JT’s high school graduation party, all of which was donated to the organization.  Jen has also led the charge in donating money from her sons’ hockey related activities.

Our relationship with LLS is one that will continue for many years to come.  This year, we are proud to announce that we are bringing our largest contingency yet.  We encourage everyone to participate with us or donate to the cause.

J&M Lights the Night

by Koby Uhrig

J&M Strategic Consulting continues to strengthen its bond with the local community.  On Tuesday, October 10th, members of the J&M team will participate in the 2017 Light The Night Walk at Heinz Field, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  J&M has already collected $2,300 of the $137,000 in total that has been raised by the cause.

Last October, J&M collected $8,485 for LLS and we are expecting to almost double that total for this year’s rally.  J&M’s goal for 2017 is $15,000 and we encourage everyone to participate.  The walk is an annual event held all across the country to celebrate, honor, and remember all that have been touched by cancer.

Cancer has impacted so many of us here at J&M and we are honored to be given an opportunity to partake in this amazing event.  This will be the second consecutive year that J&M has participated as a company, but President Jen Dodge has been involved with LLS for the last 18 years.  “It’s easy to sign up and join our team in this effort to raise money for a cause that impacts each and every one of us. We would love for you to join us!”

J&M Strategic Consulting is committed to being a key contributor to this initiative as well as many others moving forward.  As always, we encourage you to join our team in support or visit Light the Night to make a donation or to register your own team to walk for a cure.

Meet Our New Strategic Consultant, Joseph Nabity

J&M Strategic Consulting, Inc. is thrilled to welcome Joseph Nabity to the team as a Strategic Consultant.  Joseph graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2014 and immediately gained experience in IT.  He followed up an internship with stints in systems analysis, business analysis, and data analysis and modeling.  He was as a key part of IT system support for HR and benefits.  His commitment to exceeding expectations and doing his part to make an entire team better make him a desirable professional and an inspirational individual.

According to Mike Dodge, “It took less than three minutes to realize that Joseph is J&M material. Along with his professional accomplishments, he embodies our vision and values. That combination makes Joseph an incredible member of our team.”

The relationships Joseph has formed have driven his professional path to J&M and will continue to open roads towards success along his journey.  For the past three years, he has worked with Briceon Mundt, who has seen his shining stardom first hand.  “Joe exudes commitment and excellence with every assignment he receives.  It doesn’t matter if he is handed the most daunting or menial of tasks, he will give his full attention and effort, and complete the job on time with the highest quality.  The most remarkable thing about Joe is his undeniable ability to walk into a room, and inspire the least cooperative of teams to realize that they either succeed together, or fail apart.”

At J&M, our Vision & Values sit at the top of everything that we do.  This emphasis is something that attracted Joseph from the very beginning.  “When I first learned about J&M, I was instantly impressed with their commitment to their Vision & Values,” Joe explained.  “In past work environments, I have found myself juggling too many tasks, finding it hard to say no, and wasting time guessing at reasoning and direction behind tasks.  It is inspiring to see that J&M is committed to promoting balance and transparency amongst the team.  J&M places great value behind their employees and I am thrilled to get an opportunity to join that team.”

J&M Strategic Consulting is elated to take the next step with Joseph on board.  Join us in welcoming Joseph Nabity to the J&M team!

 

J&M Continues Give Pack Support for Local Children

by Koby Uhrig

In early August, J&M Strategic Consulting continued to show its commitment to supporting the local community.  From Thursday, August 3rd through Saturday, August 5th, members of the team gathered at Victory Family Church in Cranberry, PA to distribute backpacks full of school supplies to kids in need.  This volunteer event was a follow up to the Give Pack Golf Classic, which J&M sponsored back in June.

Give Pack raised about $50,000 at this year’s golf outing, which is their highest amount ever.  This money was used to purchase backpacks filled with notebooks, binders, and many more school supplies.  In total, 1,300 backpacks were donated across two school districts and another local nonprofit organization.

The J&M team provided 39 hours of volunteer work to help distribute backpacks to the children as they came in to pick them up.  The opportunity to be a huge part of such a great event is something that J&M doesn’t take for granted.

Wellness Coordinator Scott Schramm volunteered on Thursday for the event and offered up his thoughts.  “I remember growing up that school supplies were somewhat of a luxury.  There was a vending machine with basic supplies in my elementary school’s lobby but my friends and I were young and didn’t have any money,” he continued.  “My classmates and I would constantly borrow each other’s supplies because not many of us had them and the schools didn’t provide extras.  Thinking back on that and knowing that these kids will start off the school year right with plenty of needed supplies is a really good feeling.”

