River City Six – Janelle Stormberg
Meet Janelle Stormberg, personal assistant to the owner of Modern Work Suites & Studios, Sympateco, and The KüL Factory.
Tell us a little about your business.
Modern Work is a business community of over 85 studios/suites that have a very “KüL” vibe. It is the brain child of my boss, Curt Brannon. Our tenants enjoy a fully-furnished, private office where they get to choose the color and style of their fixtures and finishes. They share our amazing amenities which include things like conference rooms, community space, a Lego room, a lounge/cafeteria with free coffee and places to eat lunch, and built-in networking opportunities such as monthly “mixxers” and weekly happy hours. It is a true business ecosystem. Modern Work takes up the 50,000-square-foot space above Sympateco, a full-service design, manufacturing, and delivery company. Sympateco builds and delivers retail fixtures for franchises all over the country, including the incredible fixtures that occupy our tenant spaces at Modern Work! The KüL Factory is the third leg of our operation, and we will be opening a showroom in 2020 that will help us partner with architects, designers, and contractors to bring our fixtures to the commercial public. “KüL” is the way we think, the way we design, and the vibe we like to have in all we do.
How did you get started in the business?
I answered a very interesting ad on Indeed. It had very specific questions like, “Are you the OCD type? Do you like juggling lots of stuff at once? What is your personal mission statement?” After meeting with Curt, we realized we were on the same wavelength and that we would work well together.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Being a working mother of four. My kids are all grown now and out of the house, and I look back and wonder how everything got done when they were younger. Having a career and four young children at home is quite the juggling act, but I’m happy they were able to see me succeed in doing both.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am from Hastings originally. I came to Omaha for college and never left. I have two boys and two girls. The two oldest are out of college and contributing to society as a VP of business development and a NICU nurse. I have two kids in college, as well—a son that is a soon-to-be high school AP History teacher and a daughter studying business. As they were growing up, we traveled all over the U.S. playing basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball. Staying busy kept us all out of trouble…or at least mostly out of trouble.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
My father passed away from cancer this past year. It was a very tough time for my family. He was one of the best people I have ever known. I saw a quote early on after his death that really put things into perspective for me and made me think about things much different in every aspect of my life: “Be the thing that you loved about the person that is gone.” WOW! That is powerful stuff.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I played tennis at Creighton University. After a 15-year hiatus to have kids, I took it up again and played competitively on teams that won regionally and nationally. I had a thumb injury that has taken me out of the game for a while, but I plan to pick up a racquet again soon and see what happens.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
It’s a three-way tie between Marks in Dundee, Jams in Midtown, and Pitch in Dundee.
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