Hopefully you’ve been keeping yourself up-to-date with our recent blog posts and mentions of the office build-out we’re doing. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, then you should probably get yourself caught up and read The Start of Our Expansion. Our build-out became necessary when Inspira and VoIP Innovations were showing signs of rapid growth. Today, we added to that growth by bringing on Jacob Crisman.
Everyone is curious about the new guy!
Jacob is teaming up with Steve Korbett in our IT department as an ABG Capital Systems Administrator. He is joining us from Staples where he worked as an Easy Tech Associate and sold consumer electronics hardware and performed basic computer repair in the retail environment. In his spare time, you can catch him playing on a semi-pro air-soft team or playing video games, which has recently been Dungeons and Dragons. He received numerous awards for top placement in various regional computer network design competitions as well as certification with Cisco training.
We’d love for everyone to wish Jacob congratulations and good luck as he starts his new career with us!
Today we’re kicking off St. Paddy’s Day Weekend in the office! We started out the morning with some donuts and we got to see a sneak peak of the food people brought in for our pot luck lunch and later on in the day we finally got to dig in! We had sandwiches, chips, popcorn, buffalo chicken dip, soft pretzels, cookies, cakes, and so much more!
In other, non-food related news, we’ve been migrating everyone to Office 365 this week. Changing from the familiar is always going to be a process, but we’ve been taking care of all issues and making it as easy as a process as we can. It helps that everyone has been patient along the way!
As you read about in an earlier Just another Friday at ABG article, we like to treat our employees to some fun activities every now and again. In February it was bowling at Latitude 40 in Robinson and next month have a game of kickball planned! We’ll take another half day on Friday and spend the afternoon enjoying the friendly competition. Don’t worry though, our support staff will remain in the office to assist with our customers and their concerns. Everyone is great about rotating these shifts so no one misses out.
Our build-out is continuing to move right along and we’re getting used to seeing the builders and architects moving around the office. Stay tuned for a more in depth blog article next week on Wednesday because we’ll have more pictures and information for you then.
Thanks for reading and we hope you have a great St. Paddy’s Day weekend. If you do anything fun and exciting, share it with us on Facebook!
Welcome back to the ABG Capital blog! If you’ve been following our posts then you’ve probably already seen our latest one on the office expansion project we’ve started this week. The construction kicked off on Monday and everything is projected to be done around August of this year. Our organization is rapidly growing and this build-out will give us the space we need to continue thriving. There are many more details about this project in our last blog post so make sure you check that out.
We also want to recognize the anniversaries of a few of our employees. March marks the seven year anniversary for Ron Eggert and Nick Jenkner. Ron is the President of ABG Capital and Nick is our Billing Coordinator. Congratulations to these two for all the hard work and dedication they’ve put in so far! Along with anniversaries, we have some birthdays to celebrate. Ron Eggert will blow out his candles on the 13th. Nathan Rupp, the Platform Manager for Inspira, and John Livingston, the Support Specialist for VoIP Innovations, will both celebrate their birthdays on the 9th. Happy Birthday guys!
Thanks for reading today everyone, have a great weekend! Oh wait, did we forget something? Of course, how could we forget about our Friday lunch! Today we got another delicious meal of pizza and wings. It all went pretty fast so everyone must have enjoyed it.
Now that we’ve covered all of the important things from this week, we can wrap up this post. Keep an eye out for more posts about the build-out because there are going to be some big changes in the office and we’ll be writing about it. Again, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
Hopefully you’ve already seem some of the pictures we’ve posted on Facebook of our new build-out. As promised, here is the first of many blog posts to keep you updated on the entire process. To give you some background on this project, our entire organization is growing rapidly and we’re starting to run out of space. For some reason we’re having a hard time getting our idea of ‘bunk-cubicles’ to stick…
The majority of our expansion is coming from VoIP Innovations and Inspira. Business has been exploding for them and we need to make room to accommodate that growth. When we first moved into this space in July 2007 we only had about 9,000 square feet of space. When we signed the renewal lease last September we realized that our current space wasn’t going to be large enough so we decided to add an extra 2,674 square feet of new space!
