Charlie Liekweg interview AAA Washington

Charlie Liekweg with Director RJ McHatton

Charlie Liekweg with Director RJ McHatton

 I knew I would like Charlie Liekweg immediately when I saw the giant photos of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant on the wall of his office.  I had recently returned from a trip to Gettysburg so the Civil War stories were still fresh in my memory.  We were there to interview Charlie Liekweg for the Puget Sound Business Journal “Best Workplaces” Award.  His company, AAA of Washington had reached the finalist stage.  Several of the AAA employees came up to me to tell me how much they loved working at AAA.  They were amazing.  I met Charlie in his office at the Bellevue headquarters.  Charlie told me that he really doesn’t use his office that much because he is usually out in the field visiting all of his offices.  We sat down and talked about his philosophy of management, the company culture, the core values of his team, and the specific things his organization does to get such a happy workplace recognition.  I was very impressed with Charlie and his understanding of his employees.  He talked a lot about the character and integrity of his team.  He talked about they proved themselves so many times, like during the heavy snows last Christmas and during the heatwave this summer.  He said his team always surprises him with positive surprises.  Charlie talked about how his team started a competition to be more healthy and how proud he was that they have accomplished so much in a short time.  He said that his company has actually earned reduction in health costs because the team became more healthy.  I was deeply moved by meeting Charlie Liekweg.   He is a great leader and the AAA Washington team is definitely one of the most positive, enthusiastic, sincere teams I have ever seen.

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