21 Women Making An Impact: Brianne Hoffman, Senior Manager Of Internal Communication, Wanzek Construction

Written by: Brady Drake
  • United Way Volunteer
  • United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator
  • United Way Emerging Leader
  • United Way Community Investment Review Panel Volunteer

What has helped you be successful in your career?

I have always made it a priority to find a mentor in any role I have held. Every workplace offers a different dynamic. The people, the work, the industry, there is always something new to learn from someone who has been there longer than me. I have learned why it’s important to give back to our community from one mentor, ways to improve my management style from others and how to lead from any area of the business from yet another mentor. For me, success comes from listening, building relationships and being open to change.

What advice do you have for women trying to build their professional careers?

Don’t be competitive, just do your job well. I am very competitive by nature, but I have found that in my career it can get in my way. When you work to outshine someone else, it often means putting someone else down in an effort to rise above. When you think about it like that, it’s not really someone you want to be. Everyone is working towards a common goal and that is what equals success. Spread positivity and provide support in the workplace by working together rather than working to be better than someone else.

How has your community involvement impacted your career?

Because I have been involved with United Way for nearly a decade now, it has helped me offer creative ways to spread their message into my company’s United Way campaigns. As a Marketing and Communications professional, it has been an enjoyable experience year over year to be involved in United Way campaigns and share their goals with employees. Not only has United Way provided a number of network opportunities for my career, it has also helped me with philanthropic and employee engagement skills. Getting employees involved in the annual campaign is no easy feat, but I enjoy the challenge and use lessons learned from this campaign in other areas of employee engagement at Wanzek. Meaning, if we got their attention in this area of the United Way campaign, how can we apply that to other initiatives at Wanzek to further engagement.

What are some ways you have helped shape the corporate culture
at Wanzek that other businesses could emulate?

Wanzek is a giving group of individuals with a strong family- type culture. The number one way we engaged employees in this year’s campaign was to offer a fun and uplifting campaign. Wanzek typically has several in-person events and socials throughout the year, however, due to COVID-19, our workforce has seen the majority of the year’s events go virtual. This campaign had to shine! Employees needed an event to bring them together (virtually), spark some excitement and change things up from a challenging year. So, what better way than to offer that during our campaign and raise money in the process? We identified a strong committee this year who were dedicated to United Way and put 110% into the campaign events. Our workplace is one that likes to have fun, so we knew we could push the boundaries a bit with our Midwest-themed, virtual campaign. By inviting Myles Montplaisir, the You Betcha Guy, into our kickoff event, it was curiosity that grabbed employees’ attention on day one. From there, our leadership participated in a series of events challenging our workforce to give. From “Put Chad in Plaid,” to “Pay to Pie the Safety Guys,” as well as a Meat Raffle, online auction and sales from plaid trucker hats, our employees responded in true Wanzek fashion, going above and beyond! We set a goal of $50,000 for our 50 years in business and we crushed that goal, raising almost $71,000! Team Wanzek truly showcased The Wanzek Way, giving back to our community when they needed it the most. I was proud to have helped raise this amount of money for United Way while boosting company morale in the process.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.