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.
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.
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.
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!
Hey all! My name is Dan Perlinger, and I am the Operations Team Lead for Creative Memories.
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.
In 1999 I graduated from SCSU while Creative Memories continued growing exponentially each year. Many employees grew right along with CM accepting the challenges, learning new skills, and gaining advancement opportunities along the way. The years, Showcase Marketplaces, system implementations, company adaptations, and employee faces continued to fly by.
I was honored in 2014 when asked to join the employees responsible for bringing in the new Creative Memories and looked forward to the challenge. I am privileged to be a part of the Operations Team which consists of just 11 members with diverse personalities, communication styles, and skill sets. Our biggest task involved moving and setting up all the product manufacturing equipment, warehouse racking, inventory, and building a pick to light distribution system in a new facility. November was the target CM launch, so we had only a matter of months to accomplish these goals. Impossible you think? Ha! Not with this team! Although communication may have become “colorful” at times, those diverse personalities took the challenge head on and let their skills shine through. It was felt throughout the facility when Operations built and shipped their first albums that November hitting the intended CM launch date.
As we march forward continuing our mission to provide quality products in an accurate and timely manner, we challenge each other to improve internal processes and also our team. Each member came on board with specific areas of expertise that we continue sharing to make us stronger as a whole. I am proud to be a part of such a great team and an exciting company!
Outside of work I strive to put “Mr. Serious” away and find ways to relax. I am a 10 year WBT member at Old Chicago and recently completed my 50th World Tour. Being a huge sports fan, it is a perfect environment to watch the game or swing by after work and talk to the locals. We schedule many fun events during the year such as a charity golf tournament, group buses to catch Vikings, Twins, and Wild games along with a smaller group visiting Vikings Training Camp in Mankato.
The favorite place for me to relax is at the land that my family still owns from when we used to farm. Now it’s used for recreation rather than work with awesome trails cut throughout the property for 4-wheeling or just going on a nature walk to take photos.
Mom and I celebrate Mother’s Day weekend there and I also invite friends out several times a year including our Annual Snowshoeing Weekend that my 71-year-old Mother still participates in!
If you made it this far, congratulations and thanks for reading my rant! Ha, ha, ha! Here’s to a bright future!
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.
Hello! My name is Diane Lampert and I am in a new Advisor Services role.
My relationship with Creative Memories started in 1996 when I signed as a Consultant. I loved it and excitedly built a team for twelve months and reached Senior Unit Leader. Then our family had a transfer to Australia in 1997, where I had the opportunity to meet hundreds more people and rebuild my business. Now, almost 20 years later I’m thrilled to be back in the U.S. and part of the new CM getting to do what I love best: helping others succeed.
Hello! My name is Shari Rieland, and I am the Director of Product Development.
In my role, I have the privilege of managing the product life-cycle which starts with idea generation and ends with product evaluation after launch.
One of my favorite parts of this role is that I get to interact with so many people along the way from everyone inside the home office, to vendors near and far and with our customers, which of course includes our fabulous field of Advisors.
It is amazing how much you learn from others!
Since I joined CM back in 2005, I have always been in product development. My first role was a Product Specialist on the Tools team and one of my first projects was the Tape Runner re-design….Nothing like stressing out the newbie with a re-design to one of the most popular CM products!
Fast forward 11 years (wow!) and I am now honored to be able to lead the process and keep driving us forward with our high quality products. But I definitely do not do it alone!
I am very grateful to walk alongside the team at the Home Office and all of the Advisors who provide great feedback and insight to keep producing the best products.
When not at work, you will find my husband and I running our three kids to sporting events, hanging out on the lake (since we live in the state of 11,842 lakes but who’s counting) and spending as much time with family and friends as we can.
Oh, and right now building a new house- just a small task on the to-do list.