2014 is officially in the bag. The end of the year always seems like a good time to take stock; to think about your accomplishments, failures, high points, low points, and in-between points from the previous 12 months.
Draper, like all of you, has had its share of all of those things this year. We were named America’s healthiest workplace; introduced new products, won some awards for innovative new products, contributed to some great projects. We had to say goodbye to some good friends. And we worked to remain a strong and successful business as we prepare to enter our 114th year.
We asked some of our blog contributors to jot down a few highlights for this 2014 in review.
John Pidgeon, President: The successful introduction of TecVision – Engineered Screen Technology was our signature achievement in 2014, and in the current decade. TecVision is a game-changer–the most technically advanced projection screen surfaces in the world.
Amy Madden (MBA, CTS, LEED®AP), Sales Support Manager, Lifts Product Manager: One of the major accomplishments I was happy to facilitate in 2014 was getting the SL/SLX UL listed! Huge thanks go out to Steve Enochs & Rick Shopp (both engineers) and our production team. It took many months of back and forth with UL –product redesign, retraining, new marketing materials…let’s just say it was an ordeal. We have the only UL listed scissor lift on the market now, so it was worth the effort. I’m hoping to continue this trend in 2015 and see another of our lifts, the AeroLift, receive UL certification. It’s an incredibly complex (and expensive) process, so we’ll see what the year brings.
Jim Hoodlebrink (CTS), Rental/IDS Product Manager: In the Rental/Staging area, 2014 saw the StageScreen and Focal Point being used in a lot of new applications. The fact that we can do larger sizes than before, our ability to customize products, and the addition of new TecVision surfaces to these products brought a busy 2014.
Chris Broome (CSI, LEED®AP), Contract Market Manager: On the contract side I think the most important thing was our introduction of Solar Control Solutions product range. Although we actually introduced Omega Venetian Blinds, FlexLouver Rack Arm Systems, and related products in November 2013, most of the market became aware of this new line in 2014. We laid the groundwork to have much success with this product line, and it should provide good opportunities for Draper for many years to come.
Jeff Miller (LEED®AP), Manager—Solar Control Products: For me the highlight was the new products we introduced in 2014 that really round out our shade line quite nicely. The FlexShade Zip, Bottom-Up FlexShade, and FlexWave Light Shelf were very well received and we’re looking forward to an excellent year for these products in 2015. Another thing we’re looking forward to in 2015 is the addition of GreenScreen® Evolve™, which brings an updated designer look to the Cradle-to-Cradle-certified™ Silver fabric, GreenScreen® Revive™.
Neal Turner (CSI, CCPR, LEED®AP), Manager, Gymnasium Equipment: Gym Equipment stayed busy despite a continued declining to flat market, and we were happy to introduce our new EZ-Pad Plus control system that is ideal for large projects with tight budgets. In 2014 we saw a nice increase in our backlog of booked orders, which indicates increased sales in 2015. Combine that with projected moderate rebounds in the school construction market, and things are pointing to a brighter 2015.
Terry Coffey (External Communications Specialist): In 2014 Draper added a new House of Worship vertical market web site (how.draperinc.com), and also made several updates to make our main site more responsive on all devices. For me this was a year of big change. After 15 years handling all technical documentation for Draper, I transitioned into a new role as External Communications Specialist—writing articles, case studies and white papers, doing social media stuff, and in general doing more creative marketing things. It was a big challenge but a great opportunity and one I have enjoyed. For me, as for many others at Draper, though, 2014 will always be tinged with a feeling of sadness as we said goodbye to Sharla Massengale, our long-time receptionist who passed away. Sharla was always a positive, upbeat person who brightened the days of visitors and callers and she will be missed.
So, there you have it—some but by no means all of our highlights from 2014. But, to paraphrase the title of an immortal Tom Lehrer album, 2014 was the year that was. It’s time to start afresh, to look ahead to a new and exciting year, and we hope you will join us for the journey through 2015. It’s a journey we’re excited to begin.
We’re calling 2015 the Year of Draper, or, in hashtag-speak for those of you involved with social media, #YearOfDraper. Throughout the year we’ll be sharing lots of photos of us at work and at play, and we will continue introducing ourselves to you through blog posts featuring our employees. We’ll also be holding a photo contest, but you’ll hear more about that later. And as you get to know us this year, we’ll still be doing what we always have: introducing innovative new products, and working hard to give you the solutions you need at a fair price.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015!