It Didn’t Grow There! The 2017 MacGyver Award

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers, talking about the 2017 MacGyver Award winner.

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security: Bill KentonWe re-lived a part of our history this week in thinking of Bill Kenton. Some of you had the privilege of knowing him, the 2nd generation founding Kenton involved in the company from the time he was 12 until he passed away at 91 in 2010. In the early years of Kenton Brothers, he ran our service team.

Bill became known for his response when a technician would call the office expressing frustration at a jobsite:

“Well, IT DIDN’T GROW THERE… Figure it out!” – Bill Kenton

So in his honor, we created an award in 2015 called the MacGyver award. The purpose of this award is to recognize the KB security professional who has the tenacity and creative problem solving attitude to get the job done… while overcoming any adversity they may encounter.

If the name of the award is familiar, it’s because we took inspiration from the famous TV show and character from the 1980’s called MacGyver. MacGyver could solve any predicament with some ingenuity and the use of a paper clip or multi-tool Swiss Army knife! The definition of ‘to MacGyver’ something at KB is to fix something in a resourceful and improvisational way.

The 2017 MacGyver Award Winner

This year’s prestigious MacGyver award was presented to Vern Gangelhoff.

Vern works at our commercial counter. I’m so proud of his desire to take on just about anything, as well as his desire to attack any situation. He uses his experience and skill to just plain get ‘r done. We’re very proud of you and so appreciate your hard work! Congratulations Vern!

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security: Vern Gangelhoff Kenton Brothers Systems for Security: Vern Gangelhoff

Spicy Hugs at the Kenton Brothers Chili Contest!

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers, talking about the recent Kenton Brothers Chili Contest held at our offices.

What do you do when there’s a chill in the air? Make chili, of course.

As the summer winds down and the leaves begin to change, we decided that a chili cook-off was in order. If you didn’t already know, Kenton Brothers has a passion for two things: Security & Food.

Food might actually come first. As the signup sheet was posted, the office was filled talk about all kinds of chili, chili recipes, and mouth-watering anticipation for the big event. One entry called “Spicy Hugs” had the whole office talking about presentation and what it might taste like.

Kenton Brothers Chili ContestOn a recent Tuesday morning, the kitchen filled with people and food. The air began to smell like Fall. Homemade cornbread, all the chili fixins and several pots of chili were made ready. Some people couldn’t wait for the starter pistol (I’m looking at you Kassie).

Looking at the various entries yielded interesting ways of making chili. Some had lots of beans, some with little. One or two were spicy, one was made with beer and one was made with cream cheese. All were good! Once it was time to eat, people talked as they stood in the kitchen and in the halls. Some of our guys were able to come in from the field, which is always nice. Lots of people went back for seconds, not much was left to take home.

After lunch, the votes were tallied. The winner by a narrow margin was Stephanie Thomason with her Chicken Enchilada Chili. I’m pretty sure the cream cheese is what pushed it over the edge. It was nice to stop for a minute and enjoy the company of the people that we work with. Food always brings us all together. Congratulations Stephanie on a chili well made!

We asked our team a tough question. Here was the response.

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers talking about some amazing feedback we got from our team about working for KB.

At Kenton Brothers, we have a monthly meeting or get together to give and receive updates from every department. These meetings are a great opportunity to keep everyone aware of the progress we’re making on our goals.

At the October meeting, we challenged everyone to think about and share why the loved working at KB. We had thirty responses with thirty-eight reasons why the enjoyed being at KB. And some of them really surprised us!

Here’s what we learned.

Kenton Brothers : The Tough QuestionThe top two most common answers were: “The family culture” and “The people I work with.”

Half of the respondents talked about the culture and people they get to see every day at work. One person wrote, “ I love coming to work every day because of my KB family. I love my KB family and MY KB customers!” Another response was, “Everyone is like a family. They care and have your best interests at heart.” When talking about co-workers, one person wrote, “The support, trust and understanding of everyone, even when things go wrong.”

Other common replies included:

The company core values and helping people stay safe.
One person wrote: “I love working for a company that is built on ethics!”  While another person shared, “I love being a part of a integrity based company that produces a positive challenging team environment”.

