Hey there, Josh!

By | PeopleIT News

Josh began his adventure with PeopleIT as an intern and is now an official member, working as Customer Service Leader. We are super glad to have him.

Everything about Josh just fits. He fits with our team so seamlessly that it feels like he has been here all along. He is a kind and genuine human who loves being with others. Growing up with his Hungarian family in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood he has cultivated a deep appreciation for exploring other cultures. Especially through their food – which is #1 of his top four areas of expertise. Followed by photography (soon you will get to enjoy his work throughout our site), pallet racking and video gaming.

The most important thing for you to know about Josh is that all of these things and more – he loves most when doing them with others. His favorite thing about a recent trip to Pennsylvania/Washington DC was the company (his wife – Laura). I am not kidding, these two love each other so much it’s the cutest. When commenting on it at our last team hang to celebrate Jason’s graduation from Davenport (woot woot), Laura replied,

“I know, we love each other so much it’s kind of annoying.”

It is not annoying. We LOVE it. We are all about our people and our connection to them, and it is not a surprise that Josh aligns strongly with our value of Better Together. He is glad to be a part of a team that sticks together and enjoys each other’s company in and outside of work. He is also a fan of Be The Same and if you have connected with our Customer Service team – you will experience firsthand, the consistency and attention Josh brings to his work.

Josh brings with him a wealth of experience from his work at Herman Miller and Ziglift prior to that. This is where the Pallet Racking expertise comes from in case you were curious. Have any pallets that need racking? Josh is your guy! Oh, and he can handle any of your IT support needs too 🙂

Alex Fisher shares his Insights

By | PeopleIT News

Alex is amazing. Alex is kind. Alex is generous.

Here he shares what it has been like for his company – Opus Packaging – to journey through the Insights & Roadmapping process with us.

What was the experience like?

The Insight & Roadmapping process was one of the most intentional and impactful analysis of a business unit that I have been a part of.  It helped to re-instate the importance of strategy, alignment, and root-cause analysis. 

On a personal note: the process reinvigorated and empowered me to think critically, engage effectively, and greatly increased my level of confidence in my role and in my impact on the organization

What did you discover & uncover?

The approach to planning from an insightful perspective really drove home the need for deep and intuitive understanding of the business and how best to serve and grow it.  A lot of the process pointed towards empowering our staff and recognizing the strengths that they have to assist in leading the different areas of the organization.

The process completely reshaped the IT Department’s structure, strategy, and alignment with the organization.  It assisted by putting in place strategies that directly affect the growth and synergy of our company.  We are also immensely more deliberate with our approach to opportunities that benefit not only the company, but also our customers. 

Where are you on the map?

We are a number of major projects into our roadmap and steadily completing more.  While important to complete all aspects of the roadmap, we understand that businesses change and being able to pivot is important.  This process has allowed us to be flexible enough to include new projects while also giving us the tools to ‘stay the course’ and remain aligned with the overall organization objectives.

Final thoughts…

The engagement started as call for help with a specific project concerning Windows Server Deployment and evolved beyond anything that we ever had planned.  It has been a long and difficult journey, but the benefits that the organization has seen, from the beginning of our journey to now, is incredible.

Major thank-you to Alex Fisher (IT Manager) and the whole Opus team for letting us be a part of your amazing work. It is an honor to join you and work alongside you. Cheers!

Curious about what this process could look like for your organization or team? Reach out and let’s chat!

April Book Read: Ideal Team Player

By | PeopleIT News

In April, our team explored Patrick Lencioni’s Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues. These three virtues are present within people inherently equipped to be high-performing team members. According to Lencioni, an Ideal Team Player is all at once:

  • Humble
    Ideal team players are humble. They lack excessive ego or concerns about status. Humble people are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self and define success collectively rather than individually.
  • Hungry
    Ideal team players are hungry. They are always looking for more. More things to do. More to learn. More responsibility to take on. Hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.
  • Smart
    Ideal team players are smart. They have common sense about people. Smart people tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way. They have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

It is at the intersection of these three attributes that the guts of the ideal team player live. Underneath the core message, our team drew many great insights and applications for our work. In the very simple and everyday acts of asking questions and letting others speak, we found a challenge to approach our conversations and relationships with a commitment to presence and active listening. In this we are opening up to the chance to discover something new, learning from others and inviting them to share their experiences.

We drew connections to our previous book read (Dare To Lead) with a call again to be vulnerable in building the virtues of hungry, humble and smart, and also to be vulnerable in conversations and interactions – asking for clarity, especially when offended and confused by something that was said.

In addition to vulnerability rising as a core practice, authenticity also surfaced with a challenge to explore together what it really means to become authentic in the ways we show up, the contributions we make to the team and the attention given to our role in every relationship.

