About a decade ago, PromoShop (asi/300446) came up with a core set of guiding principles – an idea President Memo Kahan initially hated. He came around quickly, however, and the directives, from “People are our asset!!!!!” to “Play as a team, win as a team,” inform everything it does today. The PromoShop employees even belted out the 14 Key Beliefs for the Counselor Road Tour crew on their trip inside the company’s Los Angeles-based offices. “Those 14 beliefs will answer any quandary you will come up with,” says Kahan.
Empowering people is a key focus at the Top 40 distributorship. Staff can give a well-reasoned argument to change just about anything. “If you don’t like the color of the wall,” says Kahan, “it doesn’t have to be that color.” In the wake of long-time COO Jim Buescher’s death from pancreatic cancer earlier this year, PromoShop promoted a cadre of managers to shoulder the additional burden. Operations personnel, often the unsung heroes of distributorships, are included in an annual sales contest where the company is split into four teams. This year’s contest is titled “PromoShop Rocks” and is themed to the Jack Black movie “School of Rock.”
The company’s creative spirit is prevalent throughout its facility, which will undergo a complete renovation starting this summer. Giant inflatable figures reside in the rafters like the remnants of a Macy’s Day parade. Awards like the Longboard Club, which honors top sellers, key suppliers and others, feature a colorful surf van instead of a run-of-the-mill plaque. “When we go to supplier buildings,” says Kahan, “our award is always at the front.”
The company has parties and events throughout the year, such as an all-company Halloween party with awards as well as Secret Valentines for Valentine’s Day. Charity and food drives are huge, and the distributor prepares charity kits as well for places like homeless shelters.
“This year we had the biggest team for the Pancreatic cancer walk,” says Kate Alavez, the company’s director of HR. And if employees stay long enough, they can choose from enticing five- and 10-year anniversary packages that include flat-screen TVs, high-end headphones, travel luggage, and much more. Says Kahan: “We want things that we want, things that are useful.”