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The purpose of ROLE MODELS is to inform humankind about people and organizations that support humanistic workplaces. It is a publication of the nonprofit Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures.

Organizational Wellbeing and Happiness©The Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures©

Role Models

Whole Person Organizational Cultures©

Gerald R. Wagner, PhD.

July, 2015

July is a blockbuster issue of ROLE MODELS. There’s so much great material, you’ll want to come back to it multiple times. Forgive my bragging but this issue is incredibly great.

I am so lucky. My job allows me to connect with happy people working for happy companies. It's a pleasure to get to know these positive, kind people.

Thank you all for your input and please continue to let me know who you’d SUGGEST for future issues. Also, JOIN our followers so you don’t miss any issues. Let your friends and colleagues know about ROLE MODELS too. Share


ROLE MODELS© quickly became a leading source for insights on the topic of exceptional organizational cultures.

The content of ROLE MODELS represent the most important ideas to hit the business world in over 100 years. For proof of the significance of company culture, take a look at the Deloitte 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report. The report gathered surveys and interviews taken by 3,300 HR and business leaders in 106 countries around the world, and guess what? Culture and engagement were number one ranked as the major trend.

Every employee benefits from the monthly ROLE MODELS issues, but some readers have expressed interest in doing more such as a venue for discussing the content with professionals and colleagues in there local communities.

Thus, I have decided to start breakfast gatherings on the first Thursday of each month for local Omaha, Nebraska. The first gathering in Omaha will be on September 3, 2015. The previous ROLE MODELS issue will be discussed amongst the group, with active conversations and insights. These are open for anyone to attend for the cost of their breakfast.

The Egg & I

The location is the Egg and I in Bellevue, Nebraska from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. The address is 2015 Pratt Ave behind the golden arches at Cornhusker and Highway 75. We will start and stop right on time. Each person will order food from the menu as they wish and pay their own bill. The meeting room is free but has a maximum number of 35. If you might want to attend, please let us know. If you then can’t make it, no problem but let me know so we can free up a seat. Reserve

Other cities might want to do what Omaha is doing, and I would be delighted to keep you posted on how Omaha goes.


RealTruck is a successful online retailer specializing in the sale of aftermarket pickup truck accessories. Founded by CEO Scott Bintz in a duplex basement in the late 1990s, the company relocated its headquarters to Jamestown, N.D. in 2000 and added a satellite office in Fargo, N.D. in 2010. If it belongs in or on a pickup, they have it.

While the company has experienced a high level of success and seen tremendous growth over the past few years, they remember times when things were different. It was only five years ago that RealTruck was unhappy with its efforts. The company was experiencing high turnover, moderate sales, and had an unhealthy company culture. Inspired by a tour of Zappos by the CEO and President, RealTruck worked to deliberately change the culture of its company. The new culture was centered on six guiding principles that encourage employees to be better people, both at work and home: Transparency Rocks, Be Humble, Deliver More, Include Fun, Take Risks, and Improve.

With a new culture in place, the company realized a revenue growth of $3 million. This number grew to over $44 million in 2014, with a 43.3% growth rate. The company was named one of the 2014 North Dakota Young Professionals Best Places to Work, and is one of the top three companies on Prairie Business Magazine's "50 Best Places to Work" list.When asked to name a few of their keys to success, President Jeff Vanlanginham notes, "Valuing employees as individuals, focusing relentlessly on guiding principles, and the wisdom that if you treat your customers the way you want to be treated, they’ll keep coming back.”

During a week in May, 2015 a RealTruck team participated in the Zappos Culture Bootcamp. The team consisted of the Chief People Officer (HR manager), another person from HR, the CEO, the Director of Operations, and the Head Trainer.

Every Friday, employees spend a few hours practicing one of the aforementioned Guiding Principles. This photo shows some employees on a Friday when the guiding principle they followed was: Improve. Employees thought it would be a fun way to help the community by going and cleaning the Ronald McDonald House.

CEO Scott Bintz identifies himself as “CEO, occasional janitor and chair spinner.” He says “We are a fun, passionate, dedicated, exciting and slightly wacky group of people. Each member of the RealTruck team plays a vital and important role.”

The following video is probably the most fun, most unique, but still serious video you will ever see about a company culture. DO NOT miss it.

The Picture of Happiness: One Company's Remarkable Story of Reinvention

The heading here is from an article about Roma Moulding and their CEO Tony Gareri. It would be injustice to summarize the excellent article, so please do click the title and read.

Later in this piece you will see the most fun and effective presentation of company values that I have ever seen. It’s a must-watch!

First, here is a little about Roma Moulding. The world leader in handcrafting the finest Italian picture frames, the company has a team of over 150 people with distribution centers throughout North America and a vibrant headquarters in Toronto, Canada. (Watch this video for a short visit to Italy and Roma manufacturing, to get a glimpse at what Roma Moulding does.)

They are proud of these numbers and their success, but what truly defines them is “Why” they exist: Roma employees are dedicated to making the world a happier place!

