Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Lenz recognized for leadership

Senior Project Manager Shannon Lenz (holding plaque)
received the company's top honor from CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios,
right, along with Home Service President Joe Kirby (not pictured)
and Chief Information Officer Kathy Persian, left.
Her husband, Mike, also was in attendance.
May 16, 2018 — Through the years, Shannon Lenz has built a reputation at Schwan’s Company for being a leader who knows how to get things done.

Her commitment to success was on full display recently when she successfully led a project to replace the hand-held devices used by route sales people in Schwan’s home-delivery business. Her effort on the project is one of the many reasons she was named a 2018 recipient of the Marvin Schwan Excellence Award.

“I’ve been told throughout my career that people look up to me, and that I need to continue to push the envelope. But you don’t realize how many people might be watching until something like this comes along,” Shannon said.

Shannon, a senior project manager who has worked for Schwan’s for more than 15 years, was one of four employees this spring to receive the company’s most prestigious honor. During the award ceremony, CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios spoke of Shannon’s tireless efforts to make sure the hand-held project created minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.

“(Shannon) lives by the company’s values in everything she does. While most of the examples given in her nomination refer to the hand-held project, I am told they are indicative of how she works every day and on every project,” he said.

Shannon was nominated for the recognition by multiple Schwan’s employees who stated that her success comes from the ability to take on new challenges with enthusiasm and dive in with 100 percent ownership.

“There were many points during the (hand-held) project where roadblocks were encountered or a decision had to be made from a list of undesirable options. Shannon led through it every time with enthusiasm and optimism, which spreads and gives others confidence,” peers stated in her nomination form.

In addition to the hand-held initiative, Shannon said she was especially proud of two additional projects during her career.

The first project, called “Ready, Set, Grow,” transitioned computer systems from mainframe computers to a web-based platform. This effort included the development of a minute-by-minute plan that took months to develop. The plan enabled shutting down and updating most of the company’s computer systems over the span of a weekend.

The second project was one that lightened Home Service delivery trucks by about 6,000 pounds while expanding the size of the freezer box. By working with different vendors, Shannon and her team developed the trucks in use today.

“Both of these projects allowed me to develop my leadership skills while helping improve the company,” Shannon said.

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