We’ve Got Skills | Creation Lexington Skills Competition

5S Team Competition
5S Team Skills Competition

It all began one day when Mark Shirley, a Quality Engineer here in Creation – Lexington, was researching an IPC Conference.

On the IPC website, Mark noticed some information about a recent soldering competition, where 22 competitors from 15 companies were tasked with building a functional electronics assembly within a half hour. The winner was crowned the Best Hand-Soldering Technician in the Midwest.

Intrigued by this event, Mark thought we should give our own Creation team members a similar opportunity to showcase their talents. And he knew he’d need some help to make it happen.

I was excited when I heard about the idea since it had great team-building potential, and I was happy to be part of the steering team. So were others from Quality, Operations and Continuous Improvement, along with Marketing’s Jennifer Marsh, (who’s also my silent partner in writing this post).

After a few brainstorming sessions, our little competition quickly expanded to include events in soldering, build, visual inspection, 5S and SMT set-up.

With a little marketing, sweet talk, and a lunchtime recruiting session, it was amazing to get over 50 contestants signed up to compete in the two-day event!

On August 1st and 2nd, Creation Lexington hosted its first annual Creation Skills Competition.

Competition Day

On competition day the atmosphere was intense. It was great listening to the rousing cheers as teams sent competitors off to battle. The fun was infectious.

An electronic leaderboard became the center of attention for watching the standings in each event. We also kept up a colorful, running e-mail commentary to keep the excitement building.

I was so excited to see such team building and spirit. Even people who weren’t competing couldn’t help but be pulled into the excitement of the competition.

It was a great couple of days.

SMT Line Set-Up Skills Competition
Patrick Goodlett concentrating during the SMT Line Set-Up Skills Competition
SMT Line Set-up
Patrick Goodlett and Will Reiling working together to achieve a great SMT Line Set-Up time
Visual Inspection Skills Competition
Isela Villalobos showing off her Visual Inspection skills
Build Skills Competition
Isela Villalobos focused on getting it ‘just right’ in the Build Skills Competition

The Finale

To celebrate, we held our first Creation Skills Competition Awards Ceremony the week following the competition.

I had so much fun announcing everyone’s names as they came up to receive their certificates of participation. It was a parade of champions!

And what a treat to see the pride on our event winners faces as they received their gold, silver and bronze medals. Everyone showed off their medal to a tremendous round of applause from the business unit.

5S Team Skills Competition Winners
Fun at the Awards Ceremony: Macie White, Ashley Nelson and Shannon Pritchett with their medals

Congratulations to all of our winners:

Hand Soldering
Julian Castillo – 1st Place
Houston Green – 2nd Place
Jason Castillo – 3rd Place

Christi Carreon– 1st Place
Scarlett Christopher– 2nd Place
Houston Green– 3rd Place

5S Team Competition
Brandon Thompson & Brent Mathes – 1st Place
Macie White & Ashley Nelson – 2nd Place
Shannon Pritchett & Patricia Daugherty – 3rd Place

Visual Inspection
Ruth Gaudinier – 1st Place
Isela Villalobos – 2nd Place
Patricia Daugherty – 3rd Place

SMT Set-Up Team Competition

Orlando Miles & Chris Riggs – 1st Place
Patrick Goodlett and Will Reiling – 2nd Place

See You Next Year

The competition was a huge success overall. I got the chance to talk to all the competitors, and everyone said how much fun they’d had.

Patricia Daugherty
“It was fun. I had a blast! Competing against my friends was my favorite part. It was nice to see the new Creation people do so well.”
~Patricia Daugherty, SMT inspector: 5S and Visual Inspection Competitor
Macie White
It was exhilarating. I wanted to win! Everything about it was awesome and the awards ceremony made me feel important.”
~Macie White, Finance: 5S Competitor


Since we’re definitely planning to host this event again next year, stay tuned to find out who is the ‘Best of the Best’ in 2013!

Team-Building & Healthy Competition

Healthy competition, like in this event, can boost productivity, morale and lead to personal and professional growth. Our Creation Skills Competition provided a showcase for our talent, creating enthusiasm and team spirit.

Does your company host team-building events? Have you had success with similar competitions?

Dealing with Grief

Dealing with Grief: Practice of Gratitude
Dealing with grief can be very difficult.  Learn how to Practice Gratitude and remember to ask for help.

A few weeks ago I had an idea for a post on ‘How to deal with negativity’ and the ‘poor pitiful me’ syndrome that can come with human nature. I hadn’t started writing it yet, but as I was driving to work this morning, I realized that I needed to take some of my own upcoming advice.

You see, today is difficult. In Creation’s Lexington business unit, we recently lost a friend and co-worker who had retired in December.

As a People & Culture Leader at Creation and as a Human Resources professional, I need to know how to help people who are dealing with grief. Grief affects us all in different ways, but there are things we can do to help ourselves get through difficult situations and I needed to practice some of them myself.

What advice am I talking about that can help us deal with grief and overcome negativity? One technique is the Practice of Gratitude.

I had a conversation over a year ago with a very wise woman. It was at a time in my life when I could find so much to complain about and just felt dissatisfied. Then she taught me to practice this art of positive thinking. She told me about the Practice of Gratitude.

I began this practice each night when I got into bed. I had to name three things that I was thankful for in that day. Had I encountered an act of kindness, had a good chat with my daughter, learned how to cook a new recipe, found a friend?

At first it was a struggle but with practice, the thankfulness began pouring out of me and in turn, my outlook changed. No longer did I feel the burden of my troubles. I felt the true lift of positivity and saw how truly blessed I was.

There are many ideas on the practice of gratitude, but these steps worked for me and I recommend them to my teammates:

2 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

  1. Practice Gratitude Daily. It doesn’t work if you don’t do it. Consistency is important if you want to make it stick.
  2. Pick 3 Things That Make You Grateful. Some days it may be hard to find 3 things but they are there. If you are really struggling with identifying 3 things, talk to your spouse, friend or family member.

So today, with the feeling of loss pushing its way in, I started counting my blessings:

I’m grateful for the wide-eyed enchantment of my child believing that the Tooth Fairy visited last night.

I’m grateful for the wonderful day I shared with family and neighbors yesterday in the glorious sunshine.

But most of all today, I’m grateful for getting to know and sharing in the life of Beatrice Deaton.

Do you practice gratitude?

Has it helped you grieve or get through a difficult situation? How? And what would you say to people who’ve never tried to practice gratitude? Please share your thoughts and advice by leaving a comment, below.



Send this to a friend