Innovairre employees turn work space into North Pole

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


Just beyond the main lobby in Innovairre, visitors won?t see cubicals. Instead, they are transported from Mt. Pleasant to the North Pole as two departments have taken the company?s holiday decoration competition to the next level.

Becky Mattson and her fellow project managers may have felt like they were as busy as Santa?s elves, so they have turned their workspace into just that ? Santa?s workshop. ?This really helps to boost moral,? said Mattson of why she and her co-workers decided to transform their cubical. ?We have a lot of Christmas spirit.?

The outside of the cubical has been designed to look like the outside of a lodge. A gingerbread like roof has been transfixed to the top of the area and inside a fireplace gives the workspace a comforting glow. Mattson is especially pleased with the decoration near her desk. A leg, clad in red, fuzzy pants and a black boot dangle from the ceiling near Mattson?s desk. ?The Santa leg just kind of happened, but it was an attention getter,? she says, setting off a series of chuckles from those in the cubical.

The workspaces were designed and decorated on the employees own time. And according to project manager Ruth Gomes, they spent about a workweek on creating Santa?s workshop. ?I?d say we at least put 40 hours into this,? she said.

The decorating was done over time, beginning right after Thanksgiving. After work and on weekends Innovairre employees would come in and make their space look a little more festive.

?Every week new things were being added to each (team?s) displays,? said Jesse Aynes, lead project manager. ?We definitely raised the expectation between the two teams.?

Just around the corner from Santa?s workshop, the glow of blue icicle lights off of fake snow welcome guests and employees to Aynes and his team?s winter wonderland.

In the Winter Wonderland, there are 25 trees, 4,000 Christmas lights, 300 feet of garland, 250 icicles and too much fake snow to count, says Aynes.

?We pooled our resources together to make this frozen wonderland,? he said. The frozen landscape even features cutouts from the Disney movie of the same name. And for those ?Frozen? lovers, the song ?Let It Go? is playing on a loop. ?We just started playing it today to get us in the mood,? said Aynes.

Aynes said the theme was easy to come up with as he already had a lot of turquoise, blue and white Christmas decorations. ?Everybody was really excited about all of the wintery-white and the glow of everything.?

?It?s nice to be able to come into work and have something really cheerful to start your day,? he added. ?I think a lot of people have come through here just to see the displays. We have two plants, we?re all spread out. It just gives us something to look forward to and brings us together for the holidays.?

Innovairre?s human resource depatartment also got in on the action, creating a fireplace next to their decorated door. ?We have a lot of employees come through here so it?s just nice to see this kind of positivity with the holidays,? said Timber Roden, HR coordinator.

The decorating competition was judged by the staff of the Mt. Pleasant Chamber Alliance, however as of presstime on Tuesday, no decision had been made.

However, you can expect ideas are already in the works for next year.