A Holiday Wish from IWCO Direct

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About the Author

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Missy Smutny

Missy brings human resource innovation to IWCO through authentic, selfless leadership that empowers teams to exceed expectations and achieve unprecedented results. As a progressive HR executive and military Veteran, she combines inspirational coaching, strategic disruptions, and collaboration with senior leaders to advance our output. She most recently served as Director of Human Resources for Renewal by Andersen and held HR positions at Andersen Windows. She started her career at Target Corporation where she held roles in Operations and Human Resources.

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s hard to believe how time flies! As I celebrate my first holiday season with my colleagues at IWCO Direct, I can’t help but reflect on all the great people I have met here and the things that are important to remember during the holidays.

This year, as we’ve focused on making great strides in our Strategic Plan, increasing our production capacity, and investing in state-of-the-art technology, we can’t forget the people that have made it possible:  our dedicated, hard-working colleagues, our business partners, and our clients who put their trust in us. Thank you!

A Season of Giving

One of the things I love about IWCO Direct is that our associates are always willing to work together to get the job done, but still find the time and energy to give back to our local communities to help those in need. This holiday season, we have designated December as the Month of Giving. Our Charitable Giving team has partnered with One Warm Coat to organize a coat drive in Hamburg and Warminster, Pennsylvania, and Chanhassen, Minnesota to provide coats and other winter clothing items to our neighbors who are struggling to stay warm this winter.

We’ve also made a pledge to honor Veterans, and in recognition of our country’s fallen heroes, we are supporting Wreaths Across America by donating wreaths to military cemeteries near our three facilities: Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN, Bern Cemetery in Leesport, PA, and Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown, PA. We are also offering our colleagues the opportunity to participate in wreath-laying ceremonies on National Wreaths Day, which falls on December 17 this year.

My Wish for the Holidays

As I count my blessings during the holidays, I want to encourage everyone to remember that, although they can be beautiful, they can also be stressful and lonely for some. My wish this holiday season is that no one feels alone or so stressed that they are struggling to cope. I’m not an expert in this area, but here are some things to do to lessen stress and feelings of loneliness or disappointment when the holidays are over:

  • Reflect on what is important and find things that make you feel grateful.
  • Pace yourself: Don’t let FOMO (fear of missing out) get the best of you that you plan so many activities that you end up feeling exhausted and run down.
  • Set reasonable spending limits: You can be generous without regrets if you set a budget and do your best to stick to it.
  • Eat, drink, and be merry. If you go overboard, don’t dwell on it and always make sure you have a designated driver so problems don’t compound. 
  • Reach out to others: If you have elderly neighbors or know people who live alone, you can make them feel very special by making sure they have not just the basic necessities, but also some companionship and holiday cheer.

I recognize we may not all celebrate the same holidays, but that is what makes IWCO a special place to work. We continue to learn from each other and improve our culture thanks to the diversity within our teams.  This time of year is full of lots of different celebrations and a fantastic opportunity to appreciate our differences.

On behalf of myself and all my colleagues at IWCO Direct, we wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season, and a joyous and prosperous 2023!

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