September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Rallying Around One of Our Own to Raise Awareness

A big part of our vision at TSP is honoring our employees. We always aim to support each other, and look for new creative ways to do so – whether it’s company events, celebrating birthdays together every month, or supporting various charitable events as a united company.

We have a family feel at TSP, and often say, “our people are our product,” which is why we so fiercely protect and support our people. So when one of our own is facing personal adversity and sickness, it is important to show our support collectively, and do what we can to help.

Ernie Almario is a business manager at TSP who has been with us since 2014. Ernie was at a work-related event last October – at a minority luncheon and tennis tournament – when he experienced a sharp cramp on his side. After an ambulance ride, he spent four hours in the emergency room. A CAT scan revealed a mass on his rib and three lesions on his spine.  Ernie went for a PET scan the next day and it showed over 35 lesions. At 49 years old he was told by his doctor that he is Stage 4 Prostate Cancer and his PSA levels were above 200. Ernie had a clean medical history (no smoking or drinking, diligent about recommended preventive care checkups), Ernie and his family member’s lives were changed forever.

As Ernie and his family grappled with the implications of his discouraging diagnosis, he quickly realized that there is not much prostate cancer awareness in the general public. Susan G. Komen has done an amazing job with its public relations efforts, raising awareness of breast cancer through branded pink pins and accessories, as well as its infamous walks throughout the country to raise breast cancer awareness (and money to fund research). Unfortunately, in comparison, prostate cancer is not widely understood or talked about among the general public.

Ernie decided he needed to do something positive with his diagnosis, and came up with the idea for his “Love Life” blue pins. His friends, family, and coworkers eagerly latched onto the opportunity to support Ernie through his challenging cancer battle, and the concept quickly caught on in his community.

Ernie shares, “Everyone has been so supportive of me throughout this battle…family, friends, and the TSP family. I care about raising awareness for prostate cancer, and turning my negative situation into a positive for others. To see family, friends and co-workers at TSP wearing the pins makes me feel good. I’m so appreciative of everyone who is helping me raise awareness.”

Five of Ernie’s friends were so inspired by Ernie and his courageous fight that they tattooed the Love Life emblem on their bodies. Ernie’s friends shaved their heads to show their support, as he experienced hair loss due to his chemo treatments.

Since his diagnosis, Ernie has endured two chemotherapy treatments and 14 rounds of radiation treatments. While he’s certainly felt the painful physical side effects and struggled emotionally with his tough diagnosis, he is grateful that he hasn’t lost any mental sharpness, and is able to continue working at TSP. He says his work provides him with a welcome distraction and sense of normalcy, and is thankful that TSP has been generous with time off for medical appointments.

In the face of his difficult situation, Ernie’s positivity and gratitude are inspiring to us all at TSP, along with everyone he interacts with on a daily basis.

“These days, I take each day for the day that it is. It’s a battle every day. My doctor gave me a worst-case diagnosis of 18 months, but I will continue to battle and beat this disease.  My ultimate goal is to raise awareness with my Love Life pin and hopefully encourage other men to go for preventive checks (#manupgetchecked). If what I’m doing encourages one man to get checked out and catch this early, I will be happy. I also want to remind people that Life is a gift, and we should all love every day we are lucky enough to be on this earth,” said Ernie.

Us #TSProckstars are #TeamErnie, and we want to do what we can to spread his story and raise awareness. Please share this blog post however you see fit – email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, anecdotally – let’s all support one of our own in his inspiring mission to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Ernie, we’re with you in this journey!

Pulp Paper & Logistics Features TSP Services in Tissue Editorial for September/October Issue

pulp-paper-logistics_septTSP’s Industrial Automation Solutions group creates custom services for tissue and paper board mills. TSP recognizes the importance of being much more vigorous in a tissue environment than in a paper board mill. The challenging environmental conditions found in tissue mills call for a specific approach to their maintenance and servicing.

Cultivating Independent Thinking in Your Company

One of the things TSP is most proud of in our culture is an attitude of empowerment. We believe in every employee—so much so that we want every employee to feel comfortable to generate and share their own great ideas.

