Stick your neck out at Simantel and you’ll get rewarded. Stretch, an embellished stuffed giraffe, is given out to acknowledge a coworker who put their neck out in some way for others. The recipient adds something to Stretch — like a pet monkey, tattoo or a chicken cap — and then later awards Stretch to someone else.

Nicole Bruns, our dedicated and ever-bubbly project manager, rightfully won Stretch. Get to know this important team member better through our recent Q&A:

What will you be adding to Stretch?

I’m not sure yet. I think I’m going to add dancing shoes to Stretch because I love to dance. I do a dance for different days of the week — a Monday dance, a Tuesday dance… people are always asking me to do my dance. I’ll have to look for little shoes. I want them to be sparkly and fun. But I might have to put them on the monkey because I think Stretch might have some boots already…

Why work in advertising?

I took some businesses classes at Butler and just got really interested in marketing and decided to major in it. It’s exciting. It’s always changing.

Who is your hero?

My dad because he’s a hard worker, he’s selfless and is always doing things for other people. And he just taught us all how to be good people.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Ability to fly! You could get places so fast. I just think it would be exhilarating to fly through the air. But I would want a cape.

What don’t we know about you?

I feel like this is a college ice-breaker question. [laughs] I feel like because I’m so talkative and I seem outgoing, it may surprise people that I’m also an introvert. I do like some alone time.

What is a pet project of yours from the last year that meant a lot to you?

I’ve started working with Cat® Tech Recruit. Recently, we teamed up with Manual Academy. They have a welding program and woodshop program at Manual – they’ve been building these Adirondack chairs and selling them so that the program can be self-sufficient. Caterpillar has supported this project, giving equipment and expertise.

The chairs are really nice and they’ve been a really big hit. [The class] can use the profits to buy gas for the welding machines or buy wood to make the chairs.

On behalf of our Cat client, we did a video shoot at Manual, interviewed a bunch of the students and the teacher and put together a video to help this program get exposure. The program has already grown from 40 students to 140.

It’s not necessarily about students going on to be a welder or a woodworker, but giving them the confidence they need to do things in life. It’s a really great program and it’s been a feel-good project to work on.

Watch the video:

Read the inspiring story at