Healing Haiti

April 1, 2014

“It was AMAZING!”

Those are the words directly from Monique Gainor (Intereum Sales Representative) who recently went to Haiti with a team from Healing Haiti, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the lives of Haitians better.  They delivered fresh water and supplies to the tent cities and slums of Cite Soleil, they visited and cared for the elderly, and delivered supplies and FMSC food packs to many schools and orphanages.

Intereum employees donated supplies to help fill the 15 suitcases that were making the trip and this video is a great tribute to the work, the giving, the time, and the gratitude that was all part of the Healing Haiti trip.



Seeyond Architectural Products is the all-in-one solution for creating a visual “wow” to any space with features that can be applied to walls, ceilings, open spaces for collaborative needs, and areas needing a decorative touch.

We documented our installation that occurred last week at our showroom as proof to how quickly, error-free, and rapidly this all happened. The product arrived as scheduled with each feature shipping flat to keep the contents pristine. A skilled team of three assembled the components and built it from the ground up by connecting the boxes to the magnets in a sequential order. The end result is eye-catching!

The images below capture how it all came together. For an even better effect, stop into our showroom to see just how durable and neat the Seeyond features are!


Seeyond Facing with LED lights being installed.


Set the LED lights to cycle through colors or pick your favorite one.


Putting the tessellation pattern together.




Each flattened piece ready to be assembled.



Match up each section according to the identification number and letter.

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Not your ordinary collaborative hub!

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If you’ve ever doubted the process of prefabricated construction, then you haven’t explored DIRTT close enough. DIRTT stands for ‘doing it right this time’ and has been on a track turning skeptics into believers by delivering a product that can help the trades, that can satisfy the end-user, and that can define any space to be what you want and how you want it.

DIRTT recently celebrated its 10th birthday and while the brand’s mission has remained the same, the flexibility, capabilities, and innovations behind DIRTT continues to thrive. Intereum’s Green Learning Center reflects this in many ways: From collaboration rooms robust with plug and play technology to the private office built out from a previously unusable space – our showroom is full of DIRTT ideas and possibilities.

What you will also surely find at our Green Learning Center is the precursor to any DIRTT product and that is our talented, energized, and knowledgeable PreStruct Team (Prefabricated Structured Solutions).

We pulled up a chair to meet with the PreStruct team to really get to know what makes this team so cool. I mean, who else do you know that does DIRTT DOGG Days, Waffle Wednesdays, and Frosty Fridays?


Leading the team is Patrick MacNabb who joined Intereum in November 2012. In this role, Patrick assists the internal Intereum sales team in presentations, product information and proposals. Projects tend to span all vertical markets, which can make each day challenging and exciting since each project is unique.  “From my first day here, I have felt welcome. Everyone at Intereum does a great job getting new people to feel comfortable right away. Unlike my previous jobs, I feel every day goes by much too quickly.”


In October 2013, Scott Zimmer joined the PreStruct team as our Market Development Director. There’s a very technical component to interior systems that has to be interconnected and in order to make sure there is no disconnect with anything, it’s of great value to work with General Contracts. And that’s what Scott is here to do! Scott formerly worked for a healthcare institution where he managed 60 locations. In his new role, he’s able to connect with industry contacts while educating and promoting the powerful solutions of DIRTT. He definitely is enjoying the camaraderie and talents of each team member.


Cheryl Aspelund is the Project Manager for PreStruct. Her day is full of variety, lots of responsibility, and a ton of laughs. As noted by her coworkers, Cheryl has an infectious laugh and an easygoing spirit, which makes her a great member to have on the team. In addition to projects, Cheryl has one very important responsibility to tend to here:  She has to make sure our DIRTT Breathe Wall plants stay hydrated and looking good. She has recruited others to help so it’s definitely a team bonding moment on Friday afternoons. To catch them in the act is even better! The one thing Cheryl couldn’t live without to do her job is her tape measure with fraction increments. Let’s hope this doesn’t go missing!


Another component that makes Intereum a preferred DIRTT partner is due to our highly skilled and talented crew. Cody Redman is the Head DIRTT Technician. As the foreman, he is responsible for running jobs and keeping projects on track to finish efficiently.  Cody is a certified DIRTT installer, which means he has completed training at DIRTT Calgary. Because of this certification, all of our jobs can be warrantied. Pretty neat!  Being responsible for jobs is a lot of pressure. Fortunately, Cody knows how to troubleshoot and handle any obstacles with his quick thinking, and this has no doubt lead to many rewarding and successful project installations.

Before any project can BE something, you have to create it and we rely on Sara Henkel and our newest design addition, Andrea Roman, to help us out.


Sara Henkel began her design journey at Intereum as a Production Designer with the Healthcare team and then made the jump to DIRTTBag within the last couple of years. As a DIRTT designer, Sara gets to handle projects from their infancy to final installation – and that includes everything in between. It’s a hands-on job and she loves the challenge of it. The mentality that work should be fun, engaging, and rewarding is true for them all and Sara says they accomplish this through their open communication and being supportive of one another.