So often, it’s easy to settle into the daily grind. People develop tunnel vision and focus only on their specific tasks, and the weeks turn into a blur of monotony. We think that’s a pretty boring way to work, but that’s the way many companies like to do it. Employees are set in their ways and pigeonholed, with no place to take ideas. Without a way to share their insights, fewer people are motivated to come up with a better way.

TSP was created because our founders, Rick Skaggs and Frank Gonzalez, believed they had a better way to deliver technology solutions. They had the experience, a balance of serious tech knowledge and business acumen, and the relationships that could give their new business a chance to get started. TSP, in short, began with an idea. A belief that there was a better way, plus the right people to carry out that vision.

As TSP grew over the years from a two-man operation to a company serving Fortune 500 companies, the business focused on hiring great people who had the same spark. People who didn’t just care about doing things right, but who could also see a way of doing them even better.

TSP’s philosophy isn’t to put our engineers and support staff in narrow positions that limit their potential—and therefore limit our ability to serve clients. We endeavor to enable people to see problems and find ways to solve them. Our official services span enterprise solutions, shared solutions, and industrial automation solutions. We find and train the best experts in those fields and do our best to make every employee feel like the valued part of the team that they truly are.

Most of all, we don’t just try to empower employee’s ideas. We work toward a culture where, when people speak up, we actually listen.

The companies with the best cultures don’t have a dictatorship mentality. They listen when their employees want to share. It’s not only the best way to do business and stay ahead of the game, it’s a work style that’s a lot more fun.

In Industrial Automation, There’s an Art to Having the Right Parts

TSP specializes in services for both Quality Control Systems (QCS) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS). We go above and beyond to customize service packages for every client, whether they’re most in need of regular maintenance, consulting, project services, or all of the above.

We love delivering top-notch service to every client every time, but when something breaks or needs maintenance, our strategy is about a lot more than friendliness. It’s also about having the tools and parts we need to fix anything and everything quickly.

TSP maintains an extensive parts inventory, and it’s also easy to view online. Our inventory isn’t just adequate, it’s robust. We don’t have to wait to order parts online or from third parties because we have these items ready to go in our warehouses. Finding the right part can be difficult, so we maintain a great inventory that ensures we have the right part available when we need it. Hard to find parts? If we don’t happen to have it in on-hand, let us source it for you.

These parts are also available to the public, so any company who needs one of the parts we sell can have access to what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for Honeywell Measurex parts, browse our online inventory and contact us for a quote. We sell these parts at a fraction of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) list price and, we’re glad to help.

Our inventory includes buffers, cables, displays, memory, PCBs, power supplies, processors, relays, serial interfaces, and VFCs from manufacturers including ABB, Accuray, Flo-Dri, GE Fanuc, Honeywell, Honeywell Measurex, Linksys, Measurex, UNK, and USHIO.

TSP purchases industrial parts from customers who have upgraded or changed equipment, and we check out every item to make sure it’s still in great condition. Many of the parts are even brand new and in the original containers because of customers who upgraded without using the spares or ended operations without opening the box.

When something breaks or needs maintenance before it does, having the right part quickly saves a lot of headaches. That’s why we not only fix industrial equipment, we make sure we have all the parts we need to get it done right.

Employee of the Quarter, Q2 – Jeff Eaton

Jeff Eaton is the Employee of the Quarter for Q2-2015.  Jeff has been with TSP since November 30th, 2013 and is an Operations Coordinator in Industrial Automation Solutions, reporting to Bob Geist.

Comments about Jeff’s service include…

“On numerous occasions, Jeff has been asked to work on equipment he has never seen before and has always found a way to accomplish the task at hand, calling others for support, as needed, or figuring it out on his own.   He has turned potentially disastrous situations into success stories.”

“When Jeff has been asked to assist with or cover various sites throughout our service organization, he has always accepted these assignments willingly and without hesitation.  He helps whenever and wherever he is needed and has built a reputation as an integral member of our service organization.”

“Several months ago, Jeff accepted the position of Operations Coordinator for the Northeast Region and has done an exemplary job in scheduling resources for both planned and emergency support.   Jeff has gained the respect of his peers by his involvement and commitment to see a problem through to resolution.  We are fortunate to have Jeff on our service team and are pleased to say he was ‘the act’ this past quarter.”

Jeff will receive a $250.00 award along with a certificate and he will be recognized on digital signage in the TSP Corporate Office.