Finally, we collectively felt a challenge to embrace conflict. Learning how to have healthy and courteous disagreements and debates because conflict is really important. The absence of conflict does not mean peace. It is often the ground for growth, understanding and innovation.

Have you read Ideal Team Player? We would love to hear your thoughts and the applications for your own team or organization. Thanks to Dave Jessup at Koops, Inc. for turning us on to this book and modeling a culture that holds this at the heart. If you want to dig beyond the pages of the book, they offer a self-assessment which could provide new awareness. Enjoy!

Foresight – A Courage Culture

By | PeopleIT News

We are honored to work with many incredible companies. One of which is Foresight – an energy management company empowering energy reduction and increased profitability. They come straight to mind when reflecting on our value of Courage: Do the right thing, say the hard things, serve others, be wrong, choose to grow and change, even when you’re afraid. Be human. Give yourself, and others grace. Their culture, team & leadership embody the elements of courage in their approach to work and we are inspired by them.

We decided to ask Foresight CEO, Brian Pageau, to shares how courage shows up within their organization. Here is what he had to say:

Our team doesn’t run from conflict or disappointment with clients.  One of our favorite books is The Obstacle is the Way (Ryan Holiday) and at the essence of this book is the idea that the only way to get past hard things is to enter into them fully.  No avoiding or “going around” the problem… we own it and face it full on.

Our team works really hard on “getting it right” as opposed to “being right.”  This distinction empowers our team to not take failure personally, but to instead focus on owning what happened and moving forward from that point on.

We have a 3 part mission statement that is “How” we pursue our purpose as an organization: 

  • Pursue Individual Vitality
  • Build Long Term Partnerships
  • Embody a Growth Mindset

Being human and showing grace are big parts of becoming vital as an adult.  Having a growth mindset is all about treating failure as learning opportunities that give us the chance to be better the next time around.

It is our privilege to partner with Foresight by providing Fully Managed Support for for their team and customers. You can learn more about our work with them here: https://www.peopleit.com/portfolio/positive-energy/

Do the right thing, say the hard things, serve others, be wrong, choose to grow and change, even when you’re afraid. Be human. Give yourself, and others grace.

February Book Read: Dare To Lead

By | PeopleIT News

One key way we are building our culture is through monthly book reads as a team. Each book is carefully selected and many have been discovered through our clients (thanks everyone!)

This past month we dug into Brené Brown’s most recent book – Dare To Lead The ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures.

So much of her work resonates with ours and we found affirmation for our values and approach while also discovering tangible practices to build into our micro-moments as a team: Healthy rumbling, gratitude, “painting done” and kind humor to name a few!

What struck us most is the theme of humanity that came through in every story and practice. Our mantra is people first and everything else second. Daring leadership is centered on the power of bringing human connection to the forefront in our actions within our team and in our work with clients and partners. We are all people, people. Let’s speak, act and connect from a foundation of common humanity.

“To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded. We have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.”

Thank you, Brené, for providing a play book for us to continue leaning into as we seek to embrace courage in our culture, our work and in our lives. And thanks to AG Collaborative for the book recommendation!

We would love to hear from any of you who have read her work and are applying it in your work, life and leadership. Drop us a line, or better yet – let’s grab a beer and chat in person.

PeopleIT Welcomes Jason Helms

By | PeopleIT News
Join us in welcoming Jason! You will soon discover – as we have – that he is brilliant, driven and always up for Big Adventure…

Jason Helms – IT Leader

Jason is a cool dude. His work as a dad of four, Firefighter (rescuing cats with the jaws of life), Medical First Responder & I.T. Extraordinaire is fueled by a strict diet of Mountain Dew, Nacho Cheese Doritos and Gummy Bears. He approaches all aspects of home and life with a desire to problem-solve, optimize, and improve – often giving “every waking moment” toward finding a resolution (in the words of his wife).

Jason closely identifies with PeopleIT’s value of Small Steps, Big Adventure – especially the call to approach work as a playground and not a battlefield. Combining this with his expert problem-solving skills, he is committed to minimizing frustration for end-users that encounter I.T. issues with a fun and exploratory mindset, creating opportunities for education and solutions for all.

In his “down-time,” Jason enjoys spending time with his kids in their basement/office, experimenting and tackling new projects or optimizing the home wi-fi while they color and puzzle.

If you catch him outside PeopleIT and his home office he may be adventuring to the family cabin, one of Michigan’s incredible state parks or surprise tripping to Great Wolf Lodge. Though be warned, if you strike up a conversation he may try to entice you to the Dark Side of the Force.

PeopleIT – 2018 Holiday Party

By | PeopleIT News

All was Merry & Bright!

