This month, we introduce Joe Giebel, chief of staff, Four Winds Interactive, Denver, Colorado. Giebel’s responsibilities are to support the CEO/president in projects across the organization and, he says include everything you can imagine.
- Describe your personal work space.
We have an open seating plan at Four Winds Interactive. We don’t believe in offices and have created a collaborative environment where people can work in teams. I actually don’t have a desk or an office as I tend to be in meetings and/or on the move and so really don’t require any permanent space.
- How do you get to work?
I commute about 30 miles to and from work each day. My drive time takes about an hour each way, and I like to use this time to prepare for the day or decompress after the day.
- What is an average day like?
I typically get to the office before 7:30am and I really enjoy greeting and talking to my coworkers. We have a very fast paced energetic culture, so the morning meet and greet quickly blends into the workday. I spend a lot of time with clients visiting us from out of town. One of our core values is ‘Show Me’, so we invite all our clients and prospects to our office to see FWi in action and to meet the team.
- What is essential to you being able to work happily?
I need to be able to interact with people. We truly have some amazing folks in our office with a diverse background. Learning from my peers and interacting with them is my favorite part of FWi.
- How flexible are your working conditions?
We are very flexible. Nobody is glued to a specific desk or part of the office. We encourage folks to know every department and the people within each. The building we inhabit currently is an old warehouse in Denver that has been converted into a loft style office space, with lots of exposed brick and wood beam construction. It gives us very open floor plans and team spaces.
What do you think your employer looks for in its staff?
We look for innovative folks that embrace an entrepreneurial spirit. The digital signage industry is still young and it is moving quickly. We hope to find employees that will thrive in those conditions.
- What suggestions do you have for your company?
I tend to drink tea throughout the day rather than coffee. I would suggest we improve our tea selection.
Do you have any frustrations you would like to share with us?
I really don’t have any frustrations. I’ve been with Four Winds for seven years, and we have had tremendous growth, which makes any frustrations and the long hours worth the effort.
- What do you like best about your job?
Again, I’d have to say my interaction with coworkers is the best part of Four Winds. My job allows me to interact with the 200+ employees here, and they are all amazing people.
- How open is your company to new ideas and suggestions?
We are quite open to new ideas. We tend to let the ideas and requests of our clients drive our product development. We also encourage new ideas from employees by way of town hall meetings and strategy lunches led by myself or David Levin, our CEO/president.
- How much responsibility have you been given?
I’ve been given quite a bit of responsibility. I work side by side with our CEO/president, who relies on me to keep projects and initiatives moving forward. Having been with the company since 2005, I’ve been able to get to know our processes and people, which allows me to work effectively with any department.
- How green are you and your company?
We try to be as green as possible. We participate in recycling programs; have automated sensors on sinks and toilets to conserve water; and get innovative with power consumption. To expand on the power consumption, we are actually able to remotely control or even schedule when our PCs and displays around the office turn on and off. This helps keep our electrical usage as low as possible.
- What inspires you?
My family is my biggest inspiration. They are a hard working bunch hailing from Akron, Ohio. I was lucky in that my parents moved to Denver some 30 years ago, allowing me to grow up in what I believe is the greatest state in the union. I haven’t left this state, and do not plan to any time soon. If you haven’t spent time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, you are missing out, and there is quite a bit of inspiration to be found here.
- What are your ambitions?
Near term my ambition is to be a leader within FWi, and for FWi to be a leader in our industry.
Long term my ambitions are to live life as fully as I can. I am a kid at heart, and hope one day to operate a ranch resort in Colorado, and possibly a fishing operation on one or both coasts. However, my intentions are to always have roots in Colorado.
- If you could change only one thing, what would it be?
Super Bowl XXIV!
- How much time do you devote to social networking?
Very little. I know this answer may not be appropriate for someone in a software company, but I truly miss real interactions with people. I prefer to shake hands and meet someone face to face.
- What are your most useful tools you use to do your job?
Glad you asked! I’d have to say our internal network of employee communications signs. We have our software driving 30+ displays throughout our office that will give you a directory of employees with directions to their desk; information on what installations are happening and where; who is in the office; who is out of the office; key metrics by department; fun photos from team building events; industry news; world news; and so much more.
We tell our clients that our software allows them to put the right information, in the right place, at the right time, and we use our own solutions as an example because they truly make an impact on an organization’s efficiencies and ability to communicate internally.
- What would be your dream job?
- What makes you laugh during the work day?
I have a laid back personality and I love to laugh. I’m also an easy target for jokes, so I tend to be the subject of some great humor. Nobody in our organization is shy, so jokes are plenty, and thankfully we have some hilarious team members.
It is also not uncommon to catch our CEO flying remote- controlled helicopters around the office or racing his Cruising Cooler up and down the hallways!