Meet Kevin Jones: The Driving Source of Motivation for 45 Inc

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Meet Kevin Jones. Jones is an account manager here at 45 Inc. Birmingham, an innovative and motivated sales and marketing firm. Jones started with the company in January of 2018 and has already found tremendous success. Want to learn more? Our team conducted a one-on-one interview with Jones, where he shares his experiences before and after walking through the doors of 45 Inc.

Jones was born and raised in Troy, Alabama, where he graduated from Hartselle High School. As a kid, Jones remembers being pretty shy but credits the opportunity at 45 Inc. with bringing out the extrovert within. In high school, Jones was a star athlete on multiple teams but shined the brightest on the football field. “I was quarterback my senior year and captain of the team,” says Jones, “that experience put me in a position for the first time to lead by example and lead a team. I was someone they looked up to when we were down.” For Jones, the athletic success did not end after high school. “I graduated when I was 17 and started as a volunteer high school football coach alongside my high school coach,” says Jones, “I was a 17-year-old kid coaching guys that were older than me.” All of that said, it’s no surprise that Kevin Jones has been given the nickname of “Coach Kev” by his team at 45 Inc. Birmingham.

Jones began taking classes at a community college in Tuscaloosa, while working as a volunteer coach at Northridge High School for four years, alongside his job at the local UPS. After those four years, Jones moved back to Troy and continued working with UPS for six years. “I’ve known since I was 15 that I wanted to own my own business,” says Jones, “I finished my education at Troy University, paying out of pocket, and became a student assistant coach for the Troy University football team.”

Given his record of success as a coach and a motivator, Jones began looking at a full-time career in college athletics. It was that search that led him to the opportunity at 45 Inc. “I came across 45 Inc. at a time when I was considering going back to school for an MBA,” says Jones, “they were looking for sports minded individuals looking to build teams. It was check and checkmate for me, I was all in.” After that, he never looked back.

Shortly after starting with the company in January 2018, Jones knew it was a great opportunity. “I am big on understanding the big picture,” says Jones, “I saw that this is a vehicle that can get me where I want to be a lot quicker than going to get an MBA for 2 years. It feels like there is no advancement when working for another company. This job takes me out of my comfort zone every day.” For someone with a background like his, Jones appreciates the team mentality at 45 Inc. “The culture is very team-oriented,” says Jones, “Folks are always willing to help each other, and it’s a really fun atmosphere. It is not a typical work environment, and that is what attracted me in the first place. No one wants to go to a job where they hate what they do. It’s a different mindset, I love what I do.”

As for how the account manager maintains such positivity, Jones continues to emanate a coach mentality, pushing his team to success each day. “I never call it a job,” says Jones, “I call it an opportunity. I can’t stress it enough, anyone can go to a regular 9-5 job, but this is an opportunity that we are blessed with. I treat every day like a new day.”

Jones reflects on his career fondly, while continuing to look to the future. “I constantly maintain a student mentality,” says Jones, “I look up to those in management, and hope to open up my own office. Wrinardo McKennedy has been a great mentor to me, and I hope to continue to build from what he has started.” Jones feels passionate about continuing to grow himself while pushing others to succeed. His secret weapon? Work ethic. “I truly feel that there are not too many that can work harder than me, if you keep up, we will go far,” says Jones, “Everyone needs a sense of purpose, and to understand their ‘why’.”

When he is not busy motivating his team at 45 Inc., Jones can be found watching college football, hanging out with friends, or playing golf.

Kevin Jones’ motivation, work ethic, and positivity are contagious, and his success speaks for itself. We are confident that the future is bright for Coach Kev.

Interning at 45 Inc Birmingham: Avinash’s Experience

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As if managing graduate-level work isn’t challenging enough for a young adult, Avinash Ananth, a student at Millsaps College, decided to pursue a part-time internship this summer in Human Resources here at 45 Inc Birmingham! Not only did he excel in his responsibilities, he had such a positive impact on our entire team and made his absence felt throughout the whole office when he returned back to school this week! This is his internship experience recapped.

“My time at 45 Inc Alabama was an astounding experience, as I grew not only when it came to marketing but as a person. I had to the opportunity to work with some of the greatest mentors I have ever come across and benefitted greatly from their leadership. From the start, I was given strong direction and coaching, which set the tonality for the quality of work I was expected to deliver! From learning about the company’s practices in job advertisement, recruitment, employee onboarding, social media management, and human resources management, I was better able to grasp the target market demographic 45 Inc seeks for customers and prospective team members. 

