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Employee Spotlight: Austyn Ridings


Dec 21, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Silkworm is known for being an exciting place to work, with many happy employees! Every now and then, it’s nice to take a break from the daily hustle to kick back, chat, and find out more about them! Austyn Ridings is our Employee Spotlight of the week. She’s a Herrin native Sales Coordinator who has been with us since July, and has graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.   Describe for me your most ideal work environment. “Coworkers who get along, and help each other without hesitation. Also, a place where the work gets done, but we’re still able to have fun. So…basically, Silkworm.” What is your philosophy towards your work? “Work hard, play harder.” What song best describes your work ethic? “Eye of the Tiger. I mean, I WAS a (Herrin) Tiger in high school.” What is your favorite quote? “Don’t try to understand everything. Sometimes it’s not meant to be understood. Just accept it.”   A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? “First, why in the world is that a question? He’d probably be here to take me to lunch, and he’d say, ‘you want to go for some tacos?’” If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? “Maybe Washington, because it rains way too much.” If you had the chance to go anywhere on vacation, where would it be? Fiji, because the water is super clear, and there are great beaches…and beer. Also, I can wear a bikini all day, and it’s socially acceptable. On a scale from one to 10, rate me as an interviewer. Duh! Have you seen any of the Star Wars movies? No…but I do know that there’s one coming [...]

Employee Spotlight: Billy Meyer


Aug 12, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Billy Meyer, purchasing agent and shipping & receiving legend has been with Silkworm for four years. When he was in desperate need of a job, a few of Billy’s buddies recommended Silkworm and boom, here he is four years later. Billy’s favorite part about his job is the people he gets to interact with daily. “I could leave here today having met Silkworm folk that I consider true friends” says Billy. Silkworm is proud of its company morale and the people it employs. Silkworm wishes to continue making its employees happy, establishing great company spirit. “When you work with people like that, it’s hard to ask for much more” says Billy. Silkworm is a place where memories are made. With Silkworm’s many company outings and incentives, it is a place to work hard and play hard at the same time. Billy’s favorite memory was during FiSH Week. FiSH Week celebrates the FiSH philosophy: enjoying what you do, get everyone involved and making peoples’ day. Fun activities are planned throughout this week. “I dominated almost every game and walked out with a thousand coins and hundreds in gift certificates” says Billy. In his free time, Billy enjoys playing a little rock and roll, fishing and spending time with his wife and daughter. Silkworm is a great place to work because of its family-oriented attitude. Silkworm tries to get the whole family involved its activities. Billy’s work ethic is best described by the songs, Eye of the Tiger and 2 Legit 2 Quit. He works hard to ensure great service and quality for every customer order. “People call me Billdozer around here,” Billy states, “The tagline for my life is ‘The other white meat.” Silkworm is a great place to work and have a good time. It’s never boring because of the employees’ many, hidden talents. Billy is no exception. He is a fourth generation man, [...]

Employee Spotlight: Kristen Bathon


Jun 22, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Kristen Bathon, a Southern Illinois native, promotes Silkworm through attending and coordinating events and provides day-to-day marketing and sales support as the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Silkworm. Kristen has been with Silkworm since September of 2014. “I wasn’t looking for a specific job because I still had a semester left at Southern Illinois University,” says Kristen, “but I had a contact at John A. Logan College that referred me to Silkworm, so I applied!” Kristen was very familiar with the Silkworm reputation and our involvement in the community, so she was excited to apply! “Silkworm is involved in numerous events and programs throughout the area,” says Kristen, “so attending the events would be my favorite part of my job.”     Kristen wants to be actively involved in the community. Silkworm allows her to do just that! Kristen also organizes tours of Silkworm to share our mission, values and services to different area groups. Kristen’s favorite memory at Silkworm was the RSP game night for Knock Hunger out of the Park. “It was exciting to see the community rallying together,” says Kristen, “Bringing in canned goods for United Community Pantry in Carterville, Illinois. Silkworm, along with RSP Heating and Cooling and the Event Partners exceeded our $5,000 goal, filling 3 Trucks with milk crates stacked high full of non-perishable items collected at the game and $1,500 in monetary donation. Knock Hunger has been a great event for the community and given a much needed boost to our local food pantries with donations and helped create a lot of awareness for hunger in Southern Illinois. The River to River Relay is another one of Kristen’s favorite events to support.  “At the River to River Relay we got to interact with all the runners,” Kristen says, “And set up tents with yummy snacks.”         Kristen loves to cook [...]

