Under the Nottingham Spirk Innovation Center’s roof is a bevy of talented employees. Some are outdoor adventurers and some are musicians. We have dedicated parents and car enthusiasts. Vegans and hunters, dreamers and pragmatists. Every few months we will feature an employee in the Employee Spotlight section to give you a small glimpse into the daily lives of our employees. First up, Carolyn.

First name:  Carolyn 

Tell us a little about yourself (interests, family, etc.):  I like to carve pumpkins, I’m Girl Scout troop leader, a scuba diver, and a salt water fish tank enthusiast

Title at Nottingham Spirk:  Project Manager – Design Team

In your words, describe your position:  I play different design roles on each project. For some projects, I am the design team lead where I am active in the design process and daily project management.  For other projects, I participate in the initial design brainstorming and then step in and out of the project during the ideation phases.  Whatever my specific role, I am always actively participating in turning ‘thoughts’ into ‘things’.

Describe an “ah ha!” moment at NS:  Who would think a new product idea would be hidden under a steaming pan of fresh baked lasagna?  I’ve learned not to second guess any place as being ripe for innovation.

I am always willing to team it up in search of innovation – anywhere and anytime, even if it means I have to bake or blog to discover something new.   Work and home life is a fine balance, but my personal world dips in and out of design in more ways than not.   In our recent path to uncover the next new kitchen innovation, I found myself logging and blogging my every move from grocery shopping to cleaning dishes.   It was tedious but fun and my work days and evenings blurred together in an ideation phase that lasted several months.   The team laughed at each other’s photos of inside our refrigerators, and admired each person’s individual ways of cooking, shared recipes, tips and tools.   It was a fascinating experience that resulted in some of the most creative solutions in my career here at Nottingham Spirk.

Describe an “ugh!” moment at NS:  All good things must come to an end…

A new project required the team to understand the dynamics of caring for a small pet.  We purchased a black and white, short hair hamster to live at the office by my desk.   The little hamster soon became known as Cow.   He was a crafty little fella who escaped a few times, and we always thought he was lost for good.  But then we would hear him scurrying or spotted him behind a cabinet.  He enjoyed his life at NS and often spent time in people’s pockets or being cuddled by his many visitors.  

The project around this little pet came and went, but the hamster lived on.  Eventually, this sweet little hamster came home with me to become our household pet.   What a sad moment it was when our project pet finally passed away.  But, he lived a good life and certainly inspired many new ideas.  RIP Cow.

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