As I sit and enjoy my lunch and the brief calm moment at my desk, I can hear the cheers and jeers of the employees playing and watching badminton in the building, a brief smile appears. By nature I am a product type guy, usually trying to build a better mouse trap or thinking about cost efficiencies, so the idea of having a bad mitten court in the building was a bit foreign!  Reflecting further, I recognize the success our company has achieved and the effort that everyone is contributing, this is a great group and that I am very fortunate to be part of building a first class company, so play on.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year for many reasons, most of which are outdoor activities, cool crisp air, a little football and that home cooked Thanksgiving meal with the family. It is this time that the collection boxes for the local food drive is set in place. I do briefly pause, look up and around and give thanks. Perhaps I should do it more often, enjoy the people and the success before moving on to the next challenge or goal. Taking care of business is nice but appreciating the people and those we can help will make you much happier, as I am finally finding out.

In closing I would like to say thanks to all the people that I have the pleasure to work with, and that I am working on my people skills, still. Now that I have lightly stepped out of my comfort zone, my next correspondence will be more product and business oriented. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Howie Birk

Vice President

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