(especially John Johnston)

The PeopleIT team and families gathered at 205 Coffee Bar for a night of laughter & merriment. Kudos to Kurtis & Laura for crushing the Holiday Movie quiz. You are the masters of Christmas Cinema!

Enjoy the photos and Happy Holidays, everyone!

PeopleIT Completes Office Renovations

By | PeopleIT News

In the acquisition of ZBx, PeopleIT assumed their office space – transforming it to provide a more open and collaborative environment fostering teamwork, strategic planning and capacity for growth through 2019. What you can’t see in the amazing photos below is the Gigabit Internet connection allowing for enterprise level service. Impressed yet? Stop in for a tour – we love company!

PeopleIT Welcomes Christian Scott

By | PeopleIT News
We love meeting brilliant people and aligning their talent and passion with our mission to provide progressive I.T. strategy, advice and support services. It is our pleasure to introduce you to…

Christian Scott – IT Leader
Musically-inclined, tinkerer of snowmobiles – Christian is your go-to guy for day to day technical issues. Working creatively to implement solutions, connect with new people to grow business and solve technical challenges. He is inspired by PeopleIT’s value of Courage as a way to serve others and pursue growth. This value sets the foundation for a team that is courageous in designing amazing solutions for clients.

Christian is exceptionally talented in explaining complex technical concepts in a way that makes sense to anyone. Like this…

I love engineering for worst case scenarios. Given the challenge of designing a technical system that cannot fail, I am extremely excited about engineering for fault tolerance and high availability – all the way from local servers to buildings on different continents.

On a perfect day, Christian will get a chance to share this knowledge while fishing from a kayak. Impressed? We thought so.

Christian came to PeopleIT by way of Scott Group Studio where he worked as an IT Project Manager, a long way back you would find him jumping from trees into massive piles of leaves, but you’ll have to ask him for that story if you get chance.

When he isn’t solving the world’s problems one IT issue at a time you’ll find him exploring new places with his wife, Libby, leading worship at Resurrection Life Church and working on snowmobiles with his dad.

PeopleIT Welcomes New Team Members

By | PeopleIT News
One of our core values is Better TogetherWe need great people we trust, respect and can laugh with to share the journey and we are excited to introduce you to two of those people…

Chris Stephens – Customer Service Leader
Chris is one of the most interesting dudes you’ll ever have a chance to meet. In addition to his work with PeopeIT he is a Professional Fire Fighter / Paramedic and a Commercial SCUBA and Hard Hat Diver. It is hard to believe that with three professions he would have time to do anything else, but to round things out Chris recently completed a 3-year river house remodel and became a Father to Theodore – born May 19, 2018.

It is not a surprise that the PeopleIT value Chris is most excited about is Courage. This inspires him to meet new people and travel to places he has never been. Like that one time during the Winter Olympics…

“My Fiancée and I flew from Michigan non-stop to Incheon, South Korea. We then almost immediately got on another airplane Chiang Mai, Thailand, met up with some friends and visited night street markets, and the elephants! A lot of walking and a lot of meeting new people from around the world. Learned a lot of history of Thailand. After a week in country, we flew by way of Kuala Lumpur, to Manila, Philippines. Then another small airplane down to the island of Cebu, Philippines. We stayed in an ocean front villa, went swimming/snorkeling every day, visited a gigantic waterfall in the mountains, and snorkeled with Whale Sharks!!! After a week in the Philippines we made the extremely long flight back home.

Chris joined PeopleIT by way of ZBx Technology where he has worked since 2003. He is fluent in Unifi from Ubiquiti and was recently described by a client as “Crazy guy who fixes things.” A title he finds fitting and honorable.


Kurtis Bennington – Technical Support
Did you see that sweet 1981 Delorean in the parking lot? Yep, it belongs to Kurtis. He is very cool. Lucky for us, he is the main point of contact for customers calling in and connecting with the team for technical operation support. In his own terms, his role is to maintain a bright & cheerful disposition, and he is crushing it.

Recently, Kurtis traveled to Belfast Northern Ireland – stopping at the Bushmills Distillery, the Giants Causeway, and the Delorean Factory. His favorite stop was the Titanic Museum which he strongly recommends. Outside of work you will find him photographing his kids snowboarding, playing baseball and softball or out hunting for antiques

He aligns with PeopleIT’s value of Better Together, embracing the concept of working as a team where he can learn off of the strengths of others, as well as teach others from his own strengths.

Before jumping on board with PeopleIT, Kurtis spent 18 years at Johnson Controls/Adient providing IT support for the various plants globally. Well before that during he was tackling the ski slopes…

“My first time on skis, I was inexperienced with the use of ski lifts, notably the pommel lift. As a result I was towed up the slope my first time head first skis in the air!”