With Mother’s Day only two days away, we decided to sit down with a few of our employees and learn about what makes their mothers special. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there from all of us at Pro Athlete!
As a company, we have let down some of the most important people within our organization. Our hope is that this article will be a start in a more frequent occurrence of recognizing and appreciating those who are often overlooked at Pro Athlete and businesses around the world.
The group we are referring to is the family members of all the employees who work at Pro Athlete. They are rock stars day in and day out and never get the proper credit they deserve. There is no way we would be where we are today as a company (or as people) without our significant others, kids and all of our other family members. Just think of all the times they have stepped up to the plate and helped our team knock it out of the park:
Employee - “I can’t pick up the kids tonight because I am going to go throw horseshoes for the KC Corporate Challenge so we can win our 8th straight championship”
Significant Other - “You better win then, because I don’t want to be married to someone who can’t win 8 straight!”
Employee - “We are going to work late on Tuesday evenings for the next 3 months so we can get our revised websites out in time for the busy season.”
Significant Other - “No problem, that sounds very important.”
Employee - “We are reorganizing our whole warehouse and I am going to go up and fold boxes on Saturday so we can get ahead.”
Significant Other - “Well, I know a way to get it done fast, I’ll help fold the boxes too!”
Employee - “I am having a hard time finding an insurance broker for the company.”
Significant Other - “Oh, you should use “Company X.” That is who we use and they are great!”
The past six years of significant others offering to help decorate the locker rooms or being our umpires at our company baseball game… for FREE! What!?
A son or daughter that just smiles and gives an employee a hug when they get home or a dog that pees on the carpet in excitement every time you walk in the door.
The list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that every single employee that has come through Pro Athlete has had help from their family in some form or fashion and we couldn’t be more thankful for that! Think of all the home runs that have been hit across the country and all the diving catches that have been made thanks to the assists from our family members.
From all of us here at Pro Athlete, we just want to say thank you:
You make us the people we are today and you give us the chance to make dreams come true for our customers. There is no way we could express how much we love you and appreciate all the times you have helped us over the years!
We Love you,
Pro Athlete Employees
One thing that really gets us excited at Pro Athlete is when some of our best employees leave the company. Yep, you read that right. Sounds weird, huh? Well, let us explain. Something we love is to see employees leave to start a company of their own or chase any dreams they’re passionate about. Because our company was started from a true entrepreneurial venture, we get excited seeing others nurture their own next big idea. A real entrepreneurial thinker would never be happy long term at any business that wasn’t their own, so we never want to be ones to hold employees back just because it might be in our best interest. Don’t get us wrong, it always stings to lose good people, but it feels so awesome when you see them flourish. This is true for Pro Athlete alumni, Jeramey Jordan.
Jeramey started at Pro Athlete when he was 16 and literally grew up here. He did every job we had from shipping packages to overseeing our entire office as the Building Manager. He always had an entrepreneurial itch in him and 15 years later, he finally scratched that itch. Jeramey felt like he had done all there was to do at Pro Athlete and decided to partner up with members of the Pro Athlete family to start a new business. Enter Second Door.
Second Door is a short-term rental management company based right here in Kansas City. After years of managing the Pro Athlete building, a vacation home in Orlando and two corporate houses for vendors in KC, Jeramey realized he had created and mastered systems that would translate to the now-booming Airbnb market. Taking what he learned from Pro Athlete coupled with his own entrepreneurial drive, Jeramey was able to open Second Door in January of 2018. One year later and Second Door has over 10 properties in the family and a number of happy customers.
The message is simple for the team at Second Door: We Host -- You Profit. If you or someone you know is looking to capitalize on a second home or even rent your house out when you are out of town, feel free to check out Second Door. It’s stories like this that make our Alumni Program slogan, “Once a Pro, Always A Pro” feel so right!
Valentine’s Day is a day of love; a day to show those you love how much you care for them. Often times, it is celebrated with that one special person in your life. The day is filled with love, admiration and appreciation. But stress is often a result that comes from the planning of February 14th. There are flowers and chocolates to buy, dinner reservations to make, surprises to keep and meaningful cards to write. We understand all of the time and work that goes into making the day perfect for your sweetie and in turn, the stress it might cause!
In order to make the lives of our employees easier, we decided to offer a special little service for Valentine’s Day. We teamed up with The Little Flower Shop, owned by Leslie Brett and Chuck Matney, to provide our employees with a special flower delivery service. The idea came a couple of years ago from Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and one of our vendors, George Brett, the husband of Leslie, over a business dinner. Employees are able to order flowers from the office and the arrangements are conveniently delivered right to their desks! For a day, our office is blooming with the most beautiful arrangements of flowers!
While Valentine’s Day 2019 might be coming to end, there is no single day to show someone your love and appreciation. Let The Little Flower Shop help you brighten the day of that someone special all year long! From the entire Pro Athlete team, Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you are lucky, you will maybe meet a handful of people in your life that you can say truly made a lasting impact on your life. That designation is held for those truly special people on this planet. The Pro Athlete Family was privileged to know one of those special people, our founder, Wes Hedrick. Since Wes and his wife, Judi, started a little sporting goods store in Kansas City called Pro Athlete Sporting Goods back in 1987, there have been over 400 people employed at Pro Athlete. There were countless vendors, partners and fans that worked with us over the years and who can forget the millions of kids around the country that received bats and gloves.
Two weeks ago, Wes passed away surrounded by family. In true Wes fashion, he was upbeat and positive throughout his entire battle with cancer. Even on his last day, Wes told his nurse that “today is gonna be a big day”. He knew his time had come and he was ready to embrace it. He lived his whole life like that. He always took the high road and taught his family to do the same. Go figure that taking the high road is a common practice used at Pro Athlete, too. On Wes and Judi’s Hall of Fame plaque in our lobby the name “The Foundation” graces the top. While his passing put a crack in that foundation, the kind of person he was and the impact he had on all of us and our company will only get stronger thanks to him.
Wes will be remembered as an amazing father, husband, grandfather, businessman, friend and Royals fan. He loved attending his grandkids’ activities and was always paying attention to the weather no matter where he was. He and Judi loved to travel around the world together, and it’s no surprise that they always made a lot of new friends on the trips they took.
We can never thank Wes and Judi enough for what they have done for all of us who have been a part of the Pro Athlete Family. We were told that Wes enjoyed a nice cold Schlitz in his day. A week after his passing, we were proud to tap a keg of Schlitz in the bar at our office and the day before his funeral a number of employees met in the bar to honor Wes with a Schlitz. Over 50 Pro Athlete employees and alumni members attended the service for Wes. Within a second of arriving, we saw the parking lot was full- that truly tells you everything you need to know about the kind of person Wes was. The first thing we saw when we walked inside was the letter jacket that Wes was given as being part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The jacket is an iconic symbol of why Wes and Judi started Pro Athlete 30+ years ago.
On behalf of everyone associated with Pro Athlete, we want to thank you, Wes, for giving us a life full of amazing memories and experiences. It’s safe to say that one of the biggest honors of working at Pro Athlete was getting to learn from you. We thank you for building the foundation you did for all of us and our families and hope we can carry it on in a way that would make you proud. It was an honor!