GFS Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day

Observed annually on the first Friday in March, Employee Appreciation Day celebrates the achievements and contributions of employees. At Global Finishing Solutions (GFS), we believe our greatest strength and the reason we have been successful is due to the hard work of our employees.

Our core values — family, respect, partnership, integrity and improvement — define our company culture and guide every aspect of our business. We believe that every employee “makes their mark” on the company and should be empowered to make decisions and have an impact on our business.

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, we would like to highlight our employees and the actions they take every day to improve our customer experience, assist coworkers and drive our business forward. To acknowledge all of the small acts that make a big impact on our business and culture, GFS established the Global Goodness program.

This ongoing employee recognition program acknowledges and rewards employees for going above and beyond their normal job duties. Employees are nominated by other employees, and an employee-run committee selects monthly, quarterly and annual winners that reflect our core values. The following are a few of the employee actions that have been nominated and celebrated through this program and align with our company core values.


GFS is a family-owned and operated company, focused on our family of exceptional employees. A low turnover rate — with many of our employees staying with us through retirement — is a testament to our family-like culture that we have built and celebrated.

“Ashleigh Kolve, Cheryl Peterson, Diane Luedtke and Donna Nelson planned and executed a retirement party for Greg Yarrington,” Justin Johnson said. “They put together an awesome potluck for 100 people. They came in on their own time to decorate the break room with tablecloths, balloons and decorations. The party went great!”

We also treat our employees like family, recognizing the importance of their life outside of work.

“Mark Makuski is a great lead and really helped me when I needed it,” Jerry Lindom said. “He gave me a Kwik Trip gift card that helped me travel to see my father-in-law in Rochester.”

With this people-first approach and limitless opportunities, we believe our people have every chance to flourish.


The respect, dignity and courtesy we extend to our family of employees carries on to our customers, business associates and vendors.

“A consultant had a flat tire on his rental car while he was in town,” Angie Rud explains. “Chad Schneider used his personal vehicle and time to pick up the consultant and bring him to and from GFS for the three days he was in town. He also helped him get his rental car to the shop for repair.”

Respect is also displayed in friendly regards toward a coworker.

“I was in a hurry and tried to eat my lunch on the go, spilling it in the hallway” Megan Merritt explained. “Andrea Iacucci Ostini saw I was in a hurry and cleaned it up for me without even asking. He also helped take care of my dog when I was out of town!”


Striving for shared goals, we believe that is how the best work gets done — whether for our customers or employees.

“Joe Quirk, Dave Gerike, Justin Holmen and Matt Mossner helped clear out a portion of the shipping warehouse to use for the family picnic,” Stephanie Risch said. “Due to extreme heat, we needed an area inside and off the blacktop for the inflatables and kids activities. This was not ideal for day-to-day business, but their willingness to accommodate this at the last minute was much appreciated.

We align with people who share our core values and exceed our expertise, and we treat business relationships as true partnerships. GFS employees are willing to step in when needed and step up for the betterment of the business.

“We needed some help in training second-shift welding employees,” Dale Larson commented. “Wayne Williamson saw the need and offered to switch his hours for six weeks to help out. Wayne’s positive attitude and willingness to help continues to be displayed.”

Similarly, our employees are willing to help each other out when circumstances don’t allow them to perform their normal job duties.

“Michael Riordan adjusted his schedule to work as a startup technician for three weeks when Kyle Opelt was on light duty due to surgery,” Chelsea Meinking explained. “Michael provided the opportunity for GFS to continue to support our customers who had service and startup scheduled, without impacting their company or new installation. Kyle was then able to help out in tech services for those three weeks. Kyle has done an exceptional job and made a positive impact on customers by helping out industrial and aerospace customers.”


We have built a culture so immersed in character, it holds up even when the lights are off.

“Jason Hatton answered my phone call from Saudi Arabia at 3 a.m. and came into the office to help me solve some programming issues,” James Crebo commented. “He also came in and worked over the weekend to ensure I could catch my scheduled flight home.”

From our core, we abide by unwavering standards of ethics and principles.

“Dan Quarberg was using the vending machine when it malfunctioned and dropped almost $90,” Missy Semingson said. “Dan displayed the utmost integrity by turning it all in so we could give it back to Canteen, our vending machine company.”


With keen eyes and vast resources, we constantly think ahead to be better and go farther for long-term success. We are constantly planning, innovating and improving.

“When Adam King was recently promoted to estimating manager, he worked around the clock, seven days a week,” Ryan Looker said. “Along with his new job duties, he has been heavily involved in internal process improvements, as well as working as a full-time estimator while searching for his replacement.”

We also invest and reinvest in our employees, partnerships and products to ensure the health and longevity of our company.

“Jeneen Giacomino was critical to the development and implementation of the Crate Tracker System,” Westley Bennett said. “Thanks to her help, we have seen a 68 percent reduction in missing parts versus our old load list system. Her attention to detail has proven time and again to be directly responsible for finding critical bugs in our system.”


Although a large, growing business — with more than 400 employees — our heart remains rooted in small-town, homegrown values, and we strongly believe in giving back to the community that continues to support us.

“Vern Larson exemplifies the spirit of Christmas and community,” Pam Graham said. “Less than an hour after he directed a Christmas program with more than 20 fourth- fifth- and sixth-graders, he was playing Santa at the Osseo Family Restaurant. He walked table to table, speaking with patrons and spreading good cheer. He even took time to have pictures taken with the kids and service dogs-in-training! Vern also plays Santa at GFS’ holiday party each year.”

GFS loves to give back — to our employees, community and the people who live in it. We aim to provide our employees with every opportunity to make their mark on our company and each other. We appreciate the contributions they have made and celebrate their success.

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