Friday, August 14, 2009

Notes from a Summer Intern

Surprise flowers, sunlight, and ice cream cake. Perhaps those words sound like they belong to a summer party, but it’s a combination of life at Crossover Graphics this week. It’s been a rather hectic week, but we’ve had some fun moments. It’s my last day at Crossover as an intern and I’m going to miss it here.

Crossover is continuing to grow at warp speed. At the beginning of the summer, there were two employees, and now we’ve filled up every space in our office and there are still more employees joining us soon! However, with a company growing as fast as ours, we knew it would be crazy (or at least we were warned)!

At the beginning of the week, we received a visit from one of Crossover’s partners who is soon to be employed at Crossover. (Little teaser details: he used to work around F-18s and he currently coaches a semi-pro football team. Stay tuned for more details about our soon-to-be new employee!) Even though he only spent a day with us, he emailed Stephanie, our CEO, with nicknames for all of us based on our personalities. It was funny how he accurately described our personalities even though he was only here for a short time.

Yesterday, Sarah, one of our designers, received a surprise visit from her fiancé. He walked in carrying a bouquet of summer wildflowers that looked professionally arranged. But no, he had actually gotten up early to pick the flowers from the garden and arrange them himself. Sarah was beaming for the rest of the day.

As of late, Kate, Sarah, and I discovered how much we like natural lighting. We have four big windows in our office, so we keep the lights off all day unless it’s absolutely thunderstorm pitch black outside. Sunlight is so much prettier and calming compared to the harsh fluorescent lights. (And as an extra bonus, we’re cutting down the electricity bills.)

Since today is my last day as a summer intern at Crossover, Stephanie arranged a surprise lunch with sub sandwiches, chips, cheesy dip, and homemade ice cream cake (Sarah’s family recipe). So, that was fun.

I am going to miss working at Crossover on a day-to-day basis. It’s the little things that make a job meaningful. I’ve learned so much being here, things such as:

-- “Rockstar” is an amazing word and some of the highest praise you can give a person
-- Just because it’s not really funny doesn’t mean you can’t laugh about it
-- Coffee and sticky notes are great ways to encourage others
-- Mac computers make crunchy sounds when you delete items from your trash can. It makes me happy.
-- Mac computers have icons that bounce when they want attention (and it annoys me so much that I must immediately stop and squash the icon)
-- There are a million social media sites and I am convinced they spontaneously generate because I keep hearing about new sites
-- If it’s electronic, it will break
-- Sometimes your best work is produced when you have to use pen and paper because the computer is sulking and refuses to unfreeze
-- CEOs and co-workers can become your friends
-- Sticky notes are some of the best inventions ever
-- Filling up a notebook with press releases and other stories you’ve written is pretty fun
-- Dreams aren’t so impossible

Probably the reason why I liked working for Crossover so much is because 1) the people here have become friends, and 2) they haven’t forgotten how to dream. One of Crossover’s goals is that the company feel like family -- and it does. We all work really well together and we know that we can approach even the executives whenever we need something. Secondly, especially with the economy now, many of the things Crossover wants to do seem absolutely crazy. Yet, Crossover is growing beyond what many people thought was possible. Yes, pursuing dreams is never “safe,” but it’s an adventure and we’re going to fly because that’s where God is leading us.

--Ashley High is a PR Intern at Crossover Graphics (

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twitter Contest - Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Day

It’s summer and fresh vegetables abound. But as much I as love vegetables, when your significant other or mother serves them with every meal, it can get old. You’ve resorted to smashing your peas under your plate, flushing your brussel sprouts down the toilet, or slipping your cauliflower into the trash can upstairs. But have you tried leaving your zucchini on your neighbor’s porch?

In fact, leaving zucchini on your neighbor’s porch was such a hit that it became a holiday that is observed on August 8th. In order to celebrate this holiday, those of us at Crossover Graphics decided to put a spin on leaving zucchini on our neighbor’s porches. And what could be a better way to do this than to give you a chance to win some chocolate zucchini bread? It tastes like chocolate cake, only better.

We hope you have a happy Leave-a-Zucchini-on-Your-Neighbor’s-Porch-Day!

Entering the Contest - Twitter Users

1. Follow @crossover09 on Twitter

2. Tweet this:

I am celebrating Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day by entering the @crossover09 contest to win food

3. Two randomly-selected winners will receive:
--A loaf of yummy chocolate zucchini bread. It’ll pretty much be amazing.
--The satisfaction of winning and a good reason to do a victory dance

Remember to follow @crossover09 on Twitter once you’ve tweeted the message so we can direct message you to get your information. Otherwise we will have to eat your prize - our office has a lot of girls and we like chocolate.