Andrea Roman is our newest designer for our PreStruct Team! Coming from the architectural world, where the design happens around walls, she expressed how she enjoys discovering how DIRTT becomes a part of the design solution and can transform the client’s present and future needs. Her favorite part of being on the team is definitely the people. “You couldn’t find a more supportive and fun team!”  Outside of work, Andrea can be found creating patterns for Spoonflower, a website that lets you print your own design on multiple different fabric options. Definitely check it out!


As newcomer Andy Dusek has caught on to the PreStruct Team, there is never a dull moment. Andy serves as the Client Services point person for the team and completes this dynamic group!  What works so well for this group is that they all want work to be something they enjoy coming to day in and day out. And for that reason, they are fun, they keep it cool, and they log their priceless moments in a quote book. One of the more recent team building activities Andy recalled was their Waffle Wednesday cooking in the cafe. They make beautiful waffles for each other and other employees. Hilarity ensues!  Andy comments that the one thing he couldn’t live without on the DIRTT team is Cheryl because “she really brings a good balance to the team and I’m happy to have her as a neighbor”.


If you had to guess, what distance would you estimate a nurse walks in a 12 hour shift?

A) 1 mile

B) 2 miles

C) 3 miles

D) 4 miles

Well, before we get to the answer, know this:

Herman Miller Healthcare recognizes the importance of nurses’ roles in hospitals and clinics, and wanted to take a step in the right direction by addressing the issue of nurses walking too much. Herman Miller Healthcare sponsored a study that was conducted by the Center for Advanced Design Research & Evaluation (CADRE), Texas Health Research & Education, and HSK, Inc.  The purpose of the study was to better understand how physical design and operations processes interact to influence the total distance nurses walk.

The results revealed that nurses can travel upwards of 4 miles on a 12 hour shift. 4 miles! That’s 16 laps around a track field or the length of 70 football fields!


Over the course of the research, a new measure that realistically predicts nurse walking distance on hospital bed units was identified. While not perfect, this formula does offer architects, nurse leaders, and other hospital leadership an additional means of evaluating the way units, beds, and circulation options are laid out. This calculation is determined by the distance between destinations on the unit floor, multiplied by the number of time each distance is traveled, which results in a realistic prediction of how far nurses walk.

Intereum had the opportunity to work alongside an architect and design firm that addressed this same concept with a local clinic interested in enhancing the patient experience. To do so, they strategically gave exam rooms two doors; one being a traditional swing door and on the other side of the patient room, a DIRTT sliding barn door. By setting up the patient rooms in this manner, the clinic was able to keep the nurse and provider traffic separate from the patient’s pathways. And most importantly, this arrangement cut down the amount of foot traffic for nurses and providers while increasing the ease of communication between staff.

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Another approach to maximizing efficiency at this clinic was the installation of Herman Miller Compass. The 13″ footprint reserved valuable real estate for patients while keeping the essentials for the nurse and provider at their fingertips. In the end, the subtle efficiencies can have a great impact on building relationships with patients while tending to their needs.130208_Intereum_S_047

Lastly, some exciting news was announced about Nemschoff, a Herman Miller Company, and how they are the number one brand in the healthcare furniture market for the third year in a row by Contract magazine. We’re proud to be a dealer that offers furnishings that reflect commitment to people-centered design, high quality, craftsmanship, and products that withstand to the demands of high use environments. Nemschoff_FA_NDC_P_20120618_022_G_720_485

For more information about the Herman Miller Healthcare study, please click here.

Wellbeing @Intereum

February 24, 2014

Wellness Workshop begins @Intereum!

Wellness Workshop begins @Intereum!

We are extremely fortunate to have a passionate and knowledgeable ergonomic specialist here on staff. Kim Pellitteri is her name – and you may recall hearing about her from a previous post!


Recently, Kim has started her own health coaching business called ‘Health Happiness’ and has now partnered with Intereum to kick off our own health initiative. The hope is that by the end to have information on how to make healthy and mindful choices everyday to live a fuller and happier life.  And if that means we happen to have a smaller waistline by the end of it, then so be it!

Kim started the initiative by sending out a survey to learn who would be interested in partaking and what they would be interested in learning. This information helped her create an outline of four topics to be presented once a quarter on healthy living.  Last week, we had our first workshop presented by Kim on ‘Nutrition for Energy – how to eat well in today’s crazy world’.  The presentation was packed with people and filled with great information and visuals to aid in making better decisions about food that will give you more energy throughout the day.



What did we learn? LOTS! And if you already had heard something before, it was a great reminder and motivator to hear it again.

