Q&A with Steve Bulger of Kids Oneida

He is at the helm of Kids Oneida – a successful child welfare agency which has over 100 employees. He has been overseeing the Utica Children’s Museum for a year this month and you can also catch him on the field coaching his son’s Pop Warner football team. Steve Bulger is a busy guy, but his organizational skills are so on point that you never catch him rattled and you will always feel like you’re the only one in the room when you have his attention. How does he do it? We caught up with him to see!

Name: Steven Bulger
Title: CEO/Executive Director
Company: Kids Oneida

Latest news or project(s) you have going:
Have been honored to share the story of Kids Oneida at multiple state and national conferences in 2018
– This month will mark the one year of partnership with the Utica Children’s Museum through a managed services contract
– Kids Oneida was named the 2018 Bagg’s Square Business of the Year, 2018 Utica Observer Dispatch Best of the Best NonProfit finalist, and recently announced 2018 Greater Utica Chamber NonProfit with 50+ employees Business of the Year Finalist

With your busy schedule, what are your organizing secrets?
For me, organization is the key to my sanity! The only way to balance the day-to-day professional curve balls and a young family is by staying a step or two ahead of things within my control and not sweating what is outside of my control! The true secret though is surrounding myself with organized people, whether it’s my wife who keeps me grounded or my teammates at work that balance me.

How do you use technology to your advantage?
Technology is my secret weapon when it comes to staying organized but it can also be my Kryptonite when attempting to maintain a healthy work life balance. I LOVE my Microsoft Surface and it has allowed me to get away from paper almost all together. I used to have a paper file or binder for every group I met with or meeting I attended… I have replaced it all with my Surface and more specifically OneNote. To have the ability to still take notes by hand and in turn document my thoughts electronically has allowed me to only be one click away from a meeting that occurred weeks or even months ago.

What is the MOST organized area of your life?
The most organized area of my life is my day-to-day schedule. From the moment I wake up and start getting ready for the day as a family, to business meetings throughout the day; I feel like my daily agenda is like a well choreographed dance. While the dance isn’t always as elegant as a waltz, it helps me to stay focused on the flow of my day and always anticipate what’s next.

What is the LEAST organized area of your life?
The least organized part of my life truthfully lives in my garage. My garage work bench is the chaotic catch all that rarely sees the light of day – from sporting equipment that is desperately looking for a home to tools that rarely find their designated drawer. My work bench today is my parents “junk drawer” of the past.

What is one thing that you make time for every week no matter what?
I 100% make time for family not only every week but every day. While I love my job and love my profession, there is nothing I love more that being a father. I make a pointed effort to never walk in the door on my phone when getting home. I also volunteer and coach various sports my son and daughter are involved in. This helps keep me grounded and ensures I leave work timely. It is my commitment to my kids and their teammates that allows me to leave work at work and be at the football or baseball field on time and more importantly be present.

If we walked in your work space right now, what would we say?
Walking into my work space, you might say “there’s more going on at Kids Oneida then I realized!” While my desk and surrounding work space isn’t meticulous I would say it is functionally organized with documents that need attention front and center, with more long term projects laid out along the edges. But a large pet peeve is the way I leave my workspace before being out of the office for an extended period of time and returning from vacation. At that point, my work space needs to be meticulous so I have a clear mind stepping back into the office on my first day back.

Have you made any organizing goals for this year?
I would say my largest goal for the year is related to organization but not in the truest sense. The concept of work life balance and ensuring that is better organized is something I am always working on and trying to get better at. With two young children, family is everything to me. I need to ensure the over-organized and sometimes chaotic work life can’t spill into home. And the workbench… that needs to be a goal soon!!