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Counselor is published 13 times a year and is
the "voice" of the promotional products industry.

2014 Counselor Road Tour

Reaping the Benefits in Colorado

Littleton, CO-Based Supplier Completely Covers Medical Insurance

QualityLapelPinsOne of the main benefits of working at QualityLapelPins.com (asi/80196) is ... well, the benefits. An additional 10%-14% of an employee’s salary is put into a tax-deferred savings program; Owner Gary Konwinski says it’s so lucrative it forced their mutual fund provider to rewrite its algorithm. The Littleton, CO-based supplier also completely covers medical insurance for its employees. “We feel it attracts a better caliber of person,” says Konwinski.

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And there’s certainly much that’s attractive about this supplier, which produces pins, patches, lanyards, and much more. Casual is the prevailing atmosphere and dress code. The company has a no-meetings policy, based on the wasted time and money Konwinski saw in his pre-retirement job as a geologist. “It’s nice if you have a problem, you don’t have to make an appointment with HR,” says Kate Kreger, a sales rep who also handles accounts payable. “You can just go talk to your boss.”

QualityLapelPins was started by Gary’s sons Luke (the company’s president) and Josh (vice president) in the family’s basement. The elder Konwinski used his knowledge of running a business to help get the venture off the ground. The company has stayed a family affair; mom Nancy also works in administration and support. The closeness translates over to the staff, many young transplants from the Midwest who spend time together outside of work. “I really like the family atmosphere of a small company,” says Graphic Designer Jen Marshall, who has been with the supplier for seven years. “It’s really personal and everyone is very friendly.”

QualityLapelPins.com looks for eager young students just out of college “to give them a chance,” says Gary. The supplier often finds workers through Craigslist because that’s where graduating students will often look for jobs. But competition for talented graphic designers is stiffening as an influx of people move to Colorado to take advantage of the state’s legalization of marijuana. A few rejected candidates even mentioned it during interviews at QualityLapelPins.com.

“That’s not a reason we want you to work for our company,” says Gary. Fortunately for the Konwinskis, there are plenty other reasons.

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