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Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Effken

True to the industry, our web design and web marketing team team has changed and grown over the last year. And while we are still a small company who works closely with its customers, there are many people working on the front lines and behind the scenes for the success of its customers and for JM. So, we are taking time to highlight each team member; and up next is Stephanie Effken.

Stephanie has been with JM for 9.5 years and is JM’s third longest-running employee, after JM’s CEO Jonathan and his wife Megan. Stephanie started as JM’s Account Manager, transitioned into project management, then returned to account management after passing the PM job off to her husband, and is now the Brand and Marketing Coordinator. Here’s more about Stephanie…

Stephanie Effken, JM Branding & Marketing Coordinator

 

In Her Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

Jonathan has made it very easy for me to be a mom and wife first, and an employee of JM second. Because of the flexibility I have been afforded through JM I have been able to transition to a part-time position to raise my two kids, and serve JM in various capacities during naps and evenings.

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM gave me a shot 9.5 years ago! I previously worked as a reporter for a small town paper as my first job out of college. My husband and I moved to Omaha and I applied for (what seemed like) 50 jobs. I didn’t get any of them. I was waitressing and boldly asked an Omaha Chamber of Commerce employee who I was serving if I could send her my resume to pass out. It ended up at JM… and well, the rest is history.

I went from only being able to check my email and Facebook 9.5 years ago, to writing website specifications and physically building out WordPress websites. And because of JM’s devotion to me and my family, I will likely never work anywhere else.

What are 3 words to describe JM?

Honest, Family-Focused (yeah, I know that’s 2 words) and Innovative

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

I’ve worked remotely from Denver, CO, for the last 7 years so I find it challenging to keep up with personal relationships. I wish we could come and visit the office more often, but in the season of small children, it’s really difficult to travel too much.

What has been your favorite project at JM?

About 8 years ago we built and launched the Cupcake Island website while I was account manager. It was super fun to oversee the photography and creative vision for the website… and eat all the cupcakes, of course.

What is your favorite part about working for JM?

My co-workers. We’ve grown a lot over the last 1.5 years, but the team we have is extremely solid. They are dedicated and work VERY hard… often working on their own time to continue their education to serve JM’s customers better. These are the kind of people you want to work with. And, of course, Jonathan and Megan have loved my family very well. They work and sacrifice for the good of the JM team and I have personally witnessed their devotion over the last 9.5 years. It’s incredible.

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

I’m an organized mess… like my desktop…

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

I love to listen to NPR because I don’t really have time to read the news.

I like reading Neil Patel’s blog about content marketing.

Against All Grain is my current go-to food blog.

RisenMotherhood has been a great blog and podcast for me, in the midst of raising littles.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Jen Wilkin, because she is brilliant. But only for a day, because she lives in Texas and I don’t like Texas.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

A lactation consultant, visiting new mamas and their babies.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

Phone, a way to change my phone with solar energy and a water bottle with filter.

What does true leadership mean to you?

A person who sacrifices for the good of the team.

What is an ability you wish you had?

I wish I could better understand technical documentation. I am highly social and it’s really difficult for me to have the attention to read technical stuff and for my brain to comprehend it.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

City O’City in Denver. It’s a crazy vegan hipster place with fabulous cocktails, the BEST seitan buffalo wings and an awesome vibe. And no, I am not vegan or a hipster.

You’re happiest when?

It’s Friday night, my kids are in bed, I have a cocktail in my hand and my hubs by my side.

Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Adams

JM’s team works together for the WHOLE online presence of our clients. And while our web design, web development, web marketing and web hosting teams are on the forefront, JM has many behind the scenes faces that help run the day-to-day and internal operations.

We are taking time to highlight each team member at JM; and next up is Lindsey, JM’s Finance Director.

Lindsey brings to JM extensive QuickBooks knowledge and a strong background in mathematics. Since coming onto the JM team, Lindsey has streamlined our invoicing and internal processes, making our lives MUCH easier. Lindsey brings sincerity to our office and a witty sense of humor. Here’s a bit more about Lindsey…

Lindsey Adams and Family

In Her Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

JM has always been committed to families. I am part-time most of the time, and my family loves that I love my job and can flex around needs with my hours and working from home. If Mommy is happy, everybody is happy!

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM has offered me continual personal and career growth with educational opportunities, challenges, projects, transitions and goals. We build each other up, and we hold each other accountable!

What are 3 words to describe JM?

THE BOMB DIGGITY.

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

Honestly, the transition from working only from home last year to working at the office two days per week on team days was a challenge because I wasn’t used to the simultaneous conversations, both in-person and on the phone, going on around me. Now I am very skilled at being in the zone at my desk in my corner and popping my head up for the frequent office fun that comes up.

What has been your favorite project at JM?

In the next few years, I would love to add a minor or another major to my college goals in order to be able to serve JM in a higher capacity.

What is the favorite part about working for JM?

