Meet Us Monday: Tara Dickinson

Tara Dickinson is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer for Creative Memories, beer snob, kitty lover and can eat more pancakes and pizza in one sitting than you can imagine. 

Going into her second semester at St. Cloud State University in 2007 Tara decided to make a seemingly impractical career choice and pursue a BFA in graphic arts. Her talents got her in the door with an internship in her final semester of college with CM. She was then officially hired on as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator in the spring of 2011. She then stayed on board until 2013. After that Tara went on to work a short stint in Advertising. The agency was a great experience and she was able to expand her knowledge and skills, but she missed the creative freedom from her former illustrative job. Luckily for her she got an early Christmas gift and was called back to work for Creative Memories mid December of 2015. 

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Meet Us Monday: Andrea Stransky

Hi All –

My name is Andrea Stransky and I have spent the last 10 years working at CM.  I started off in a temporary position in the Digital Customer Service Department helping with the Digital Center and software.  A short time later, I was offered a permanent position in the Consultant Services Department.  From there, I became a Trainer for other CSR’s helping them to deliver excellent service to all of our Consultants and Customers.  Like many of you, I have been alongside CM throughout the many changes over the years.  I took, what I like to call, a 6-month “vacation” from CM as Ahni & Zoe was shutting down.  I enrolled back into college to finish my degree in Business Management.

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Meet Us Monday: Alison Dutton

I can track my love for paper and photography back to high school, when I joined the yearbook staff at East Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina. Digital photography was in its beginning stages and most of our page layouts were still created like a scrapbook, cropping printed photos and laying out pages to mail into the yearbook company to print.

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From Left: Diane Lampert, me and Melissa Ullmann with my first Project Recipe.

Continue reading Meet Us Monday: Alison Dutton

Meet Us Monday: Amy Crandall

Hi all!  My name is Amy Crandall and I am a distribution specialist, which consists of being a machine operator, bookmaker, shipper, and miscellaneous office duties.  I joined Creative Memories in 2002, Valentine’s day to be exact.

Picking, packing, and shipping your orders is one of my daily duties.  I also run a few of the machines that create the components of your albums before we put them together with tender loving care.  We have a small crew, but we go where the work is, flexing to different areas to get the work done.  It’s my “at work family” and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!  My twin sister, Beth, also works within our small team.  And we actually get along…lol!

I have a daughter who is finishing her last semester at the University of Minnesota in the graphic design program.  (Very proud mom moment!!!)  My significant other, Dean, has a son who started 9th grade this year.  Bryant is the typical 14-year-old, always testing us. Soon he will be driving…YIKES!  We also have 2 dogs, a Shih Tzu Bichon named Jasper and a Black Lab named Girl.  Oh, and don’t forget the chickens. I love our whole family!

Dean and I met almost 3 years ago on a blind date.  His twin sister set us up and it’s been perfect ever since.  So perfect that I was able to donate one of my kidneys to him this past April.  It was a match made in heaven!  We are both doing well, he is feeling so much better with his new kidney.  Soul mate?  Yes, I believe in that!

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Camping, gardening, fishing, bowling, casino road trips, and just hanging out at home are some of my favorite things to do when I’m not at work. This summer, we took a week long family trip hauling our pop up camper through Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower and Mt. Rushmore.  The scenery was beautiful.  There’s something about the great outdoors, right?  We live on a lake so we try to get out fishing as much as we can.  I don’t like to eat fish; I just like to catch them!

 

CM has been a big part of my life the last 15 years, and it will be a big part many years to come. I’m very excited to see where the future takes us!

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Meet Us Monday: Susan Raygor

Have you ever sent an email to customerservice@creativememories.com?  Or made a phone call to Customer Service?  If so, you would have been blessed with a return call or message from Susan.  Susan’s calm demeanor, and constant smile are always “visible” in all she does.  Susan has been with Creative Memories for 16 years.  14 of those years have been in Customer Service.

Susan LOVES getting to be the contact for Advisors and Customers alike.  She loves that every conversation she has is something new.

Susan works with the entire awesome staff here from collating sticker packs, building straps, processing returns and replying to emails and phone messages, there is never a dull moment!

“The team here is really special – so much fun alongside the hard work.”

