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Motivational Monday: One Skill You Must Have To Lead

Monday Motivation

“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” -Aristotle

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Tidbit Thursday – Do It Yourself (DIY) Doorknob Necklace Display with the Spot Shot™ Roller

Do It Yourself – Doorknobs Necklace Display Using Spot Shot™ Roller

Simply put we can’t have enough jewelry, whether we prefer necklaces, bracelets or rings. However, in order to follow the latest jewelry fashion keeping our jewelry boxes organized can become quite the problem. No one wants to rummage and sift through a jewelry box to find that one specific piece of jewelry that often times once it’s found its tangled with many knots. The solution is a nice and tidy organizer that will look great in any room and won’t take up too much space.

If you finally want your jewelry organized and get a nice decor piece at the same time, then follow the instructions below to learn what you need and how you can make your own Doorknobs Necklace Display.


Items Needed:


Project Instructions:

Step 1 - Remove Cap

Step 1 – Remove Cap from Wood Stain bottle.

Step 2 Attach the Spot Shot - Precision Roller

Step 2 – Attach the Spot Shot™- Precision Roller 

Step 3 Squeeze Onto Untreated Wood

Step 3 – Squeeze Onto Untreated Wood

Step 4 - Saturate Roller With Stain and Apply

Step 4 – Saturate Roller With Stain and Apply

Step 5 - Allow For Wood To Dry

Step 5 – Allow For Wood To Dry

Step 6 - Insert Doorknobs

Step 6 – Insert Doorknobs

Step 7 - Completed.

Step 7 – Completed.


Spot Shot™ Roller

This Doorknob Necklace Display was completed with the MILSPRAY™ Spot Shot™ Roller, which is available for purchase online at HomeDepot.com.

Benefits:

Quick and easy paint touch-up
Patented roller technology
Storage cap for convenient paint storage – no need to store old paint cans for touch-up

Includes: 1 bottle, 1 roller attachment and paint storage cap

Want more information: Click Here

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Winning With Women Wednesday: Purposeful Leadership – The Importance of Being a Mentor

 

Mentor

Last week we interviewed Aixa Lopez, an Industrial Engineer and Marketing Professional with twenty-three (23) years of experience in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, supply-chain, public works, construction, business development, and marketing. Recently, Aixa has written an article based on her personal professional experience on why it is important to be a mentor and wanted to share it with our audience.


Since the beginning of my career, I’ve had mentors. I never asked for one, but, fortunately, my supervisors always decided to give me advice on how to improve certain aspects of my professional life. I guess they felt that I was open to it and it was worth the effort.

I will never forget the day I had my first professional interview at a manufacturing company in Puerto Rico. I had to meet with five (5) different managers. They were interviewing recent college graduates for Production Supervisory positions they had available. The company was undergoing a re-engineering process and they wanted to hire junior engineers to help streamline processes and maximize productivity. I was selected by a very refined, yet extremely straight-forward Cuban-American manager. He said to me, “I chose you because although you seem extremely shy, you also seem to have great potential“. That was the beginning of a mentoring process that at that moment I did not see coming.

I was assigned to work the third shift (10:00 pm to 6:00 am). However, every morning after my shift ended, he wanted me to stay around for meetings and conference calls with the company headquarters located in the United States.  His goal was for me to practice my English language skills, work on my confidence, and learn more about the business. Every time we had one of those conference calls I felt like I was about to die. I had headaches, dizziness, and stomach pains.

Once, he said to me even when I was doing a terrific job balancing production lines and implementing productivity measuring tools, nobody knew who I was. He indicated that it was extremely important for me to network with the other managers. That suggestion caused me a lot of stress. I could not understand why I needed to talk to anyone else. I was doing my job well, production output was good, I was even implementing tools to measure production efficiency; so to me, this was mean and unnecessary. However, pushing myself to follow his recommendation helped me in becoming promoted very quickly to the first shift and also to be in consideration for a new position as master production planner helping the company to successfully implement a plant-wide supply-chain system.

Like him, I’ve had many supervisors and colleagues who have provided mentoring advice. It has not been in a formal fashion where you meet purposely to discuss a working plan, yet it has been consciously done. It is very difficult to provide advice when none has been requested; however if you have the opportunity to mentor someone, do not let that opportunity pass. Mentoring is a two-way street and it benefits both the mentor and the mentee.

