Position/title: Public Relations & Event Leader, Scheels, Fargo
Family: Three beautiful nieces, two sweet nephews, two very fun older brothers and sisters-in-law, and a pretty entertaining mom and dad.
Explain what you do:
I plan and lead all events for the Fargo flagship Scheels store. Essentially anything that happens on our property or deals in any way with the Ferris wheel, major partnerships that Scheels has in place in our community and all media relations directly related to our store are my chief responsibilities.
How long have you lived in Fargo-Moorhead?
I grew up on a farm outside of Argusville, N.D., and have been around the F-M area my entire life. I graduated from North Dakota State University. I had short stops in Mankato, Minn., and Bismarck for grad school and work, but have been back in Fargo since 2009.
What brought you to the area?
What brought me back was Fargo’s stability. The economy has stayed pretty consistent, and with my entire family here, it was a no-brainer that I would ultimately put down roots here as well. And because Scheels is headquartered in Fargo, I have opportunity for growth in the company.
Is your business’ culture important?
Why or why not? Our people are the biggest thing that separates Scheels from our competition. We have come a long way since Fred Scheel started the first store in 1902, but what was most important then is still the most important: Take care of the customer. We have worked hard on maintaining the same level of customer service and culture we had with one single store in Sabin, Minn., as we do now with over 6,000 associates and 26 stores in 11 states.
What are some unique benefits/incentives you offer employees?
First and foremost, Scheels is employee owned, so associates enjoy the benefits of ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our associates are empowered to make decisions and take ownership of the areas they work in. We also have the best employee purchase program in the retail industry!
How does your business’ culture affect your customers?
Our customers expect excellent customer service. People choose to shop at Scheels for a reason, and as long as we uphold the culture that makes us so special, we can continue to provide first-class experiences for the customers.
What is your selling point for the community?
I enjoy the community relations aspect of what we do. We support and encourage our associates to give back to the community and we echo this from a store standpoint. Scheels is active in supporting all of our communities through organizations like United Way, Legacy Children’s Foundation and Make A Wish, to name a few. It’s not only about sales events and ROI, there is true satisfaction in seeing how Scheels makes an impact on the communities our stores are in.
What book most closely reflects your business’ culture?
As Scheels leadership has evolved, there have been several authors that speak to our culture. John C. Maxwell and Jim Collins are top of mind.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
I love dogs, but they are too high maintenance for me to take care of with my current schedule. I love that cats wear their personality so strongly. You know exactly where you stand with a cat, and I appreciate the honesty.
Who would play you in a movie?
I like to think Lauren Graham would make a pretty true Caryn!
What’s one word that best describes you?
Aww, just one? Driven.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Ultimately it comes down to the people I work with. Whether it is other Scheels associates or vendors from across the country, I have met the coolest people through my job. I also love the adventure it brings. I never grew up fishing, but because of Scheels Events, I have developed quite an affinity for it. I’ve been able to try cool things because of work that I never thought I’d be interested in: kayaking, paddle boarding, hunting and sport shooting. Scheels sells fun, and I get to help promote that. Does it get any better?
What does an ideal Saturday look like?
The Saturdays I don’t work I like to spend doing projects and being with my family. I enjoy looking for treasures at auctions or thrift stores and turning those projects into pieces I will enjoy for years to come. In the summer, ideal Saturdays are spent at the lake or at a RedHawks game. In the fall, where else but the Fargodome for Bison football?
Who’s your business mentor and why?
The variety of responsibilities that I have in this role allows me to work with several different levels of leadership throughout the company. I get to take a piece of each of them with me every day. My life is full of nuggets of wisdom from some pretty dynamic leaders, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.