Employee Spotlight: Josh Hoelscher


May 4, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Josh Hoelscher is a long-time Silkworm employee of 16 years.  As a press assistant Josh sets up, runs and tears down the automatic and manual presses. Josh and the production team are vital pieces to the Silkworm puzzle, providing amazing service to all of Silkworm’s customers. Josh is motivated by doing his job right and knowing he is offering the best customer service.  Josh says he loves waking up every morning and coming to work. Josh’s favorite part of his job is the people.  “The internal relationships at Silkworm are awesome,” says Josh, “And I love getting to talk to everybody.” Some of Josh’s favorite memories with Silkworm took place while tailgating at SIU football games.  “Some of us used to go the SIU football games,” says Josh, “And we would have the best time!” The song “Happy Go Lucky” describes Josh’s work ethic and personality perfectly.  “I have an outgoing personality,” says Josh, “But I’m quiet and I do my job correctly!” When talking about what we love most about Josh, Chuck Ticer a Union Direct printer at Silkworm mentions how Josh always gives him the Hoelscher hug!  Josh’s positive attitude in the shop is contagious. To some people, Josh goes by Jerry Mathers.  “I don’t remember how the nickname started,” Josh states, “The name came from the character Theodore ‘Beaver’ Cleaver in Leave It To Beaver.” If Josh could be anyone else he would be Bill Gates and have Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts as parents.  “I would love to get paid to do nothing,” says Josh, “I would get treated like royalty all day every day.” When Josh was four years old he was diagnosed with childhood cancer.  He has been battling it for 32 years. In October of 2014, Josh had a stroke not allowing him [...]

Employee Spotlight: Ian McCall


Apr 1, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

You’ll find Ian McCall supporting Silkworm’s Sales & Marketing and other departments by helping his coworkers solve problems using technology and design. He has been an employee for 5 years and counting. Ian’s new title as Interdepartmental Technician takes on many roles. When he has his Marketing hat on he design ads and product flyers. With his Sales hat on he creates order forms and special projects for customers. When Ian is helping Administration he makes posters for upcoming Silkworm events. Ian is also one of our tech wizards. Without Ian and the rest of the team, we wouldn’t be able to take the next steps in making our systems more efficient, which in turn, makes the process of ordering easier. “When something goes wrong with the network or server,” says Ian, “I get to put on my IT hat and troubleshoot that problem.” Ian’s Silkworm story is quite interesting, his finding Silkworm was pure serendipity. After graduating from SIU, Ian was out searching for four-leaf clovers on campus. After finding several clovers and photographing them he went inside for a drink of water. “When I saw a Silkworm flyer on one of the bulletin boards,” Ian states, “I knew I had found something special.” One of Ian’s favorite part of his job is when he’s out of town and he spots someone wearing a shirt with a print that he designed. “I love printing a shirt that I have designed,” says Ian, “I even get to print it with my own two hands (and a squeegee).” Ian’s favorite shirts to design are for Silkworm’s Fish Week. He finds the freedom to experiment with different print locations and techniques very amusing. Ian is especially attached to the design he created last year for Fish Week. He drew a lot of his inspiration [...]

