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Employee Spotlight: James Kauke – Research and Development, 9 Years

Employees are a critical part of who Trendler is as a company. Our team represents our values and brand. Get to know some of the individuals who help carry on Trendler’s tradition of innovation, quality and service every day.

Born and raised in Illinois, James has always had a passion for manufacturing design. In fact, he brings 30 years of experience to Trendler’s Product Design, R&D, Fixtures, and Maintenance teams as Head of Research and Development.

Q. Tell me a little more about your role, what does a typical day look like?

Well let’s see, I have my hands in a little bit of everything at Trendler. I maintain projects that are going on in development, help on the shop floor whenever a team member runs into a problem or an issue, and I take care of any fixture problems whether that be fixing old ones or building new ones. There’s not one certain task I do every day. I never get bored, I can tell you that!

Q. What makes you excited to come into work every day?

You never know what’s going to happen, it’s never the same path, you never know what direction you are going to head. What I enjoy most is the challenge, it gives your mind a place to expand and that’s what makes every day fun and exciting.

Q. What has been your biggest accomplishment at Trendler?

What I try to do is develop products where outsourcing is rarely involved. This way we aren’t relying on anyone else. One of the projects I’m working on now is a chair – one that I’ve never seen before and trust me, I’ve sat in plenty of chairs. That’s what makes developing new products exciting - seeing my ideas come to life. I can say hey look I created and developed that! Our newest product the Karaoke Wood Motion is something that I’m very proud of.

Q. Outside of the office what do you like to do?

Well I first picked up the guitar in 1974 and I haven’t put in down since. I like it because its fun, it’s a way to express myself! I enjoy playing and singing for people that I don’t know, compared to people I do know. The people that I don’t know are the people that come up to me after shows and say “That’s the first time I understood that verse, that’s the first time, I’ve ever understood that song!” It’s really cool getting that response back from the crowd.