November 14, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Jon Bishop

This is the twenty-first post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Jon came to Squirrels from Bolivar, Ohio and works in the creative department. As a graphic designer, Jon handles web advertisements, illustrations, animations, print materials, trade show materials and booth designs. He also is a part of the Squirrels marketing team, so he helps out with some copy writing and occasionally writes, produces and directs company videos.

One of Jon’s many roles leading up to the Slingshot launch was his coolest experience at Squirrels. “I did the Slingshot animated video that’s up on YouTube,” he said. “It was weeks of hard work, but it was fun and rewarding.” 

“In my own words, Squirrels is working to upgrade schools and businesses with an information age model of communication,” he said in regards to his favorite part of working at Squirrels. “It’s relatively cutting edge, and we make great products for the benefit of lots of different people. As a graphic designer, it’s amazing to work for a company I can believe in.”

Learn more about Jon B.!

Favorite things to do in your free time: I do Jujitsu twice a week. I like going on shoeless walks and hikes. I like camping. I like dancing. I recently bought a blowgun and about twenty stuffed animals to hunt with it. I love karaoke; “Ch-Check It Out” by the Beastie Boys is my favorite song to sing.

Favorite food: I would eat my body weight in dim sum.

TV show: I pretty much only watch Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Parks & Recreation.

Movie: I can’t really pick a favorite movie, but I recently watched Perfume and it was legit.

Band/artist: My favorite band is a three-way tie between Guster, Brand New and The Gorillaz.

Your idol and why: I’m not really into idols. Envying someone else’s life keeps you from appreciating your own. I’d rather embrace my Jon-ness.

Your motto: “Omnia mea mecum porto” … Everything I possess, I carry with me.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Probably a party animal, like a skateboarding bear, a monkey that can play the electric guitar or a parrot that can do a passable Christopher Walken impersonation.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I graduated high school, my kindergarten teacher gave me an envelope. Inside was a picture I drew: a black and white space shuttle with blaring sirens. It was bombarding a pack of fleeing people with missiles and lasers. A caption below read, “When I grow up I want to be a police officer.” 

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Shape shifting. I’d shift to a clean-shaven version of myself every morning and save $100’s a year on razor blades and hair care accessories.

November 7, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Meghan Murari

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

Meghan was born in Concord, California but came to Squirrels from Canton, Ohio. Aside from being the best Slingshot rocket sniper in the office, she is the company’s finance manager. Meghan handles payroll, accounts payable/receivable, bookkeeping, internal sales and some external sales and marketing.

Becoming accustomed to the company atmosphere is the coolest thing Meghan has done at Squirrels. “This is the first job I’ve had where not only the management but the team as a whole really cares about the work they’re doing and the path the company is headed down,” she said. “Our company retreats to Lake Tahoe and the British Virgin Islands were incredible team building trips that solidified the company’s values, goals and direction.  With that being said, working here on a daily basis is pretty cool too!”

To Meghan, the best part about working at Squirrels is the staff. “Everyone here is amazing and very talented. We all get along very well and have built great friendships. It feels like a home away from home!”

Learn more about Meghan!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Spend time with my family and friends, photography, dancing and golf.

Favorite food: I LOVE food! You won’t see me turn down much (especially chips and salsa)!

TV show: Grey’s Anatomy, So You Think You Can Dance and The Vampire Diaries (complete guilty pleasure). Oh and Ellen… I love Ellen!

Movie: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dirty Dancing, Legends of the Fall and Shawshank Redemption to name a few!

Band/artist: My dad is the ultimate music man. He taught me at an early age about all the classics, rock and roll and doo-wop. Also, being in dance for 25 years has given me the opportunity to learn about classical, Broadway, jazz and pop music….I  love it all!

Your idol and why: My parents. You know that mom that everyone wished they had? That’s my mom. She loves unconditionally and has taught me more than words can say. There is no one in this world that will ever compare to her. My dad is the strongest, hardest working man with a heart as big as the moon. He has always done all that he can to make sure his family is happy and provided for. They have raised their own children and now help my husband and I raise our two kids; it really does take an army to raise a child! Without family, I believe we are empty.

Your motto: You can’t make others around you happy if you aren’t happy yourself!

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A chimpanzee – they are so much like us. It’s fascinating!

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A mom. I wanted 4 kids.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?  Healing Powers, both physically and emotionally. I would want them for myself but also to have the ability to heal others.

October 31, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Jessica Chevalier

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

Jess was born and raised in Green, Ohio but came to Squirrels from her previous job in Atlanta. Jess is the Squirrels sales coordinator; she handles external sales, trade shows, sales and website reporting, sponsorships and helps with marketing. Her goals are to put the company in the right places to gain exposure and strengthen the brand. She also gets to work first-hand with the creative team to help convey our message.