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Susan’s family consists of her husband Tim (of 30+ years), 3 Children and 1 Grandson!

She loves spending time together on the lakes and rivers with her family and friends.

She loves kayaking, hiking, gardening and of course scrapbooking!  Her parents have a lake home so her family enjoys the lake every chance they get.

Meet Us Monday: Dan Perlinger

Hey all!

My name is Dan Perlinger, and I am the Operations Team Lead for Creative Memories.

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I joined the company in March 1995 and my first duties were picking and packing orders in the shipping department on 2nd shift.  Being raised on a farm in rural Minnesota, it was easier work than picking rock or baling hay and the hours fit perfectly into my class schedule at Saint Cloud State University.  After 2 ½ months we added a 3rd shift in shipping and I was approached to be a Team Lead responsible for training the new staff.  “Sure, I’ll do it!”  The Spring Semester had just ended, so I gladly accepted the position until classes resumed in the fall. I was majoring in Operations Management and CM seemed like a great place to work until I completed college.  Before I knew what was happening, three years had passed and I advanced three more times in the shipping department.  At that point, the light bulb went on that CM was a great match for what I wanted in a future career.

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Meet Us Monday: Carrie Hyopponen

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In a past life, Carrie had a cabin nestled up in the woods on the MN North Shore, miles away from crowds of people.

Her cabin was equipped with a professional grade kitchen and her own library that had one of those tall slidey ladder thingys and a wall of windows overlooking the water.

She cared for a herd of cats and would spend her days making art.

She would eat as much pizza and buttered toast as she wanted because she wasn’t allergic to gluten or dairy.

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Meet Us Monday (On Tuesday): Lynn Kelzenberg

When I am not looking after the system to ensure it is up and running 24/7 for your business, I am working on new systems enhancements for you and your customers ordering experiences as well as your Advisor Back Office offerings.

The launch of the Canada & Australia websites and more recently auto renewals are some of the bigger projects I have worked on.  And many more on the horizon.

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Continue reading Meet Us Monday (On Tuesday): Lynn Kelzenberg

Meet Us Monday: Marnie Beltz

Hello! My name is Marnie Beltz and I head up CM’s Marketing/Communications, Advisor support/Customer Service. My journey with CM started in March of 2000, when I signed on to create the Creative Memories website. In a few months we took it from three pages to 150 featuring products, ideas and more. From there I had the privilege of spearheading a variety of projects and departments over the years, including creating Persona Imprinting and leading Branding, Digital, Business Development, Research and Communications.

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Meet Us Monday: John Falle

I am the president of CM Canada holdings Inc. I have had the privilege of being been part of this Creative Memories comeback story with Caleb and our remarkable St. Cloud team from the very beginning.  As a proud Canadian, it warms my heart to see the Canadian Advisers and Customers embracing the new Creative Memories. It is a pleasure to work with you every day to grow your businesses and spread our Mission in Canada.

I spend my time interacting with our Canadian Advisors, helping with photo or video shoots in Canada, meeting customers & helping organize events here at the office, liaising with Head Office on matters relating to our Canadian business and helping with any legal matters that come up: the most recent being the rules for our Where In The World Photo Contest.  At the beginning of August our Canadian team doubled in size when we welcomed Marja Deeth.  Marja has a background in scrapbooking, card making and social media as well as a passion for our Mission.  I am thrilled to have her onboard.

I have been married to my wife Rhonda for 26 years and I am the proud father of four daughters ranging in ages from 14 to 22. All are hail and healthy and embracing life which, as their father, is all I can possibly hope for.

Our lives are a fabric woven over time with the threads of experiences and journeys with faith, family, friends. Every fabric is unique and colorful.  A new thread entered the fabric of my life a few months ago when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I have chosen to share this for several reasons. Firstly, it is now part of who and what I am. Secondly, I know that many of you are experiencing things much more challenging then early stage Parkinson’s and I want you to know that you are not alone. It sounds like a cliché, but when you join the CM Community, you become part of a family.  Two years in, I’m still finding it quite remarkable.

Our Mission is all about celebrating the vibrant and colorful threads of life…be it the joy of a wedding or a beautifully lucid moment with a parent or spouse suffering with dementia. All are worth sharing, remembering, cherishing. What we do matters.  A lot!

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John & Rhonda