Other members of Marsden Holding LLC’s executive team include: (L-R) Chip Niswonger, COO and president, Marsden Eastern Division; Guy Mingo, CEO; Sita Morantz, president and chief administrative officer; and Steve Klein, COO and president, Marsden Western Division


7.  How has BSCAI changed through the years to meet the demands of today’s BSC?

Recognizing that today’s leaders are much different than they were 20-25 years ago is one difference. The environment that a BSC must operate in today is so much more competitive than it was when I first started out. Clients are much more price-sensitive. As a result, BSCs have become much more sophisticated. So BSCAI has upped the professionalism and content of our educational programming to meet these needs. Not that the programming was bad before, but it certainly wouldn’t meet the needs of our members today.

We have focused on making it easier for our members to access necessary information, including our online certification programs, event registration and information, and content and materials from educational opportunities.

Another example of changing to meet the needs of our members is creating opportunities for them to connect directly with our vendor partners. It became apparent that our members really wanted a direct connection with manufacturers and the manufacturers wanted the same thing. BSCAI events have become a great place for this one-on-one interaction to take place.

A final example would be that the price-sensitive environment I mentioned earlier created an opportunity for BSCAI to create a cost-effective buying program for BSCs through the Purchase Advantage Program. Members were looking for a material cost justification for their membership in the association, and this was one of the ways we were able to deliver.

8. What is your favorite BSCAI memory?

What sticks with me most is the openness and friendliness of members when I first joined the association. Leaders like Barney Gershen of ABS, Stan Doobin of Harvard, Steve Kletjian of UNICCO and Ryan Hendley of IH Services were willing to answer my questions and spend time with me. At the time, some of these companies were more than 50 times the size of mine and yet these guys were willing to help me! That made an unforgettable impression on me, and I am excited to do the same.

9. Our cover story this issue is about employee engagement; what steps has your company, Marsden Holding, taken to engage employees?

We have associates and offices around the country, so trying to make the company feel smaller is the key.

Our CEO, Guy Mingo, truly believes in personal touch. He is constantly on a plane visiting our associates and managers all over the country, because he knows the importance of people being able to connect at the top. I think people see that he really does care and works tirelessly to make those personal connections, which is difficult when there are over 11,000 people on the payroll. He encourages all of us on the management team to do the same.

Additionally, we spare little expense in trying to bring our teams together on a regular basis to exchange ideas, reinforce initiatives, recognize contributions and have a little fun. It is not out of the
ordinary to have 100 people in a room in Las Vegas or Phoenix to engage and excite our people. It’s expensive but worth it.

Sita Morantz, chief administrative officer, and her group also do a great job with leadership development programs. They do this in a personal fashion by going to the local offices.

At Marsden, most of the leadership team came up through the company after having spent years in the field so we have a special appreciation for how important it is to engage and include people in a personal way.

10. How can BSCAI assist BSCs with the challenge of employee engagement?

A few ways come immediately to mind:

• Certification programs: Using BSCAI’s CBSE and RBSM certifications as a way to help employees feel valued and that they (and their careers) are important enough to invest in.
• Events: BSCAI events are perfect for the education of employees. Events are a wonderful way to give employees an opportunity to meet people outside their daily “bubble.” The networking opportunities are endless for them. Events are also a great way to connect employees with the latest and best technology and processes being offered by our vendor partners. I understand that taking every employee to an event is unrealistic, but engaging a select few on a regular basis can have a profound effect on employee engagement.
• Sharing best practices: Asking other BSCs what they do regarding employee engagement is perhaps the best way. At BSCAI events great ideas are all around. I have learned very valuable ideas from companies a hundredth of our size and from bigger companies, as well.

previous page of this article:
Q&A With New BSCAI President Tom Kruse