BERMUDA TRIPLE CHALLENGE
Spud’s own Jeremy Smith undertook an amazing personal journey recently. He decided to spend a long weekend vacation and push his mental and physical endurance to the limits by competing in the Bermuda Triple Challenge. The BTC is part of the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship competition, the only independent global competition for the sport of OCR. The Bermuda Triple Challenge is a quite unique weekend competition, with an obstacle course unlike any other race. Competitors experience the beauty of the Atlantic island over three days undertaking three separate challenges.
First was Race 1 in the historic town of St. George. Settled in 1612, this was Bermuda’s capital for over 200 years and contains some of the island’s oldest buildings and forts, including St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Protestant church in the New World. This Argus Urban Foot Race began in this area at dusk as participants navigated throughout the town’s streets, tackling urban inspired obstacles and Crossfit workouts along the route. This 3K challenge required speed and agility as competitors’ raced through 27 different obstacles. Not an easy race by any means, and an exciting start to an amazing weekend.
The second day hosted the Sun Life Island Challenge along Bermuda’s sough shore beaches. Bathed in pink sand, this picturesque area delivered what Bermuda is so well known for; limestone bluffs, spectacular coves, natural trails and deep aqua blue waters. This 5K course began in the morning with military style obstacles overlooking the southern shore. Trudging up and along the sand dunes while carrying bags of weight and crawling beneath barb wire are just a few of this leg of the competitions challenges. As if this wasn’t already a marathon of mind and body, some competitors even completed the circuit for a second time.
The third and final day also began in the morning and set the racers along the Royal Navy Dockyards. This area was the principal base of the British Royal Navy in the western Atlantic following the American Revolution right up to the end of the Cold War. The 5K challenge in this setting included grueling obstacles such as climbing netting strung along the wharf to swimming from channel to channel in an all-out physical assault of the dockyards. Possibly the most challenging of the three events, this included log carries, spear throws and Tarzan swings with a breathtaking trek along a zip line!
Our wayward traveler, Jeremy completed this entire trek fairly unscathed. Merely a little bit of scrapes and small contusions and a bit of sunburn, but truly an adventure filled with beauty and heart. This was a unique challenge that Jeremy can look back upon with pride and accomplishment.
WELCOME TO SPUD
We are excited to welcome three new faces to Spud Software - Alex Latunski, Zack Garza and Kyle Gibbs. These young developers are an exciting acquisition and offer a unique dimension to our culture. They represent a bold new step to our future as we look to impact our community by adding the very best talent to our team. The Spud experience is both unique and distinct and they are sure to experience many new accomplishments. Let's get to know our newest members and see how they contribute to Spud.
Alex Latunski joins Spud from Morrice after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Science. While there, he participated in research on image recognition and autonomous drone movements, as well as working as a student technician for the IT Department. Spud is his first full-time position following graduation and between his new responsibilities here as a developer, he enjoys the comforts of a good read and the challenge of board game competitions.
Zach Garza carries along a fascinating element to Spud Software with his design background. A local from Grand Blanc, Zack graduated from Kendall College of Art and design following his major field of study in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. Throughout his academic career, Zach spent time honing his skills in photography and merchandising while freelancing in graphic design projects. He also maintains an active fitness lifestyle and studies film, with a deep appreciation for Japan's Toho Studios and their contributions to the motion picture industry.
Kyle Gibbs hails from Lapeer, Michigan and is currently finishing his Degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Spud is his first position in software development, although he has worked steadily in the retail environment focusing on customer relationships. He maintains that his true passion is developing gaming applications and spends much of his spare time studying design practices and developing his own programs.
Each of these gentlemen bring a fresh perspective to Spud Software and we welcome them to our team. We would also also like to thank everyone for their support in getting the word out about Spud's hiring efforts. Spud is continuing to look for new additions to the team in Sales, Development, and Administration to be a part of our growing company. Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, please visit our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to email@example.com.
Are you a talented amateur developer? Are you passionate about writing code? Do you create your own apps or gaming systems? If so, prepare your best analytic skills because Spud Software is hosting the first Spud Coder Challenge, a competitive software coding competition on Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at 9478 S. Saginaw Rd., Grand Blanc, MI 48439.
The Spud Coder Challenge is Spud Software’s inaugural coding competition, putting beginner level programmer’s skills to the test. The event is a one-day, 6-hour contest with multiple programming tasks. Each component allows participants to demonstrate their talents working through various challenges for a final grand prize of $1,000, a second prize of $500 and a third prize of $250.
Coding challenges typically serve as a pre-interview to assess an individuals technical / coding capabilities and they are most often given to new graduates or interns; however, the focus for the Spud Coder Challenge is to introduce entry-level software developers that have never had a full-time programming job with problem-solving and basic coding skills and assess their suitability for the industry.
Registration is open to coders with no full-time programming experience over the age of 18. Everyone registered will enjoy pizza and soft drinks throughout the competition, and the first 20 qualified competitors will receive a free commemorative t-shirt.
This event also offers unique sponsorship opportunities as well, and if you, or your business, are interested in supporting the development of local youth, please contact Spud to get involved.
