Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large

Mini-Circuits’ sales team in Missouri is tight-knit, tenured and growing. From taking time each day to plank and crank out a few push-ups to weekly talks led by members—all while upholding the highest level of care for our customers—this group is always upbeat.

At the helm of the Mini-Circuits office in the famed Ozarks resort town of Branson, Customer Service Manager Kim Sainato enjoys seeing her leadership philosophy bring joy and purpose to the workplace.

“When people feel appreciated, they feel connected,” Kim said. “And when they’re connected, they perform better, both individually and collectively. That’s how the whole team is successful.”

With member appreciation at the center of her efforts, Kim has implemented authentic, ongoing initiatives that keep the atmosphere in Branson feeling light and lively. Every Friday morning, the team gathers to spin a virtual wheel with the names of members who received complements from internal or external customers during the previous week. The winner gets a gift card. With everyone present in person or remotely, a designated member then gives a presentation or leads an activity of their choice. The only rule? “It cannot be work-related,” Kim said.

Branson-based members also have some physical fitness on the agenda. Every day at noon, they plank. After L2 Account Manager Logan Young initiated the planking challenge, Kim upped the ante by adding a push-up each week. As more members return to in-office and hybrid work schedules, the camaraderie continues to grow.

“We’re starting to add events like lunches and outings back into the mix,” Kim said. “I’m always open to suggestions for team building and morale.”

It’s certainly not all fun and games, especially with a national customer base of industry leaders across commercial, industrial, and military applications. As Mini-Circuits’ largest sales office in the U.S., Mini-Circuits Missouri is the conduit for communication between countless customers and our production and administrative teams.

“We’re the front line,” Kim said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to build strong relationships with each other, so we can do the same with our customers.”

The relationships are bolstered on both sides. Like many of Mini-Circuits’ customers, several members in Branson have been with Mini-Circuits for a decade or more. Kim joined the company in 1991, working her way through various positions en route to her leadership role today. She models much of her leadership approach after her predecessor, Logene Bernstein, who reported to the late Harvey Kaylie.

“I always admired the way the office ran under Logene,” Kim said. “It’s an honor to lead the members in Missouri and such a pleasure to collaborate with the corporate leadership team,” Kim said. “They have helped me grow as a leader and offered tremendous support along the way.”

Through the years, Kim has seen Mini-Circuits expand from a midsize company to a global corporation. Still, she sees those two crucial elements—appreciation and connection—prevalent companywide. For her, that’s what makes Mini-Circuits a special place to be a leader.

“When the team and our customers are successful and happy, simultaneously, that’s when the fruits of your labor as a leader pay off,” Kim said. “You need to have both, and I need the members here to know how much I truly appreciate them.”