They start by taking pride in knowing they have the ability to be the best part any one of their 6,000 partners’ days. Whether online, in-person or over the phone, employees are fueled by smiles and the passion that comes from living their mission to Move, Inspire and WOW.

Roma Moulding CEO Tony Gareri and his "Wizards of Wow" accepting award for Business of The Year 2014.

Earlier I said you would see the most amazing presentation of core values. Here are 10 videos that tell the Roma values story.

Deliver WOW through Service
Jo Anne Simons, Leader of Wow
Be Real and Live in Integrity
Camilla Brown, Wonder Woman
Be Different, Have Fun and Deliver Happiness
Tony Gareri, Chief of WOW and CEO Roma Mouldings
Build a Positive Team and Family Environment
Michael Polatta, Grand Poobay
Be Passionate, Committed and Driven
Melissa Gareri, Marketing Coordinator
Inspire Innovation and Drive Change
Steve Magirias, Chief of Efficiency
Be Humble
Joey Talotta, Operations Leader
Be Creative, Open Minded, & Share Ideas
Don Cortell, Godfather of IT
Deliver Transparent, Open, Honest Communication
Gordon Thain, Commander of Communication
Love Living and Pursue Growth and Development
Joe Faria, Captain Receivables

Beyond the business environment, employees look to impact the world around them. From CEO Tony Gareri providing company culture guidance to organizations around the world, to Roma Team Members volunteering their time in Haiti or New York as part of Roma Wish Missions, they believe that they can make the world a better place for all humanity!


Zappos Insights

Zappos and happiness have become somewhat synonymous. All of us interested in organizational happiness are thankful to Zappos for their influence. NOTE: the previous 2 sentences are mine. They would not align with Zappos’s 10th core value – Be Humble. We are delighted that Zappos is excited to be a part of the ROLE MODELS project.

At Zappos Insights, the focus is on sharing the Zappos Culture with the world; a Culture which thrives on recognizing the importance of allowing employee’s individuality to shine.

Watch this short video for The Zappos Family - How They Work...

Some of the ways Zappos share their culture is through an online membership site, public tours of their campus, Q&A sessions with Zappos leaders, hosting training events, and sending speakers to conferences and events around the world!

The concepts behind Whole Person Organizational Cultures© are something that Zappos strives to provide within their company and continues to spread the message that a happy employee is a whole employee.


Dan McDonough

Dan McDonough worked for 25 years in healthcare assisting organizations in strategizing and embracing a vision of prevention and self-responsibility. In 2014 Dan joined LiveAnew, Inc. in as National Director, Corporate Wellbeing. Engineered from the science of positive psychology, LiveAnew’s proprietary system has allowed Dan to integrate technology with a measured focus on what’s “right” with an individual instead of concentrating on what’s “wrong” with health habits or individual situations.

Dan regularly is involved in volunteer work and goes with a group to Haiti to provide medical and construction assistance. They are dedicated to developing and supporting a children’s camp and providing orphanage services to a country ravaged by poverty and need. A group that Dan works with sends a team about every six months.

Dan created a feature video for the Institute called “Positive Psychology, the Pathway to Wellbeing”. It is yours to watch.

There is one thing about Dan that’s completely unique amongst our Institute teachers: he was a professional football player! The photo shows Dan (number 52) with the Kansas City Chiefs playing against the Buffalo Bills.


The image below is from an ad for ROWE™ Certification Workshops. It is a powerful image. Thanks Rowe.

Click on the workshop title and you can see their complete ad. There they also include the following information:

Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant have a new book (2015) entitled “When Millennials Take Over”. You’ll remember that Jamie is one our great IOC teachers. You can watch the video he did for the Institute by clicking on the frame below.

Jamie is an active blogger ( He and Maddie also wrote Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World in 2012.

Another of our super star teachers is Warren Wright whose video is called the “Surprising Influence of Generations in Organizations”. Warren’s video is exceptional. If generational differences are of interest to you, this is one you will want to watch.

Great People to Work WithJerry’s Corner

Jerry Wagner

I have written a blog piece called Great People to Work With. In the piece I’m suggesting a new kind of organizational award that is based on humanistic values and practices vs. survey data on engagement.

Your can click on Culture University and look up the piece by it’s title.

Please Let Us Know Who you Suggest as Role Models

At the Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures recognizing individuals and organizations that support the advancement of Whole Person Organizational Cultures. This is a community project so please help. We want to especially feature businesses who are not already in the high profile limelight.

Please send Jerry a note about individuals or organizations that you think might be good candidates to include. His email address is

Click here to watch video segments of our curriculum faculty. Our complete curriculum with videos and suggested reading materials are free for all email addresses ending in .edu and also for faith based and/or charitable non-profit organizations with .org email. For others the fee is only $79 per year.

Gerald R. Wagner, PhD.

Director, The Institute of Inspired Organizational Cultures.

© 2015 The Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures, Inc. All rights

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