A freshly hoisted sign at 11th and Douglas marks the new downtown home of a quickly growing Omaha business and signals its commitment to the community.
Upon first glance, the historic, newly renovated office building in downtown Omaha seems built to house the latest tech startup. But inside the walls of Kirsch Transportation Services Inc. are longstanding, well-respected business leaders driving the 19-year-old woman-owned logistics company toward its 20th year of operation.
“We’re putting our stamp on the community and saying, ‘This is where we want to make a difference,’” said Shauna Morfeld, VP of Business Development. “It also gives us access to the people we want to bring into our fabulous company and work with us. It puts us on the map.”
The company’s history is built on a strong family foundation and boasts an incredibly low rate of turnover. In its latest growth spurt, owners Camilla Moore Kirsch and Matthew Kirsch were drawn to the fresh, vibrant energy of downtown and sought to become part of the revitalization.
This idea became a reality in 2018 with the purchase of a 30,000-square-foot office building at 1102 Douglas, wedged between the Capitol District and the Old Market, and just north of the Gene Leahy Mall transformation underway. Over the course of a year, Kirsch tapped local firms MCL Construction and RDG Planning & Design to restore the two-story building.
After a year of design and construction, Kirsch opened its restored doors in October 2019 to a bright, spacious office with fun and collaborative breakout areas, a gym/yoga facility, game room, and full kitchen.
“Working together with MCL was critical in terms of the vibe we wanted to create in our new space,” Camilla Kirsch said. “Combining our ideas, keeping safe some of the brick and mortar of the original building as well as repurposing some of the materials has added so much character.”
The new office not only supports the company’s technology needs but provides an opportunity for the company to open its doors to talented industry professionals and partners.
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“MCL did a wonderful job exposing the cool things about being in a historic building that we wanted to preserve and then bringing in the modern pieces that reflected our young environment,” said Chief Financial Officer Kelli Gleckler.
During the design process, employees weighed in at various stages, lending their opinions toward the final product. Just as would happen with any family, the company’s culture invites disagreement and deliberation, and staff aren’t afraid to voice their perspectives. In fact, owners challenged employees as to whether they would actually use the breakout spaces and, ultimately, were swayed by the possibilities of cross-collaboration between teams.
“The best thing about Kirsch is that it really is the open road,” Morfeld said. “Matt and Cam allow us to explore ideas and come with new solutions and provide assistance in different areas to talk to them about the route we think we need to take. It’s a very open forum, so we’re able to spread our wings. You’re able to take off in areas where other companies may try to put limitations on you.”
As employees embrace and adjust to their new home base, they say they’re empowered by the new energy in the office. Each gravitates to various areas of the office depending on the time of day and their mental state. But how does the new environment translate into productivity?
On tough days, time in the nap room or playing a game of Connect4 can quickly ease stress and put employees back in the game. Employees realize that owners are prioritizing health and mental wellbeing, empowering them to be the best versions of themselves whether on the phone with customers or at home with family.
The very deliberation that resulted in Kirsch’s new office space is reflective of the dynamic, agile talent the team seeks to hire in the coming years.
“The type of employees we hire aren’t hired because they can do a certain task,” Morfeld said. “It’s because they’ve worn multiple hats and can work in niche areas of our business successfully. They challenge us and bring new suggestions to the table that we, as existing employees, utilize to make ourselves better.”
And for the first time, the Kirsch brand is taking the forefront as the company looks to share its story and continue to build long-lasting relationships.
“With our move to this great place in Omaha, we are empowered so we actually are focusing more energy on our branding and marketing.”
Expect to hear more from the brand as it continues to grow its footprint in Omaha as the business expands. The new office will provide Kirsch the ability to grow and fill additional hires as needed.
“As to the future of our company, we’re putting a focus on building our partnerships,” Morfeld said. “We’re showing people our culture now more than ever, and how great of a company we are to work with.”
“Our team absolutely loves our new office with its contemporary style,” Camilla continued. “This special new space will help us continue to grow our business and we couldn’t be more excited.”
About MCL Construction
For many businesses, navigating construction and knowing who to trust can be overwhelming. At MCL Construction, our people simplify the process by listening, planning, executing, and continuing the relationship to build their vision.