After four years as a very happy customer I made the trek to Bozeman, Montana last week to start work as Foundant’s newest employee. Here are a few things I learned on the trip:
- The Foundant staff is a talented bunch. Who knew that Daren can operate heavy equipment, Grant built his own house, Betty was a competitive skier, and Chris Dahl can flip a slipper from his foot to the top of his head.
- Montana’s vaulted independent streak is genuine. Red state or blue state. Devout or atheist. Pragmatist or conspiracy theorist. It’s all okay. Just so long as you don’t walk around Bozeman with a University of Montana t-shirt. (Bozeman is home to Montana State and the rivalry between the schools approaches Yankees-Red Sox levels)
- You can eat very well as a vegetarian in Bozeman, but apparently you have to be careful in the back country because in some places it is always open season on vegetarians.
- I never saw the elevator in the office used until Friday when it’s turned into a bar. Not that people weren’t at their desks, by the way. I’m guessing Friday afternoon is a really good time to ask Betty or Sammie for help.
- Being surrounded by mountains makes for spectacular vistas. There’s a reason so many of the employees can contribute pictures to the calendar. Even the view from the Walmart parking lot is worth a picture.
- Denver isn’t the only city that’s a mile high. Bozeman is at about the same elevation. I found that out after choosing to take the “hard way” up a hill.
- When given the choice between taking the hard way and the easy way up the hill, take the easy way.
More seriously, you should know that “customer service first” is not just the attitude of the customer support team. It comes up in almost every meeting. And there is genuine appreciation across the company for the work done by customers, the input they provide to improving the software and the time they spend helping each other out.
I look forward to getting to know many of you in the Foundant community.
See you at the top of the hill.
-Aaron Spevacek, Pro-Active Services Manager