This is a difficult question to answer. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this…) My favorite part of JM is my boss, his wife (who used to do my job and still works for JM), and our awesome  dream team of employees I get to work with every day. It’s easy to be completely dedicated in working with our positive team members under Boss’s leadership.

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

Organized!

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

Well, here’s the thing:  I don’t really read the newspaper or blogs—I actually don’t even watch the news. However, I do look up a lot of recipes on WellnessMama.com. For actual reading, I read mystery/thriller novels. Confession: I’m currently making my way through my grandmother’s Reader’s Digest Condensed Novels volumes my parents gave me last year.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

It’s too much work to try to be someone I’m not, so I’d just stay me

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Detective!

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My husbands and my girls. However, if they couldn’t come, I would bring a tent, a water filtration system, and some seeds for hardy, edible foods. If one of those items was not available, I would substitute a book or my cross-stitching to keep me sane.

What does true leadership mean to you?

When you don’t have to look for it, then you know it’s truly there.

What is an ability you wish you had?

I wish I could learn ballet as an untrained adult.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

My bed. I know, it’s not healthy sleep hygiene, but I just sometimes want to read and snack in the most comfortable place in the house.

You’re happiest when?

I am happiest when my house/office is clean and organized (A.K.A.- when my OCD tendencies are appeased).

Employee Spotlight: Alex Scheideler, Business Development Manager

JM is made up of individual professionals who work together for the WHOLE online presence of our clients. With specialists in web design, web development, ecommerce solutions, web marketing, SEO, web hosting and customer support, our individual expertise allows us to successfully build and market a website for any industry.

We are taking time to highlight each team member at JM; and next up is Alex, JM’s business development manager.

Alex started as an account manager, learning the core processes and services of JM. Alex’s personality, motivation and foundational understanding of the industry made him a clear fit for a sales position. Alex is a key member of JM’s team – wowing prospects with top-notch follow up, setting up realistic expectations for customers and bringing in many new web design and web marketing customers. So, here’s a little about Alex…

 

In His Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

It sounds a little corny but everyone that works at JM with me is a friend of mine in one capacity or another, and we really are like a small little family. Time at work, though very busy and at times stressful, is comfortable because of the fantastic dynamic that we have with one another. Our CEO, Jonathan, also does a fantastic job of always making sure that if any of us have an important family function, emergency, or just need time off work, he makes it happen. Flexible scheduling and great communication are key. The best career and family life balance I have ever had in my life I have found with my extended family at JM.

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM has been fantastic as far as career development is concerned. There is always something new to learn, and after about two years with the company I still learn something new each week. Because I am constantly learning new things, I am constantly developing skills which make me able to help other positions. I feel more and more valuable as an employee as time passes because of this. My new skills that I learn here also open new doors. I started with the company as an Account Manager, a position which I loved, but had the opportunity to begin working in business development and sales and found my true calling in this role. I wouldn’t be as good at my job as I am, if it had not been for everything I had learned in my role as an Account Manager the first year with the company.

 

What are 3 words to describe JM?

  • Authentic
  • Reliable
  • Diligent

 

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

The most challenging thing at JM is when we have clients that don’t have much of a technology background, or online marketing experience. Bridging the gap between what we are saying and what they are hearing, as many technical terms sounds like a different language. Luckily for us, we have 20 years of experience and have became very proficient at explaining complex ideas to clients in ways that not only do they understand but they soak up and can speak on later. We strive to educate, and it works very well in our favor and the clients love it.

 

What has been your favorite project at JM?

My favorite project at JM so far has been Storm Aeronautics: http://www.stormaeronautics.com/

I was an account manager at the time and I worked with a great team, and had a great client contact and we had amazing communication, and he was one of those clients that had some specific ideas he wanted, but also gave us creative control over the website and it was a perfect balance, super fun to build, and my personal favorite.

 

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with JM?

Continue to work in my position, help JM to grow into a larger company that can handle more and more projects but not lose that small business feel, that when our clients call in we still know them by their first name. I would love to continue to grow with the company into a managerial role one day and keep JM alive and providing the same amazing services we do today.

 

What is the favorite part about working for JM?

My favorite part of working for JM is the team we have. We have such a fun, diverse group of individuals, that all bring their own unique, quirky, and brilliant personalities and talents to the team. We are very good at what we do, but aside from that, everyone who works here is a genuinely good person.

 

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

Organized.

 

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

https://www.jmwebdesigns.com/blog/

 

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

My wife. Just once I would like to always be right, if only for a day.

 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

I would love to be a character at Walt Disney World. Just run around and make kids’ days. That would be super fun and memorable.

 

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

  • VHS of Home Alone
  • Tub of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • A Business Card

 

What does true leadership mean to you?

The true function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not followers. A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself.

 

What is an ability you wish you had?

Pick winning lottery numbers.

 

Where is your favorite place to eat?

The kitchen table at my mom and dad’s house, eating anything my mother has made.

 

You’re happiest when…?

It’s the holidays, surrounded by friends and family. Followed closely by 8:30pm – 10:00pm, snuggled in bed with my wife and dog, watching forensic files.