Susan Wendorf & Brian Matiasek: Making an Impact

Ecolab teammates wearing masks

The Ecolab team has always gone above and beyond to serve each other and our communities. With the increased need for facemasks rising due to COVID-19, learn how a few of our team members are volunteering their time and resources to help meet this demand. 

Sewing face masks for local communities

Susan Wendorf, administrative assistant, Global Supply Chain, has made over 1,250 masks for various organizations in St. Paul.

“I love to sew,” said Susan. “This has helped me give back to the community in the best way I can right now.”

Susan began by reaching out to her community over Facebook. She let people know that if they needed a fabric mask, she’d be happy to make one for them free of charge. Not only has she fulfilled one-off requests, Susan has also completed several bulk orders. She made masks for the residents and staff at Wingspan Life Resources, a non-profit that runs 28 group homes for adults with development disabilities, and for patients and family members at Gillette’s Children Specialty Center. Susan’s favorite project was sewing masks for the seniors at St. Francis High School. She included the school’s logo in the mask’s graduation design. 

Susan has shared her masks with her Ecolab coworkers – including our facilities team, security guards and mailroom workers. She also received a special request from the Ecolab team to develop face masks with a clear front to ensure associates with a hearing impairment could read their coworkers’ lips. 

In recognition of Susan’s hard work, Susan’s daughter entered her in Cricut’s “Make a Million Masks” initiative. Susan won one of their grand prizes, and she’ll receive a bundle of fabric and a Cricut machine.

Making masks more comfortable for essential workers

3D printing is normally just a hobby for Brian Matiasek, logistics associate, but after hearing about how wearing masks day in and day out was affecting frontline healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers, Brian went looking for a way to help those in need.

Using a computer-aided design program, Brian found online templates for ‘strap clips.’ These clips pull away the mask’s elastic bands that would normally hook behind the ears and helps prevent the mask from chaffing the wearer. 

News of Brian’s innovative solution spread quickly. 

Brian also saw an opportunity to support his Ecolab team. He printed mask extenders for his team at our plant in Joliet, Illinois. He received a lot positive feedback from his team and was asked to print more for associates who work at our other Joliet campus locations.

“I joined Ecolab to have the opportunity to work for an innovative company that helps make the world cleaner, safer and healthier,” said Brian. “I’m happy to help in any small way I can, during these crazy and unprecedented times!”


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