Friday, December 16, 2011

It’s Been a Very Hairy November

Last year during the month of November I was surprised and impressed with the number of guys at IPB who participated in “Movember”.  Movember is a campaign across North America that brings awareness to men’s health issues.   

I wanted to show my support and involve the entire IPB team for this year’s campaign.  I wanted to take our mission and help benefit Cancer research, specifically for Prostate cancer.

Seven years ago at Christmas time our family was rocked to the core when we were told that my Dad (David Skinner) had prostate cancer.  We were in shock that Christmas, and by the end of January Dad had his prostate removed and was recovering at home awaiting the start his first round of radiation treatments.  That same January, I was happy to announce that my husband and I were expecting our second child.  What an emotional time for the Skinners!  By the end of the year Dad was cancer free, and we had a beautiful little girl.

Both my uncle and grandfather (on my Dad’s side) passed away from cancer, and for both of them it had originated in their prostate.  Because of this, we were all too aware of the hurt cancer can bring to a family and more importantly because of that, my Dad was tested regularly.   Thank goodness he took his family medical history seriously and was proactive in protecting himself.

Prostate cancer in most cases is very treatable, especially in the case of early detection. This is exactly what a campaign like Movember is all about; men’s health issues should never be a subject that is swept under the rug.

At Ingersoll Paper Box, we have had too many fellow co-workers suffer from cancer themselves, or have had family members suffer.  It is hard to watch my friends go through it as I know all too well how painful it was for myself and my family.

This year, a total of 24 IPB members joined together to build awareness for the Movember Campaign and helped change the face of the men’s health issue.  They effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Their moustaches were their ribbons, the means by which they raise awareness and funds for this worthy charity.

IPB has always been a company that cares, and we wanted to encourage our members to participant by contributing $50 per person to the Canadian Cancer Society.  The campaign is unique, it gets everyone involved – but more importantly it builds awareness for an illness that has touched so many of our team members lives. 

It was a great month; I was surprised and impressed with the number of men participating.  I am so very pleased to donate $1200 to the Canadian Cancer Society in the name of Ingersoll Paper Box on their behalf.

For more information on Prostate Cancer please visit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Keeping Your Cool

We have all done it before, your kids spill their juice on your new carpet, or even worse, they’ve decided that your living room walls needed a bit more colour! You start screaming “What were you thinking?”…Uttering comments under your breath that normally would never come out of your mouth.  Afterwards you think, or someone points out, you could have handled that better.  The immediate reaction is never one that wants to be remembered but sadly, often is.

Similarly at work, a situation arises.  My immediate reaction is to yell, scream and demand better while pounding my fist on the desk.  Yes, I will probably get a reaction from these types of actions.  But does this empower anyone to do better?  Not really, they are just reacting to my reaction.

Whereas if I look at the situation from all the angles, investigate, talk to all the people involved then get them together and talk about what happened.  We can create a solution as a team. By involving all parties, you help ensure that the solution is followed through with and everyone is aware of the consequences if it is not. 

Empowerment is a term that many people use without truly understanding it.  It is a process that challenges people to think about what can and should be done.  It helps foster creativity, teamwork and success.  When you empower those around you, you ultimately give them the power to change something instead of demanding it. Empowering the people around you shows that you value their opinion; they contribute to the group on a larger scale.  Allowing people to take action and gain control of their own problems.  People work better as a team.  Given the opportunity most people will rise to the occasion. 

One thing to keep in mind is that although the team may have come up with a solution, it might be different from what you (the leader) thinks is the “right” solution. Remember, you have are looking to them to solve the problem.   You have empowered them to do so.

As a leader, I need to remind myself that joy is not found in completing an activity but by doing it.  As long as we meet the goal, find a solution and exceed our expectations – the journey of getting there is worth more than the destination itself.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Halloween Memories

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see Stuart McLean in Stratford. My husband and I are huge fans. During one of his stories he posed a question to the audience, giving us all a little something to think about; what was your first memory of Halloween, and what is your most memorable Halloween.

As a kid, Halloween was so much fun. It was one night that I could do what kids do best! Have fun, dress up in a weird, strange, or make believe costume, run around and act silly...all while collecting candy. What else could be better?

Stuart McLean certainly made me think! I seem to have a hard time pin pointing what my first memory of Halloween really was - aside from the ones displayed in my parent s photo albums. But I do have a most memorable Halloween!