The contest ends Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 11:59:59 PM, Central Time (US).

If you have any other questions about the contest, email us at


Q: Can I tweet more than once?

A: Sorry, no.

Q: Can I enter if I don’t use Twitter?

A: You can spend a few minutes creating a Twitter account, and then following to the instructions at the top of this post. (Or you can enter via your Facebook account. See the instructions at

Q: How will I know if I win?

A: If you have been randomly picked as the winner, we’ll send you a direct message via Twitter. Make sure you’ve followed @crossover09 so we can message you.

Winners will be announced by noon (Central Time) on Monday, August 10th.

Q: Can I enter with both my Facebook and Twitter accounts?
A: Yes, you can. You can only win with one account, but entering with both increases your chances of winning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Foreign Languages and Life at Crossover Graphics

Bonjour, ami. Hola, amiga. привет, друг (privet druk). As of late, we’ve been starting off our mornings speaking in languages we pretend to know. Kate, the marketing director, and Lindsey, the receptionist, chatter in the French they learned in elementary school and high school. But pretty soon, they’re asking each other to repeat words. Sarah, a graphic designer, cheerily throws in “¿Cómo estás?” (how are you?), the only Spanish she remembers. She is confused because the “Spanish” Lindsey and Kate are speaking seems quite unfamiliar. And then I might throw in some Russian just for the fun of it - “simpatichenee utka?” (“cute duck,” anyone?)

Over the last few weeks, life at Crossover Graphics has continued to get busier. With the establishment of Crossover’s new division, CGP Marketing & Advertising, and the addition of new employees from Crossover’s engagement with another adversing firm, work shows no signs of slowing down. However, we are very excited about the new challenges and opportunities ahead.

We’ve recently rearranged offices in order to fit everyone. A fun addition to our office space is a small conference room complete with a coffee maker and different flavors of latte syrup. Yum!

Last Friday, our office received a visit from Jaycee, Crossover’s mascot. The CEO’s 10-year-old daughter, Desiree Tillman, was in the office and wanted to try out the Jaycee costume. She had fun clomping around in the oversized costume, shaking people’s hands, and handing out pictures she had drawn for everyone.

Yes, life continues to be busy, but it are those little moments that make it all worthwhile. It’s hearing stories about the amazing accomplishments of ministries and businesses we work with; it’s laughing hysterically at a unintended pun that’s really not that funny; it’s praying together when others are hurting; it’s doing life together. And that, mon ami, es magnífico in whatever language you speak.

--Ashley High is a PR Intern at Crossover Graphics (

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Marketing Division Opened by Former Homeless Woman

(Olathe, KS; July 28, 2009)-- Crossover Graphics, a design firm headquartered in Olathe, KS recently engaged with Radtke Tomberlin Marketing in the opening of new division, CGP Marketing & Advertising. Crossover Graphics’ owner and CEO, Stephanie Tillman, was formerly homeless, but now owns a flourishing company that has experienced 178% growth in sales since January, with projections showing 813% growth in sales by year end.

Radtke Tomberlin, the company Crossover Graphics has engaged, was a marketing and advertising company for thirty plus years, and has worked for large corporations such as Embarq and Sprint. Three of Radtke Tomberlin’s employees are joining the Crossover Team: an account manager, a designer, and a programmer.

While these new employees will assist in the daily affairs at Crossover Graphics, their primary focus will be CGP Marketing & Advertising, a new division of Crossover dedicated to providing marketing and advertising services. On July 27, 2009, the new employees began their jobs, and on August 17, 2009, the CGP Marketing website will go live.

The new processes and procedures obtained from this engagement will allow Crossover Graphics to streamline communication and increase efficiency in their business transactions. CGP Marketing specializes in design, marketing, printing, and writing services and will offer everything from complete advertising campaigns, one-on-one business presentations, marketing plans, web development, employee communications, brand strategies, and more. CGP Marketing will provide all the services companies need for design, marketing, and advertising projects.

Tillman is thrilled with the new addition to Crossover Graphics. She says, “It has been an amazing journey from where I was seven years ago, homeless, to this - owning a company that is growing so fast that I can barely keep up with it.” Tillman is especially excited about this venture because “gaining thirty years of experience with various processes and procedures will allow us to offer our clients even more high-quality services.”

Crossover Graphics ( is a full service design company specializing in full-color printing, marketing, web, logo, and print design. It is committed to providing high-quality, affordable designs for businesses and ministries. The firm works directly with customers of all budgets to choose the right look for their business and ministry needs.


