Staff Spotlight: Kent Nelson

Sep. 8, 2021
staff spotlight

Next up for our staff spotlight series is Kent Nelson! Kent is our Digital Division Manager at Associated. He plays an integral role in ensuring the successful production of our digital orders for labels and digital packaging:

1) How long have you worked at Associated?

Over 11 years. I started in the Spring of 2010. 

2) Describe your journey at Associated so far.

I started at Associated in the art department. I was fortunate to work with great operators like George and Andrew, who were very willing to share their knowledge. This allowed me to experience all aspects of prepress at a high level.

In 2016, I was given the opportunity to oversee the digital division. It was a challenging move but a welcome one. With the help of Mark and others, I came to understand the finer details of the digital print process. Five years later, with the trust of Shaun, our President, and Dan, our COO, I am now surrounded by a fantastic team in the Digital Division. My journey epitomizes what the company is all about: opportunity and teamwork.

3) How would you describe the work environment?

It can be fun, challenging, frustrating, rewarding, or all of the above.

4) What is your favourite thing about working here?

Working with positive, like-minded employees, who are passionate about their jobs, and sharing in the successes, no matter how small.

5) What's been your best day at work so far?

In hindsight, it had to have been the day I was given the keys to the Digital Division.

6) What are you most proud of since working here?

There was already a great foundation built in the Digital Division before I moved into my current role. Continuing the growth and creating a positive work environment where high expectations are met or exceeded is very rewarding.

7) What is the biggest challenge you've had since working here?

Every day brings new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. Working at Associated has helped to improve my communication skills and adapt to different personality styles. This is a work in progress. I have a good mentor who does his best to keep me on track.

8) Do you have a particular moment or memory at Associated that stands out for you?

It was the first real in-depth, completely honest, and open conversation I had with Shaun. I think we both left that discussion with a sense of appreciation and mutual respect.

9) What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?

A typical day is all about asking questions and providing answers while putting out the occasional fire along the way. When the tools are in place, the rest takes care of itself. 

10) Describe the advancement opportunities here.

Limitless. Associated likes to grow their employees from the ground up, and there are so many examples to choose from. It may take some time, but if you are patient and make the most of every opportunity, you can achieve anything here.

11) How does Associated support professional development?

Several other individuals and I have taken advantage of educational opportunities offered and paid for by Associated. Whether it be offsite training, seminars, or post-secondary courses, it is a great way to advance your career.

12) What is on your wish list for the next 5 years?

Professionally, I want to see the Digital Division continue to grow. We have made great progress with the team we have in place but adding another digital press and finisher would create opportunities for the staff as well as the company. Personally, I’d love to dive with a whale shark, giant mantas, and dolphins.

13) Given the chance, who would you be for a day?

This is a difficult question. I would love to experience the skill and fearlessness of Brett Rheeder or Alex Honnold or learn from the experiential wisdom of Barack Obama. But ultimately, I would choose to spend a day in the life of my wife and best friend, Rhonda. It would make me a better husband.