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Crate Builder Simplifies Material Handling

Condit Exhibits honors longtime craftsman

Denver, Colorado-based Condit Exhibits takes great pride in the craftsmanship of its crates. The company also makes sure to hire employees who are just as passionate about a crate’s reliability and sturdiness.

Condit crate builder Scottie Ingvalson and his Border Collie, Duke.
Condit crate builder Scottie Ingvalson and his Border Collie, Duke.

A more than 30-year employee, Scottie Ingvalson is a prime example of why loving what you do translates into a better work ethic and greater results. Known as ‘Scottie Dog’ throughout the exhibit industry, Ingvalson is often complimented on his expert crate craftsmanship and dedication to clients.

“When I tell people from the industry that I work for Condit, 70 percent of the time I hear, ‘Oh yeah, Condit. I’ve seen your crates on the show floor.’ That seems to be all that matters,” commented Richard Raedeke, vice president of operations, Condit Exhibits. “If you want someone to pack up your house and load it into the smallest moving van possible, Scottie’s your man. He plays a giant game of Tetris every day with booth properties as he finds ways to get every piece securely into a crate.”

Many of Ingvalson’s crates are trademarked with a logo of a dog, which pays homage to his ‘Scottie Dog’ nickname. These days, he rarely uses the logo as he has become accustomed to sharing the workload with others.

In the shop, Ingvalson only requires the assistance of one other person when carrying out Condit’s proprietary method for building crates. Since Ingvalson fully customizes the crates, he dispenses with blueprints. Therefore, he describes his crate-building style as working ‘from the inside out.’

Scottie_Ingvalson-1010309-3Ingvalson lines the crate’s interior with laminate flooring, so items can easily slide in and out. He also resizes and reshapes dividers and padding with the goal of protecting each item inside the crate. Then the outside of the crate is router-edged and polished to ensure it’s gentler on the hands of the user. Ingvalson repeats this process every few days, with each crate requiring half a day to complete.

Overall, Condit’s crates are designed to withstand potential damage, such as a fall from a truck. Ingvalson added that the design also ensures crates last from 15 to 20 years.

Ingvalson developed his crate-building skills under the tutelage of two former Condit employees, Tim Rezabek and David Deeba. They taught him that the craftsmanship of crates is as important as that of the exhibit components they house. He now instills this lesson in others.

Condit has been Ingvalson’s second home since 1984. The company is where he met his late wife and where he earned the respect of his colleagues for many reasons beyond his diverse skillset.

“Scottie is the most genuine and kind-hearted person I’ve ever met. Scottie will do anything for anyone, and he has never had a negative thing to say about anyone since I’ve known him,” stated Spike Malecki, senior field services manager, Condit Exhibits.

Upon learning that a client needed more foot forms for a booth display, Ingvalson – with no hesitation – took a last minute, 16-hour round trip from Denver to Salt Lake City, according to Larry Harnois, the manufacturing manager at Condit Exhibits.

Scottie_Ingvalson-1010289“Scottie is the main reason I decided to come back and work at Condit [after a several-year hiatus]. Scottie sets the precedent for the type of co-workers I wanted to be around. Now that I manage the shop, he remains the precedent for all new hires. He’s just the kind of guy you want to be around – he’s the guy you aspire to be,” added Harnois.

An equally important member of the Condit team is Ingvalson’s dog, Duke. The 15-year-old Border Collie often tags along with his owner at the shop or ventures across Condit’s warehouse to explore. Duke is so loved that Condit’s warehouse crew named a rental structure ‘Duke Tower.’

“I love the people I work with. I feel like I’m surrounded with talent. I’m fortunate to be around such an amazing group of people,” stated Ingvalson.

The Condit Exhibits team said they are just as fortunate to have worked with ‘Scottie Dog’ for more than 30 years. This employer-employee match seems destined to continue on for years to come.

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