Get Your Office Zoom Room Ready!

Videoconferencing is growing in popularity due to COVID-19. Here are some tips to ensure you join that videoconference with confidence. How do you do that? It’s actually not difficult — all it takes to do that is have the correct Zoom Room setup with the help from OfficeSource.

Make sure you have the right lighting for your space.

The best place to put your lighting is in front of you so your face can be seen clearly. If you’re not satisfied with how you look using a second light source on the side, preferably with a soft light bulb, to fill in the shadows.

Check your audio.

In a video meeting, you don’t just want to be seen; you want to be heard clearly as well. Setting up in your office in a quiet is ideal, but sometimes it’s not possible. Headphones or earbuds are a great way to quiet the distractions around you.

Make eye contact with the camera.

When working with computers with monitors a good option is to mount the camera on the top of the monitor. Monitor arms are great to better keep screens at eye level and allow for adjustments throughout the day.

Keep it Simple.

Less distractions are always best, but, you have to be able to be productive in the space as well. Hanging a dry erase board behind your desk, allows you to take notes for meetings, or if not needed it can be wiped clean for less distractions.

Choose the right chair for your setup.

Good posture and comfort can make all the difference on screen. If you are uncomfortable or do not have the proper chair for your setup, it could affect how you appear on screen or allow you become distracted while you try to find a comfortable position.

Have things organized and easy to get to.

Have a cluttered desk or office can be a distraction while on zoom calls, but you also don’t want to have to go searching for things that are needed during a meeting. Bookshelves and file cabinets are a great way to keep things organized or hidden out of eyesight.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to video meetings, then practice first. Set up your lighting and audio, and once you’re happy with it, call a friend and find out how things look from the other end. It’s much better for a friend to complain about bad sound quality than that important client.

But the most important thing when you’re on a video call, is to relax and present the best view of yourself that you can and let the work show for itself.

Renee Murren, one of our eCommerce Account Specialists, became our newest COE Warrior! Andrea passed the helmet off to Renee stating that she shows transparency in both her personal and professional life and never holds any punches, which is something she respects. Andrea added in that Renee truly cares about the job that she does. Congratulations Renee! Please continue below to read what this honor means to Renee.


I love to play board games. I love playing chess and am overly competitive at Monopoly. I have 9 tattoos

What does winning the warrior helmet mean to you?

It always feels great when someone recognizes and acknowledges your hard work. To know your dedication doesn’t go unnoticed feels amazing.

What did you or what do you look for when it comes to choosing the next recipient?

Someone who shows up every single day ready to work and put forth their best effort.

How has COE helped you to get where you are?

COE has believed in me and invested in me throughout my 5 ½ years. They have shown me support both professionally and personally, encouraged me when I have questioned myself, and provided me with training opportunities, especially The Rising Star program, to better myself and help me grow.

What goals do you want to achieve and how can COE help get you there?

My overall goal is to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. I feel that COE helps me achieve that goal by challenging me daily and providing me with new and exciting opportunities.

What is your favorite part of our employee engagement programs at COE and why?

The openness that they provide between the Executive Team, upper management, and employees. To be able to participate in training and book clubs with upper management is an awesome opportunity.

What are you most excited for when it comes to our Penguin partnership?

Definitely the perks, such as tickets to the games 😊

What COE value do you think you’re the strongest in and why?

Respect. I believe in showing everyone respect.

Andrea Jenkins, one of our Accounts Receivable Clerks, was recently awarded the Warrior Helmet. The honor was passed along to Andrea because of her dedication to the company and her department every day, and how she shows up and does her best no matter what. Thank you for your strong teamwork Andrea! Continue reading below to hear what Andrea thinks about this honor and the partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fun Fact about Andrea

I absolutely hated math in school.

 What does winning the warrior helmet mean to you?

It means a lot to me to be recognized for just doing my job and trying my best each day.

What did you or what do you look for when it comes to choosing the next recipient?

With so many of my peers already being awarded with the helmet, it made this decision a little easier actually. I looked for someone who always shows up and does the job without question or complaint and is always willing to help no matter the issue.

How has COE helped you to get where you are?

When I made the move to the accounting department two years ago, I had a lot of self-doubt and hesitation, but now I believe that I have truly made a difference within our department. It has given me more self confidence in my abilities to do my job

What goals do you want to achieve and how can COE help get you there?