Kenton Brothers : The Tough QuestionThen there was the big surprise… pets. Yes pets in the office was next. Ha! We’re a pet friendly office and many times you’ll see a dog or two running around. One person wrote, “I love the fact that I can bring my dog to the office with me and everyone stops by and says hi.”

The opportunity at Kenton Brothers was the next highest response. One of our fabulous technicians wrote, “I love the opportunity at KB. Not many companies are willing to help you grow personally and professionally.” Another technician wrote, “ I love the fact that I have an opportunity to work and train up to any position in the company. I get to install quality products and help protect people all over the city.”

Many of our team members mirrored those comments with notes about “having the freedom to do their job well” and “I love being a part of a 120 year old tradition.”

One of my favorite responses:

One note in particular summed up why I love working at KB. A member of our Operations team wrote:

“I love the work environment. I love the fact that I can depend on my coworkers even though I never know what my work day will be like.  Will there be pets in the office today? Will something fun be going on? Most likely yes! I also love the fact that Kenton Brothers is a company that values it’s employees!”

Well said. I couldn’t agree more!

I personally learned a great lesson from this endeavor. As a leader in a great organization, I often wrestle with how to tell our story, how to articulate how special our organization is. I feel it, but struggle with the right words to describe it. What I learned is to let our work family members tell it, and use their words to pass it on to you.

I would like to challenge you to ask the same question in your organization!

Kenton Brothers : The Tough Question Kenton Brothers : The Tough Question

Hula Hoops, Headbands and Backhands at Chicken N Pickle

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers talking about team building.

Chicken N Pickle

To celebrate some of our recent successes, the Kenton Brothers team took to the Pickle Ball courts at Chicken N Pickle for some good-old-fashioned fun, camaraderie and team building.

We learned quite a lot about each other during this outing. Surprisingly, the sweat headband is still considered to be quite stylish. It’s acceptable to laugh uncontrollably and heckle your fellow employee when someone makes a bad shot on the court. We also learned that hula hooping as an adult is a difficult skill to master. And you can look ridiculous trying to make it happen.

Kenton Brothers - Hula Hoop Kenton Brothers : Sweat Headband

We implemented our team building outings this year at Kenton Brothers in an effort to improve our working relationships. We want to help everyone get to know each other and enjoy the accomplishments of growing our business. These outings are a great way to reduce stress and limit internal conflicts within our organization. Relationships are strengthened, and that’s the glue that gets us through.

Kenton Brothers - Guys Hanging Out Kenton Brothers: Girls Hanging Out

We’ve found that getting together on a personal level and having fun helps us grow as an organization. We find that being closer increases our overall productivity and allows us to work together more efficiently. We look forward to our next fun outing when we can continue to celebrate our successes together!

Game on!

Kenton Brothers: Game On! Kenton Brothers: Game On!

Know someone that might want to work at Kenton Brothers? Send them to our careers page!

The 2016 MacGyver Award Goes to Zack Holden

Author: Gina Stuelke

MacGyver Award - Bill Kenton

Bill Kenton

We’re reliving a part of our history this week in remembering Bill Kenton. Some of you had the privilege of knowing him, the 2nd generation founding Kenton involved in the company from the time he was 12 until he passed away at 91 in 2010. In the early years of Kenton Brothers, he ran our service team. He became known for his response when a tech would call into the office to express frustration on a job by saying, “Well, IT DIDN’T GROW THERE… figure it out!”

So in his honor, in 2015, we created an award to pay tribute to the KB security professional who has the tenacity and creative problem-solving attitude to get the job done while overcoming any adversity they may encounter. I liken this ability to the famous TV show and character from the 1980s named MacGyver who could pretty much solve any predicament with some ingenuity and the use of a paper clip or multi-tool Swiss Army knife! The definition of  ‘MacGyvering’ something at KB is to fix something in a resourceful and improvisational way.

MacGyver Award 2016 - Zack MacGyver Award 2016 - Zack

The 2016 ‘MacGyver award’ was presented to Zack Holden.

MacGyver Award 2016 - ZackZack has taken the lead in our organization as one of our most productive technicians. I’m so proud of his desire to take on just about anything as well as his desire to attack any situation, learn new skills and “get’r done” attitude. Another praiseworthy note here is that Zack is new to the field as an outside technician. He’s taken to this role incredibly well and we’re very proud of him. We appreciate his hard work! Congratulations Zack!