Crossover Graphics
Attn: Ashley High
706 N. Lindenwood Dr.
Olathe, KS 66062

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weeks that Begin and End Crazy

You know it’s been an insane week when you start inventing alter egos named Sir Bradley Fitzwalter III with the Psychedelic Cape of Power. Yes indeed, Sir Bradley’s job is to answer the phones...or at least we talked about it. Don’t worry, I highly doubt you’ll ever have talk with him. Anyway, the craziness all started last week.

Thursday evening, Sarah (one of our designers) called Stephanie (the CEO) to ask about a book Stephanie wanted. Sarah promised to give Stephanie the book the next day. However, Stephanie mysteriously replied, “If you can find me.”

Friday morning, there were only four cars in the parking lot. Sarah, Kate (the marketing director), and I met in our office. Aside from one person in the office above us, the entire building was completely dark and deserted. It was especially eerie considering Stephanie’s words, “If you can find me...” What was that supposed to mean?

The mystery was solved on Facebook. But in all honesty, I was working. I am creating a press kit for Crossover, and needed some pictures which I knew were on the Crossover Graphics’ Facebook page. Anyway, Stephanie had posted a Facebook picture of her new office. Sure enough, after we’d all left on Thursday, Stephanie’s office had been transported down the hall and around the corner. We left a sticky note on Stephanie’s desk - “We found you!”

Sometime Friday afternoon, Kate came into the office gingerly holding Stephanie’s iPhone. We were supposed to make a video blog describing daily life at Crossover Graphics. We all looked at each other, and then at the iPhone. How many blondes and brunettes does it take to work an iPhone? Apparently more than four. After scrolling through the calender, the calculator, and the phone log, Lindsey (the receptionist), found the video button. We filmed four storylines, accidentally deleted one, and finally returned the phone to Stephanie.

This morning, we all walked into the office to discover boxes and papers and filing cabinets all over the place...or at least in places they had not been before. Sarah freaked out when she discovered an unfamiliar man in the CIO’s old office. Sarah, Kate, Lindsey, and I all wandered back to Stephanie’s office. Stephanie could only laugh at our lost faces, and then she took us around to meet the new people. Crossover Graphics just acquired a local marketing, advertising, and design company - hence the new employees. Stay tuned for more details about the exciting opportunities this acquisition will bring!

This week and the coming months will bring much change, and some of it will be crazy and challenging. However, without change, there could be no growth. Alan Cohen, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, said, “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

--Ashley High is a PR Intern at Crossover Graphics (

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



In case anyone wonders what this is - it's the Technorati number that allowed me to claim this blog. I have to post it in order to keep Technorati for this blog. In other words, you can ignore this post.

Or you could add us to your Technorati list...

Races, New Executives, Trade Shows, & Babies

It was an exciting day yesterday - I beat Sarah (one of our graphic designers), to work! It may not sound like a big deal, but you have to understand that Sarah is unconditionally, always, and without fail, the first person to arrive at work. As I am mortally afraid of being late (have you never heard of the terrible, many-eyed Destroyer-of-Those-Who-Are-Late monster?), I am used to being the first person to arrive at everything. It has been quite a different experience for me to be relegated to “second-person-to-arrive” status.

Anyway, for about ten minutes, I relished in my first-person-in-the-building position. Then, Kate, the marketing director, arrived and off-handedly delivered some devastating news: Sarah was on vacation. Therefore, Sarah wasn’t even scheduled to be at work. Sigh. And I had been so happy. Sarah came home from vacation today and, like always, was already sitting at her desk when I arrived this morning.

And we’re glad that Sarah is back. It has been a busy couple of weeks at Crossover Graphics - a new executive, our first trade show, and the arrival of a seven-foot baby.

Shomari Tillman, our new Chief Information Officer, joined our team on Wednesday, July 8th. As he came into the office, we surprised him with donuts and streamers. To read more about Shomari and his journey from homelessness to an executive officer, click here. We are already seeing great changes as he takes the lead in organizing office procedures and policies.

We attended our first trade show, the Life Changers Conference, this past week. Lindsey, the receptionist, and Kate went early to set up our booth. Lindsey has previous experience with event preparation, but Kate was surprised at how long it took to set everything up. However, the booth looked great - we even bought bubbles to blow to attract the kids!

Probably the most exciting part of the week was the arrival of “my baby,” as Stephanie, the CEO, affectionately calls Jaycee, our mascot. Jaycee likes the color purple, eating tacos, and meeting with people and learning what their dreams are. He made his first appearance at the trade show this weekend. (Here's a picture of Jaycee, Kate, and Lindsey at the conference.)

Well, it’s about lunchtime, so I’ll close for today. And who knows? Perhaps by some magic, I’ll beat Sarah to work tomorrow.

--Ashley High is a PR Intern at Crossover Graphics (