Squirrels Surge Back to Childhood

If you’re not familiar with Surge, we strongly encourage you to grab a can and experience the surge through your veins. Surge is a recently reintroduced citrus soda that originally debuted in 1996. The Coca Cola product was discontinued in 2002 and left Surge fans everywhere without their fix. 

Recently, Amazon and Coca Cola teamed up to reintroduce Surge to the world. For Squirrels, this meant the return of childhood memories and a nostalgic trip down memory lane to 90’s era technology, all-night video game sessions and LAN parties.

The youngest members of Squirrels haven’t even heard of Surge or had only heard of it as a legend. For them the realization of such a legend returning left them speechless.

Meet the Squirrels: Kyle Gritzan

This is the twelfth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Kyle is from Bolivar, Ohio. He is the Squirrels quality assurance manager, ensuring the company releases the best possible software!

Kyle’s coolest experience at Squirrels happened shortly after he was hired. “We all headed out to San Francisco where some of us attended WWDC. This was an amazing trip and nothing like I had ever done before,” he said.

“It provided me the chance to get to know each and every one of the guys I would be working with on a more personal level. I learned how everyone interacted and quickly found out that we all shared common interests.”

According to Kyle, “The best part about working at Squirrels is the camaraderie that flows through the office. Everybody gets along and likes to have fun. When it comes down to business, each and every one of us is able to put on our big boy or big girl pants and get things done!”

Learn more about Kyle!

Favorite things to do in your free time: It’s funny, a lot of what I do in my free time actually involves some of the people I work with every day. We are a tight-knit group of friends who enjoy doing things together. When I’m not with them, I enjoy working out, biking, playing video games and just having fun.

Favorite food: Lasagna

TV show: South Park

Movie: Anchorman

Band/artist: Taking Back Sunday

Your idol and why: I idolize Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is a great man who has gotten his hands on and dominated pretty much anything he wanted to: from bodybuilding, to acting, all the way to becoming the governor of California. “I’ll be back.”

Your motto: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I would like to be a big bird of some sort because I think it would be cool to fly. Preferably a bird native to a beach area of some sort.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was a little kid I wanted to be a professional basketball player. The idea of getting to play the sport that I love each and every day while getting paid to do so always sounded amazing to me.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to teleport myself and those around me would be pretty cool. No more flying in boring airplanes to get from one side of the world to the other!

Meet the Squirrels: QA Team

It may be small, but our QA team is an important piece to releasing software everyone loves! Next up, Meet the QA Team!

Want to meet more of the team? Read more in this series.

Squirrels turns six – happy birthday!

Today, Squirrels turns six! Squirrels, originally Napkin Studio, was born on September 11th, 2008.

On that day in history:

Since then, we’ve experienced some big milestones. We’ve launched some amazing products and updates, built our team to 22 members, gone on some incredible trips and learned a lot about the industries we serve. We’re so excited to build on these experiences and for the great things to come from Squirrels this year!

Squirrels founder and President David Stanfill says it best, “We have no plans to stop building, stop growing, stop doing, stop improving our home and our family, or stop chasing the next opportunity for us to change the world.”

In honor of today and #tbt, check out some pictures from our early years; between the old offices and young faces, we’ve come a long way!

Meet the Squirrels: Matt Elsey

This is the eleventh post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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A Green, Ohio native, Matt manages and develops the websites and web-based applications at Squirrels. He works very closely with the creative department to implement designs and the marketing team to assist in developing content that drives traffic to the websites. Along with being the web developer, he also takes prides in his title of “under-appreciated t-shirt model.”

 When asked about his coolest experience at Squirrels, he said, “I’ve had a lot of awesome experiences since joining the team. It’s hard to pick just one, but I would say that our company trip to Lake Tahoe ranks near the top of the list. Not only was it a great trip to a cool place, it was also a great relationship and team building opportunity. It really brought everyone together. I’m excited for the trip this year so that we can build on that and bring the newest employees into that experience.”

 Matt’s favorite part about working at Squirrels is the people. “I work with some of the most passionate, talented and creative people in the industry. On top of that, I consider everyone here a genuine friend. We all get along and work so well with one another. We really are a family here and I’m genuinely excited to come to work everyday.  Also, we build LEGOs!”

Learn more about Matt!

Favorite things to do in your free time: I’m a pretty simple guy. I enjoy spending time with my wife, family and friends. I also love to lift heavy things whilst wearing the smallest amount of sleeve allowed on a shirt.

Food: Protein

TV Show: Game of Thrones

Movie: Star Wars (all of them)

Band/Artist: Jimmy Eat World

Your idol and why: Sidney Keith. Because when I grow up I hope I can achieve the level of coolness he effortlessly displays on a daily basis.

Your motto: Eat all the protein. Lift all the things.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A Sloth… obviously. 

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Again, I’m a simple guy that had simple dreams. I just wanted to be tall. Technically, I wanted to be taller than my dad. I’ll never give up on that dream despite the fact that people say it’s impossible at this point.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?  Definitely the ability to move things with my mind. Aside from the fact that it would be cool, there are just endless possibilities to mess with people with that ability.

Meet the Squirrels: Matt Bowen

This is the tenth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Matt came to Squirrels from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He is the company’s Android application developer and software engineer! 

