Heartland Security celebrated a great 2016 with our employees at our annual holiday party last weekend in Mankato, MN. It's one of the few times we can all get together in person, as our coverage area is fairly large and we have technicians and sales reps throughout Minnesota and Iowa.
2016 saw the introduction of many new things for Heartland Security. We began offering Skybell doorbell cameras and more video options than ever before. We also gained the ability to email invoices to our customers. In spring we acquired Appollo Security out of Alexandria, and in December we acquired Tri Comm Security. We now have over 8,000 monitored accounts and hired a few new employees to help us continue our tradition of excellent customer service.
As part of our annual holiday celebration, we honor employees with 5 year, 10 year, and 15 year anniversaries. This year we honored Alan Schmitt's 10 years of service. Alan used his time at the microphone to say thanks.
Then it was time for Heartland Security's General Manager, Guy Adams to open his gifts. Our employees pitch in every year to get something nice for Guy. The first gift Guy opened was an outdoor speaker.
The second gift Guy received was an Amazon Echo, which works with our Alarm.com smart home systems. As an added bonus, since the Echo recognizes voice commands, Guy must address the Echo's system by its name, Alexa. This was humorous because our Marketing Manager is named Alexa! Now Guy can use his Echo with his smart home system and say "Alexa, please lower the temperature 2 degrees" or "Alexa, lock the front door" and it will! Guy laughed and said he could get used to bossing "Alexa" around!
Next, Regional Sales Manager Tom Marthaler discussed and passed around a picture he found from 16 years ago showing our employees then.
Here's the picture Tom was referencing. We're proud to say we still have 4 of those employees working at our company today (Tom Marthaler, Rod Elbert, Nancy Mockros, and Deb Welz) and we're thankful for the time we got to spend with 2 of the other employees pictured who have passed away (Gary Fonkert and Craig Hartman).
After a brief break, our holiday party resumed with the evening's entertainment courtesy of professional hypnotist Amy Scharlau. She also gave palm readings to some of our employees and their guests.
Of these brave volunteers, 5 were hypnotized the whole time! It was fun for both the participants and those watching!
We ended the night with a new element - an employee gift exchange. Each employee brought a gift with an approximate value of $10, but there was one gift that really stood out, thanks to gift giver Josh Carlson and gift opener Adam Hanson, both great alarm technicians!
Overall, 2016 was a great year for Heartland Security and we hope you had a great year too!