A Glass Overflowing
As if an immediate family of 23 weren’t enough, Kristina Fredericks, MAS, has also added an adoptive family at Moderne Glass Co., in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The supplier has been her promotional products home since 1988, and she holds her co-workers as dear as she does her parents, husband, son, three siblings and numerous nieces and nephews.
“When I am not traveling or working, I look forward to spending time with my family,” says Fredericks. “My parents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and family is everything to me. Once a month, we plan a special get-together at my parents’ farm. It’s always a great day of eating, fun, shenanigans, and most importantly, no cell phones!”
While Fredericks’s history with Moderne Glass doesn’t go quite as far back, she has grown up professionally at the supplier, alongside many of her peers.
“While attending a Kent State [University] job fair in 1988, I met a representative from Moderne Glass,” she says. “They hired me as a customer service representative and promoted me to the customer service manager within a year.”
Fredericks lives close to the factory, just 10 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport, and she also makes regular trips to the family farm in Ohio, where her five-year-old son Max has his very own pony. “My parents have horses; I grew up riding horses every day and have always had a tremendous love for animals,” says Fredericks.
Read on to learn more about a day in Fredericks’s life at Moderne Glass Co.
How long have you served as senior VP of sales and marketing?
My focus for the majority of my career at Moderne Glass was in recruitment, training and management of sales and service. I have an MBA in marketing and management, so I spent a lot of time with our marketing department helping with catalog and literature development. When the position of VP of sales and marketing became available in 2009, it was a natural transition.
How does this job challenge you?
Every day is different so it keeps us all on our toes. As a supplier, we are often faced with “needed it yesterday,” and of course our goal is to always accommodate. We have an amazing operations team, so they always do their best to make things happen.
What changes or improvements have you recently implemented, or are you planning to make in the future?
Moderne introduced a new website at the beginning of the year with features such as advanced product search, mobile friendly, improved virtual proofs and the ability to “save as” projects for presentations, online ordering, plus much more. From a sales perspective, I am especially excited about the “My Projects” feature and how it can be utilized to help grow sales and collaborate more effectively.
What do you love about your company?
The people are what I love most about Moderne. We have a lot of longevity, so there are people I have worked with for almost 30 years.
Describe your office atmosphere.
Our office atmosphere is fun and playful, but hard-working. Although we all carry a heavy workload, we always take the time to celebrate birthdays, holidays and special events in each other’s lives. We always give back and support several organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warriors, Humane Society, Education Partnership, and the Salvation Army (Treasures for Children).
What kinds of projects or tasks might you tackle on a given day?
Every day is different. Some weeks I am in the office and other weeks I am on the road, attending trade shows and other industry events. When I am in the office, I work with my sales administrator and marketing director setting up online and co-op programs for customers, in addition to handling large-quantity quote opportunities and customer projects.
How do you collaborate with co-workers?
Every morning, managers from all departments meet to review and discuss prior-day inbound orders and production schedules for the upcoming month. This allows us to not only discuss and prepare for normal production, but also to review and schedule more complicated or time-consuming orders. Because we have managers from all departments present, we also open the floor for each manager to speak to the rest of the group about any pending matters relevant to our company as a whole.
What makes your company a valuable member of the promotional products community?
Next year, Moderne will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Many of the big players that sold drinkware when I started almost 30 years ago, like Houze Glass and Victor Marsh/Galaxy, are no longer in business. We have stood the test of time, and some of our more profound achievements include:
• Developing and patenting exclusive, award-winning glass designs with two of the largest glass producers in the world, Libbey Glass and ARC International;
• Collaborating with the FDA to reconsider and ultimately reverse regulations that inhibited drinkware suppliers’ ability to continue to offer and decorate staple drinkware items offered in the promotional products industry;
• Pioneering many decorating techniques that have since been adopted by the industry.