Developing Slingshot for Android has been Matt’s coolest experience at Squirrels so far. “It was one of my first production Android applications I have worked on,” he said. “I got to work with technologies while developing Slingshot that I never had before, and the process of learning them and implementing them was amazing.” His favorite thing about the company as a whole is the environment and his “awesome coworkers.”

Learn more about Matt!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Coding and turning Roombas into robots using Arduino.

Food: Pad Thai

TV Show: Mad Men

Movie: Drive

Band/Artist: Griz

Your idol and why: John Carmack. He is one of the best engineers of our generation, from programming and development to rocket and aerospace engineering. It doesn’t matter what it is, he has proven he can accomplish it.

Your motto: Low-level programming is good for the programmer’s soul.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A bear. They are massive, can run 30-35 mph and climb 100 feet into a tree in under 30 seconds. If you could have super powers, being as strong/fast as a bear would be pretty good ones.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Like a lot of little boys, I wanted to be an astronaut. Then after astronaut I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Teleportation. I mean really, do I need to give a reason? That would be awesome. Or of course, have the strength/speed of a bear (See previous question).

Meet the Squirrels: Jon Zelasko

This is the ninth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Jon is from Alliance, Ohio and is a developer at Squirrels. Specifically, he works on the Windows versions of all the applications. Jon makes sure that all Squirrels Windows apps behave as they were designed.

Working with Slingshot for Windows has been the coolest thing Jon has done at Squirrels, along with private projects he’s currently working on that are not yet released to the public!

“The best part about working at Squirrels is the energy,” he said. “It comes from the camaraderie of the employees, but it’s part of what makes our products so good.  We’re all friends, so we imagine the intended user with that same friendly respect and thus we aim to make the user experience as good as possible.  Also, having friendly co-workers and good products really helps having a job one can be proud of.”

Learn more about Jon!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Biking, dancing, spending time with friends, spending time with family, improving my home and building Lego sets.

Favorite food: I don’t have a specific favorite food, but I’m a big fan of the things served at the restaurants I can’t go to everyday like the hot dogs at Dirty Franks in Columbus, the wraps at Thatsa Wrapp in downtown Canton or the really good sushi at a few select places in the area.

TV show: The West Wing

Movie: Casino Royale

Band/artist: Again, I don’t have a specific favorite, but it’s because my musical tastes are always in flux so I might be really into the music of an indie folk band one week and very much digging the funk-synth-pop of another band/artist the next.

Your idol and why: My grandfather.  He’s humble, he’s intelligent and he’s worked hard to make a good life for his family.

Your motto: Never say never.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I’d be a party animal or Animal from the Muppets.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A scientist.  When I started college I settled for being a doctor, but I found that I wasn’t a fan of Biology (though I loved Chemistry) so I eventually became a computer scientist (or at least that’s what my degree says anyway).

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Telekinesis, the ability to move and control objects with one’s mind.  It’d be like having most of the best super powers all in one: Flight?  Lift and move myself. Super speed?  Move myself faster. Super strength?  Move or push things with my mind to enhance existing strength. Plus, it would really help doing two things at once, so it’d save me time cooking and cleaning and whatnot.

Squirrels Joins Forces with Habitat for Humanity

Recently, members of the Squirrels team and a few friends spent a Saturday morning giving back to the community. Squirrels joined forces with Habitat for Humanity, a world-wide organization that helps provide safe and affordable housing for families. Not only does Habitat for Humanity build and restore homes, it teaches buyers how to get out of debt and how to care for new homes. 

Habitat for Humanity Stark acquired a house in Massillon, Ohio and needed volunteers to help get the inside of the home ready to sell. Squirrels worked hard and got dirty, spending the day wiping down, painting and trimming the walls and ceilings of every room in the house. 

Many of the Squirrels employees grew up in and around the Stark county area. “We’re headquartered here, and this area has proved to be a great area to grow a company,” Squirrels cofounder Andrew Gould said.

"We’re lucky enough to be successful, and we welcomed the chance to give back to those less fortunate than us in the area,” he continued. “Habitat for Humanity seemed like a great way for us to satisfy our desire to work hard and give a family a chance to build something successful from humble beginnings—just like we did.” 

For more information on how you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in your area, visit their website to learn more about how to get involved

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Meet the Squirrels: Stephen Gerstacker

This is the eighth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Stephen is a senior application developer. A Dover, Ohio native, he writes and designs software for Squirrels. Stephen’s talents allow him to work with software across all platforms.

Since starting at Squirrels, Stephen has enjoyed attending Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference last year the most. “Attending WWDC had always been a dream of mine, and the company made sure I got to go,” he said.

In his opinion, the best part about working at Squirrels is his co-workers. “This is more of a team than a company, so it makes the day-to-day work a lot more enjoyable.”

Learn more about Stephen!

Favorite things to do in your free time: I spend my free time tinkering on computers.

Favorite food: Indian Food

TV show: Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Band/artist: De La Soul

Your idol and why: I couldn’t say I have a specific idol, but I try to take inspiration from a lot of people. I enjoy people’s perspectives on and approaches to the world. This includes Salvador Dalí, MC Escher, Terry Gilliam, Grace Hopper and Stanley Kubrick. There’s probably more, but this list is getting pretentious enough as is…

Your motto: I don’t really have a motto, but I try to live by the “Do unto others…” “Be excellent to each other” ethos.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Probably a dog. There’s something to be said for a simple life.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? In my actual words, “a digger truck driver.”

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Flying. That seems like the most fun.