To learn more and register, go to www.spudsoftware.com/coderchallenge
Team Spotlight - Welcome to Spud!
We are excited to welcome two highly experienced and dynamic Project Managers to Spud Software, Denice Febbraro and Ellen Munsey. We strive to make an impact in our community and in Michigan by adding the very best to our team. Our team is what makes the Spud experience unique and distinct. With that said, let's get to know our newest team members and highlight how they contribute to the customer experience and to Spud.
Denice Febbraro graduated from the University of Pheonix with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing. Her experience and diverse background in Project Management brings a well-rounded skill set driven by delivering to customer expectations, while managing the development process. Her drive led her to where she is today after attending PMP training. Gaining her full hours and hands-on learning, she took over a training program, then grew into managing PLM systems. Febbraro's enthusiasm and passion for driving change has been the catalyst for pioneering programs and processes which provided a smooth transition to Spud, from implementing a new Global PLM System with her previous employer. She is focused on taking on new challenges and enter into the unknown. In fact, she strives to learn and grow every day as Febbraro lives by the philosophy that, "The learning process is ongoing and that you learn something new every day." As Denice Febbraro has fervently taken on all things Spud, she says that "I feel right at home at Spud; like it is a natural and good fit."
When not at work, Febbraro enjoys being a "Dog Mom", traveling, summertime fun, and volunteering / fund raising for animal rescue. As a native Michigander, Febbraro love the outdoors. With a passion for the D, she loves to participate in all things Detroit; be it concerts, Tigers opening day, Sunday dog walks, or St. Patrick's day parade. In addition, Febbraro loves spending time with her family and being a "Dog Mom" to Buckey Febbraro. After all of her hard-work and fun activities, she is also the Treasurer for the Condo Homeowner's Association.
Ellen Munsey has been in Project Management for 25 years. She has specialized in enterprise and business development projects, new product development, network deployment and infrastructure builds in her 13 year tenure at Verizon, in addition to her many years serving in key roles at small start up communications companies. Most recently, Munsey managed a complex custom software and application development project for a large government client. She enjoys building relationships and possesses a collaborative approach to thrive as a team and achieve Spud goals.
Aside from work, Munsey enjoys being with her family; husband (Warren) and two sons Ryan (22), and Jack (19), who are both currently busy with full-time work and school. Munsey's passions aside from her family include animals, being in nature, a good glass of wine, cooking for and with friends, and lots laughter.
We want to take a minute and thank everyone for their support in getting the word out about Spud's hiring efforts. Spud is continuing to look for new additions to the team in Sales, Development, and Administration to be a part of our growing company. Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, please visit our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spud Supports London Strong: An Incredible Local Cause
There are so many incredible things to say about the local charity, London Strong, but words aren't often enough. The community of Grand Blanc supports this cause in remembrance of the strong and loving, London Eisenbeis, by participating in "Blue Out" day. This is where the schools and community members all wear blue for London and commit random acts of kindness in her memory. Spud Software participated in "Blue Out" day in support of London who leaves a legacy of bringing awareness for "heart conditions and increasing chance of survival by emphasizing the importance of CPR/AED." Even more than that, this beautiful angel leaves a legacy of kindness and caring for others after a tragic cardiac event that left everyone close to her in shock. The foundation started a 5k run dedicated to her, all while continuously bringing awareness to parents and training them in CPR/AED. This heartbreaking story has turned into a heart warming cause to bring the community together. We will never forget the lessons of kindness and giving that London practiced; we will never forget you, London.
With this cause so close to our hearts at Spud Software, we support the foundation and Jerry and Tina Eisenbeis, as Lucky Day Animal Rescue and London Strong work together. The Spud team rallied to snap a group picture in support and remembrance of London (pictured above). Spud is built on supporting the community and continues to do so as we support local organizations.
As mentioned before, we continue to look for new local team members to be a part of our growing company. Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, please visit our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to email@example.com.
Spud at U of M-Flint Career Fair 2019
Spud's first Career Fair of 2019 went down February 20th at the University of Michigan - Flint. With two of our team members representing Spud, it was exciting to see the next generation as they venture into the next phase of building their career. As the adventure of the Career Fair started, Jason and Jessica took on the frenzy of students and alumni who flooded the space right next door to us in Flint, MI, at the Riverfront Conference Center
The Spud reps spoke to numerous young adults who were looking to take the next step of their career. Many of the students studying Computer Science were looking for an opportunity to learn and grow as Developers. We like to make it simple as to what characteristics we are looking for with our candidates. As described above we are searching for motivated, enthusiastic, proactive, experienced, articulate, and organized people to join our team!
In a fast-paced, yet casual environment here at Spud, we are looking for individuals who are willing to grow with our company. Our culture is best defined by our team atmosphere and process based environment. As our motto states, we "Work Hard, Play Hard."
Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, vist our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seize the Opportunity to Join Spud
Do you know someone who is looking for a new workplace to call home? Or maybe you are that someone looking for a new opportunity in one of the following fields:
Here are some of the Spud team. Can you spot the one hiding?
Team Spotlight - Welcome to Spud!