The tasks I was given allowed me to hone my communication skills, to where now I feel more confident speaking with individuals of varying personality types. Whether I was on the phone with a potential candidate or speaking with the company’s brand manager, I knew that my work was impactful and valuable to the company’s overall presentation. One of my favorite tasks was managing the company’s Instagram highlights. By displaying daily updates of the office life and culture, I was able to connect with a much larger audience seeking information about 45 Inc, business, and leadership.

My internship with the organization hinged on my understanding of the company as a whole, whether through scheduling daily 1 on 1s with representatives or even attending various meetings. Each day I had the privilege of experiencing the company’s overall culture and goals by attending their morning meetings. Through the team pow wows, I understood for a successful business to scale, there needs to be a high level of accountability and motivation. The most valuable lesson that I learned from interning at 45 Inc was that maintaining trust in one’s team is the greatest asset any organization can have. In the course of 3 months, I gained a strong insight into what cohesive teamwork in a business environment looks like, understanding that every person within the office has a role to fulfill that is crucial to the overall company performance.”

Avinash, your contributions to our team will not be forgotten. You have become one of the family and we wish you the absolute best as you continue forth with your graduate studies. Thank you for your eagerness to learn and willingness to go above and beyond! We adore and appreciate you!

What can Happen in a Year?

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The answer is anything. In less than a year you can be married, bring a child in the world, start a business, find your dream job, or in the case of Je’Niah Jackson, move from an entry level sales position into a management position in the course of a year. Performing at an unprecedented rate in our company, Je’Niah has surpassed every expectation and shown everyone at 45 Inc Birmingham exactly what’s available when you put your mind towards what matters. We sat down with him to learn more about how he did it, why he did it, and what’s next to come for our man of the hour.

Je’Niah – wow! You have accomplished so much in your time at 45 Inc Birmingham. How did you do it?

Easy; I gave myself time to be good. I didn’t start with the company with the idea that I would be successful overnight or get everything the first time or have the answers immediately at my fingertips. I knew everything would take time and I respected that. I also, 1) realized that every relationship didn’t have to be permanent to be meaningful, 2) sought to understand before being understood, and 3) put my faith in God first.

Who influences you inside and outside of the office?

My parents are my biggest influencers professionally, along with my brother. For business, my mentors are 45 Inc’s CEO, Wrinardo, and my fraternity brother and work colleague, Bryant. Between those 5 people, I feel every day that I’m a better person because of their influence. I trust Wrinardo to coach me into the best manager, and I trust Bryant to always infect me with his positive energy; that man is the happiest person I’ve ever met.

What are you going to accomplish in 2018 and 2019?

In the rest of 2018, I plan on helping our client expand into Florida and growing their customer base. I see our team expanding to include even more ambitious, competitive grads and business professionals, and us helping our client expand YET AGAIN in 2019.

What 3 tips do you have for someone looking to be in a management role?!

1. Be likable. People will enjoy working with you more if you’re a joy to be around.

2. Be educated in what you’re doing. You can’t run a business if you don’t know every role through and through.

3. Have a great track record of doing the right things. People will follow those who have results.

What motivates you and how do you recommend others find their motivation?

My faith motivates me, as well as not failing. I HATE losing and quitting, so I’m inspired to give my best every day. I’m intentional with my actions because I know the work I do today will provide the life I want for my current and future family. If you don’t have a “why” that pushes you, find it and make sure your actions align with the “big picture” you have for your life. Lastly, I’m motivated by people. I’m so focused on helping the team at 45 Inc Birmingham, that I wake up every day ready to see them one step closer to their goals.

Je’Niah, you are an inspiration to many. Even after you help our client expand outside of Birmingham, you will be a legacy in our office. Thank you for a year of service and dedication.

Meet Morgan: 45 Inc’s Rising Star of the Month

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The office doors open earlier than usual. In walks Morgan, newest Team Lead here at 45 Inc Birmingham, full of energy and spunk. She settles in for the day hungry for knowledge and ready to grow her career. As a recent grad, she’s eager to prove herself professionally in the workforce and has done just that in her time here at 45 Inc. She speaks with excitement and moves with purpose and everyone that comes into contact with Morgan leaves a little lighter.