Here are some key points on how to become a mentor:

  1. Observe and Listen. Observing how people perform and what they say is a good way to identify potential in someone. Usually, people who are introverts also have great performance. These types of people usually associate success with end-results. What they don’t realize is the importance of verbal communication and networking. If you see someone that seems slightly introverted: talk to that person, ask about her/his interests, let her/him know that if they need information or guidance, you are more than willing to help.
  2. Suggest extra-tasks. Most of the things I have done in my professional life and have been outside of my comfort zone, have been assigned to me as extraordinary tasks. I had no choice but to take on those responsibilities. My supervisors would say: “I need you to do this” or “you will be involved in or leading this project“.  They also highlighted that if I had questions or needed any support, not to hesitate to ask for it. They reinforced their confidence in my abilities to get the job done. Actually, one time, one of them said to me “I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. Go and get that job done!“. It was such an eye opener for me that I’ve never forgotten that moment. 
  3. Performance reviews are a great tool to provide honest and well-intentioned feedback. Utilize performance reviews not only to go over end-results and new goals but also to discuss potential projects, areas of improvement, and how you can help that person make progress. You can also discuss and suggest other areas of work, lateral career moves, social activities, and potential professional organizations.

 

Being a mentor is a great privilege but also a huge responsibility. You can really have an impact on people’s careers and on the performance of the organization. I am convinced that employees feel more accountable and productive when they know and feel the organization cares about them.

I will always remember when I was a production supervisor and I had to convince people to work overtime. I always helped my employees on whatever they needed. I was always available to talk to them. Therefore, whenever the company needed them to work extra time, they always said that because I had been there for them, they were going to be there for me. I truly believe in leading by example.

As leaders, we need to have a commitment to continuous improvement. Sometimes we want the glamour of a job position and the money associated with it but we don’t want the greater purpose that goes with it.

Mentors are life-long friends, people that end up knowing you and being part of your success and your journey. My mentors are people that I truly feel grateful for and will forever be connected to.

Pass your knowledge to others. Teach and share your experiences. Connect with others on a deeper level. That’s part of being a leader. Go for it!


 

Aixa LopezAixa is an Industrial Engineer and Marketing Professional with twenty-three (23) years of experience in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, supply-chain, public works, construction, business development, and marketing. She enjoys writing about topics related to leadership, performance, and continuous improvement and how to apply industrial engineering concepts to regular life.

To connect with Aixa on LinkedIn: Click Here

 


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Follow Friday: Celebrating Those Who Care

It’s Follow Friday and today we want to share with you organizations who are currently on the ground and are making a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Top 3 Follow Friday Twitter Accounts

  1. @Refugees – This is the official account of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They provide vital aid and protection to the forcibly displaced around the world.
  2. @UNICEF – This is the official account for UNICEF. They promote the rights and wellbeing of every child in 190 countries and territories, with a special focus on reaching those in greatest need.
  3. @Voices4Refugees – The “Voices for Refugees” initiative created by the UNHCR to team up with people in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and around the world to keep the hopes of refugees alive.

We want to know if you have any organizations that should be added to this list. Be sure to add them in the comments box below.

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter: Click Here


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Throwback Thursday: MILSPRAY™ Team Members Featured In “Tunnel Rats Tour” Article

Brian Matz

Brian Matz has five years of experience working with MILSPRAY™. He has worked on several Mobile Corrosion Repair Facility sites for the United States Marine Corps Forces Reserve (US MARFORRES), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and III MEF. His most recent projects include, servicing and assessing equipment for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe (MARFOREUR), and launching the Logistical Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) Project in Camp Pendleton and Okinawa.

Marvin Villa Flores Gray

Marvin Villaflores is a new addition to MILSPRAY™ he is currently part of the Mobile Corrosion Repair Facility team in Okinawa, Japan. His current background consist of eight years of military service with the United States Marine Corps and is very knowledgeable in logistics and transportation.


Brian and Marvin were both featured in a “Tunnel Rats Tour” article in Defense Video &  Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS).

To read the complete article: Click Here

MCRF AUGUST 20

Want to know more about our Corrosion Prevention, Control, and Repair services? Click Here


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Winning With Women Wednesday: An Interview with Aixa Lopez, Marketing & Business Development Manager

An Interview With Aixa LopezMarketing &

Today is Winning With Women Wednesday, and within the past week we had met Aixa Lopez. Aixa, is an intelligent, dedicated, and ambitious woman who is currently the Marketing & Business Development Manager for both Robinson Aerial Surveys, Inc. and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ. Her days are certainly hectic, but this well organized Professionally Licensed Engineer has her mind on success and is committed to showing others how success is within their reach.


Get To Know Aixa:

Name: Aixa G. LopezAixa Lopez

Education: Bachelor’s Degree – Industrial Engineering- University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Engineering Campus

Organization: Robinson Aerial Surveys, Inc. | Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ

Position: Marketing & Business Development Manager

Time with the Organization: Almost three (3) years with both organizations.

Organization headquarters: Hackettstown, NJ and Newark, NJ

 


1. Aixa, in your own words please share what it means to take on the role of a Marketing & Business Development Manager for Robinson Aerial Surveys and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ. What responsibilities and duties do you oversee and partake in?