J&M Strategic Consulting will continue to take initiative and look for local outreaches in the community to make a difference.  The relationship formed with Victory Family Church is powerful and is expected to strengthen with future events according to J&M President, Jen Dodge.  “I am very happy with what our employees contributed throughout this entire drive, from the golf outing through handing out the back packs. However, I very much felt a tug that we are to be doing much more. At the end of handing out back packs, we expressed J&M’s desire to do more next year. We will be participating on their planning committee that gets kicked off this November. We are partnering with Give Pack for years to come.”

Kathleen Conklin joins J&M as a Strategic Consultant

J&M Strategic Consulting welcomes Kathleen Conklin to the team as J&M’s newest Strategic Consultant.  Kat carries over 10 years of experience in IT along with an outstanding track record of exceeding customer expectations. With stints in construction, recruiting, and vendor supplying, she knows exactly how to create and maintain strategies in order to achieve goals of the business.

Kat is committed to excellence and is capable of adjusting to any obstacles that may appear on her path to success.  Her team-first mentality and superior people skills make her easy to work with.  She has worked with developing and deploying software in the past and has formed teams to keep these projects on track.  Kat’s match with J&M’s Vision & Values is staggering, as shown by her ability to lead a team and migrate information from one source to another through the work of multiple people.

Kat has worked with Jen Dodge in the past on countless projects, and it didn’t take long for Jen to see her value. “My first real interaction with Kat was actually conflict. We were on a project together that needed some issue resolution. The most important part of issue management is discussing what the next steps are to get it resolved. A lot of companies spend more time figuring out who is to blame, then what we need to do in order to move forward. Don’t get me wrong, root cause analysis is needed, but not at the expense of fixing the issue. Kat and I talked after a very heated call, and we ended up fighting over who was just going to take the blame so we could move forward! Mind you, neither one of us had pushed the buttons on the keyboard to cause the issue… but we both were going to take one for the team knowing that is what was best for the project. It was then I knew that everyone else around Kat is what was most important to her.”

Outside of the office, Kat likes to spend time at social gatherings with her family and friends.  She enjoys traveling and trying new foods in the kitchen.  On a nice summer day, you may find her getting some swings in on the golf course.

It is an honor to add such an incredible person and professional to our proud team.  Please join J&M in congratulating Kathleen Conklin on her new role!  We are excited to accomplish great things together!

Five Benefits of a Portfolio Assessment

by Koby Uhrig

J&M Strategic Consulting is committed to partnering with your business to walk with you towards your goals.  We will assess your company from the top down and discover what is working as well as the areas that need some improvement.  Here are five reasons why your company should consider working with J&M:

1.       Align your people with your goals.

This step seems obvious but it is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page with where you are now and where you expect to be.  Everyone on the team must understand what will make the business better as a whole to produce outstanding results.  Sometimes, this means rearranging members of the team to place them in a position that maximizes the use of their skillsets.  When a person’s position matches their skillsets, the entire company will benefit and satisfy their goals.  J&M Strategic Consulting will create a custom roadmap for your business based on your goals.

2.      Structure your team effectively.

Develop a structure that allows your team to work most effectively.  Once each of your team members are placed in their most beneficial positions, your business should have a structure in place that determines the process by which projects will be completed.  Is your company most effective when working in groups?  How big should your groups be and how will this increase your overall productivity?  J&M will provide these answers.

3.      Increase your ability to multitask as a unit.

Your business likely has numerous projects going on simultaneously that each require attention.  This can cause unnecessary stress for everyone involved.  To avoid the pressure, assess the skillsets of each group within your company and assign projects accordingly.  You can create balance in your business by assigning two projects to each group per week instead of assigning the entire team to all projects.  It will enhance communication and productivity and allows you to advance on multiple projects at a time in an effective manner.  Ask J&M how to improve your task management.

4.       Evaluate and park underperforming projects.

On the surface, every project that gets approved has high and attainable ROI.  The J&M team will help evaluate if the project is even aligned with business priorities, let alone if it stands a chance of meeting its deliverables and outcomes.  How does the project relate to your company’s vision?  Is it effective in the long term and worth your time?

5.      It’s FREE!

At J&M Strategic Consulting, we offer your company a FREE initial assessment to determine the best course of action and to prove that we have the experience and tools that will propel your business.  There’s nothing to lose and the world to gain with J&M!

Get started with J&M today!