The coolest thing that Jess has done at Squirrels was attend last year’s company retreat. “Until that point, I didn’t fully understand the culture of the company and the nature of being at a ‘start up,’” she said. “The retreat helped me get to know the other team members that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to know; it was awesome getting to know how people view themselves and hearing how they want to grow. It’s also cool that I get sent all over the country to represent the company at various trade shows and events.“

As for Jess’s favorite part of working at Squirrels, she loves having the ability to get involved with multiple levels of the company. “It’s nice that when a customer asks for a feature or is having troubles, I can work directly with our project manager and development team to make sure the message gets delivered. We have a great team and everyone gets along well. Everyone is different in their own way and we’re like a bunch of siblings all working in the same place.”

Learn more about Jess!

Favorite things to do in your free time: When I’m not at work I find myself keeping very busy with soccer, working out, running, traveling, volunteering and visiting friends and family. I love just about anything active and outdoors. I also enjoy cooking and baking; Pinterest has helped me improve my healthy dessert menu. I just bought a house so that will probably be my biggest hobby for a while. Over the years, a big part of my life has been giving back and community service. For the last year I’ve been apart of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I love hanging out with my little sister, Passion, and teaching her all about life, new hobbies and acting as a role model for her developing mind.

Favorite food: Chocolate and pizza make everything better. I eat a little piece of chocolate almost everyday. Dove chocolate squares are the best because they give a little inspiration on the inside of the wrapper. 

TV show: I don’t have a favorite TV show, primarily because I can’t get into a show enough to regularly watch it. I don’t have time for that. However, I’ve recently started watching “Silicon Valley.” It has some potential! Big Bang Theory is good too! 

Movie: I can’t say I have a favorite movie. I like all types of movies, except scary! I used to love scary movies until I started living alone. Then they became too real.

Band/artist: I love all genres of music. It just depends on what I’m doing and my mood.

Your idol and why: My Parents. Both of my parents had very tough lives growing up. Being hard workers, they were able to provide for my siblings and I. They managed to have us all in several, year round sports while working. My father passed of cancer, but even in his last days he was still fighting and had hope that he would make it through. My mother recently beat kidney cancer. Not too long after her surgery she was back to working long hours and you would never know she had cancer. I admire the fight of both of my parents.

Your motto: I have two mottos: “Live with no regrets” and “Be who you are, and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I would want to be a bird so I could fly all over the world. I wouldn’t want to be a bird that people hunt though. A robin, blue jay or a bald eagle would be preferable.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Like most children, I wanted to be a professional soccer player. That would have been a fun job. At the age of seven, I became a realist and wanted to be an accountant. Why did I choose accounting? My older cousins were accountants and they were cool, so why not! Then in high school, at age 16, I decided I wanted to be an Astronaut and go to space…. until I realized how hard it is on your body and how it destroys your muscles. Since I couldn’t go to space, I decided I should design things that go into space. At that point I decided I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, and that’s just what I did!

If you could have one super power, what would it be? I wish I could teleport myself. I’ve spent many hours in airports, airplanes, sitting in traffic and just traveling in general. It would be nice if I could just show up where ever I wanted to be whenever I wanted to be there.

October 24, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Llaran Smiles

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

Llaran is a native of Canton, Ohio and works in technical support for Squirrels. He spends his workdays interacting with customers to answer their technical questions and troubleshoot any issues they may have.

After Slingshot was released, the company went to a local sports park to play mini golf, drive bumper cars, have a picnic and so much more. The biggest event of the day, the go-kart race, was Llaran’s favorite activity so far. “The coolest thing I’ve ever done at Squirrels is the Slingshot Release Go-Cart Cup,” he said.

The team that Llaran works with is his favorite part of Squirrels. “The people that work here are fantastic and make coming to work everyday a pleasure.  Work hard, play hard.”

Learn more about Llaran!

Favorite things to do in your free time:  I enjoy off-roading in my Jeep Cherokee and spending time outdoors with my children and dogs.

Favorite food: Tacos

TV show: Warehouse 13

Movie: Boondock Saints

Band/artist: Sublime

Your idol and why:  My father.  He struggled with alcoholism but overcame it and managed to provide everything we could have needed as children.  I am still not sure how he afforded the things he gave us.

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

If you could be any animal, what would you be?  A bear. My nickname among friends is Kuma; the bear from the Tekken video games.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I have always loved the ocean and animals.  When I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Shape shifting.  It would be cool to be able to turn into any animal and have their abilities.