There were so many great ones to choose from. Was it the year I was a princess, or a rock star? Or was it the year my children finally understood the concept of Halloween and had a blast dressing up? I've had some pretty cool moments for sure! But the one Halloween that seems to stick out the most is the first year that I went out for Halloween without my parents. It was 1979, and my youngest brother had just been born. He had to stay in the hospital a little bit longer than expected, so my other brother and I got to spend Halloween with my grandparents. What stood out the most, and made this year memorable, was that my Poppa was more of a hands off , than hands on type of a grandparent. But this was the year he had to come up with the costumes for my brother and I. He decided on a robot for my brother, (made of boxes), and I was a witch (my hat was made of cardboard). Both products were readily available in the warehouse! I wasn't thrilled to be a witch and looking back I hope that I wasn t too hard on them for that. I remember how proud he was to take us out in his neighbourhood. We walked up and down the street well we ran around like lunatics gathering our loot! It was absolute blast! I don t think it was a record year in candy collection for either me or my brother and I remember missing my parents and wanting to see them. But most of all I remember how happy I truly was. When you are kid Halloween is about dressing up, and having fun for a day.

Everyone has a Halloween memory. What was your most memorable Halloween?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thanksgiving – What does it mean to you?

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?  From turkey dinners, to family gatherings and pumpkin pies.  It’s the one time of year we celebrate the end of a harvest season and give thanks to those and gratitude for the blessings in our life.

An interesting thing happened this year during our Thanksgiving dinner and I’d like to share my story with you.

It was Thanksgiving Day at the Skinner home, and as we all sat down together at the table (my family of 5, plus Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents).  The kids of course, always seem to be the last ones to find their way to the table.  Our 8 year old son (Eddie) sat down at the table and immediately asked all of us to share what we were most thankful for.  He insisted that EVERYONE had to share something.  I looked around at their faces and could see some people where wondering ‘what am I going to say?’

From being thankful for new family members, time spent with one another, our health, and the food we were eating.  Everyone shared their thoughts and some people started to get a little emotional and teary eyed.  It’s amazing how a simple question from an 8 year old had unintentionally made us all sit back and really think!

A week or so later, I am still thinking about what we shared that day and how I am thankful for each and every one of my family members. We all could have laughed him off, not wanting to put ourselves ‘out there’ – but we didn’t.  I am so thankful that we had the courage to talk that day.  I loved the look on my son’s face – the pride he had, and that he sat a little bit taller in his chair that night. 

Yes, for some Thanksgiving is about turkey dinners, pumpkin pies and a day off of work.  For me, Thanksgiving is about the day my 8 year old boy spoke up at the table and got us all thinking…and for that I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Breathe, Relax and Smile!

Remember those days when you didn’t have to worry about keeping that balance?  You know, the right balance between doing the things you need to do versus the things you’d like to do?  Those were the good ole days, right?  Well, for some maybe, but for me I have had one of those ‘a-ha’ moments…Everything will fall into place, as long as I allow myself to feel happy.

Before having kids, my husband and I often thought we lived a very busy life. Looking back, I can see that we were seriously mistaken. I’ll admit, we were both very busy at work and it seemed we were constantly renovating our home.  But that doesn’t compare to the kind of busy we are living today.  We were just your typical young working couple who often struggled to find that right balance...between working too hard, and enjoying life.

Eight years ago, we welcomed our first child into the world.  What a wonderful experience it has been, full of excitement and joy but a little overwhelming at times!  Before having children, we seemed to have so much time on our hands.  But quickly our free time was consumed with sterilizing bottles, making baby food, going to kindergym classes and playdates!  As a mother, I spent every waking hour (and possibly sleeping hour) focusing my attention on my family –Which only lead me to question…what about ME?

Since that time, we are now a family of 6 (3 kids plus a dog).  We have simplified our lives by selling that ever demanding fix-er-up-er.   And just when we think we have a break, our lives seem so much busier in other ways!  We find ourselves down at the arena at least a couple of times per week, the gymnastics classes and guitar lessons always seem never ending!  And for a long time I thought my happiness depended solely on my children’s happiness… “if the kids are happy then I am happy”. 

But one day my husband and I looked at each other and said, ‘We need a break!’  We booked a mini-holiday...nothing fancy, just a couple of nights away at a B&B. It gave us time to do some things for ourselves.  We slept in, went for a run, sat in a cafĂ©, and read a book without being interrupted!  It was glorious! It doesn’t seem like much now - but what a difference it made for us!

We now have made a pact with each other – we go away every six months – together!  We are always scouring the newspapers and internet for the latest and greatest deals on little getaways!  It is now something we like to do together, which seems so strange when you have a young family.  Sometimes we just head into the city and explore new restaurants or to catch up with old friends, other times we hit the beach.  But the most important thing is that we do something for ourselves!

When I don’t have the luxury of taking time off…but feel like I need a quick break – I will not think twice about going for a run, taking a trip to the mall, or just laying by the pool for a few minutes.  It doesn’t take much out of my day, but it sure gives my body and mind that much needed ‘change of scenery’ that each and every person craves.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ingersoll Paper Box is blogging!

Hello and Welcome!
We are excited to announce that we have just launched our new blog site.
Stay tuned, follow us and give us feedback. We want to hear from you so that we can continue to develop our social networking platform in order to communicate and serve you our current and prospective client better.

Till next time.
The IPB Team