American Solutions for Business has always been a family-oriented company with many family teams consisting of parents, children, spouses and siblings. We celebrate every sales team because we know the strength that comes with these dynamics. Families work as a unit and share valuable knowledge to take care of our customers.
Jorunn Fleck Scheiderich and Kari Fleck Gutstein are a mother-daughter team, who recently welcomed Jorunn’s husband, Bill Scheiderich to their office. Jorunn joined American 6 years ago after working in our industry as a supplier. After bringing Kari onto the team 3 years ago, Bill joined to help with the office work. Bill is partially retired and jokes that Jorunn offered him an annual salary of $1 to come on board. The team lives in Chicago, Illinois, and together, is a wildly creative force of energy and success.
Why you love working with your family:
Jorunn – Speaking from experience, it is so different than being employed by an independent distributorship. Bringing Kari on board and later Bill after his retirement from finance in corporate America has been the best ever! Kari is 10 times smarter than I ever was. She is social media and all things I am not. I have a solid print background and I love it when she is here and hears me talk with customers about how to solve this need or that problem and I can tell she is just soaking it up. She has inherited my work ethic and I rejoice in what she is building up – all by herself! Since she immediately became the “Promotional Products Queen” in this office, I now ask her for ideas and help on the promo side. We really have a great Yin-and-Yang. Best of all, one day, she will take over my customers. They are already excited over the fact that I am making transitional plans, and that they are not going to be left hanging when I retire. Having Bill as our back office support is great too – it frees me from doing a lot of running around and allows me to take care of customers. He is so easy going and will run over all of God’s creation just to take care of our customers!
Kari – I love working with my family! As a complete newbie to this business, I was extremely fortunate that I had my mom as a resource. Sharing an office with her has made our relationship better than ever, which is precisely the opposite of what I had feared. She is such an inspiration and an incredible role model. We laugh A LOT and every day we have together is such a blessing.
Bill – I love being around both Jorunn and Kari. We interact very well and we have a good time together. I surely have gained a new appreciation for how hard they both work.
What are some challenges (and how have you overcome them)?
Jorunn – Well…they don’t arise very often, but we had a recent situation where I was pushing Kari to contact one of her newer customers, and she was reluctant to make that call. Finally, she ran out of excuses, so she made the call. Even though it went to voicemail, the customer ended up calling back almost immediately and had nothing but praise and excitement for Kari. She got off the phone and said, “Mom, thank you for nagging me to call this customer”. Haha – maybe this is my newest fondest memory!
Kari – Challenges? I can’t think of much in terms of the family perspective. However, sometimes it’s a challenge to encourage the veterans to try something new!
Bill – Challenges come and go…mostly it evolves around some customers who do not think they need to pay for their received goods. Jorunn would like for me learn her order program, so that will be my next challenge. Since they are so busy sometimes, it is a little frustrating not getting the information from either of them as to a specific customer, but we work around it. I also make sure that Jorunn’s coffee cup is always full!
What is your fondest memory working with your family?
Jorunn – It is everything! There are so many. Maybe the first time Kari and I went to the ASI show in Orlando…she made me do crazy things in some of the booths so that she could capture videos. Also, I was really proud when she was presented with her BASI pin by Tim Andrews for completing all the requirements for her ASI Bachelor’s degree, just one year after she started working here.
Kari – Traveling with my mom to attend various meetings. I never realized how much fun she is to be around! If it weren’t for her, I would never be invited to some of these meetings and they are always amazing. We also make good roommates! I remember her goofing around and being silly and now I know where I get it from!
Bill – I liked helping set up Jorunn and Kari’s office to make it work for them. And, the trips that we have taken as part of the job are always memorable. I enjoy getting to meet people from the home office, attending the seminars and associated events. We even had our own Holiday party here with Kari and her husband… we played cards and had more fun than some of the holiday parties I used to attend from my previous company.
Why should others consider working with their family?
Jorunn – If you have self-motivated family members, I really recommend bringing them into the business. However, they must understand that learning this business is not for the faint of heart and that a lot of effort will be spent before the big payoff. Our customers value that we are the “ASB Dream Team”, a family unit that is part of a large company with so many resources. Plus, at the day-to-day, local level – having the hand holding and encouragement is something that I think you can only get from your mom, dad or someone close! Nothing is easy, and I think that Kari totally understands that in order to succeed, she needs to work harder and smarter than our competition, and she is really doing a great job. We have so many special moments together that we would have never had, if it weren’t for our situation. All three of us are closer than ever!
Kari – Because it’s the BEST!!! We work hard, we play hard!
Bill – As a family, it is great to grow the business together and to know that I am making a difference in their day. I like helping them and I enjoy Kari’s enthusiasm and having her around us. The family bond is so strong. There’s comfort in knowing that some day, when Jorunn decides to phase out of this, her customers will be well served through Kari.
We’re proud to maintain a company culture that cultivates success and collaboration to support our sales associates and customers. To learn more about American Solutions for Business, visit our website or contact a sales associate near you!