Smart bosses reveal their secrets to hiring

Oct 5, 2015 11:00:25 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Brain's Chicago Business, business, Chicago, Crain's, Employee Spotlight, Featured In, General, hiring, small business

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If you're a small-business owner in Chicago, your glass probably looks half-full compared with this time last year. The regional economy is slowly recovering from its stumble, more banks are showing enthusiasm for lending and consumer spending is up. Enough of you are confident that, in a survey earlier this year conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, 71 percent of you plan to grow your small businesses over the next 12 months.

For many, that translates to hiring. But hiring can be a daunting prospect for small-business owners—that's because every person you sign on plays a crucial role. It can be a challenge to find the right person who can juggle multiple tasks and not disrupt what's often a tightknit, family-like company culture.

Read more at Crain's Chicago Business or download the PDF now.

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Employee Spotlight: Budd Justice, Shipping

Oct 2, 2015 3:37:23 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Budd Justice, Employee Spotlight, General, Grid Connect, NET485, shipping

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Budd is the lifeblood of Grid Connect. Literally. Being the father of President, Mike Justice, engineer, Steve Justice and the grandfather of Vice President, Adam Justice, he is an important part of the community here.

Grid Connect-5734After Budd retired about 17 years ago, he started working with Mike at what was then called Synergetic Micro Systems. In 2003, when Grid Connect was spit out of Lantronix, Budd was a part of the team of five that worked for six months without pay to get the company off the ground. “It was the only time in my life I was ever unemployed.” Says Budd laughing, “But after that, the company grew in leaps and bounds. When Glenn and Mike developed the NET485 our order list exploded, and it’s been growing every year since.”

Before joining the Grid Connect team, Budd worked for 30 years at a chemical company. In that time he worked multiple jobs, including field engineer, salesman and product manager. Now he manages all of Grid Connect's orders, boxing and shipping every purchase that comes in. “We only hire a certain caliber of person here,” Budd said when asked about his job, “it makes the place have a great atmosphere.”

Budd loved volleyball when he was younger, and even played on the Illinois National team for seniors until he was 65.

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Employee Spotlight: Erik Krietsch, Senior Developer

Sep 18, 2015 9:57:10 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in connectsense, ConnectSense App, Developer, Employee Spotlight, General, OpenHack

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Erik Krietsch is one of two developers we have here at Grid Connect. Erik spends a lot of his time working on the ConnectSense App. This involves adding new features and fixing bugs as well as a long list of all the things that go into putting out the best app possible.

Erik has always loved working with computers and started learning his first programming language when he was 15. After building up his skills in a variety of ways, he was able to start getting paid for what he loves to do when he was 20. After years of experience in a diverse array of jobs and mentorships, Erik met Adam Justice (VP of Grid Connect) and John Allured (Lead Developer at Grid Connect) at an OpenHack meetup. Soon after this, Erik joined the Grid Connect team and hasn’t looked back, “I find the work interesting” says Erik, “the problems we face are challenging without being monumentally frustrating.”

Erik enjoys running, reading comics, and playing with his two beautiful daughters (4 years and 10 months).

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Employee Spotlight: John Marchiando, VP of Business Development

Sep 4, 2015 2:04:39 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Employee Spotlight, General, Internet of Things, IoT, Lantronix, Mike Justice, Synergetic

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John Marchiando joined Grid Connect as our VP of Business Development about 15 months ago. He spearheads the Internet of Things (IoT) developments in our company on taaeaaqaaaaaaaaj8aaaajgu1zmfkmgi5lwy0zdktnda0ni1izdnilwq3ntuwzdqyytlhzqhe sales/partnering level: continually looking for new companies to partner with and traveling with reps to meet potential customers. “I just love the overall culture,” says John about his experience at Grid Connect, “the only pressure in the job is what I put on myself.”

John has a long history in the technology business, working for Synergetic and Lantronix (where he worked with Mike Justice before Grid Connect). Additionally, John was the regional manager for a multi-million dollar wire and cable company, before he turned his attention back to wireless tech.

In his free time, John likes to ride his motorcycle, cook and hang out with his three kids and two grandsons. 

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Employee Spotlight: Karen Gramit, Office Manager

Aug 21, 2015 10:15:04 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in customer service, Employee Spotlight, General, Lucent, Office Manager

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“I love working here” says Karen Gramit, “it feels like an extended family.” Karen has been the office manager here at Grid Connect for about 8 years. She handles everything from balancing the books to ordering new silverware for the lunchroom; she talks to customers, helps out with shipping and keeps the office running smoothly.

