All-Star Case Studies

Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game All-Stars

Mid America Metals

Company Background

Mid America Metals is a 29-year-old firm based in Forsyth, Missouri, that provides metal, stone, wood, and glass refinishing and restoration services to primarily Class A office buildings across the U.S.

Great Game Solutions

Mid America had always been a company with strong family values because so many of the Donat family worked there. It all started when Donat, who had earned his chops in business working at a large auto dealership in Chicago, teamed up with his two brothers, who were both metalworkers, to start their own business.

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Kiolbassa Provision Company

Company Background

Kiolbassa Provision Company is a fast-growing craft manufacturer of authentic premium sausage and food products. The company’s
sausages, which are often described as “the best sausage I’ve ever had in my life,” are now sold across the U.S. and Mexico.

Playing the Game Together

In 2016, for the first time in 20 years, Kiolbassa struggled to grow sales. Because of that decline in sales growth, the company struggled to be able to take advantage of the weak commodities markets – which greatly impacted the company’s profitability.

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Tasty Catering

Company Background

Tasty Catering began as a fast-food hot dog stand called Tasty Dawg more than 25 years ago. Founded by a trio of entrepreneurial brothers, Tom, Larry and Kevin Walter, the company, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, now serves up tasty treats at weddings, corporate meetings and conferences, social events, residential parties, special events, holiday parties, outdoor picnics, and more. Beyond its great food, Tasty has also garnered dozens of awards for its outstanding company culture.

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Texas Air Composites

Company Background

Founded in January 2000 in Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Air Composites (TAC) repairs and overhauls aircraft for airlines and other private owners all over the world.

Business Challenges

While TAC weathered some tough economic times early in its history, it hit a significant wall in 2010 where the company lost money and was forced to lay off associates. While the company had been using the GGOB from its earliest days, the crisis spurred renewed efforts to go deeper with the Game and unleash TAC’s associates in helping turn the com-pany’s fortunes around.

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Van Belle Nursery

Company Background

Van Belle Nursery is a commercial supplier of trees, plants, and shrubs based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. The company, which was founded in 1973, ships to a variety of retailers in western Canada as well as in the northern U.S.

Business Challenges

One of the biggest challenges that the nursery faces is finding a way to build a cohesive com-pany culture for its 100 associates, most of whom are immigrants from companies like Mexi-co, Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, and India, and even a few from Canada.

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West Paw Design

Company Background

West Paw Design is a world-class manufacturer of eco-friendly and high-quality pet toys and beds based in Bozeman, Montana. More than 3,000 pet retailers carry West Paw Design products domestically while exports to some 38 international locations now account for nearly 20% of revenues. West Paw Design has also been a certified B Corp since 2013.

Williams was just 23 back in 1996 when he bought an existing small business that made dog and cat toys and turned it into his own, which he renamed West Paw Design. “I was too young to know what I was doing,” says Williams, “but I wanted to do something that involved hands-on manufacturing in a neat industry connected to something I love, pets.”

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US Tower Services

Company Background

U.S. Tower Services helps wireless phone providers like T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, U.S. cellular and Verizon build, maintain, and upgrade their communication towers. After starting out in St. Louis in 2002, U.S. Tower has expanded across the country and now has offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Missoula, Montana – the hometown of the company’s founder, Chad Berg.

Business Challenges

As the business has grown, so too, have the challenges in managing a distributed work-force that operates around the clock in different time zones. The tower installation and upgrade business is also risky work—it has surpassed crab fishing as the most dangerous job in America. That means safety is also at a premium.

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Argent Tape & Label

Company Background

Argent Tape & Label (ATL) is a manufacturer in Plymouth, Michigan, which produces pres-sure-sensitive labels used by industrial customers in the automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer industries.

Business Challenges

Lynn Perenic was a teacher, where she taught elementary education and then special ed-ucation at the high school level for a total of 20 years, before she ever contemplated be-coming an entrepreneur. But after her husband talked about closing ATL, which he had purchased back in 1995, because of its poor performance, Perenic stepped in to try and save the business. But with just three associates and virtually no customers, she had a difficult task ahead of her.

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Jenner Sales Corp.

Company Background

Jenner Sales Corp., now in its 53rd year of business, is the Case IH Agriculture Application Equipment Distributor for the states of Illinois and Indiana.

Business Challenges

Jenner Sales Corp. was a profitable company prior to its launch of the GGOB. However, the company’s profit sharing program had started to feel, to ownership, more like an employee expectation than an earned reward. It seemed employees really didn’t understand how the company arrived at the pool of money and what employees needed to contribute to earn their share of it. Therefore, ownership believed that if employees at the front line understood how the business made profits as well as the fact that more profit would be available for sharing if they helped grow the amount, they’d want to win together.

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Texas Air Composites

Company Background

Texas Air Composites, Inc. is an award-winning “overhaul” facility that repairs the sheet-metal, composite, and welded structures of airplanes for commercial and regional air carriers. Its clients include Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, Comair, SkyWest, Air Wisconsin, America West, Frontier Air, Cathay Pacific, Mesa Airlines, and WestJet. The five-year-old company has 72 employees (largely in sales, operations, engineering, purchasing, information technology, quality, and administration) and generates annual sales of $10 million.

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