Will Work For Love: Ron Willie, NEC Display Solutions, Chicago

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Ron Willie, sales and marketing analyst at NEC Display Solutions, Chicago, spends most of his time processing sales data and providing pricing to NEC Display’s channel partners.

  1. Describe your personal work space.

    I work in an 8’ x 8’ cube with an L-shaped desk. Currently, I have a 30″ and a 21″ monitor sitting on my desk. You can tell it’s my desk because there is always a cup of sunflower seeds somewhere on it. I sit pretty close to a window that over looks the Chicago skyline. Not bad, if you ask me.

  2. How do you get to work?

    I drive to work and fight the eight miles of traffic everyday. Short trip but when its snows, it can take well over an hour.

  3. What is an average day like?

    Up at around 6:30 a.m. to get ready for work and get there at about 8 a.m. Turn on the computer and get breakfast from the deli downstairs. Then it’s working with spreadsheets, Microsoft SQL and email until lunch. We always go out for lunch to get out of the office for a while. I tease the new guy for a while then it’s back to the office for the grid until 5 p.m. Return home and, from there, I try my luck at cooking – which mostly involves a grill. After that, I usually work on teaching myself photography and golf until bedtime.

  4. What is essential to you being able to work happily?

    Well, I definitely need a computer with decent speed, and it helps to have a lot of fun co-workers around you. We work hard and get the job done, but we try to have fun doing it as well, which makes the work environment much more enjoyable.

  5. How flexible are your working conditions?

    NEC as a company has very flexible work hours, which works really well for the employees. We have people who start at 7:00 and leave at 4:00 and then some start at 9:00 and leave at 6:00 and some in between. My work hours are from 8:00 to 5:00 since I am responsible for pricing, but I am sure I could move my work hours around an hour or so from my current start time if I wanted.

  6. What do you think your employer looks for in its staff?

    I believe NEC Display looks for employees with the skills and knowledge to get the job done. It doesn’t hurt to be creative as well. I also find it very important at NEC to be able to learn new things. Lastly, interpersonal skills are equally important. At NEC, we work hard and we play hard.

  7. What suggestions do you have for your company?

    The only thing that comes to mind immediately is the company picnic. We used to have them every year, but it’s been a while since we have had one. It was really the only time that you got to meet your co-workers’ family as well.

  8. Do you have any frustrations you would like to share with us?

    Nothing at work really frustrates me. There is always room for improvements but after they put in a pool table, darts, TV and a ping-pong table at work to use during breaks and lunch, I’m pretty much good to go!

  9. What do you like best about your job?

    I definitely like my co-workers at work the most. I work in sales and marketing operations but we are in the marketing department and they will make you laugh everyday. We have sales meetings twice a year where all the sales staff come in from all over the U.S. and Canada. There is always a group activity connected to these such as indoor racing, whirly ball, bowling and fun activities.

    Last year they even had me dress up as Randy Jackson from American Idol and judge some co-workers singing Karaoke (Just like American Idol, some good, some not so good). We also do other activities such as golf outings, decoration of trees at Brookfield Zoo and charity activities.

  10. How open is your company to new ideas and suggestions?

    NEC has an Open Door Policy. Even the president has an open door to anyone that has a comment or idea. We are encouraged to be creative with new ways to help grow our business. For example, we developed the breakthrough VUKUNET technology which provides DOOH networks with inventory management, campaign flighting and proof-of-performance. Our forward- thinking management worldwide enabled us to build this platform. Like I said before, it helps to be creative at NEC and it is impressive that a Japanese hardware company allowed this type of venture.

  11. How much responsibility have you been given?

    I am a sales/marketing analyst and I provide pricing to our channel partners as well as process all the point-of-sale data received for our channel partners. I also process commissions for our entire sales force, and I police our MAP policy on the Internet.

  12. How green are you and your company?

    NEC is a very green company both in the office and in our products. NEC Corporation currently has 25 Gold and seven Silver products listed on the EPEAT website. NEC has been selected to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), one of the world’s leading Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) indexes, for the seventh consecutive year due to high evaluations of the company’s economic, environmental and social contributions. The majority of display products sold by NEC Display Solutions are ENERGY STAR compliant.

    NEC Products also meet RoHS compliance standards and NEC recycles all projectors, lamps, and monitors in the USA and Canada for customers that ship the old ones to us. Our latest display monitors even have a carbon footprint that will show the electricity cost savings using those monitors.

    As for the office, every cube has both a recycle bin and regular trash bin. We also have a recycle bin for old batteries in the office. New employees, as well as existing employees, are provided with opportunities for environmental awareness training.

  13. What inspires you?

    Watching a perfect golf swing.
    Watching the expression on someone’s face when they do the ‘impossible’.

  14. What are your ambitions?

    To grow old and stay happy for as long as possible.

  15. If you could change only one thing, what would it be?

    No more snow during rush hour in Chicagoland.

  16. How much time do you devote to social networking?

    On weekdays, about 30 minutes a day, and about one hour a day on weekends.

  17. What are your most useful tools you use to do your job?

    Microsoft Office Professional
    Microsoft SQL
    Cognos PowerPlay
    My boss’s 25 years experience at NEC.

  18. What would be your dream job?

    Currently, it would be to review golf clubs all day and then come home and review cameras for a living. It will change in a year or so.

  19. What makes you laugh during the work day?

    The two marketing ladies that sit near me. My boss when she receives a crazy email. The new guy that sits next to me as I tease him. Two co-workers in OTC that I talk sports with. Our IT director when we talk about the Daily Show, and all of our inside sales team.

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