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2016: Our Year in Review
It’s been a rough year for America. Most of us are glad 2016 is over. But let’s not focus too much on the bad and forget all the great things that happened over the last year. Our employees accomplished a lot over the last year, both inside and outside of the office. Check out some of the cool stuff we did in 2016!
We traveled the world.
Red Nova Labs employees are adventurers. Several of us traveled the world this year and had life-changing experiences abroad. Check out who went where this year and their trip highlights.
Web designer Paul Losensky went to Scotland.
Image by Love Skye Photography
“My wife, Kendall, and I eloped at sunrise in Applecross, Scotland, during our trip to Europe. We had our wedding, honeymoon and vacation all within a two-week span. Best decision I have ever made.” - Paul Losensky
Barista admin Rachel Parrish went to England and Iceland.
“I went to London and Southend On The Sea (in England) and Vik and Reykjavik in Iceland on my trip. My favorite part of traveling this year was the food! Eating at The Ledbury was a phenomenal experience. Also getting to sit in an English pub and have traditional English brekky with a cuppa was just lovely. Finally, the best part of the trip was getting to connect with family I'd never met! The photo is of my cousins who were so generous and welcoming, it was like I've known them my whole life!” - Rachel Parrish
Business development manager Matt Friederich went to Amsterdam and Iceland.
“I went to Iceland and Amsterdam in April. We used RVs to travel all throughout Iceland. I got to see the northern lights and went to the hot springs.” - Matt Friederich
Account manager Katelyn Wyss went to Hawaii.
“We took this picture at sunrise at Haleakala in Maui. We got to explore the islands of Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. We have friends that live there, so we got to meet up with them on the trip, too.” - Katelyn Wyss
Support specialist Liz Oles went to New Zealand.
“Spending almost two weeks exploring the south island of New Zealand by campervan was a trip I’ll never forget. The highlight was definitely getting to kayak around Milford Sound. I was able to get up close with some penguins and a baby seal!” - Liz Oles
Senior software engineer Tim Banks and software engineer Rachel Smith went to the Gulf Coast.
“We spent a week living on a sailboat off the Gulf Coast of Florida as part of a course to obtain the first three certifications available from the American Sailing Association. We learned an amazing amount about sailboat systems and maintenance, from engine operations, to anchoring methods, to docking procedures. We were even tested on single handed boat maneuvering, including solo retrieval of a man overboard. This level of certification will allow us to charter and skipper sailboats up to 50’ internationally, so now we just have to decide where in the world to go next!” - Rachel Smith
We put a ring on it.
Four of us got married in 2016 (and the year isn’t over yet - there’s still time, folks!) A big congrats to all of our RNL team members who got married this year: Paul Losensky, Beth Cain, Emily Evans, and Jana Haecherl.
Image by Wilcoxon Photography
“I’m pretty sure Ben and I broke the record for the shortest wedding ceremony. People were still walking into the church as we were already walking out. I think the whole thing maybe lasted three minutes, tops. Then we had a killer party afterwards, complete with a bulldog ice sculpture/shot luge. It was a great day.” - Jana Haecherl
“Bryan and I got married on January 9th here in Kansas City. It was the happiest day of my life!” - Emily Evans
We bought houses.
A handful of RNL employees decided to make the biggest purchase of their lives this year. Natasha Gasswint, Austin Jones, Emily Evans, Chris Klein, Beth Cain, Adam England, and Andrea Hewitt all made the exciting jump into home ownership.
“Bryan and I bought a house this year! It’s amazing what some fresh paint can do when you’re renovating.” - Emily Evans
“This year my wife and I moved out of the city and bought a house in the suburbs. I don’t know if we ever imagined we’d have an address that wasn’t Kansas City, but the houses are cheaper and the schools are so much better in the ‘burbs." - Andrea Hewitt
“The best part about owning a house is being able to customize things exactly how I want and not having to share walls with other people. (We could always hear our neighbors in our old apartment.) The biggest project so far was the bathroom remodel, but we plan on redoing the basement and kitchen, as well.” - Natasha Gasswint
We started families.
Some of the most exciting news around the office this year was from Kayla Gibbens, Austin Jones, Eric Hankins, and Andrea Hewitt. These employees grew their families in 2016 and took on the challenge of parenting.
“My son Camden was born on June 30th. He loves to smile. Seriously, this kid is smiling all the time!” - Kayla Gibbens
“My son Max Jones was born April 15th. His favorite thing to do is watch his brother play.” - Austin Jones
We adopted fur-children.
At Red Nova Labs, we love pets. We even have a pet-friendly office. This year, many of us decided to change the lives of pets and adopt. Congrats to new pet parents Chris Klein, Beth Cain, Paul Losensky, Alex Downey, Blake Harley, and Nick Walke.
“This is my dog Lana. She’s a St. Bernard Poodle mix born in February who loves water.” - Nick Walke
“These are my kittens Jessie Spano and Elliot!” - Beth Cain
“This is my dog Bella. She’s a Husky Inu. JJ loves her.” - Alex Downey
"This is the newest addition to the Klein family, Rider." - Chris Klein
“Milo (the white one) is our cross-eyed cat that was found on the doorsteps of a local business this year.” - Paul Losensky
We pursued our passion projects.
Bier Wagon is a mobile bartending service operating out of a 1969 Fireball trailer that Paul renovated with the help of his business partner. When a customer books Bier Wagon to bartend their event, they select what kind of drinks they want to serve using a liquor store order form. Bier Wagon fulfills the order from the liquor store and serves at the event. Currently, Bier Wagon can serve up to 250 people out of the trailer for private parties and events.
"I've learned quite a bit over the past year starting a business. It's a grueling process, but the encouragement from peers keeps the dream alive,” said Paul.
Check out more about Paul’s new business in this Feast magazine feature.
Thanks for making 2016 a great year at Red Nova Labs. What are you looking to accomplish in 2017? Let us know in the Facebook comments. I might just feature you in next year's blog post!