Meet the woman of the hour, Morgan Robinson. A patron native of Birmingham, Morgan’s favorite thing about the city is the diversity she sees in it on a daily basis. Described by family as independent and joyful, even as a child, Morgan looks back fondly on her childhood and her upbringing by the strongest woman she’s ever met: her mom.

Morgan’s mom led by example, a minister working full time for the church. She taught her daughter what integrity, selflessness, grace, and great people/communication skills looked like, and even in her death, serves as a constant source of inspiration for Morgan.

As Morgan grew into a young adult, she ran track and managed both the Mens & Women’s basketball team for Vestavia Hills High School. She enjoyed serving as a resource to the team and coaching staff — a trait she has brought with her to her employment at 45 Inc!

High school evolved into a FULL academic scholarship to Auburn, following in her Dad’s alma mater who also played football there! Morgan studied for the next 4 years and bled blue & orange. A proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, she credits her sisters to lifting her up throughout all of life’s highs and lows. Morgan graduated last month with a degree a Human Resource Management as the first person in her school to receive her HR Certification while also an undergraduate student.

With a few internships and job offers under her belt, Morgan never planned to return to Birmingham until stumbling upon 45 Inc’s Management Training Program online. A natural-born entrepreneur though, she immediately understood the opportunity for growth, the ability to control her advancement in the company, and the non-existent ceiling that stood between her and a management role. She accepted a full-time position with the company in March and started the week after she walked the stage. Knowing Je’Niah Jackson, current Assistant Manager, from their school’s Greek life didn’t hurt either! After all, if he could do it, so could she!

6 weeks into the company and Morgan is quickly fine-tuning her leadership skills and working to be the best version of professional self. She understands the meaning of delayed gratification, thanks to her Mom & Dad, and is willing to put in years of hard work to achieve what she wants out of life.

When she’s not at work, you can find Morgan celebrating life with her sisters, spending time with her family, or catching up on all of her favorite shows on Netflix. When she is at work, you can find her leaving every person with a smile. Morgan, you are one of a kind. Thank you for choosing 45 Inc Birmingham as your first post-grad destination. We can’t wait to see where else life takes you on this train.

Seizing Opportunities: Andreal’s Story

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Life is filled with 2 sorts of people: those that spectate and those that do. When opportunities arise, the watchers observe, scared to move in fear of challenging their norm, while the do-ers do, rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Andreal Redricks, top Team Lead at 45 Inc Birmingham, is the latter in every way; a go-getter since birth and force of nature in our Management Training Program.

Born in Boston, where her mother attended Boston University and raised in Detroit, where her family moved for work in the automotive industry, Andreal led a full childhood in a big household (she was 1 of 6 children)! When her parents decided to relocate to Alabama her senior year to take care of their ailing parents, Andreal took advantage of that move as an opportunity to make new friends and have new experiences.

As Andreal matured and welcomed her son, DeMarea into her life, she sought even greater opportunities and relocated the two of them to the beautiful Huntington Beach in Orange County, California! Starting first with our client broker out in Cali, Andreal recalls having a great experience with the sales and client relations portion of the position but not being ready professionally for the management opportunity at that time in her life. When she was recruited into the financial sector, Andreal, like always, dived head first in search of new growth and paths.

Starting first as a personal banker with Wells Fargo and then moving into small business development, Andreal spent the next 5-6 years advising people on their finances and gaining experience in a new industry. When Andreal’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, she quickly relocated him to help with his treatment and care. As the cancer metastisized, Andreal’s father encouraged her to get back into the workforce so she would have something to occupy and challenge her. It was then she had her second opportunity in sales and business management with 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting with the organization in September 2017, Andreal has brought experience, wisdom, organization, and mentorship to her teammates. She states, “their energy keeps me young, and my experience and advice keeps them grounded.” It’s no wonder in 8 months of working with our company, she’s rapidly excelling through our Management Training Program and was recently recognized as a “Top Leader Pin” recipient at a regional sales conference hosted by our client broker.

With a focus on professional development through reading, Andreal aspires to move into Assistant Management by the end of September and management by the end of 2018. Her plans are to grow the reach of 45 Inc Birmingham to San Diego, reuniting with her son DeMarea who is attending college at Orange Coast…and when Andreal says she’s going to make something happen, we believe her.

Our pride in her development with us is immense, and the great thing with Andreal is we know this is just the beginning for her. When she says she’s going to do something, she does, and when she says she’s going to make it happen she will. Honoring her late father and in hopes of making her mother and son proud, we know Andreal is going all the way here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Focused on Excellence: Tamara’s Time at 45 Inc Birmingham

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“Feed your focus and starve your distractions.”