Employee Spotlight: Chi Robinson


Mar 3, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Chi Robinson, the Art Director and Art Team Leader at Silkworm oversees department projects and schedules daily art that comes through the art department. She writes clear and precise performance standards that assists the high quality of work at Silkworm. The standard is held high to assure great customer service. Chi oversees the designers and reviews their daily schedule to ensure a proper work load. Chi is a designer herself, working as a Mac technician as well.  “I started working at Silkworm in May of 1996,” said Chi “I have been with the company for over 18 years.” Chi is a resident of Murphysboro and always knew about the business while her brother has known Bob Chambers, President, for years. When Chi graduated college she searched for a design position and Silkworm made a great impression so she landed her spot as a wormer. Silkworm strives to be one of the best places to work in Southern Illinois. “I knew Silkworm would be a great fit because the high standards line up with the standards I hold for myself,” said Chi “I think it says a lot about Silkworm to keep its employees happy and excited about their work for so long.” Chi loves the fact that she gets to work on different projects every day. “Silkworm has so many different types of customers that it makes it very easy to enjoy each day of working,” says Chi “I’m fond of the new challenges that arise daily and I’m able to find perfect design solutions.” Silkworm is a company that does not stray away from the problems. Silkworm takes them on full-force with the hopes of fixing the problems and ensuring that it does not occur again. “We don’t claim to be perfect, but we try every day to make sure there [...]

Employee Spotlight: Ryan Ehlers


Feb 9, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Ryan Ehlers, the production manager at Silkworm, says “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry describes his work ethic best.  At Silkworm we encourage all departments to work hard and to enjoy themselves while doing the job correctly and efficiently. Ryan’s primary job function is to make the sure orders get finished in a timely manner.  Each shirt is important to Ryan.  He prides himself on working for a company that focuses on quality inspections from start to finish.  One of production team’s finest assets is being able to take a multi-colored design and create perfect printing for any occasion. Whether your order is 12 pieces or 1,000 pieces, our production team is up for any challenge!  Silkworm can screen print anything that will lay flat; from apparel to table covers. Silkworm’s printing process is unlike any other.  Instead of having a machine that prints products in bulk, our production team personally screen prints each individual product.  The team has a special eye for detail and they treat each item with care.  Ryan and the team are vital in the process, ensuring great quality for every customer. When problems arise, Silkworm is always able to turn negatives into positives. “We accept that problems will arise,” says Ehlers “but we are ready to fix them and make sure they don’t happen again.” The Silkworm way makes sure that the customer is taken care of and that they are astounded by great customer service. “We are prepared for problems,” says Ehlers “we know how to handle them correctly and get the job done right!” Ryan has been working at Silkworm for 17 years, where he has been heavily involved in the Silkworm culture.  Silkworm believes in a laid-back environment.  Creativity, individuality and teamwork are welcomed on a daily basis.  Silkworm is able to [...]

Employee Spotlight on Jess Carr


Nov 20, 2014 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , Comments are off

“If I could be any celebrity, I would be Chelsea Handler,” says Jess Carr. Jess is a graphic designer at Silkworm, creating artwork for customer orders. Being able to take an idea or words and turn them into pieces of art that last is something that all of our artists treat with the highest level of care and detail. The design process at Silkworm is a feature that inspires our high quality work. Instead of stock artwork, the art department creates one-of-a-kind work that promotes your business or event. Our designers take the time to design unique artwork. One of Silkworm’s greatest assets are our designers and their ability to take a rough concept and create memorable impressions for your company and event. In fact, our customers rave about the design process all the time. Our artists take great pride in the designs they create and provide options to each and every design. “You tell the story,” says Jess “we just tell it in a cool design.” Being a locally-owned company, Jess is able to do what she loves while being active in her community. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Big Muddy Monster Brewfest that supports Friends of Murphysboro. Silkworm’s mission is to give back to the communities we serve and it’s become something the company and our employees are known for.  “Being engaged in the community and having Silkworm behind community events is one of my favorite things,” says Jess  “it’s is one of our greatest commitments as a company.” “We all have made great memories of events we have at the worm,” says Jess “it’s like a big group of friends.” Silkworm embraces each team member as an individual and inspires our wormers to be who they want to be. “We have a lot of fun around here,” says Jess [...]