Lake Trust Employees / Be Yourself

The Faces of Lake Trust: AJ

Words by Abbie Dyer on Dec 26, 2016 8:51:10 PM

Face each day head on and with an open mind. This is the internal dialogue that Adam, or AJ as he's more popularly known, considers before beginning his day as the Facilities Coordinator at Lake Trust HQ. As an enthusiastic learner, he takes every opportunity he can to absorb new knowledge from his peers. This love of learning makes him resilient to the challenges he faces at work and at his side hustle as a custom woodworker.

Like a perfectly executed stage production, AJ works hard to make sure all of the details behind the scenes at our HQ are synchronized and in the right place at the right time. Sometimes this means coordinating and supervising contractors who are doing work on our building. Other times this means lending an extra hand in the mailroom or at the front desk.

"I love coming to work each day. This is fun for me," AJ says of the many hats he wears in his role. "I love the positive comradery between everyone here."

AJ finds fulfillment in his position with the knowledge that he's helping to make the day easier for someone else. He helps us maintain the Lake Trust brand experience, making sure that the look and feel of HQ stay consistent of the experience we provide for our members in branches. To do this, he does everything from making sure the building is well-lit to fixing items that break.

  • Tray.png
    Crafted with Care. Serving trays are a popular request that AJ receives.
  • Doll-Bed_New.jpg
    Snuggle Up. AJ recently started making custom doll and dollhouse furniture.

Finding His Passion


From the time we're young, we're told to find our passion and follow it. But sometimes we get lucky and our passion finds us.


About a year ago, AJ was looking for a cornhole set to give to his sister for her wedding. But he was displeased with the price and quality of the backyard sets he found in stores.


Growing up, AJ's dad had always encouraged him to do things himself instead of paying for them. So AJ decided to make his own set. He thought the gift would be the end of his dabble with craftsmanship. Friends and family, however, were so impressed that they asked AJ if he could create cornhole sets for them. And so Husky Kid Boards, AJ's custom woodworking business, was born.



Expanding Artistry


After work most days of the week, AJ can be found in his workshop tinkering with new ideas or fulfilling the orders and requests he regularly receives. Projects are rarely turned down because he enjoys the challenge of trying to make something new; even if that means scrapping a few failed prototypes.


"Don't be afraid to fail," AJ says of the creative process. "When you fail, you're still learning something new."


While he specializes in making cornhole sets, AJ has also taught himself how to make cutting boards, Adirondack chairs, serving trays, chalkboards, a toy chest and even doll furniture. One day he hopes to expand his workshop and buy a lathe and CNC machine so he can make furniture (for real people, not dolls).


But to AJ the most rewarding part of creating handmade items is the look on people's faces when the item they imagined is brought to life.



Take Pride in Work


Our daily routines have a strange way of making us forget that we still have time to pursue our passions. AJ's story proves that there are ways to have our work and our craft complement each other. The problem-solving skills he learns at work help him come up with new solutions for his woodworking projects. Likewise, the creativity AJ experiences in his craft help him think differently about the tasks he does at work.


In the pursuit of a passion, or even everyday work, AJ's advice is to keep pushing yourself and take pride in your work; not in a boastful way, but in a manner that makes you proud of what you took part in and completed. Opportunity comes along when we least expect it. Be ready when it does.



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SEE ALSO: The Faces of Lake Trust: Emily   |   Food for Thought: Day of Caring


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