By: Robert Almond, Jr.
This past week, my Operations Team and I had our final offsite meeting of the year. While we all know it’s December, it didn’t really hit me until our Pollyanna lunch that another year was just about in the books, and what a year it has been.
From a growth perspective, I couldn’t be happier with where NEST is. The clients we have and the new ones we continue to bring on are great partners. The fact that they continue to help us become a better organization helps me sleep well at night. That is, until my five-year-old crawls in around 2:00 am.
We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without such a highly qualified service provider network. They are truly the best of the best. Whether it’s 2:00 pm on a Tuesday or 2:00 am on Black Friday, they not only pick up the phone, but they show up with a smile to make sure our customers are taken care of. Knowing that we are helping thousands of companies all over North America grow their business using our facility management services is truly a great feeling.
Our employees, (better known as our “NESTers” — they are family to me), wake up every morning or every evening depending on their shift and put in 110 percent from start to finish. From Floor Care Strip Season, HVAC spikes in the summer and remodels to where we are now with snow and frozen pipes, it never stops at NEST. No matter what challenge or obstacle our team is faced with, they muscle through it and come out on top.
In 2017, we will have three NESTers celebrate their 20th anniversary with us. That’s right! Three incredible people decided to join our team in 1997 when we were still, as my father would say, “operating off of milk crates and phones from Wal-Mart.” No matter the good times or the bad, Lou, Kathy and Jim have stuck by us … And for that, I am thankful.
Throughout the year, we have raised money for over 25 different charities, of which most of our NESTers helped to raise this funding in the spirit of giving back. Whether it was a bake sale or a paint and sip (yes, our family loves events that include wine), it is such a great feeling to see everyone share the joy of helping others. Our largest contribution was a few months ago when our team raised over $22,000.00 to help beat MS. At the end of September, 18 of us rode 75 miles for our first ever team ride on the MS City to Shore bike ride. To see our family get on a bike and make that kind of a trek for the first time, it was truly special. To see them cross the finish line is hard to put into words.
Going back to my Operations meeting earlier this week … A few hours in I began to look around and think about the team I had in that room. Three of them have been with us for over nine years. They started as employees on the floor and now they are helping lead our company. Four of them purchased a home this year. One of them celebrated the birth of his second child. Another left a career they were perfectly happy with to join our team because he saw what we were building. Bill moved his family from Colorado to work with us. Beyond the people in the room we have had weddings, our first retiree, and even our first “second generation”… Karen started with us over 18 years ago when she was pregnant with her son and now he works for us. As I write this today, I’m smiling cheek to cheek because I am truly fortunate to have the opportunity every day to surround myself with so many great people.
With over 220 unique personalities apart of our team, it’s sometimes hard to remember to thank everyone for all that they do, especially with how busy we get. Earlier this month we hosted our Florida Holiday party and last weekend we had our New Jersey party to show appreciation to all of our staff for all that they do. These are truly my two favorite weekends of the year simply because for a few hours, we get to put the phones down, or at least the email, and celebrate all of our accomplishments that we have had throughout the year. For leaders out there reading this today, I encourage you to make sure you thank your employees for what they do. There is a good chance they spend more time with us than their own families and without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They are your secret to success.
Before we know it, January will be here and the holidays will only be a memory. I hope that each of you make those memories last and enjoys every moment you can with your loved ones. On behalf every single one of us here at NEST, I wish you a very happy holiday season. May 2017 bring you all the best and then some. Cheers and God Bless.