This role has allowed me to grow my network in New Jersey and also within the Hispanic community. It has given me a new perspective of the industry. I was always involved only in the technical aspect of a project; just getting the end result. Now, I can be part of the conceptual process.

In general, I direct and oversee both organizations’ Marketing/BD/Proposal efforts to identify and develop new customers/partners. I develop strategies and plans which identify marketing opportunities, direct marketing, and new project development with current and potential clients.

2. Can you share with us your story of being a Latina and what it meant to you to become a Professionally Licensed Engineer?

Most of my professional career was developed in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, you don’t feel the impact of being a Latina but you do feel the impact of being a female in a male-dominated industry. Thankfully, I was always given the opportunity to work in positions that were typically occupied by men which led me to face some challenges, but at the same time I was able to show what a woman can do. Here in New Jersy, being a Latina has not been a huge deal either. I do get lots of questions about what school I went to and prior job experiences. For some reason still in 2015, people are surprised that a woman can be a professional engineer.

I didn’t get my professional engineering license until I got involved in Public Works and Construction work. That was over ten (10) years after I graduated from college.

My supervisor at the time said to me that if I wanted to be taken more seriously, I had to get my P.E. license. After a few years struggling to accept this fact, I decided to take the exam and got the license. It made a huge difference. I finally understood that even when a professional license does not prove the knowledge you have; it is a credential that certifies what you can do. I am very thankful for the supervisor who pushed me into getting it. 

3. Do you have a quote, mantra or tip regarding how our audience could manage their one-to-one personal interactions better?

I am big on quotes. I love quotes and mantras because they are reminders of what I believe in. I like a phrase that is simple but powerful. I always tell everyone to “Go for It”.

It applies to everything in life. I have had moments in which fear has paralyzed me and I just remember this phrase and it gives me the push that I need to move forward. It helps when you need to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. It helps when you have to give a presentation before a large audience. Or when you are in a meeting and you want to say or do something, but you are afraid to do so. Fear is our worst enemy and this phrase gives you that kick that sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zones.

4. Who was an influential boss/mentor for you and in what ways did they shape you to become the leader you are today?

Well, I have a long list here because I learn from everyone, but the supervisors I had early in my career and in the manufacturing industry were very influential in my professional life. They were extremely tough on me. They pointed out things to me that I had no idea I had to address. They talked to me about the importance of networking. They told me about the need to become bilingual and why we all need to be open to asking for help when needed. They didn’t allow me to say “I’ll try”, they wanted me to say “I’ll do”.

When I moved to New Jersey, the person who offered me my first job here, asked me to do marketing for the company and I was in shock. He took the time to drive me around NJ and to explain to me the origin of projects and the history of NJ. He brought me to his client meetings so that I could see how he networked and interacted with the clients. 

My current supervisor is a pillar when it comes to networking and helping, not only the Hispanic community but anyone who needs business guidance. I’ve learned from him how important it is to be available for others, volunteer, and keep in touch with your connections. Also, never be afraid to ask for exactly what you need.

I believe in mentorship. It works and it is a responsibility of a leader to view mentoring as their legacy for future generations.

5. What do you think are the greatest challenges for women who are currently engineers today?

I think the greatest challenge for female engineers is how to focus on the goal and not let external situations contaminate their efforts.

I’ve gone through everything a female can face in this industry. Sometimes you feel angry because of a comment, an unfair decision, or a hostile environment. However, it is in those moments when you need to stay calm, cool, and collected. That doesn’t mean that you will allow disrespect in any way or fashion. It means that you need to get the job done and then address what you need to address in a professional manner.

It’s difficult because we are emotional human beings and those emotions, even though they could be valid, can be taken out of context. As women, we need to be assertive and use those emotions in the right way. The right way comes with confidence, and confidence is something you develop with time. Therefore, we need to work with our young girls in a very honest way and help them develop confidence as early as possible in their lives.

6. What is the highlight of your work week?

When it comes to Robinson Aerial Surveys I’d say that being able to learn and get involved in Infrastructure/Transportation projects that will positively affect people’s lives. It’s amazing when you cross a bridge or take a train and you can tell the story behind the planning, design, and construction of it.

In terms of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, it’s the people you are able to meet and the stories behind their success. Immigrants that came to this country without anything and through hard work and persistence have been able to accomplish their dreams.

7. How would you characterize your management style?

I am mindful and participative. I like to get to know my employees and what they think about their work, how we can do things better as a team, and what ideas they can bring to the table. At the same time, I expect them to be engaged, accountable, and responsive. 