The builders originally planned to start in April but they were able to start a month early. The entire project is expected to be completed by August 1. “This project has been in development for quite some time now and we couldn’t be happier for it to finally be started,” said Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital. “We’ve signed the contracts, been working with architects, and have even been trying to find the perfect furniture and it’s seemed like an endless process. I really believe that this build-out will be the start of a great step forward for ABG Capital and the entire organization. We’re excited to see what opportunities lay ahead!”
Since our organization is growing faster than the build-out can happen, we’ve had to sign a temporary lease for space that is available in our building right now. This space will eventually be part of the expansion as well, but until the builders can get to that section we’ll be using it to house some new employees.
New offices and other space for employees aren’t the only reason we’re doing a build-out. We’re also planning on building a new gala kitchen, a 28×32 multi-purpose room, and a call center for Inspira. Right now, we hold company meetings and gatherings in our small kitchen or the open space where all of our employees sit. The multi-purpose room will have movable tables that we’ll be able to utilize for training, conferences, meetings, and most importantly, our Friday lunch parties!
ABG Capital has come a long way since their first office on Mt. Lebanon Blvd. This office was barely 5,000 square feet and fit about 12 to 15 people. “It really feels like we’ve gone from rags to riches,” said Tapolci as he talked about what it used to be like for ABG. This build-out is the future of ABG and we know that there are many more great things to come.
Looks like everyone survived the week again! It was a relatively calm week in the office for us at ABG Capital. We first wanted to make you aware that our subscribe button is now fully functional! It’s on the top of our side bar on our homepage and while you’re there, have you checked out all of our social media sites? We have all the links right there for you to click on!
In other news, our HR Manager, Sharon Kolesar, is going to be out of the office until March 12th. Everyone knows what happens when the HR Manager leaves, it’s time for fun! Don’t worry Sharon, we’ll try to behave while you’re enjoying your time in Hawaii. We’re a responsible group of people, you can trust us!
Some new and exciting news to keep an eye out for is more information on the office build-out we’re starting next week. There will be more blog posts that talk about it and we’ll keep you updated with information and pictures along the way.
To bring this post to a close, we’ll finally reveal what our fantastic lunch was today. This week we got to have a lunch that was prepared by one of our lunch committees and they did a great job. The planned a breakfast for lunch! There were pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and even some girl scout cookies to top it off. It was a great way to start the weekend.
This was an exciting week for ABG Capital and their portfolio companies! We started the week off by hosting a few meetings that may potentially lead to great business relationships and we are ending the week by getting out of the office early!
Our day is coming to an early end today because we are taking an employee bowling trip to Latitude 40! Employee happiness is a huge part of how ABG operates and we are always looking for ways to keep them happy. People have been talking about it all week and shining up their bowling balls and shoes. We’ll be posting pictures from this on our Facebook page on Monday, so make sure you don’t forget to check them out
We also had our Month-End Company Meeting today where we discussed the renovations that will be happening in the next few weeks, new hires, and February’s Employee of the Month, Jessica Young. There are some more pictures of this meeting on our Facebook page.
Now you all know that it wouldn’t have been an ABG Capital Friday if we didn’t highlight our lunch! Since we are going bowling today, we just had some sandwiches and snacks from the Workday Cafe and there will be more appetizers for us at the bowling alley.
On top of those things going on, there two new employees added to the ABG Capital family on Monday, Tyler Weimerskirch and Natalie DeCario. Tyler will be working with the VoIP Innovations provisioning team and Natalie will be the Communication Specialist for ABG Capital. For a deeper look into what these two were up to before they joined our team, visit the VoIP Innovations blog and see this weeks “A Chat with Nat” post.
One last thing before you leave for the weekend, we’re sure by now that you’ve heard of the Harlem Shake craze that’s sweeping the internet. Well, we had to jump on the bandwagon and make our own video! It took some effort but we finally got most people on board with this and yesterday we were able to film it and release it to YouTube. Watch the video here.