Personal and operational growth.
I am looking to expand my knowledge within the accounting department, and if the opportunity would come about for an assistant management position within AR, I would hope that I would be considered for the position.

What is your favorite part of our employee engagement programs at COE and why?

The book club that I was recently a part of has given me a more detailed look at my job from a different point of view and I found that to be interesting.
I really enjoyed the past employee engagement events that I have been apart of. While I didn’t participate this year, last year’s golf outing was super fun. It gave me, as well as others, a chance to get to know each other outside of our individual departments. We are often so busy in the office we rarely have the time to get to know our coworkers. While it is different now with COVID, I think that more events like this help us to become more connected to one another.

What are you most excited for when it comes to our Penguin partnership?

I think its awesome that a small town, locally owned business has been given this opportunity to be partners with the Pens.

With this partnership, I was able to participate in book clubs with individuals that otherwise I would have never been able to work with. Hearing their stories of all the things that they are able to experience and pass on that same pens experience to their fans around the world.

That along with the discount tickets is an extra bonus, if we can ever get back into large groups again.

What COE value do you think you’re the strongest in and why?

For me, now more than ever, it would be teamwork. It is amazing to me the job that our team has been able to do through this pandemic, not only that, but doing so being down a full-time position since March. I believe that my coworkers would agree that we have all stepped in and stepped up in many ways to ensure that we get the job done. While some days were tough, we were tougher and our numbers prove just that.

COE Distributing Named to Pittsburgh Business Times Fast 50 List


UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Sept. 30, 2020 – PRLog — The Pittsburgh Business Times has named COE Distributing, one of the nation’s largest wholesale distributors of office furnishings, among the Pittsburgh region’s 50 fastest-growing, privately held companies.

The 2020 Fast 50 were celebrated in a virtual event on Tuesday where it was revealed COE ranked 41 on the list.

To qualify for this award, companies were required to have at least $2,000,000 in revenue in 2017. The Fast 50 are then ranked by the percentage of revenue growth during a three-year period, 2017 and 2019 for this year’s rankings. COE achieved an impressive 51% growth in sales in that time frame, joining a prestigious list of flourishing companies from diverse industries, including health care, logistics, home building and legal services.

“Our team is thrilled to be recognized for our progress over the past three years and to be ranked among some of the most successful organizations in western Pennsylvania,” said CEO and President of COE Distributing, J.D. Ewing. “Our ability to grow even when market dynamics are tough is a testament to the dedication and drive of our incredible team.”

COE has been recognized among Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing companies by the Business Times since 2013. The Fast 50 honor is the latest in a string of achievements for COE. In the past month, the company has been named a Pittsburgh Top Workplace by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America.

A full list of all the Fast 50 winners can be found on the Pittsburgh Business Times website (…).


COE Distributing Recipient of Pittsburgh Top Workplaces 2020 Award

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Sept. 23, 2020 – PRLog — COE Distributing has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2020 honor by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ranking 21 of 57 small companies recognized on the list.

Altogether, the Post-Gazette spotlighted 92 Pittsburgh-area companies of various sizes and industries on the rankings which are based solely on feedback from employees who rate their workplace culture through a third-party survey administered by the Post-Gazette’s Top Workplaces research partner Energage LLC.

Data collected addresses employee satisfaction with the basics like pay, benefits and training and gives a unique look at the importance employees place on issues such as their alignment with their company’s values and direction, having meaningful work and feeling appreciated and employee engagement and development.

COE Distributing has a robust employee engagement program. Whether it’s career development programs such as Rising Stars, Employee Recognition, Profit Sharing or those geared toward a more personal approach such as Financial Workshops, Volunteer Paid Time Off and Virtual Book Clubs, the more than 100 employees benefit from an extensive list of offerings. Perhaps the most exciting addition for COE has been the Bi-Weekly Warrior Helmet Handoff in partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which is a peer-to-peer recognition program based on demonstration of COE values of customer service, teamwork, quality, transparency, safety and respect.

“One of our largest focuses over the past several years has been on allowing team members to really grow within the business,” said COE Distributing President and CEO J.D. Ewing. “We’re developing leaders at all levels of the organization and this recognition in the Top Workplaces program shows our employees value our efforts to grow with everyone’s input.”

The awards process began back in January, when 1,493 public, private, nonprofit or governmental entities with more than 50 employees were invited to participate. COE and other nominees were celebrated in a virtual awards program on September 17 and the official rankings were announced in the September 20 edition of the Post-Gazette.
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