Sounds simple enough, right? For some people, it is, and others not as much. Luckily, for Tamara York, this saying evolved into a mantra she repeated to herself as a competitive athlete and now serves as a driving force propelling her through her Management Training here at 45 Inc in Birmingham, AL.

A military child, Tamara was born in Landstuhl, Germany, where her father and family served another 9 years. Growing up in Europe, Tamara was privileged to travel all over, creating memories in London, Czechoslovakia and all over southwestern Germany! When her dad was stationed back to the States to Fort Benning, Georgia, Tamara welcomed the move with excitement and as an opportunity to make more friends. Sociable and extremely likable, even as a child, Tamara developed valuable skillsets moving to a new country that aide daily in her growth here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting basketball in Georgia after a friend dared her she wouldn’t try out for the team, Tamara quickly took to the game and the team-rooted environment. She loved working with others and developed a niche for teaching and training those who started after her. This selflessness, natural leadership ability, and athleticism (she also ran track and played volleyball) led Tamara to Howard College in Big Spring, TX on a basketball scholarship!

2 years, dozens of new friends, and her Associates under her belt, Tamara relocated back home to be closer to family, as well as transfer to the University of Birmingham and further pursue her interest in modeling. The move proved fruitful, as she started to book more modeling gigs and was able to spend quality time with her older sister who was expecting her second baby.

When a good friend encouraged Tamara to expand her resume outside of the local BBQ pit she was working at to attain some tangible business experience, she agreed and the next day began putting her resume on Indeed. A call from 45 Inc Birmingham’s Human Resources team led to a few interviews and before she knew it, Tamara was accepting a part-time position while also juggling her classes in social work!

Fast-forward 6 months later and now Tamara has made a name for herself within our company and on behalf of our clientele, AT&T & DirecTv. She was recently recognized this past weekend at a leadership conference as our company’s top-performer and awarded a pin in front of hundreds of colleagues. Just like an athlete back on the court, Tamara prepares, trains, focuses, stays disciplined and plays her heart out.

With plans of graduating in December with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Tamara can’t wait to officially move into full-time employment and continue progressing in her Management Training. Her advice to those starting with the company is to not compare yourself to others and instead focus on yourself and your self-development. After all, it’s what’s helped her earn March’s “Rising Star” status and will help her expand our client outside of Birmingham in 2019. 

A Year in Review: 45 Inc Takes 2017 by Storm

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To say 2017 was a successful year here at 45 Inc Birmingham would be an understatement. We had a MONSTROUS year and our pride in the accomplishments our organization produced is IMMENSE! Wonder what kept us so busy this past year and has us looking forward to 2018 with so much excitement? Here’s what:

PROMOTIONS

It was a year of growth, both for our company and for our people. Staying true to our company’s mission “to give our team the freedom to create their own security through systems, standards and commitment,” we promoted dozens of individuals into leadership roles within our organization, 3 into Assistant Management positions (shout-out Jay, Teresa, and Jeremy), and 2 into Management roles (Cori & Harrison) – helping our company and client expand from Birmingham to Memphis and Fort Smith, Arkansas. As rewarding as it was to see the development of Cori and Harrison while they were working within our Birmingham office, we find it even more rewarding to see them overseeing their own offices and markets. They are THE perfect illustration of what our firm’s Management Training Program is intended to do!

CLIENT GROWTH

To keep up with our team’s outstanding performances, our client brought 2 MAJOR game-changers to the table in 2017 – 1) being the #1 CRM software in the world and 2) the opportunity for us to sell wireless services on behalf of our industry leading client (a feature only available online and in-store). The advancement in technology alone at 45 Inc Birmingham increased our team's performance by over 145%, securing our client more customers and our team higher commissions and bonuses. Paired with the software was a company-issued tablet per team member. This allowed our sales team the tools needed to become more competitive and provide each customer a better buying experience.

TRAVEL / CONFERENCES

Our year was chock full of travel – both for work and for fun! We started out the year in the Lone Star State, traveling with our management team to Austin, TX. We set goals for 2017, networked with the best in the marketing & sales industry, and took tons of notes to improve our leadership ability in the New Year. A few months later we found ourselves heading to Baton Rouge for a national sales conference, where our team picked up some serious hardware and our CEO, Wrinardo McKennedy was recognized on stage for being an outstanding leader and pace-setter for our client! Most notably, October took us internationally to Punta Cana – an experience complete with cruising the Caribbean, a foam party, and 4 days of rest & relaxation!

