When’s the last time you challenged your co-worker or boss to a race through a bouncy house obstacle course? Or enjoyed spending the entire day with your co-workers on your day off? Well, at Kendall Howard we all can say we did that last weekend at the summer picnic! And it wasn’t just us – it was our entire affiliated family.

Earlier this year we mentioned that Kendall Howard, along with two other companies (Lemon Water Salon and Spa and Zaggie Macs E-Cigs) is part of a larger company, Innovative Holdings Group (IHG). Every summer IHG hosts a picnic for the entire IHG family…and their families! Yes, you can bring the kids to this event and we guarantee they will have fun! The day is packed full of outdoor entertainment that is brought in and set up just for us! We run, jump, and likely fall in the bouncy house, compete in an egg toss, challenge each other at bean bags, chow down on the fresh pig roast (no, we’re not kidding), and most importantly, enjoy the free goodies from the ice cream truck! It’s just like being a kid again!

Every year the summer picnic gives all members of the IHG family the chance to relax, kick back, and bond as one giant group. It’s another way the owner, Randy Herreid, gives back and thanks his employees for all their hard work and dedication through the year. It’s simply just a day full of fun! There’s no dress code, shop talk or quotes to respond to. The only challenge we face is deciding which delicious Popsicle or ice cream sandwich to start with.

No matter the weather or what giant bouncy castle we’re running in and out of, the picnic has no shortage of entertainment. Either we’re painting murals on our faces and arms, trying to beat last year’s egg toss score or running after each other (and our kids)! But this year the activity level reached new heights – literally. A giant rock wall was brought in to test everyone’s fear of heights. Some of us hit the wall running and couldn’t wait to reach the top…others tried to make it at least three feet off the ground…and then there was the group that chose to leave the aerial view to the imagination.

Even though this year’s summer picnic is over, we can’t wait to see what next year will bring! Will there be a relay race? Bocce ball tournament? Build your own sundae bar? Go karts? Roller coasters? (Yes, Randy – these are all hints! ☺)


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As some of you may know, Kendall Howard is part of a larger group called Innovative Holdings Group (IHG). We have two other entities, Lemon Water Salon and Spa and Zaggie Macs E-Cigs, and even though we are completely diverse in our product lines, we are united in our morals and company goals.  See IHG isn’t just a place to come and work …we’re a family! We live, eat, and breathe together. Well, not literally…just during the workday. But there’s definitely a support system here unlike any other place most of us have worked at before! And what’s even better is we see you, the customer, as our extended family! No, not the crazy uncle that everyone rolls their eyes at…but more of the great aunt who makes the best apple pie! We’re that kind of family. We all live and die together in our successes and failures, and this philosophy is the key to creating such an amazing family!

Now because of our diverse businesses, getting the entire IHG family together to celebrate all of our successes is sometimes a challenge. But leave it to the IHG Owner and President to take care of that! Every year, Randy Herried puts together an annual holiday party for all of us to enjoy hours of fun and entertainment. This is just one of the ways he takes the time to show his appreciation for everyone’s hard work and their loyalty in making the IHG dream a reality. Like every other year, this year’s party was a blast! Check out some of these great snap shots from that evening!

Our annual holiday party is probably a little different than the standard corporate party. It’s not just social hours and speech. In fact, every year the entire evening’s agenda is kept a secret from the employees! All we’re told is when and where to show up!

This year’s party consisted of:

  • fantastic food and cocktails including appetizers, dinner, desserts, and even a late night buffet,
  • hilarious short videos staring each departments’ team members,
  • tons of kudos to all the employees as we toasted our 2014 successes,
  • bonus checks for every IHG employee,
  • a gut bursting comedian/magician show,
  • a photo booth to capture all the memories
  • a DJ for all of us to bust a move to,
  • and to top it off, our annual Texas Hold’em Tournament!

To add a little extra fun to the Texas Hold’em Tournament, each executive manager had a $100.00 bill pinned to their name tag. If you took them out of the game, then that $100.00 bill was yours! On top of that, everyone at the last table received a cash payout, and the winner received a beautiful “bragging” trophy (and believe me, they brag!) This year’s Texas Hold’em’s winner was the Kendall Howard VP of Sales, Mr. Josh Wickander!

The annual holiday party also gives Randy and the rest of the executive management team a chance to recognize each employee and award one employee from each company the honor of Employee of the Year! This year’s winners were:

  • Kendall Howard: Tony L. (Production Coordinator)
  • Lemon Water Salon (White Bear Location): Jenni K. (Guest Relations Coordinator)
  • Lemon Water Salon (Eden Prairie Location): Colleen H. (Massage Therapist/Esthetician)
  • Zaggie Macs: Just opened in 2014, so we will look forward to recognizing their Employee of the Year next year!

Congratulations to every member of the IHG family for all their hard work in 2014. We thank Randy, our prestigious owner, for such an awesome evening and we can’t wait until next year!HolidayPic_BottomFlat

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You are standing in front of a dunk tank.  Your boss is sitting atop the platform and you have three shots to send them into the ice cold waters below. As if the fantasy couldn’t get any better, you are also helping people less fortunate in the process!?!?!  I know what you’re thinking…. this is some crazy dream, but this actually happened last weekend at the Annual IHG Employee Picnic!

This year’s picnic (like every year) definitely topped last year!  We had a fully catered BBQ style lunch, two gigantic bouncy houses, face painters, caricaturists and hundreds of giveaways. But, the grand event was the oh-so-fun dunk tank.  Through-out the entire day, all of the Divisional Managers took their turn climbing up on to the dunking platform. In order to get a chance to dunk the lucky members of the managerial staff, we had to bring canned goods. One can/box = three throws! Although all the managers walked away with soggy britches,  most people saved their ammunition for the grand finale!  The CEO would be the last and final dunkee. Now,the local fire department had been nice enough the fill the dunk tank early in the morning with lukewarm water, which also had a chance to warm up through out the day. But, we felt that the CEO should have fresh, clean, water in the tank. So we drained the dunk tank, and the fire department took water straight from the fire hydrant to fill it back up. On top of that, just to make sure the water was extra “refreshing”, we added a couple coolers of ice.  (insert evil laugh)   Needless to say – we lost count of how many times he was dunked, but I think the last recorded number was somewhere around 96?!?!?!

At the end of this fantastic day, we had over $1,000.00 worth of canned goods, which Kendall Howard matched, and it was all donated to the local food shelf.

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Kendall Howard employees think small when creating gift for company CEO

From the Chisago County Press, Lindstrom, MN:

The good folks at Kendall Howard manufacturing in Chisago City may have hit on a new corporate team-building exercise that could become the next big thing. Kendall Howard staff spent over 100 hours laying out and making an exact replica of their plant out of LEGOs. The model was completed outside of work hours as a personal statement by the staff to their company owner.

Completed in time to be presented to CEO Randy Herreid for Christmas– this detailed model is quite the undertaking.

It includes each work space and the inventory and equipment used to manufacture the items, there’s a miniature forklift, a receptionist is seated at her front desk, visible through the entryway doors. The model even has posters on the walls representing the real posters in the facility located in Chisago City’s industrial park.

Stephanie Kingslien, Kendall Howard Product Manager, said the inspiration came from Herreid himself, who encourages out-of-the-box thinking and cooperation among staff. “With a goal and a plan of attack we can accomplish unimaginable things,” she said, including and not limited to, this fascinating LEGO model.


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