Spud Software welcomes two new awesome team members to our Spud family; Chris Merz and Jason Watson. We are expanding our Spud team while multiplying our reach in the neighboring communities of Grand Blanc. Making a positive impact in our community is one goal that is particularly important to us at Spud Software. We hire local and serve the local community. Let's get to know the new team members.
Chris Merz is the new General Manager of Spud Software and brings with him a world of experience as a former Marine. In service to our country, Merz held a position as a Weather Observer in the Marine Corp. After the Marine Corp, he has held many positions in IT, that eventually lead to IT Director. Merz loves a challenge and says, "I have done most jobs out there; I have a very diverse background."
As a native Michigander and father of four children, Merz loves to spend time up-north when he is outside of the office. He is a proud Scout Master for his son and stays busy with two black labs, two cats and fifty fish. During the winter months, Merz is a Ski Patrol for Mount Holly.
We asked Chris what drew him to Spud and he replied, " What brought me to Spud is simple. The work culture, the flexibility, and the proximity to my home; along with a great opportunity to help usher in new growth."
Jason Watson has joined Spud in Marketing / New Business Development. Watson also brings years of experience in his respective field. With almost twenty years' working in sales and marketing, his experience in growing businesses is unparalleled. Watson is an Alumni of Arizona State and majored in Business. We won't hold that against him - GO BLUE! GO GREEN!
Watson spends his minimal free time with his family, but especially watching movies with his son who also works for Spud. Watson also loves to do creative sketching and enjoys watching the news and staying up to date with the media.
With the combined experience of our skilled new team members, we are excited to see what 2019 will bring and to continue to provide a memorable experience for our clients. Welcome to the team, Chris and Jason!
We are currently looking to hire more awesome Developers to join our Spud family. Check out more about Spud careers at www.spudsoftware.com/careers.
Maintaining Processes as a Routine
If you have been taking action in the past few weeks and working towards organizing and defining your processes, you may have come to realize that this is a lot of work. However, if you are sticking with the plan of attack, so to speak, you know that it is worth the undertaking. Consider for a minute what it is like to take on New Years' resolution, a promise to eat better, or a decision to follow a workout plan every day. As a commitment evolves, so should your processes. It takes discipline to finish organizing and implementing your processes.
Continuing with the parallel scenarios of commitment, once your processes have been optimized and implemented, just as you have reached a goal weight or fitness level, you can't stop there. Once you give yourself an escape to regularly keep up with processes as some might do with health and fitness, you will end up back where you started, or maybe even worse off. The effort to maintain your processes is much easier that what it would be to go through the hard work all over again.
To enable you to stick with what you or your team have defined in terms of business processes, it needs to be documented, implemented and firmly locked in for everyone in the company to continue to follow procedure. This seems obvious, but too often we have seen companies go through this entire process and within three to six months, employees start skipping steps or doing things outside the process, and within no time at all, everything that was done was for nothing.
We want you to succeed and to enable you to implement processes that most people know are required for a business to grow. If you have already started this process and want some help, please let us know. If you know you can't commit the time right now, but also know it has to get done, please let us know and we will do all the heavy lifting for you.
We want to see your business grow and are here to help you anyway we can.
Please feel free to reach out to us at 810-695-0001. To visit our website and read more about how PACManager can help with your processes, go to https://www.pacmanager.com.
Organizing and Optimizing Your Processes
Last week we covered capturing all of your processes in a single location and format for easy access. Now it is time to organize and establish optimum efficiency to ensure your processes are the most productive and resourceful as possible.
As Bear Grylls would say, "Good things don't come easy." This is not an easy task and will take some time. It is crucial to dedicate at least 2 hours a day, for a few weeks. The longer this step is stretched out, the more discipline it will take to see it through. In other words, without commitment to this task, it will likely be started and not finished. If this happens, it can be more detrimental to your team than not starting at all.
Once you have committed to seeing this through, blocked out time on your calendar and grouped your processes by department or roles in the company, you can begin to build efficient processes.
Next, you need to prioritize groups in order of attack; meaning, you will need to determine the order in which you or the team will evaluate and update the grouped processes. If there is not a clean hand off from one person or department to the next or if there is overlap with groups, then make that one group. A simple way to prioritize is to determine your order in one of the following ways: by groups that will have the greatest impact when finished, by order in which they happen from the beginning of the day or project, to the end of the day or project, or by easiest ones first to give you a smaller list to concentrate on.
When it comes to optimizing the processes, you should start with what you have and question every step. There are a great deal of questions to ask and situations that need special consideration, but to get you started, the minimal questions to ask the designated process evaluation person or team are:
We can't stress enough that this needs to be done for the entire business and not just one department. If you only do portions and leave the rest for "some day," the chances of everyone sticking with the processes are much less likely. We will cover more about that in our next newsletter about maintaining your processes.
If you are willing to commit the time and energy to see this through, the benefit is monumental; far outweighing the effort. You can't beat happier employees and customers, and a cleaner bottom line.
As always, if you would like some help, we are here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us at 810-695-0001. To visit our website and read more about how PACManager can help with your processes, go to https://www.pacmanager.com.