Today was ‘wear your jersey to work’ day at ABG Capital. All of these employees were able to wear their favorite jerseys to help kick off Hockey Weekend Across America! This is the kind of thing we love to do at ABG because it’s a way for our employees to get excited about coming to work. Once we took this picture, we uploaded it the Pittsburgh Penguins Facebook page because they were running a campaign all day asking people to submit pictures of themselves and their friends sporting jerseys today. After we submitted the picture, it showed up on their page!
Not only was today a day to wear your jerseys, but we had a feast for lunch! Each month we have a different committee prepare lunch for the whole office. Today we had meatball hoagies, different soups, baked beans, potato salad, plus tons of other snacks as you can see here! Everyone loves a good cooked meal, especially when it’s cooked by all of your friends and co-workers.
Yesterday, members of ABG Capital’s Giving Back Committee went to the Mall at Robinson, in Robinson, PA, to
present a check to the Make-A-Wish foundation. The money was raised by employees
throughout the year through various activities, including raffles, Valentine’s Day flowers, Mother’s Day flowers, and various opportunities for donations throughout the year.
Jeff Tapolci (CEO of ABG Capital), Dan Ravenstahl (President of GlobalPOPs), and Sharon Kolesar (HR Manager of ABG Capital) spoke on behalf of the company. The company offered the foundation a check for $4,000. The employees raised half of that amount, and the company graciously matched their efforts. As a result, ABG Capital’s donation will be able to sponsor a child dream.
December brings us many things. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is among us, the final quarter draws to a close, many businesses are preparing year-end reports, and thoughts of the upcoming New Year are in our heads. Many people take the time to reflect, both personally and professionally, on the past year and look forward to 2013. On a personal level, many look at what they have accomplished over the year and make new resolutions for 2013. Corporately, businesses may draw up year-end reports and analyze numbers to determine their goals for the upcoming year. At ABG Capital, we do all of those things. We utilize our ideals to enhance our work and personal lives. Our ideals are to cultivate ideas and people through our C.O.R.E. (Cultivate, Overcome, Respect, and Evolve) Values for the purpose of Giving Back.
Employees of ABG Capital utilize these ideals personally in many ways. We participate in various activities throughout the year, where we are given an opportunity to Give Back to our community. These activities include working at the food bank, fundraising for Make-A-Wish, and cleaning headstones at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. In addition to Giving Back, employees also are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles. We do an annual Biggest Loser contest, where interested employees weigh-in on Fridays, and the biggest loser receives a cash reward. Also, we bring in an inspirational speaker/author in on a regular basis to educate our team about healthy eating habits.
In terms of business, we take our goals, or New Year’s resolutions, very seriously. Every year around this time, our companies participate in Strategic Planning Sessions, where goals for the upcoming quarters are brainstormed and strategized. These 2-day sessions employ strategic planning and executive education adopted from the Gazelles Growth and Leadership Summits. As discussed in this earlier post, http://blog.abgcapital.com/?p=141, ABG Capital sends key employees to these Gazelles Summits to gain valuable training on how to lead and grow their companies. This education, along with a Gazelles coach, enables each of ABG Capital’s portfolio companies to evolve solid annual strategic plans.
As 2012 draws to a close, employees at ABG Capital are busy preparing for holiday festivities, gathering gifts and monies for Giving Back causes, and focusing their energies on having a productive 2013.
In 2008, ABG Capital started a popular Thanksgiving tradition, their 1st Annual Turkey Bowl. Employees wanting to participate were put into teams, and spent an afternoon playing flag football games. This activity quickly became a favorite among the ABG Capital team.
This year, the team carried on the tradition and hosted their 5th Annual Turkey Bowl last Friday. Four teams played until there was a champion. Afterwards, the participating employees chose an MVP and Hands of Stone award. Those winners will be announced at the ABG Capital Holiday Party next month.
ABG Capital would like to take the opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. We are truly grateful our valued customers and dedicated employees.