Prior to joining the ACK team, I operated a small kayak shop and always wondered what exactly it was that made ACK such a success. Fact is, I’ve been employed by ACK for less than two weeks but it only took about 30 minutes to figure it out…. It’s the people.

Now, I do realize it also took years of hard work, dedication, a commitment to customer service and of course, our customers, but before I could even find my office, Aaron (Warehouse Supervisor) was dripping with sweat while the noises coming from the warehouse seemed to only get louder by the minute. Kate and Kyle were already taking orders and assisting customers on the phone, Clayton was eager to chat about our ongoing social media efforts, Justin (Austin Store Manager) had but a brief second to say hello, Amy, well, let’s just say she had her hands in EVERTHING and of course owners Chris, Steve and Peter were, what I could only describe as, bouncing a dozen basketballs at each other, playing trombones and tapping dancing all at the same time (now that would be an interesting scene).

This doesn’t even include the many store managers and employees preparing to open their doors for the day along with the unseen warehouse staff that was organizing inventory and shipping orders that came in over the weekend.

I arrived at 8:15am on Monday morning — this all happened before 9am.

While I’ve only been here a week, I have already attended two Demo Days (Austin and Houston) and a Hobie Kayak on-the-water employee training seminar, began developing a tactical marketing plan for the promotion of the 2010 ACK Fishing Challenge and started tackling a variety of other marketing related tasks that were all due — yesterday.

It’s hard to use words to describe my first week here, it’s just one of those things you would have to experience yourself. The staff is unlike any I have ever worked with before — extremely energetic, committed, dynamic and eager to get it done but all with a steady focus on the one thing that matters most, our customers. It’s contagious.

Roland Jimenez