The 2011/12 search for a new office space had been a difficult one. We were growing quickly, so I wanted to find a space that was affordable, yet big enough to accommodate our growth rate for a few years. Unfortunately, the options I was finding all required a 5-year lease, and I had no idea how much space we would need in 5 years’ time.
I met Arn Boezaart (pictured below), the director of the MAREC, a Grand Valley State University facility. Their focus was on alternative energy, but Arn agreed to extend the reach to our information technology business. The benefit was that he would earmark space for us to grow into.
Still, it wasn’t an easy decision. MAREC was the most expensive option we were considering. In the end, I’m glad I settled on moving into the MAREC. Arn is a master at networking, and introduced me to a wide variety of influential people. In addition to this, I was able to tap into the knowledge of GVSU professors, particularly Joe Graczyk, who I met with almost weekly.
The amazing thing about Joe is not just his knowledge (which is vast), but his ability teach. Whatever problem I brought to him, he could instantly improvise a college-worthy lesson that was so understandable, so well thought out, that you would think he had been teaching that specific lesson for years. He also has years of practical experience, and can back up his lessons with stories and advice from personal experience. I’m very proud to call Joe a mentor, and cannot overstate the education he has provided me – nor can I ever thank him enough.
After signing the lease with GVSU/MAREC, we start the process of moving in.
We start with a big empty space. Trey learns how to put together an Ethernet cable.
GVSU customizes a space for us.
The floor in the MAREC is about 1.5 feet above the ground. The floor panels can be removed for running cables. It was pretty fun to crawl around under the floor, aside from the dead mice.
Innovative? Resourceful? Genius? The many words that can be used to describe the staff of LongerDays.
Mike Schertenlieb gets comfortable at his new desk.
We put together a company paintball team and got first place at Vantage Paintball’s first annual business competition! Team members pictured below (from the top down, left to right): Chad Lawie, Aaron Mazade, Mikey Olsen, Trey Kane, Alison Updyke, Chuck Carpenter, Andrew Zahrt, and Lea Markowski.
At the MAREC we begin a tradition of Monday morning massage breaks.
Building an office fort with a lot of empty (i hope!) iMac boxes.
Every morning, Trey would arrive before Mikey and move this little waving cat so that his hand would tap tap tap the computer. Every morning Mikey would arrive and move the cat away from the computer. This went on for weeks, months even, before Trey was revealed as the culprit.
LongerDays has a long tradition of office juggling. It reduces stress and encourages neurological connections in the brain.
A bite from an edible pineapple heart, taken from a person wearing t-shirt with a giant cat face. Showcase your insider knowledge of LD by naming this person.
You can trust LongerDays to take care of your business… But maybe not your plants. We kill plants.
LongerDays is a dog eat dog world. If Lindsey thought that permanent marker was enough to protect her tea, she was wrong.
Not even babies are exempt for NERF warfare.
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