One of the best parts about what we do here at ZENTX is getting to bring joy to our customers through the work we do. Our library project for Amigo Mobility International was no exception. After the ribbon cutting for Amigo’s new library space, ZENTX sales rep Sheena Lovitos enjoyed brief conversations with four Amigo Mobility staff members and saw some of that joy firsthand. Earlier this year, we shared highlights from the interviews in a YouTube video, which you can watch below.
But they had a lot more to share about the project than we could fit in a short video. So keep scrolling to read Sheena’s full conversation with Jennifer Thieme Kehres, Amigo’s director of business development and daughter of founder Al Thieme. Come back to our blog later to read Beth and Al Thieme’s full interview. You can also find the transcript of Jordan Thieme’s interview in a recent post on our blog.
How did you come up with this crazy idea of the Al Thieme library?
Your timing was perfect, Sheena—for ZENTX to reach out to Amigo and say, “Hey, what can we help you with? Do you have any projects?” We already have a beautiful history wall and other things going on. But with our fiftieth anniversary in November 2018, I really wanted to do something special for it and to honor my dad. I looked at all sorts of different ideas. We knew we wanted to have a party for the employees, but I wanted something long-lasting.
[My dad] has had so many books over the years and has always inspired us kids to read a lot of books. [He’s] consistently, continuously learning. I mean, he reads five to seven books a month. It’s just non-stop. He’s a voracious reader. We have this collection of books and talked about donating it to a library or doing something with it. They’ve kind of been scattered throughout the company.
And I hadn’t put at lot of thought into it yet, but when you guys were here and we were giving you a tour, I walked by and said, “Wait a minute. I remember this closet.” This used to be my old office when I was little and worked here. It was this tiny little closet they put me in with a radio to sort through literature. You know, it’s a good-sized space. It’s narrow, but it just felt like the perfect space to do a cozy little library and also a functioning conference room, which we need. It was spontaneous, and ZENTX and my brother were very game for it, thankfully.
In a short period of time—in two months—this went from a cement floor room with an exposed furnace, pallets, multiple doorways, open ceiling, steel beams, to this beautiful, historic space that we will treasure and use on a daily basis. So, thank you.
What is your favorite part about this library?
My favorite part about the library is my dad’s daily journal. I mean, to see his handwriting. And it’s amazing that—with how busy he was with his family and working non-stop—that he took the time to make notes everyday. It just shows his personality. I mean, he was excited about the little things. Their first piece of mail he was excited about, even though it was a bill! And he talks about in his journal how he and his brother hand-painted the very first Amigo and that pivotal moment in history when my mom went to nursing school and her papers got rejected and she came back to her part-time summer job at Amigo and never left. Those huge moments in Amigo’s history are captured on those pages. And also the little ones too, [like] that Bill S. has a girlfriend! He felt that important to note in his journal. It’s just such a great depiction of his personality and really shows what he went through in the early years.
Could you describe the service provided by ZENTX and the whole experience?
This library may be what it was without you guys, but probably in three years from now. Trying to get this project done while also working full-time, it would not have happened. It was a two-month turnaround, and I knew that I wanted to have the ribbon cutting on our exact anniversary. And not only was ZENTX game for that and saying, “Yep, we can make it happen,” but also bringing new ideas and very flexible and creative to work with.
And the little touches—knowing that my dad has a plumbing background, making these pipes look like plumbing pipes. I mean, he was so excited about that and noticed it right away. And when I decided kind of last minute [that] I really want the journals a part of it, your team was very great to work with and flexible and just kept trying until we found the right piece of art for it. It turned out beautiful. All of it. So, thank you to your team.
What’s next for Amigo?
We are so proud of where we came from and the last fifty years of all we’ve accomplished. We want to continue improving lives through mobility, keep[ing] this a family business, and manufacturing in this community for the next fifty years and the next fifty and the next fifty.