Culture and Creativity

Sean Carosello – Making Waves

At GL group, we encourage our employees to make waves at their job – we want people who aren’t afraid to rock the boat! We trust our employees to know their job and to do what they need to do to improve their work environment for their team. We do not want any of our employees to be fearful of trying something new – we don’t want them to be afraid to rock the boat and make waves!


Sean Carosello is the Bids Manager at our Booksource division. Sean started in the warehouse and has worked his way into his current role due to his creative approach to problem solving and his ability to work closely with his peers and make powerful improvements to our business. Sean has helped create our new Summer Reading program and has also been responsible for bringing in large contracts.


Booksource is in the business of books – more specifically, helping teachers and administrators stock their libraries. In his years at Booksource, Sean has always kept an eye on what is happening in the education market.


“With this information, I’m able to not only assess what the marketplace is doing, but assess what we should be doing but aren’t yet,” says Sean. “Since my executive team is always open to new ideas, I’m given a lot of autonomy to make decisions and to take an idea and run with it if I feel it’s something that is important for us as a company to offer our customers.”


Sean realized that one area Booksource was lacking was a summer reading program. There were a number of bids that Booksource couldn’t respond to because they didn’t have a summer reading program. Rather than pass on the bids, Sean set out to take action and build a summer reading program for Booksource.


Summer reading has been around forever. Many students don’t read when they aren’t in the classroom, so having books at home that they want to read helps encourage them to read outside of school. Sean wanted to create something that met the needs of schools, parents, kids, and the mission of Booksource.


So, in 2016, Sean put together a make-shift summer reading program. Booksource sold this program into several school districts; confirming that a summer reading was a viable product extention for Booksource. On the strength of that success, Sean teamed with Business Development Partner Stephanie Schwab and set out to create a more robust summer reading program for 2017. Combining new ideas with products and services Booksource already provided, they rebranded, re-geared, and focused Booksource’s dedication to literacy on a different market. The official Booksource Summer Reading Program launched in 2017.


“Our culture at GL group is unique. When you come to someone in another department with an idea you’re excited about, you can get other folks excited about it, too. When I conceived the offering for that initial bid, I had the support of the folks in the Education Department, who helped me bring it to life,” says Sean. “When it came time to create an actual program, we had the support of IT, Collection Development, Marketing, everyone. I also had support from leadership. My boss and the executive team gave me the support I needed to move forward. I don’t think most companies would give an employee who was outside of project management the green light to undertake such a large initiative.”


“My first interaction with Sean happened while he was in the warehouse. I asked him about an issue impacting warehouse operations and his response caught me off guard,” says Gary Jaffe, CEO, GL group. “When he finished, I said, ‘Wow, you not only have a great voice for radio, but I can tell you have the “it” factor of someone special.’ It was clear he wasn’t afraid to seek out what drives his passion at work.”


At GL group, we have a culture of empowerment and want employees to make waves. We are not looking for someone to come in and perform a “job” but rather, someone to get involved in their work, to look for ways to improve processes, or come up with new ideas. We believe every employee can make waves in the work they do and that is exactly why Sean is a Wave Maker.


AUTHOR: Lisa Whealon