Employee Spotlight- Roger Wandersee

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Roger Wandersee, President- Sharn Enterprises, Inc.

1. One thing people may not know about Roger is:  He’s been married for 49 years!


2. Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers


3. Roger’s most proud of: His family

4. When not working at Sharn, Roger likes to: Read books

5. Favorite Actor: Clint Eastwood

6. Wants to travel to: Israel


7. Favorite Animal: Dog

8. Favorite Part About Working At Sharn: The interaction with people

For more information on Sharn Enterprises, Inc., visit www.sharndisplays.com


5 Ways Being a Former Athlete Translates Into Your Professional Life

Growing up, sports were always a major part of my everyday life.  From playing t-ball as a six year-old, to playing collegiate volleyball, my days revolved around practices, scrimmages, tournaments; all of the above.  Reflecting back at my past world, I realize that being involved in sports not only helped me transition into to the professional world, they taught me valuable skills I currently utilize and will continue to develop long into my career.  Here are five ways being a former athlete translates into your professional life:

1. You know the importance of being on time… all too well. 

I remember one morning waking up late for a volleyball practice in college because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM.  I woke up in a panic at 6:05 am when practice started promptly at 6:00am.  I jumped sky-high out of bed, threw on my glasses and sped to the gym.  When I got there, I knew exactly what was waiting for me: sprints.  I ran those sprints and promised myself from that day on to always double-check my alarm clock before going to bed.

This same principle goes into effect when you are in the professional world.  You may not have to run sprints if you are late for a meeting, but it throws off the entire team.  Your punishment may come in missing out on important details or even losing a sale.  Punctuality showcases respect for your own time, and more importantly, other people’s time.

2. You are competitive.

You know that practice makes perfect, and that it was all worth it when game time came.  Your desire to win was evident and you wanted to be the best athlete you could be.  The same goes for your professional life.  Being competitive is a fundamental part of growing in your position and career.   It shows that you have drive, ambition, goals, and tenacity.  Employers want to see this side of you, and being in sports previously fosters this skill.

3. You know how to win, and you know how to lose.

You have lost the big game in regionals, you have messed up on a play, and you have had your good and bad days.  The best part about it is that you know how to use those experiences as opportunities to learn, and grow for the next challenge.  You keep trying and never give up on the things that matter most.  You also know that there will more opportunities to get yourself a win, if you do lose.

4. You are a team player.

You have been on a team all of your life and know that if your teammate does well, the whole team does well.  Same principle applies in the workforce.  If there is a large project that has to be worked on as a unit, you know how to extend your hand and offer support.  You know that if the project goes well, then the whole entire company does well.

5. You communicate.

In volleyball, you have to call “mine” when the ball is coming towards you to let the other players know you are going to take it.  When there was no communication between me and my other teammates while on the court, the ball dropped right in the middle of us.  Speaking up and allowing a fluid transmittal of communication not only helps make the play, but also leads the team to success.  Same rule applies in a company.

What if you assumed your co-worker finished the project you were working on together, when he/she didn’t?  The figurative ball was dropped and the project didn’t get finished.  Now you have an unhappy boss. You know that simple updates, the effective flow of communication leads to better results.

Here at Sharn, we know the value of the above skills.  We strive to be on time, be competitive with our prices, be team players, and communicate with our customers and clients.  We design custom point-of-purchase displays for retail, so our communication is vital.  We want to win your business, and being a company with former athletes as employees, we stop at nothing to earn it!

Interested in our products or services?  Visit http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715!

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How To Engage Millenials: A Rebuttal

Every day, we receive a “Tip of the Day” in email form from a small business website site called “Manta.”  Almost every time, we agree with the article and strive to implement the tips and suggestions listed within our organization.  In this particular case, myself and my co-worker, Chelsey, decided we didn’t quite agree with all the points listed.  In this article, it gives recommendations on how to engage millennials.  Being that myself and Chelsey are both considered “Generation Y”, we decided to delve a little deeper into if we agreed or disagreed with each point brought up.  Most people think they know how to engage with millennials, but sometimes the advice is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Here’s a rebuttal against this article about how to REALLY engage with millennials, from actual millennials.


Stephanie and Chelsey on Sharn’s Annual Chicago Sports Day in the office!

  • Millennials aren’t fans of hierarchy and corporate structure, so when you’re engaging them, expect to engage with a group. They make decisions by committee.

Chelsey:  I have to agree and disagree with this point. I know that I enjoy having someone above me and I believe that having hierarchy gives structure to the work place. On the other hand, I believe that millennials today work as a group and make decisions as a group. It gives us a sense of power and the sense that we have a voice, rather than feeling inferior to someone above them.

