Blenker Cos., Inc. Gives Back to the Community

  |   Business

At Blenker Cos., Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of structural building components for over 40 years in Amherst, Wisconsin, leadership is not a position or a title, it’s action and example, and it’s a method that employees test not only during the holiday season but all year long.

Blenker Cos., Inc. donates numerous items to events, school and organizations all year long.

“They push us to be better people and because of their encouragement and leadership I believe I am,” Jessica Anunson, an administrative assistant, said.

Anunson said her persistence for encouraging employees to donate to the United Way campaign helped raise $13,000 this year.

Anunson said she gives back to these organizations not because she can, but because she knows someone else out there is struggling.

“As a single parent, I know how hard it is to afford basic necessities at times and I received help when I needed it from numerous United Way partners for diapers, school supplies, laundry and even car repairs,” Anunson said.

Norb Trzebiatowski, a field crew supervisor said his contributions to the United Way have helped Blenker Cos., Inc. reach this goal.

“Well…they have a goal to reach, and without my help and everybody’s else’s help, through Blenker’s they would never attain that goal of the amount they’d want to raise so I would say it helped out immensely,” Trzebiatowski.

Trzebiatowski has already seen how his contributions impact the United Way.

“Well, the students are just a little bit happier to be able to continue their education because of some financial assistance from us and with other programs, the gift baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know, all those families really appreciate that kind of help also,” Trzebiatowski.

Trzebiatowki gives the gift of education to people to honor his son’s memory.

“He was killed in a car accident four and half plus years ago and we just thought that’d be something nice to keep his name going and memories going for him,” Trzebiatowski said.

The Joey Trzebiatowski memorial scholarship golf outing raises money through the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin for students studying at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and soon, it will open up to students studying at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Trzebiatowski said his life commitment is to keep his son’s name alive and he encourages others at Blenker Cos., Inc. to give back to the community.

“Just keep it expanding, keep it growing…you know, it’s never enough,” Trzebiatowski. “Just for Blenker’s…you just gotta go that extra mile sometimes.”

For Jenny Knutson, a cabinet specialist, going the extra mile for Blenker Cos., Inc. and the community are second nature.

Knutson is active with company events throughout the year including the spring fling employee appreciation party.

The spring fling employee appreciation party is held annually in recognition of employee milestones and the event includes an award ceremony.

The party has food and drinks, bowling, a pool tournament and prizes for those attending.

Knutson said organizing this event has taught her valuable planning and organizational skills and she appreciates the fact that she can recognize employees for their hard work.

“With careful planning and execution of a casual gathering, it helps employees relax, enjoy and reflect on the company,” Knutson said.

Employees can also get to know one another better with the secret Santa activity that Knutson spearheaded and planned for Blenker Cos., Inc. employees this December.

“You need to sign-up and participate in the gift giving… no matter how big or small,” Knutson said. “A gift is worth a thousand words.”

Knutson sets an example for other Blenker Cos., Inc. employees to give back to the community as well.

She serves as the team captain for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, an annual event taking place in February and benefiting Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Wisconsin.

Knuston said she grew up having a big sister, so it was important for her to support this organization to benefit the children in the community, whom are in need of the support and connection.

Knutson said her greatest accomplishment with the Bowling for Kids’ Sake cause is that it got more employees interested and involved in the cause throughout the years.

Daniel Erickson, a lumberyard specialist, said one of the benefits of working for Blenker Cos., Inc. is that he is given time off to better himself within the community.

Erickson serves on first responder team as a volunteer firefighter, along with other employees at Blenker Cos., Inc.

“Working with Blenker, I know I need time off to get more training for certifications and all I know is I just need to ask and if time permits, I will definitely be able to go do the training for the firefighting state certification: HAZMAT, EMT, the first responder…the whole 9 yards and Jason [Blenker] is very outstanding,” Erickson said.

Erickson said he wanted to become a firefighter not to be a hero, but to help out families and save their lives when a fire happens.

“When I was young, my house burned down, and we lost everything we owned and I hope to prevent that for families…” Erickson said.

Erickson said he’s been a volunteer firefighter for quite a few years now and he hopes to get state certified in the spring, get his first responder training and become an EMT in the near future.

“If you’re definitely interested in becoming a firefighter or take anything around that trade, there’s lots to learn, lots of schooling but just like Blenker, everybody wants you and if you’re interested, definitely take involvement in your local community,” Erickson said.