The Top 10 Health Tips from Kim:

1.  Cut caffeine
2.  Drink more water (Lemon Water AM)
3.  Eat dark leafy green vegetables
4.  Reduce sugar, use gentle sweets like raw honey, maple syrup
5.  Enjoy physical activities, including breaks during work for ergonomics.
6.  Enjoy more rest and relaxation
7.  Evaluate the amount and type of protein you eat- breakfast experiment (Eat breakfast and pack a lunch)
8.  Take time for yourself
9.  Get in touch with your spirituality (Meditate)
10.  Re-evaluate your relationships

Soon after the holidays, daring employees participated in a 10-day detox and although the first days were challenging, everyone really supported each other in making healthy choices and seeing it through the end!

Another part of the initiative is to make sure we drink more water. Now we have a special decanter that is filled with a different array of fresh fruit everyday that helps make drinking water more appealing and quite refreshing!

If you personally and/or your company would be interested in having Kim as your health coach, check out her website to get in touch!

Leave Your Baggage Behind

February 14, 2014


Leave Your Baggage Behind is a piece written by J. Forrest, our guest blogger for the week, who is the founder of Employee Strategies in Minneapolis.  His consulting practice was created with a mission to improve workplace culture.  In addition to the practice, he is also the software company founder and owner of Alignamite, a web-based performance management tool. Intereum and Employee Strategies have partnered to share strategies for creating better places to work. And as our video shows, it’s the beginning to a great relationship.

Human behavior is complex.  We work with individuals from all walks of life and spend hours upon hours trying to understand their behavior and how it relates to a leader, a purpose, and a workplace.  Within our discipline of Organization Development, we, in effect, become like medical doctors of the workplace.  While this simile falls apart the more you unravel it, it works to explain some basic premises of our work.  Essentially, our clients present a problem and we work to address that problem or the root cause of the symptom that may exist a few layers below the surface.

A few years ago, we had a client that was moving across town.  By outgrowing their existing space, it became necessary to find a bigger office.  The move and the senior leader were met with some serious resistance.  The leader couldn’t understand why.  In his mind, he saw an expensive new office with more collaborative space, furniture that wasn’t forty years old, and closer proximity to some fun restaurants.   The logic didn’t add up and he couldn’t understand why his team wasn’t excited about the move.  So, he called us.

As we sat down over breakfast, he explained that people were furious about the move.  In his mind, the presenting symptom/problem was that employees were losing their private offices.  In our discussion, we talked about the lack of trust he was being afforded.  His organization didn’t trust him to make a series of decisions in their best interest.  The prevailing symptom to address wasn’t the loss of a private office, but rather the lack of trust between employees and the leadership team.  We decided to work together and we started a “Leave Your Baggage Behind” campaign.  The play on words to the campaign was intended to be lighthearted, but also address the very real concerns that had been festering for years.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Stephen Covey, “to listen well is the psychological equivalent of giving air to someone who is oxygen-deprived. It meets a deep, profound human need.”

The team of people we worked with was unsure about the move and the loss of perceived status in going from private offices to cubes, but what they were really mourning was the absence of influence.  They were not being heard or asked anything about their work.  Everything, it felt, was being done to them without their opinion or support.  It felt like they didn’t matter.  Turns out, the recurring issue in this organization was a leader that cared so much, he did everything himself.  Some may read this behavior as caring many more saw it as an illustration that they didn’t matter.  They didn’t matter enough to have their opinion shared on any workplace decisions.  The loss of offices was merely an easy thing to highlight.

We can complain about how we are getting softer as a society, that we cancel schools with one cool forecast or that in the “real world” not everyone gets a trophy, but in my real world everyone wants their work to be both impactful and fun.  This doesn’t happen through pure logic, it happens through human behavior.  It happens through trust and it happens when our leaders are afforded the benefit of the doubt.  This is achieved through trust.

If you’re considering an office space refresh, cheers to you!  Keep your eyes on symptoms like turnover, productivity drops, and employee stress as indicated by an increase in “got a minute” meetings.    To get a head of the curve, form an employee team that focuses on understanding employee perspectives, concerns and ideas.  If you include employees in the process, you increase the likelihood that they really do leave some of the old baggage behind.

Intereum Celebrates 10 Years!

February 11, 2014

10year-01Today we celebrate Intereum’s 10th birthday!  It started with the idea of creating “a place where people come together to create inspiring work environments”. That message is at the core of what we work hard to accomplish on a day-to-day basis with clients and team members, making Intereum truly a great place to work!



Sugar anyone?


Matt, Hedgies, and Cupcakes!

Back when Intereum got its start, a new program was introduced as well, so to combat the big learning curve, Intereum’s creative leaders decided to have a little fun. The “Play Intereum iQ” game that was introduced to help each team member get familiar with the new program.

IQ Game Brochure

Play Intereum iQ game brochure!

Another fun rollout event included a Super Bowl-themed kickoff of Good to Great.  We believe in focusing on our core values to deliver successful project outcomes and be team players. The Hedgehog as you know is our Mascot and the Good to Great event helped put the fun into all this!

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Good to Great Super Bowl Ticket

And so today, we celebrate! Thank you everyone!




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