Client Service Representative Sue Tennessen demonstrates WSI’s commitment to building long-lasting customer relationships - May 2017

During our 50th anniversary celebration and beyond, we wanted to take some time to acknowledge, thank and highlight a few of the many hardworking and loyal employees that embody WSI’s vision of absolute reliability to the customer, enthusiastic service to the community and dedication to the balance between work and life.

Sue Tennessen, who currently helps manage customer set-ups and special projects at Enterprise Drive in Neenah, Wisconsin, started with WSI in 1978. She has built a storied career at WSI, spending her service to the company in customer service roles. When she started at WSI, Sue focused on supporting chemical customers. At the time, the Home Office was unofficially based on Brighton Beach Road in Menasha. Sue moved locations every few years to support different major pulp and chemical customers. Sue praises her team, her co-workers and the company’s structure and philosophy for making WSI such a fantastic place to work.

“I love the centralized team idea,” Sue said, referring to WSI’s Centralized Client Service Representatives team at the Enterprise Drive location in Neenah. “I love that you can go and share ideas with somebody, right there. If you’re busy, you can ask for help. If you’re slow, you can lend a helping hand. I also liked learning new accounts.”

Sue currently works on the administrative side at Enterprise Drive. Sue noted the strength of the relationships she has built with customers over the years, saying, “I developed relationships with the customer service representatives at the pulp companies I worked with – actual friendships – even though, in some cases, they were in Canada and we were here in Wisconsin. It was fun talking to different people from around the world.”

Given that she has been with WSI nearly 39 years, Sue’s extensive experience with customer service at WSI has allowed her to see the company move from an entirely paper-based operation to a technologically oriented company.

“39 years ago—we had no computers back then. Everything was done manually. Inventories were done every month for all customers, in pen and paper,” she said. “Now, it’s gone all paperless.”

Sue described some of the fulfilling challenges brought on by these changes in technology and the customer service environment. “When we first started using E1 (JD Edwards Enterprise One, WSI’s dedicated Warehouse Management System), we were working 12 to 14 hour days, learning new systems and ways of invoicing,” Sue explained. “We were using dual systems for awhile, the manual way and the technical way, until everyone was trained and on board.”

Despite the rapid changes in her work environment, Sue was able to adapt easily to the technology and said she still loves what she does for WSI. “It’s still challenging and fulfilling!” she said.

Sue also described how much she loves WSI’s focus on family and emphasis on life-work balance.

“I like that they consider family first. The company is willing to give, and you work a little harder to give back,” she said. “If my kids were sick while they were growing up, I was able to come in a little later. As the kids got older, now I may have to take care of my own parents. I can still count on that flexibility.”

On a more personal note, Sue enjoys gardening, cook-outs and visiting her cottage up north near Antigo. She said she loves “anything outdoors” that she can squeeze into her summers, including night walks, campfires with her family and drinking coffee in the mornings on the shore of the no-wake lake at her cottage. 

Sue’s commitment to WSI, her family and her WSI-fostered friendships is inspiring. Thank you for your continued service, Sue!