As this coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, all of our lives will undoubtedly be affected. While we all work to keep people moving safely in buildings during this unprecedented event, it is important to us that we express our appreciation for the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the frontline, striving to contain (or at least mitigate) this virus.
KONE Spares encourages everyone to take all precautions to stay safe and healthy during this time.
We will continue to evaluate measures that best support you and our teams as the situation develops. As always, our local teams remain available, and our warehouse remains open, engaged, and ready to support you.
Stay safe, keep your loved ones safe, and lets all work together to not only make it through these trying times, but to come out of it stronger, wiser, and more resilient to future perils.
From May to December 2019, the KONE Center (Moline, IL) has held monthly events to raise money for three local charities. These events are successful thanks to the skills and dedication of KONE employees throughout the Moline, IL campus. Many of our employees devote their own time creating these charitable events.
KONE Center employees raised $14,100.00 in cash and an additional $3000 value in goods donated and hours volunteered for a total of $17,100! This year, KONE employees chose to support Toys for Tots, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Kings Harvest Homeless shelter and pet rescue.
All of the goods and money raised stays here locally in our community to help provide care and joy to those who may not otherwise receive it. Through the organizations KONE employees have elected to support they will help children, adults and even our four-legged friends.
Toys for Tots – The Toys for Tots program collects new unwrapped toys and distributes these toys to less fortunate children at Christmas.
The KONE Spares sales team spent Friday afternoon spreading Christmas Cheer at the local Senior Star at Elmore Place. We had a great time decorating Gingerbread houses and getting to know some of the residents and what they are looking forward to this holiday season. We followed up decorating houses by listening to Christmas songs that were sung by their live entertainment during Senior Star’s happy hour—a once of week treat that the residents very much look forward to on Friday nights!
It was a great opportunity for our team to participate in and we all left with the spirit of Christmas in our hearts!
Our very own Mario Jones and Jessica Gross recently had the pleasure of presenting at the October 3rd meeting of the Chicago Elevator Association (CEA) in Oak Brook, IL. The CEA was founded in 1911, and is the industry’s longest running elevator association.
As a participant of CEA, KONE Spares has the opportunity to network with Chicagoland service companies and other suppliers. The CEA’s monthly meetings provide the opportunity to hear informative industry news and listen to guest speakers from all over the industry.
At the October 3rd meeting Mario Jones gave a presentation on Life Cycle Management, and the KONE Spares process for supporting products even after components have become obsoleted. The highlight of the presentation was a discussion of Miprom 21 upgrades and the new Safety Upgrade solution that the LCM team has developed for KONE Spares, and how the KONE Spares sales team plans to support these initiatives. Mario was also able to assure the group that Miprom 21 will continue to be supported for some time.
Every year, KONE invites employees’ children to apply for a fun summer experience in southern Finland. This year the camp, organized for the 39th time, took place July 28 – August 6.
The experience includes a homestay with a Finnish family in the Helsinki-Hyvinkää area and camping by a lake with excellent recreational facilities. Around 120 teenagers from over 30 different countries travel to Finland to gain this unique experience year after year.
This year the son of our own Charles Banks participated in KONE’s Global Youth Camp. We caught up with his son, Calvin, to ask him a few questions about his trip.
Q: Why did you choose to participate in KONE’s Global Youth Camp?
A: (Calvin Banks): It seemed like a great opportunity. I got to travel across the ocean, and meet teens from all different backgrounds.
Q: What was the most interesting part of your trip?
A: All the culture, language, and differences from America. I had a great time with my host family. Plus, we got to sauna every day. I liked to travel around the area and play a game of “spot the differences” with myself.
All of the signs were in Finnish and the metric system, and since we did a lot of walking rather than driving, I liked to translate the signs to English.
Q: Do you have any advice for future participants of this program?
A: Make as many friends that aren’t from the U.S. as possible and stay in touch. It’s great to have connections if you ever have the opportunity to travel abroad again. Plus it could open-up opportunities that you never knew were there. Make sure to pack the right clothing and remember that you’re representing KONE America.
Q: Did you learn any Finnish for his trip?
A: I learned how to say hello and thank you. Plus I had some Finns teach me to count to ten. Everyone spoke English (some worse than others), so it was cool to hear most of them switch from English to their native language.
Many thanks to Charlie and Calvin for sharing this experience with us!
This weekend here in the Quad Cities, on the shores of the Mississippi River, we have a large multifaceted event celebrating local native Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke. Bix, a jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer, was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920’s.
For the curious, here’s some of his music:
One of the major events celebrating Bix and his legacy is called the Bix 7, a seven-mile marathon that many of the KONE Spares team and family members have participated in over the years. Founded by John Hudetz from Bettendorf (one of the four “quad cities”), he was a marathon runner who wanted to bring some of the excitement from the Boston Marathon to us here on the banks of the Mississippi. It started in 1975 with a total of 84 runners, but now the number of participants run in the tens-of-thousands.
For anyone who likes to run marathons, or who love classic jazz music, this is the event for you. If you can’t make it this weekend, put it in your calendar for next year.
I am so excited to share my experience with Junior Achievement of the Quad Cities. This is my third time participating in the program and each time I have this opportunity, my appreciation for the Junior Achievement program grows. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization that is committed to helping students gain the knowledge and skill to make sound financial decisions. This program is available for grades K-12 and helps aid our youth with work readiness and opens their mind to new potential for jobs that they could do within our community. I was fortunate enough to represent KONE Spares and spend 6 weeks in Mrs. Still’s first-grade classroom at Ridgewood Elementary in East Moline.
Our focus this year with my class was “Our Families”. We discussed similarities and differences within the families, categorized wants and needs, and described the roles that their family members played. We took time to discuss what being an entrepreneur was and how this impacted our community. The class also identified goods and services from our favorite local businesses and how those businesses fulfill our wants and needs. My most favorite part of this session was helping them create their very own birthday cake business. This allowed the kids to partner with each other, think as entrepreneurs, and apply the skills they had learned during our session to satisfy a need in their community. They really embraced it and were excited to share their business names, selling price of their goods, and what their specialty was going to be for their business.
Although the students were sad to see me go, I told them that I was excited to come back next school year and continue to help them learn. I encourage anyone else that would be interested in volunteering for Junior Achievement to reach out to myself or to visit their website at www.ja.org.