CFR Christmas Party 2015 – Speeches Are Easy – Titles Are Hard

Merry Christmas 2015Good evening.  And thanks for being here. It’s hard to believe another year has passed and we’re once again back at John’s for our year end Christmas party

But it is nice to see you guys with a beer in your hand someplace other than behind your desk. Which reminds me, I have a few friends who think for that reason alone, that we have the best jobs ever!

Anyway.. as some of you know, every year for as long as I can remember, our Christmas parties have include some great food, wonderful gifts from Rose, a few silly awards, and an inspirational speech from John.

Well..This year things have Changed!

The awards and the speech from John will be noticeably missing. And that’s a good thing.. of course I mean that “CHANGE”.. that change is a good thing.

But speaking of change, it would do us all well to remember that the only constant in life is change, and more importantly, that life does not get better by chance, but by change. And the same can be said of our jobs, our marketing efforts, and the company as a whole.

I for one think we have certainly seen a lot of good things happen this year because of change. From new procedures to new ways to market our services. A few changes that come to mind are more of a business to business focus using LinkedIn, and believe it or not, even some old fashioned marketing using the Unites States Postal Service. And no discussion of change would be complete without remembering some good people that have moved on, or mentioning some new good people that have taken their place.

But despite all the change we’ve gone through in the last few years. We are still not where we need to be. However, thanks to the efforts of everyone in this room, we’re not where we use to be.

So, tonight I’d like to challenge each of you to help shape the change necessary to move us toward our goals in 2016.

Goals of better customer service, better customer and vendor communication, better prospecting, better blogging, more effective content distribution, and more innovative and more personal social outreach. Just to name a few.

And this is not just wishful thinking. This is critical thinking, because let’s be honest.. the competition is tough. And the rental, security camera, and computer service industries are as tough as they come. And for every vendor in one of our industries who sees us as a marketing partner, and who’s thankful for our business, there’s another who sees us a competitor, and they would just as soon see us fail.

And these competitors, these people who would prefer we just go away, they’re smart people. They’re motivated people who know their business and  most are way bigger than we are. And what their marketing efforts lack in creativity, time, or effort, they make up for with money and outsourcing.

And that’s what we are up against.

So the way I see it, our only chance to survive, our only chance to be back here next year, is to work harder than our competition, to work smarter than our competition, and most importantly to have a better team than our competition.

And we do that by coming to work every day, staying focused on our goals, working together, and always moving a little close to where we need to be as a company.

But we can’t fool ourselves into thinking that will happen if we just come to work and sit quietly in our own little safe space. Because it won’t.

We each have to join in and participate in discussions and share out thoughts with the team, we each have to  help others around us, help our vendors, help our customers, and we each must do this in every way we can, and across every platform we can, every day. Because that’s what it will take and that’s what good social marketing does.

And if we do that, I know 2016 can be our best year ever, and in no time we’ll make it back here together… but we can only make it together.

Thanks again for all your hard work. Thanks for listening. And Merry Christmas!

Andy Wendt

Happy 25th Anniversary – Sometimes The Treasure Is Not In The Vault

Twenty five years ago I was working part time for the City of Middletown, Ohio. I had the good fortune to work in their IT department with some great people. I was majoring in Systems Analysis at Miami University and driving to Oxford, Ohio for classes. I was living in a small one bedroom apartment and paying $230 a month in rent. A gallon of gas was $1.12. It is most certainly a time long gone.

Then one day I noticed a help wanted add in the newspaper. A local company was looking for a full time computer technician. The next day I put on a pair of dress pants, a shirt and a tie, grabbed a few copies of my resume, and walked out the door. While watching the addresses change as I drove down First Avenue, I crossed an old set of railroad tracks and finally came to a stop, the road had ended.

Of course in 1989, with no cell phone or GPS, every such trip was an adventure. But I had found the office of Parking in a gravel lot, and walking toward a half abandoned paper mill, I could not have imagined how my life was about to change. A few minutes later I found myself in what could best be described as a wood paneled throwback to the 1950’s. Stepping into a small office across from a giant vault door, I met John Beagle and Bill Schiering. John was the CEO and Bill the Sales Manager. They explained to me that they were in the business of renting computer, tablets, and other IT equipment to businesses in south west Ohio.

After answering a few questions about DOS, what I was currently doing for a living, and my driving record, I had a new job. January 16, 1989 was my first day at my first full time job. More than that.. it was the first day of a career. I was twenty five years old.

Today, that all seems like a dream. One of the only things that remains the same is the amazing opportunity I have every day to work with John Beagle, who is perhaps the most innovative and generous individual I have ever known. And every day we try our best to make things better for our customers, our employees, and our vendors.

Though I can’t possibly begin to share all that we’ve been through in these twenty five years, I can tell you it’s been fun, challenging, and a lifetime’s worth of good fortune to work for such an amazing company.

So, there you have it, a little bit more from my real life.  A post about my 25th anniversary. And yes, there was a party and the cake was awesome! Cake with champagne.. that must be an acquired taste.

Thanks for reading, and again, a special thanks to John Beagle,, and everyone over the years that I’ve had the pleasure to work with!

For a few pics of the party, and my drive to work that morning (I can’t resist a good sunrise) click here.