By: Tim O'Sullivan, Packaging Supervisor Published:
Last October, our friends at Web Industries, a fellow ESOP company, invited a group of Harpooners to come to their facility in Dayville, CT to attend their annual Ownership Month celebration and activities. Their “Ideas system,” a program for harnessing ideas for improving company performance from each and every employee, made a huge impact on us. The reason behind the "Ideas System" made a lot of sense: every employee naturally has ideas every day about how to make his or her job easier, better, more efficient.
When we saw the "Ideas System" in action, we saw employees who were engaged, excited, and enthusiastic. It was obvious from these meetings just how much power there is in having every employee in the company striving for its improvement. And we knew then that this program was something we had to do at Harpoon.
At Harpoon, work teams have always met frequently and shared ideas for improving performance and making employees’ jobs easier, better, more streamlined. Since becoming employee-owned we formalized this system to make the most of those ideas and celebrate the contributions of our fellow owners. Ideas that get put into practice are showcased on the Ideas Wall in the brewery. This month's employee owner feature comes from the Packaging Line where Tim O'Sullivan made a small suggestion with huge benefits...
Name: Tim O'Sullivan
Title and Department: Packaging Supervisor
Idea: On our can line, we routinely pull samples to check that the can lids are being sealed properly. Traditionally we would stop and slow the machine to watch the cans go through so that we could identify which seamer heads the samples had come from. My Idea was to use a different color can to be able to identify the seamer head while running at full production speed.
Benefit: The benefits of the new method are we no longer stop production to obtain our QC samples and we get more accurate samples because the machine is running in its full production mode - i.e we are more efficient and can pump out more cans!
Favorite Beer: Boston Irish Stout
By: Matt Light, Founder, The Light Foundation Published:
For the first time in the 15 year history, The Light Foundation has a team running in the 120th Boston Marathon! To celebrate, they are hosting a special event in our Boston Beer Hall on March 9th (tickets are on sale now). Join former New England Patriot and founder of The Light Foundation, Matt Light, for an awesome night that will include meeting Team Speed of Light’s marathon runners, beer, food, motivational stories and running history with Dave McGillivray, and an NFL Draft preview & Patriots AFC Championship recap w Matt, Peter & Mike.
- Peter King, Sports Illustrated Writer & NBC Football Analyst
- Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston Reporter
- Dave McGillivray, B.A.A. Race Director of the Boston Marathon
We sat down with Matt to learn more about the Light Foundation and the Speed of Light marathon team:
Can you tell us about the Light Foundation and why it’s so important to you?
Matt Light: After signing with the New England Patriots in 2001, I felt an overwhelming need to do something BIG for others. I was a rookie and I knew that I had been given a huge opportunity. My grandmother always told me “to whom much is given, much is required,” so I knew early on that I wanted to create something that would be bigger than football and would be a positive influence; the way so many friends and family members helped influence my younger years.....even when I didn't deserve their time. In the last 15 years, I’ve worked alongside so many great people who have helped develop some initial youth-based programs and a small piece of land in Greenville, Ohio, into a 600-plus acre facility that serves as the home to our Camp Vohokase Outdoor Leadership Camp, which brings in kids from around the country, as well as hosts thousands of other members of the community --- to dozens of new initiatives, several types of academic scholarships, and a first-of-its-kind Leadership Conference to be held here in New England later this spring for area high school students. It’s grown into more than I could have ever imagined.
The Light Foundation is filled with individual stories from young people who have taken advantage of our programs and I know we’ve changed their lives for the better. My wife and kids and I are extremely proud of being of that transformation. It continues to be a very tough -- but very fulfilling job.
You’re hosting an event here in our Beer Hall on March 9th to raise funds for the Light Foundation and celebrate your “Speed of Light” runners in the Boston Marathon. Can you tell us about the Speed of Light team?
Matt Light: Our “Team Speed of Light” team is comprised of three very energetic, philanthropic, hard-working individuals who appreciate our mission and are committed to paying it forward. Lauren McCarthy works for one of our long-term sponsors, Energi, and knows firsthand about the work we do with the at-risk youth we serve from New England and beyond; Kevin Connell is also a Light Foundation supporter and like-minded leader who knows it takes setting a good example for young kids to make them understand what it means to “walk the talk” (or in this case, run), and Gregg Huffman is a fellow Ohio native who looked to this challenge as a way to give back -- after coming back from heart bypass surgery. We chose them because they each understood our vision for the Foundation, were willing to work hard for months on end and through the horrible winter weather here to achieve a huge goal (like running 26.2 miles!), and want help us pass on the torch of leadership to the next generation.
What can you tell everyone about the event on the 9th to get people pumped up for it – beside the fact that you’ll be there, of course?
Matt Light: Well, where do I start? Let’s start with the beer! Harpoon has long been a great friend to the Foundation, and their beer is top-notch. I’m coming for the beer. And for the food from Del Frisco’s! And if that’s not enough to get folks to come out, there’s a stellar line-up of special guests – including Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and ESPN’s Mike Reiss – who will help me recap the Patriots’ recent season and preview the exciting upcoming NFL draft. From the running world, we have none other than the B.A.A. Race Director Dave McGillivray, who has run all over the world and is a legend in his own right – and our Team Speed of Light running team. There’s also going to be a live band – Cramer Hill. It’s a party, for sure!
Are you running the marathon? If yes, how is training going? If no….we’ll do it next year if you do. Maybe.
Matt Light: I’m running the marathon in spirit. I’m going to do it virtually, if that’s at all possible. I think I’ll take up too much space out on the course, really. It wouldn’t be fair to the other runners. Honestly, I’ve recently run a 5K and about passed out, so it’s safe to say my running would be a distraction. I am really proud of our runners, though. I can only imagine what it takes to haul yourself across that finish line at the end of 26.2 miles. People think that because I played football, that somehow translates into being “athletic.” I guess that’s true to some degree, but tackling a bunch of old guys like me on a weekly basis didn’t involve a lot of running, most of the time. If you guys do it next year, I’ll consider starting to train. Will there be beer stations along the way?
Obviously! No pressure here…but do you have a favorite beer? (Ahem….)
Matt Light: Lots of pressure here. I like them all! If I had to pick –UFO White is probably my favorite.
We hope to see you March 9th for this very unique event for a great cause!
>>> Purchase tickets!