Karen met Mike Justice as her neighbor years ago, and was introduced to the Grid Connect community through him. Before that, she managed a landscaping business as well as worked at a company called Lucent.

Karen is excited to become a grandmother this fall, and likes to spend her free time playing golf and swimming in her subdivision’s pool.

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Employee Spotlight — Intern Edition Part 2

Jul 24, 2015 11:10:19 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Adam Justice, Apple Watch, Employee Spotlight, Fermilab, Grid Connect, IoT, OpenHack

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Jack Mousseau is our development intern at the office this summer. Jack got connected to Grid Connect through an OpenHack Naperville meetup. There, he met Adam Justice, VP of Grid Connect, who was impressed by the app that Jack presented during the meetup. Adam later offered Jack the opportunity to work for Grid Connect this summer (coincidentally he found out later that their parents were actually close family friends). Jack’s main project has been to help the Grid Connect development team create an Apple Watch version of the ConnectSense app, however he has also done a lot of work with product testing and cleaning up the remaining bugs on the Smart Outlet.

This fall, Jack will be starting school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where he will be studying computer science and mathematics. He has liked working at Grid Connect because it has given him an experience he hasn’t had before “Last summer I worked at Fermilab, which was cool, but my work was only a fraction of what the end goal will look like” Jack said, “Here I’ve been able to see a finished product come out of my work. It’s really satisfying.”

In his free time, Jack enjoys biking, playing soccer and attending the OpenHack IOS developers group in Naperville and Chicago.

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Employee Spotlight: Intern Edition

Jul 10, 2015 9:09:53 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Employee Spotlight, General, Grid Connect, Internship, Marketing

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Joe Duncan is one of the summer interns here at Grid Connect. He has worked on writing many of our recent blog posts as well as had a hand in our social media presence. In 10438519_10202774540179388_3881853278275818879_naddition, he has spent some time weeding through the Grid Connect website to look for better ways to get across our message.

Joe is a senior at Taylor University where he is studying writing with a minor in philosophy. He heard about Grid Connect through Mary Miller, a family friend, and started working with us this past May. Joe has enjoyed his first few weeks at Grid Connect, and feels like he is getting to experience a great variety of opportunities. “I get to be a part of so many different elements of the company,” Joe said, “It’s almost like a family.”

When he isn’t working at Grid Connect, Joe likes playing golf, going camping and reading classic literature.

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Employee Spotlight: Mary Miller, Customer Service Representative

Jun 19, 2015 9:20:17 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in connectsense, customer service, Employee Spotlight, General, Grid Connect, ISO9000, Mike Justice

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Because Grid Connect is such a tight-knit company, many of the employees of our company end up doing a myriad of jobs. Mary Miller is one of these people. As our customer service representative, she spends her day answering phone calls, handling grid_connect--12-2RMAs, working in shipping with Budd Justice, and periodically working as an auditor for our ISO 9001:2008 certification.

Mary started working with Grid Connect five years ago, after she heard about the company from Mike Justice’s brother, Dave. Ever since then she has been an integral part of our community. Mary is responsible for organizing many of the special events that make our office unique. She is an avid ping-pong player during the lunch hour. This is when she has time to spare, as she can often be seen helping out with a multitude of things in the office. Thankfully, Mary is not typically described as a creature of habit, “I like how the work is different all the time” Mary says, “There’s a lot of work to keep me busy, so I never get bored.”

Mary enjoys playing and beating her husband, Peter, in ping-pong (but any game will do), cooking new recipes, and being outdoors.

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Employee Spotlight: Matt Cote, Technical Support Engineer

Jun 12, 2015 9:10:15 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in connectsense, Employee Spotlight, General, GridConnect, Technical Support

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Matt is our technical support engineer here at Grid Connect. He holds a degree in img_0562electronics and computer technology from DeVry University. Matt joined our staff about 14 months ago and fit right in. His knowledge of all things computer technology enables him to answer the variety of questions that he receives about the Grid Connect and
ConnectSense products.

During a typical day, Matt gets into the office at around 8am and starts by going through his emails and technical support cases. Matt spends most of his day taking tech support calls and answering emails with occasional work on RMAs (return merchandise authorizations). He has a proficient knowledge of the ConnectSense sensors, and has been able to help many of our customers resolve their product misunderstandings. “My favorite part of the job is that I get to talk to people from all over the world.” Matt says, “I also get to learn new things about tech from my coworkers at Grid Connect. It’s really cool to be able to interact with all the engineers.” Matt’s dedication to customer service is a great representation of what it means to be a part of the Grid Connect team.

            Matt enjoys playing guitar, building custom guitar pedals and hanging out with his two children, Riley (9) and Layne (6).

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