My first position with the company was in 1977 as a design intern, and I have been fortunate to grow into many energizing positions. Today, I facilitate the connection of best practices with great colleagues, closing in on my quest to know every team member well. My childhood was spent in a small WI town and I live in an even smaller one now, with most family members close.
Random factoids include winning a 32-hour college dance marathon to benefit M.S., being an ardent feminist, and a high school pre-Title 9 jock. A proud moment was outscoring the entire Fort Atkinson basketball team with my individual 15 points to their collective 14.
Q. What was your first job?
A. I was a grocery store clerk at the Red Owl in Jefferson, WI. We did a lot of math in our heads, and we wore light blue polyester pant suits. I looked like Judy Jetson.
Q. What was your best job?
A. In the mid 90’s, several of us created “Insite Studio”, an entrepreneurial start-up brand within Rowley-Schlimgen (RS was sold to TCI in 2000). Steelcase had launched the Workplace Performance mindset, leading us to develop a business model focused on helping clients connect their business goals to real estate strategies. These were heady times as we conducted complex engagements that genuinely helped executives see facilities in a new light. I don’t miss the all-nighters but loved the camaraderie and the deep, strategic thinking.
Q. In addition to earning a paycheck, how else has your career created value in your life?
A. Good portions of my career have involved doing what I love to do: learn/share and make connections. I’m grateful.
Q. What is your most memorable travel experience?
A. My husband proposed to me in a horse carriage in Vienna, Austria in 1982. He had been working up to this during our three week trip and he finally said on the last day, “What would you say if I did ask you to marry me?” I said, “Well, you’ll have to ask me to find out.”
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. Family and friends, garden and kayak. I haven’t fly fished in a while.
Q. What lessons has your work life taught you?
A. Change your mind set to be happy with the situation, or change your situation.
Q. Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?
A. In the summer of ’78, Fritz Schlimgen walked into the design department and asked who could work on a new project for Nicolet Instruments. I had just started full time, had a few small projects and was looking for work. Fritz confirmed as we drove into Nicolet’s parking lot that I had brought the floor plans along. I brightly chirped, “No, but I brought my measuring tape!” What I missed is that this was our largest client, and we were primed to finish and furnish a huge new building – under construction. Fritz had to explain my misunderstanding to the client, a young bearded engineer. He laughed and returned to his office to get his plan set. For further information regarding this particular client and why I am occasionally asked if I brought my tape with me, please see question above re: my most memorable travel experience.
Connect with Vickie Wenzel: http://www.linkedin.com/in/vickiewenzel