Keys to success: People, culture, tradition

Kim Hastings
CJ & Associates Inc.

New Berlin
Industry: Office furniture and interior design
Employees: 24

As CJ & Associates Inc. celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, President Kim Hastings is celebrating her 10th year at the helm. The company was established by Hastings’ parents, Curt and Judy Rudy. It has earned several accolades under Kim’s leadership, including twice being recognized as a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce/Council of Small Business Executives Future 50 firm. Here, she shares some keys to the firm’s success.


“Celebrating 30 years in business is a huge milestone for our family-owned company. As the second generation of leadership, it was clear to me very early that our success was about the people and the culture. ‘Surround yourself with good people, and then treat them right,’ my parents always said. Over the past three decades, that’s just what we’ve done. It’s why we continue to grow and thrive.

“It’s my belief that a well-defined set of core values, clearly communicated, provides the framework necessary for employees to excel. We have put our core values of positive attitude, integrity, compassion, community focus and accountability into action and developed a culture of empowerment and working together for our clients that continues to build successful relationships, both internally and externally.

“Our culture is also rich with tradition. We continue to develop new traditions, while honoring historical ones, to engage our employees with each other and with the company. The resulting productivity, dedication and loyalty are invaluable to our future growth.

“We hold true to this fact: Success is not the guaranteed reward for owning your own business. Success is the result of a never-ending dedication to the responsibility you inherit when you own a company. Our motto of working hard and playing hard has proven a successful formula. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

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