TEAM-BUILDING

The unity of our team strengthened considerably in 2017 due to our conscious efforts at promoting activities both inside and outside of the office! Whether we were bowling, taking a day off of work to spend at the beach or paintballing, our team had fun and they did it together. With our culture being a big source of pride for us at 45 Inc Birmingham, making sure we on-boarded the right people was crucial! With the team we’ve hand selected in 2017, we’re confident 2018 is going to be an even bigger year for us.

PHILANTHROPY

2017 was especially memorable as our company became more engaged within our community! Focusing our efforts on Alzheimer’s Research and Habitat for Humanity, our team spent many a day at the Habitat Restore or at a home building site giving back graciously of their time. In 2018 we intend to get even more involved within the Birmingham community, showing all businesses that no matter your size, your impact can be felt.

With such a great foundation laid for 2017, our executive team is spending the last week of the year strategizing and goal-setting for an even bigger year to come. Our intentions are to expand into 8 new cities, and accordingly, we foresee more client growth, travel, promotions, team-building, and philanthropy activities to come. Don’t miss a beat with us on either Instagram or Facebook and from our 45 Inc Birmingham family to yours, Happy New Year!

No Lids, No Limits: Bryant's Story 💪

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It goes without saying that the talent at 45 Inc Birmingham is extraordinary – educated, talented, hard-working, and ambitious. A marketing & sales firm that develops entrepreneurial spirits from entry level to management positions, skill is nothing our organization is short of. Coming across someone who has overcome more hurdles than most, though, and has yet to place limitations or restraints on his success is extremely rare. Confidence like Bryant Williams has is almost unheard of at 22.

From Miami to Maryland and finally Birmingham at the age of 7, Bryant spent his formative years as the only child of two adoring parents! An upstanding kid who never met a stranger, Bryant grew up a social butterfly who excelled at whatever he committed to. Whether it was Boy Scouts, swimming, basketball, or football, Bryant easily made friends and contributed greatly to every team he joined. When he was shockingly struck by cancer at the age of 10 and again at 13, Bryant persevered with the strength of someone 3 times his age. Experiencing an illness no child should ever have to endure, Bryant emerged victoriously - a survivor who never believed there was any other option than a full recovery.

Holding still to his faith, Bryant returned to school sure that he was alive to fulfill a higher purpose – he knew that his voice and influence could one day impact thousands of people. Getting back out on the football field, Bryant kept pursuing his passion for the game – one day hoping to join the National Football League. When his father told him that even athletes needed to have good grades, Bryant buckled down and found a strong interest in a “Mock Trial” course his school offered. This was a gateway to him studying political science and criminal justice the next 4 years in college.

When debating where to attend and doing tours all over the state, Bryant settled on his parent’s alma mater – The University of Alabama Birmingham! Joining Kappa Alpha Psi his freshman year, Bryant enjoyed the benefits of a social, philanthropic, and leadership focused brotherhood. It was there he met Je’Niah Jackson, fellow Team Lead here at 45 Inc Birmingham and the individual who encouraged him to come and interview with the company!

Despite knowing that he would be pursuing his law degree after graduation, Bryant interviewed for a full-time position never once thinking that he couldn’t handle both. He came in for an interview with CEO, Wrinardo, immediately connected with the company and its mission, and happily accepted a position with 45 Inc Birmingham in early August!

Since his time with us, Bryant has flawlessly managed the course load of a first-year student at the Birmingham School of Law and a demanding career within our firm’s Management Training Program. When asked how he manages it all, Bryant gives us the advice to “surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Without negative influence, you don't think you're incapable of something. If you silence your doubters and your mind, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

In his spare time (which we have no idea is when – haha) Bryant LOVES catching up with his favorite shows on Netflix (Scandal and One Tree Hill to name a few), staying active, and spending time with his extended family and parents! A mature, balanced, wholesome, and honorable young man, Bryant helps our entire team at 45 Inc Birmingham lift their “lid” and strive for the best version of their professional selves. In featuring him as “October’s Rising Star,” we wanted him to know just how impressed we are by his convictions and to thank him for the positive energy he exudes.

As Bryant reminds us, without limitations we’re all capable of greatness.