Stephanie:  I agree with Chelsey– I have mixed feelings about the above point.  I am a fan of hierarchy and structure within a company, but I also think that it is important to listen to the millennials and really take into consideration their thoughts and opinions.  We like to hear what other people have to say within a group setting, and then build upon those points to come to a clear and concise decision.

  • Remember when you used to call the decision-maker? Millennials will engage via text before they connect via phone.

Chelsey: I completely agree with this statement. In this day-in-age, we have gotten away from face-to-face interaction because we are all “too busy with our lives.” When we want to say something, we are little hesitant because we’re not too sure what the initial reaction will be.  On the other hand, I don’t think that this is going to help us.  By avoiding face-to-face interaction, it may have an adverse affect on us in the future.

Stephanie: I agree, us millennials do love texting.  Even email is starting to reflect our texting habits!  So short and concise… But I do think that it is important for millennials to remember to pick up the phone once in a while as well as try to connect with someone face-to-face.  The most important skill in a workplace is communication, and we have to remember that it can’t ALL be done through our devices.


  • Forget the martini lunch. Millennials expect you to be social and connect on a personal level online. They don’t want to work with you, they want to collaborate—now, in real-time.

Chelsey:  We want to work with you AND collaborate.  Millennials are hungry and eager to dive right in.  We don’t care how we do it.

Stephanie:  I also disagree.  I think millennials still enjoy the “martini lunch” but also look for different ways in order to complete a project.  We look for creative ways to connect and communicate, whether it’s through LinkedIn for a first time touch-point, or through Skype for a real-time meeting.  We want to collaborate and we want to use all the technology we can while doing it.


  • Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in U.S. history, and tend to lean politically toward liberal thought and inclusivity.

Chelsey: Times have changed since we were born. We don’t see color; we see normal people who come and go in and out of our lives.  Sure, there is still some racism in our world but many millennials don’t stand for others to be left out.  There is also the very strong idea of equality and male feminists within the millennial generation.

Stephanie: We definitely are the most open-minded generation.  We are so welcoming and inclusive that it paves the way for upcoming generations to think the same way.  I am proud to be apart of a generation that accepts people for who they are, no matter what.

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Stephanie hanging out with some custom silhouettes.

Sharn Enterprises, Inc. designs and manufactures custom retail displays and store fixtures.  For more information on their products and services, visit their website at http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715!

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Fixtures, Freedom, & Fireworks: Happy 4th From Sharn!

Most every American can agree that the Fourth of the July is one of the best holidays of the year.  Usually, the air is warm, the sun is out, and cool drinks are flowing. But in between barbecues and trips to the beach, the true meaning of the fourth of July sometimes gets forgotten.  We must remember what Independence Day means for us Americans.  It is a day to reflect on what it truly means to be free;  to remember those who have fallen and those who continue to fight for our freedom and one of the most important symbols of our freedom is the firework.


When looking up at the beautiful night sky mesmerized by fireworks, many thoughts might come into your head including, “Freedom, Independence, Beauty…”

For myself, I am a little bit more scientific in thought (or as I would like to think I am)!

I want to know how this All-American symbol is constructed.  So when you either stand, sit, or lay down in the grass in awe of the beautiful night sky exploding with color, you will be able to answer this exact question… How are fireworks made?!


To start off, experts believe that fireworks originated in China over 1,000 years ago.  Still today, China is the largest manufacturer of the brilliant invention.  There are three types of fireworks; Fire-crackers, Sparklers, and Aerial Fireworks.

Firecrackers are simple rolled up paper tubes filled with black powder and a fuse.  When you light the fuse of a firecracker, the fire burns along that fuse until it reaches the powder. BOOM. Explosion.

Pretty simple, right?

Next, sparklers are different in that they make bright, sparkly light.  They contain more substances than a short explosion or firecracker. The bright sparks consist of burning bits of dust made of metals such as aluminum, iron, steel, zinc, or magnesium.  Kids, remember, these are not edible….

Aerial fireworks, in my opinion, are the best.  Usually, these are made up of four parts inside a shell.  The container, the fuse, the powder, and the stars.  The shells are then launched into the sky from short pipes filled with a lifting charge of black powder.  The lifting then lights the shell’s fuse and when the flame hits the shell.  The explosion pushes the stars in all directions, creating the spectacular display.

The colors are produced by carefully mixing the right kinds of chemical compounds.  For example, blue is made up of copper compounds.  And that’s your science lesson for today, folks.

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Sharn Enterprises, Inc. will be closed on July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.   We look forward to observing this holiday by being with our family and friends and taking the time think about America and all of the great values it represents.

“A Proud American Manufacturer”


For more information about our products and services, Please visit www.sharndisplays.com or check out our latest video here: http://vimeo.com/71471550

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook! @SharnDisplays | http://www.facebook.com/sharnenterprises

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