Friday, March 24, 2017

Arcade Night

Mitch Brunette: Director of Operations

Who knew how much fun a bunch of grown adults would have playing ski ball, pop a shot, pac man, and motorcycle racing video games!  I suppose deep down I knew it would go well, but this turned out to be quite the hit of an event!  Our FSMs and Night Managers work as closely together as anyone that works such opposite schedules, but once in a while we just have to get together and have some fun!

The Mall of America has a couple of pretty awesome arcades up on the 4th floor, and as much as we would have enjoyed some indoor go carting, time just wasn’t on our side.  We gave the classic arcade a pretty good run for its money, won over 600 tickets, and had some solid competition amongst our teams as we often do.

There were some head to head billiards shooters in Ryan, Tyler, Jarrad, and Steve.  Speaking of Steve, he was the pac man king, not only within our group, but he also got the high score for the machine.  Vang finished strong in a stressful moment of deal or no deal, which came down to accepting 80 tickets and walking away, or hitting “no deal” where we had a 50/50 shot at either 1 ticket or 200 tickets.  Naturally, we all yelled “NO DEAL” and Vang smashed the button...200 tickets later, we were out of credits and went to cash them in for a Magic 8 Ball, a unanimous team decision. 
I appreciate this team and their hard work and contributions toward our success.  An evening out celebrating with a light dinner and some old time gaming, was well worth it and a lot of fun!


Friday, March 17, 2017

City Wide Convention in Las Vegas

Senior Sales Executive: Tyler Olson

A couple weeks ago a few of us from the Minnesota City Wide Maintenance attended the annual franchise convention.  The convention was held in Las Vegas this year.  Overall the experience at convention was a good one, and the trip was eye opening as it was my first time in Las Vegas.

The annual convention is designed around aligning the different City Wide Markets, sharing best practices, networking, and seeing friends from around the country that we don’t see very often.  There were a lot of exciting topics for us; IT Updates that will assist us in servicing out customers better,  and a great keynote speaker were highlights from the convention portion of the trip.

After convention was over, the Minnesota team (Tyler, Mitch, and Greg) along with Tyler and Greg’s wives stayed an extra day to have some fun in Vegas.  We visited a number of casinos such as Planet Hollywood, and The Bellagio during the day, and then had a great dinner at a steakhouse called Prime and saw an incredible Cirque show that night.  We also discovered that we are not a great fit for the Vegas life as I believe we were in bed by 10pm most nights on the trip!

Friday, March 10, 2017


Alex Underwood: Facility Services Manager

Happy (almost) spring, from the Northwest Metro!

Hope everyone enjoyed the unusually warm weather we had recently and that you were able to get a jump start on your spring cleaning.

There is a lot happening in the Northwest Metro.  Many new accounts have started, which is great!  New accounts bring more opportunities for me to help customers improve the appearance and performance of their facilities. 

Personally, it has been a very exciting start to the year, as I asked my girlfriend, Rachel to marry me at the end of January! Lucky for me, she said yes!

For the proposal, I planned a "family" day with our dog, to take a nice walk around Minnehaha Falls.  Little did Rachel know what was actually in store!  She was very surprised when I got down on one knee and a photographer started snapping candid photos of the moment.

I didn't realize how much went into planning a wedding.  We have been very busy touring venues, meeting with photographers, and tasting the catering menus.  We did pick a date and after many tours, a venue as well.  Our wedding is set to take place at a winery & vineyard in Pepin, Wisconsin, on October 6, 2018.  This is a beautiful facility with great atmosphere and some pretty tasty wine.  Deciding on a date and a pace was such a big relief!  Now we can really start making decisions on the other vendors for our wedding. 
We are very excited for our big day!

Friday, March 3, 2017


Mitch Brunette: Director of Operations

Birkie Fever built up greatly this year, and came to an abrupt halt for only the 2nd time in 45 years!  There are a few places in the Metro Area that make snow, so Cross Country Skiers like myself and Tyler Olson, can ski as soon as the temperatures drop low enough.  Unfortunately, the Birkie trail in Northern Wisconsin, isn’t one of them!  With the unfavorable temperatures, there was no way to put on a race of any significance, and just like that, it was cancelled.

The last two years I’ve completed the 24K Kortie race, while Tyler Olson dominates the 50K.  Finishing in the Elite top 200 each year, a very high level class of athletes, is something in which Tyler can be very proud of.  While I don’t have a race to write about this week, I can write about all that I’ve gained since the last Birkie, 365 days ago. 

Last year I finished the Kortie feeling incredibly strong, well trained, and had cut nearly an hour off my time the year prior!  That was one heck of a sense of accomplishment and I left knowing I could train myself  to do the full 50k next year.  Unfortunately, the lack of snow got in the way of my goal and dream.  That doesn’t change the fact that I trained properly and was 100% ready to finish the race strongly.  In the last 365 days, I’ve raised my minimum training distance thresholds, improved technique, taken on more challenging trails over longer distances, built up my endurance/lung capacity, and most importantly, built up my confidence. 

In the end, I didn’t get to ski a race, but at the peak of my training, I found myself skiing 46K at the same pace or faster than I’d ski the 24k Kortie in the past years.  The way I see it, I get one more year to master technique, toughen up, and ski my way into Wave 1, behind the Elites.  Birkie Fever 2018 is well underway...time to get after it!