When I was supervising construction crews, because of the amount of employees I had, it was challenging for me to know exactly what everyone was doing and how well they were doing it. I came across a book called “Leadership” by Rudolph Giuliani. On one of the chapters he described how he had meetings first thing in the morning and in the afternoon and how that made his staff more accountable. I started to do that.

Every morning, I had all the crew chiefs in my office. Computers were not available, so, I bought a gigantic white board and I had a column with the name of each one of them. We’d go over each column to discuss the work planned for the day. At the end of the day, we had another brief meeting to update the board with what was accomplished. 

They loved it, to the point that they would come to my office, take a marker and update the tasks on the board. They even competed with each other to see what list was getting more tasks accomplished. They would help each other and even exchanged resources. That taught me that communicating with your employees in a daily basis allows them to be part of the solutions and growth of the organization.

8. What is it about your current role at Robinson Aerial Surveys and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ that sets them apart from other organizations?

Robinson Aerial Surveys is a well-established company with 78 yrs. of successful experience. Even though it’s an old company, our business model is an advanced one. I can work remotely when needed which allows me to cover and work in the Tri-State region. We have staff working out of state in a very productive way.

Being a small business allows my role to be flexible. I can get involved in whatever task is needed within the organization. That means that if I have to do office engineering, I’ll do it, but if I have to make copies or run to the post office to make a deadline, I’ll do it as well. We treasure relationship, quality, and end-results. That’s our main goal and vision and any task that I take on will be focused on that.

9. What topics do you feel are necessary to remain on top of your industry?

I try to read about everything. I connect with people from a different backgrounds and industries; therefore, I need to be able to talk about a variety of topics.

I think we live in a “flat world”. There’s no geographical communication barrier anymore. We are constantly connected with everyone around the world and that facilitates staying on top of topics such as politics, environment, engineering, infrastructure, social issues, and of course, marketing and social media.

10. What are some organizations in New Jersey that you belong to that you would recommend other professional women should join as well?

Well, that will depend on the interest of the person. New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) is a good organization for Female Entrepreneurs/Business Owners. The National Association of Professional Women in Construction (PWC)  is a good one for women in construction. SWE is the Society of Women EngineersWTS is Women in Transportation. I have been in and out of these organizations based on my schedule but all of them are good for networking with and learning from other women in the industry.

11. When speaking to others about diversity and women in the workplace, what is the most important message you want them to take away from your conversation?

I have an existentialist view on Diversity. When I think of the Universe, it’s when I’m more certain of the importance of it. Diversity is everywhere and it’s not only related to race. When I speak to other women, I tell them to embrace diversity. It’s not only a nice talking point; it’s a way of life.

As professional women, part of embracing it, is working together with men. I’d say that probably 75-90% of the people I’ve worked with have been men. I’ve embraced them as peers and as mentors and have learned a lot from them. 
I have also taught them a few things about our way of thinking.

The synergy that diversity creates is amazing and we need to create it and promote it in order to grow and be innovative.

12. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

I would be a writer. Reading and writing make me happy. Everything I do, everywhere I go, everyone I meet makes me want to write about it.

I have a blog and I write from time to time. It’s like therapy to me. I guess people also get to know me better through the blog.

13. What is your favorite Mobile App? Why?

I love Zite because it allows me to read in one place, a variety of articles and blogs from topics I select.

I also like the Iphone Podcasts App because I can select different topics and it brings me podcasts from people that I didn’t know existed.

14. How has social media impacted the way you connect and network with others?

At the beginning I was terrified by it. I grew up with basically no technology, so to me it was too much exposure.

Now, I think it’s an amazing tool. I stay connected with people from my childhood. I stay in touch with my family in Puerto Rico and the United States. I am able to stay current with the events going on around the world in such an easy and convenient way. I have resolved retail situations with companies, just by posting my concern on their social media pages. It’s very powerful when used in the right way.

I also think that it has allowed the new generations, like the Millennials, to embrace diversity even more. When I look at my teenage daughter and her friends, for them talking to someone abroad or just having a study group and exchange ideas about an issue, is second nature. Isn’t that amazing? It’s like a universal brainstorm session. We need to learn how to use it in appropriate ways though. When misused, it can also destroy something in a second.

 

 


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Google’s Latest Project: P = Project Sunroof

#TechTuesday

It’s Tech Tuesday, and Google’s Alphabet announcement last week still has some investors in a state of shock. But yesterday Google announced a new tool called, “Project Sunroof.” This tool will use Google Map data and show the solar energy potential of your roof. Currently, it is being used in the following cities: San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno CA, and Greater Boston MA.

Want to learn more watch the video below:

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Did you know that we here at MILSPRAY™ have portable-on demand renewable energy systems that can decrease your energy costs, increase profits, and reduce your carbon footprint?

Want to learn more: Click Here