Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tribute to my dear friends, and magnificent leaders: Jaye and Eric Olafson

Earlier this week it was announced that the company I've worked for over the past 16 years was acquired by a bigger company: Demandware.  The purchase is a win-win for both Tomax and Demandware in creating a consolidated retail solution.  This isn't an ending chapter for "Tomax".  It's an empowering move as we transition into a larger influence with greater resources.

This exciting change has made me think about some of the experiences I've had with the two main leaders of Tomax:

Here's some of the experiences that have been especially meaningful to me:

  • Ragnar Relay:  "I fought the Rag, and the Nar won"! In spring of 2011, Jaye and Eric approached me about the possibility of organizing a team of employees that would run the
    Wasatch Back Ragnar relay.  It was really cool to run this together.  I got to see a side of Jaye and Eric that was totally impossible in a work environment. I was really neat to see them more as friends, than as employers.  It was inspiring to see their dedication to fitness and life "outside the office".  I remember one of legs of Jaye's run was in the middle of the night near East Canyon reservoir.  I was the designated driver for our van.  Jaye was hoping I'd run along with her for a bit, so I got someone to drive while I ran with her.  I remember the brilliant stars shining that night as we ran together on that road.  That was a wonderful memory for me.  Here's some pictures from that race.
  • Giving to those who need help:   Every year the company encourages the employees to participate in giving to the homeless, the hungry, and those with special needs.  Every Chistmas a collection box has been out where employees could donate food, or clothing.  For many years, Tomax has participated in an Autism fund drive and Jaye was a great example.  She was the single largest donor to that organization one year.  When I did my ice -mile swim and tried to get donors for the Utah Food Bank, Jaye and Eric Olafson, were my biggest donors. I was able to collect $1200 to help feed Utah's hungry.

I often see Jaye and Eric on Monday mornings when I get to the office early to exercise. We'd say hello, talk about the activities we have been up to.

When I got back from England after swimming the channel, they got the entire company together in Club Tomax, and without my knowledge, Eric setup a slideshow with the KSL clip of my swim and presented me with this trophy they had made up.  I was pretty uncomfortable getting all that attention, but at the same time felt good to get that kind of congratulations from these wonderful people.  

I find my self extremely blessed to have had such a long time working for Tomax, and am very excited to work with an even bigger company that appears to have a nearly identical set of values and vision!

1 comment:

Angela Sandberg said...

Well said.... in my 7 years they have made feel part of a family as most of mine is in Montana.....I have bern truely blessed to be apart of something so wonderful that I look forward to every Monday so I csn joi the great people of this company